A woman is walking along the road of destiny holding in her clenched fist a few shrivelled peanuts. She has had them a long time and she holds onto them tightly. Shrivelled though they may be, they are familiar and they are hers. As she walks, she is suddenly stopped in her tracks by a loud voice which invites her, “Come to the banquet of life!”. She continues on and once again the voice invites her, “Come to the banquet of life!”. The woman looks up and there before her she sees the most beautiful building surrounded by a moat with a bridge over the water leading to the most magnificent doorway she has ever seen. She is enthralled and walks towards the bridge, drawn by the joyful sounds coming from within. A man stands guard at the bridge and she states her desire to go to the banquet. He smiles and says that she is welcome but that there is one rule – peanuts are forbidden at the banquet of life and she must hand them over to him in order to proceed over the bridge. She hesitates as she realises that whilst she wants to partake of the banquet she must traverse the bridge but before reaching the magnificent doors will have neither the peanuts nor the banquet.
This is how change is for most of us – a process which involves letting go of something in order to get something else. It is the natural order of things. We must enter a ‘zone of risk’ where we are vulnerable and feel uncertain or exposed. What we are letting go of may be less than ideal but it’s ours right now and we know how it works. Doing something differently involves a risk, risk involves discomfort and discomfort is to be avoided at all costs! I have learned through my own growth and through the process of coaching that this ‘discomfort’ is to be acknowledged, embraced and normalised, even enjoyed. It is a curious mixture of fear and excitement and is a necessary part of the process and is generally a lot more easily managed than we would imagine. Often when the change has been made we can barely remember what life was like previously and commonly I hear the words, “I should have done it years ago!” Quite often clients are amazed at what they have been holding onto and how eventually it holds onto them.
The ‘Genesis’ coaching paradigm is about taking charge of our un-tapped potential by raising awareness, getting clear on vision and choices, moving to action and reviewing the shift to understand what we have done and gain momentum to do it again. The role of a Genesis coach is to partner clients in an exploration of how and where they are investing their energy – in holding onto their peanuts or, even at the most subtle of levels, toying with the idea of being different. Our experience of the process, and in sharing the process with others, is that the result of a small change is equally as exciting as a large one because we know we have already set foot on the bridge.
See you at the banquet!