I had an interesting conversation with a highly credentialed colleague recently. She suggested that if female staff within our organisation did a specific course, they’d eliminate their ‘mean girl’ voice forever.

I can’t tell you how surprised she was when I put forward an alternative view. But my position came from personal experience.

You see, when I first started working with my own coach, I was desperate to get to the finish line.

I was keen to be done. Complete. I never wanted to think about growing again. Or undertaking any more self improvement work.

I wanted to reach that magical land where everything would come easily, the mean girl in my head would be gone forever and I’d feel competent and confident in every situation.

With that as my starting point, I’m sure you can imagine the frustration I caused for myself.

Every time I stretched myself with a new role or project, I found myself needing to work through new issues or deal with new stories I was telling myself. The only saving grace came from the fact that I had far better toolkit, and I could work through the new challenges with more ease.

My amazingly patient coach would consistently bring me back to the fact that while we are alive, the work is never done. And that growth always takes you out of your comfort zone. Every new level you reach requires new thinking. You need to reset yourself, manage your stories and start stretching for the next goal. And if this isn’t happening, you’ve stopped growing.

If you are reading this and find yourself in place similar to the one I was in all of those years ago, here are some tips to help you continue to grow without the frustration.

Self improvement without frustration

  • Treat yourself with grace. Understand that you are a beautiful work in progress and that growth is real goal.
  • Don’t be sucked into thinking that you need to be fixed. Or that you can just take a course and you’ll never have that issue again. At best, that thinking leads to disappointment. At worst, it leaves you feeling like a failure who is unwilling to try again.
  • Let go of perfectionist thinking. Perfection is a myth. You’ll never be done, nor perfect. So take the pressure off yourself.
  • Think of courses and coaching as ways to build your toolkit. Knowing that you’ve spent time learning new skills can help you deal with your mean voice or your feelings of ‘I can’t do this’. You’ll feel more confident that you have the skills and tools to figure things out.

Have you ever thought that you could take a course and your self improvement work would be done? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.



Photo Credit: Haute Stock

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