Home > Achievement and Perfectionism, Uncategorized > OMG! I just realized I’m not perfect (again . . .)

OMG! I just realized I’m not perfect (again . . .)

I’m coming into my 3rd week of my Martha Beck life coach training program and  LOVING it.  I’ve heard from a few people who went through the program to be prepared to deal with my own personal shit as it will come up, but I was very cocky about how evolved I have become (ha! ) and was like, well, maybe others will have to deal with their stuff, but not me, no way, I’ve dealt with it, I’m cool

From the first week of training, I hit my classmates up for an opportunity to allow me to practice my weight loss coaching tools and skills on them.  I was ELATED when seven of them were interested in letting me help them.  I am working with them now and I am learning a lot about coaching – and about myself.
I went in very excited to help my courageous classmates face whatever limiting thoughts they might have which is preventing them from maintaining their ideal weight, I am working very hard putting a program together and even harder to making sure I am giving them the personal attention I believe they deserve.  In the process, I crossed over from enthusiasm to compulsion (if you’ve followed my blog, you’ll know this is a theme with me).  Luckily, I have tools to deal with this situation and I’m learning (just now) that I’m never going to “arrive” at some ideal version of who I think I’m supposed to be: a person free of issues.  I realize this isn’t an earth-shattering revelation and, intellectually, I had no problems recognizing this truth, but my thoughts about it were a different story.
So, I’m conducting this class on weight loss and I realize I am not practicing what I’m preaching: I’m letting a lot of  time pass before I eat, therefore making myself very hungry before my next meal, I was unconsciously eating (ironically, while I was on my laptop writing about being mindful when we eat . . .) and I was generally putting my needs last on my own priority list – this is definitely bad – oh, and judging myself.  Then I start thinking, oh no! my classmates and  my clients are going to discover that I am a hypocrite, a fraud and that what I’m teaching doesn’t really work at all, because check me out, I’m totally falling apart right before the world’s eyes. So there it is, I was coming face to face with the shit I so arrogantly denied I owned.  I started thinking that in order to coach others well, my life had to be perfect, and, of course, my life isn’t perfect.  I had just forgotten that I was training to be a life coach, not a robot.  I had also forgotten that I am – and will always be – a work in progress, continually growing (which  comes about by being challenged) and continually learning.
Good news,  I did not fall apart.  Better news, I located the thought that was causing me a lot of grief and it was time to shut it down and I knew that was well under my control.  Yup, it was time to get out my The Work in Progress (you can learn more about The Work here) document and do my thing.  Here’s how it went down:

My original stress-producing thought: I can’t be an effective and helpful coach when I am struggling with my own issues.

Is this true: No


When I think this thought I feel: tight all over, limited, sad, like a fraud, secretive, imprisoned


Without this thought I feel: free, light, real, connected, helpful, empowered

Turnarounds to the original thought:

I can’t be effective and helpful with my own issues when I am struggling to be an effective and helpful coach.  

This feels truer. Here’s why:


  •  by focusing on others and their challenges without paying attention to what that brings up for me, I am being inauthentic and ultimately not as effective or helpful a coach as I can be.
  •  I would be better off just allowing myself to be effective and helpful rather than struggling to be anything.
  • If I’m going to “live it to give it” I need to be focused on ridding myself of my limiting beliefs if I’m going to help others rid themselves of their limiting beliefs.
  • My goal is to help my clients, whether they approve of me is none of my business
  • In order to help my clients, I need to first clean up my thoughts about what my role as a life coach is – and I know it’s not to be an unrealistic model of perfection.






I can be an effective and helpful coach when I am struggling with my own issues.

This feels truer. Here’s why:


  • I’m human. I’m going to have issues. I had better deal with them, even if I have to struggle a bit.
  • My experiences and practice working through my challenges will give me valuable insight  and knowledge when working with my clients
  •   It’s when I don’t admit I’m struggling with my own issues that I risk not being effective and helpful
  •   The more I struggle with and solve my own issues, the more evidence I have to help my clients see they are capable of the same results.


After I worked on that thought, I read what my main man Eckhart Tolle had to say about it in the The New Earth: 

You become most powerful in whatever you do if the action is performed for its own sake rather than as a means to protect, enhance or conform to your role identity. . . .Give up defining yourself–to yourself and others . . . Whenever you interact with people, don’t be there primarily as a function or a role, but as a field of conscious Presence.
So concerning myself with how I come off as a coach is a colossal waste of time and energy and serves no one. What does matter is that I am pure and honest in my intent to help others with the skills and talents I do possess and that I show up for them as a person first.  I may have to remind myself to dis-identify from my role again (maybe many times), but as with anything worth doing well (not perfectly), the more I practice, the better I will become at it.  

It never ceases to amaze me how powerful thought dissolution work is.  I am so grateful for this tool! 
  1. January 30, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Love this post. TAO and wonderful.

  2. January 30, 2009 at 6:08 am

    What you wrote completely hit home for me! Thank you for sharing the work you did on the thought about having to be perfect in order to help others. I see some things I’ve been struggling with this week in a more clear light…

  3. February 1, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Yup. I have a lot of dirty thought around having to be perfect at something before I even try to do it, including coaching. A friend just told me tonight that what she wants in a coach is someone who’s further along the same path, someone who models for her rather than tells her. It was a huge re-frame for me, and made me realize it’s okay to try things and be willing to suck.

    So, in your honor, I’m going to go do some yoga. I’ll tell you later this week whether I was able to get up off the mat. 😉

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