One of my coaching clients was struggling with some relationship issues and feeling down about it.
This is someone who is *really* good at many things, and has an enviable track record of achievement. I’m frankly in awe of her ability to Get. Sh*t. Done.
My hunch is that she implicitly considered relationship navigation as an easier and “softer” skill. Like, “I’m so good at all this other hard stuff. How can something like this be so consistently hard? Especially in this squishy area. It must mean something really bad about me.”
Cultural conditioning around gender also probably had something to do with it. She has many outward markers that our success-oriented zeitgeist validates. As a female, there was perhaps an internalized stereotype and expectation that she would also by nature be better at these softer skills, which tend to get shorter shrift in the marketplace.
I don’t think that’s how it works. You can be really good at some things and struggle mightily with others, and the latter in no way takes the shine off the areas in which you excel. This goes for coaches, too. I’ve shared enough bottles of wine with enough of my peers to know that we all have Our Stuff. Fortunately--perhaps mercifully is the right word--we don’t have to be perfect to offer grace to one other.
You have full permission to be an accomplished, magical, and magnificent being who is also awkward, imperfect, and quirky--equal parts stardust and clay. Your hurts and your heroism can exist side-by-side. And, speaking to my client’s concern, let’s face it: far from easy, relationships can bring up our deepest, most vulnerable issues. They can require some serious ninja skills.
As Ram Dass said, “We’re all just walking each other home.” So, let yourself be on the path, in all of its perfect imperfection. You’ve got good company for the journey.