“People turn up in your life when you need them.”
This was said to me by someone recently and she was essentially predicting her appearance in my life.
At the time of our meeting, I was actually thinking: “I do not need this person at all in my life.” She blew in the door and proceeded to “advise” me on how I should be living my life, and according to her beliefs, I was living my life all wrong.
Within two minutes of meeting her, she decided she had me pegged and told me I was too analytical and that I needed to think with my heart and not my head. Then she went further and told me that being analytical was why I was unhappy.
I was a little taken aback by her statements and immediately started analyzing them because yes, I am analytical. I do like to figure things out and so often take in information, analyze it and then either add it as support to my theories on life or reject it as not valid. She did read me quite well; it was actually quite impressive how she figured me out so quickly.
So I agreed with her, yes, I’m analytical, but actually, I’m pretty happy with that state of affairs so I put that argument back to her that her initial argument was flawed. Thinking with my head is not a recipe to make me unhappy, despite her strong beliefs.
This didn’t sit well with her and she spent the next hour telling me why I was wrong and why I needed to start living according to her beliefs and values system. She even stepped up the pressure by telling me I looked way older than my age and that was due to me being unhappy. Some of you may be wondering why I listened to her go on for so long. I will refer you to my blog post on maintaining personal boundaries. Yes, in hindsight, it would have been better for me to simply stop defending my belief system to her and walk away; this is something that I will probably have to work on for the rest of my life because the people pleasing gene is strong in me (as Yoda would say).
That said, I did eventually walk away and went to my room to read How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. Actually, I think this book waltzed it’s way into my life when I needed it. The irony was funny as my attacker was telling me I needed to dye my hair and Caitlin Moran was questioning why woman have to focus so much on maintaining their youthful looks when men spend their time worrying about how to get ahead.
My attacker eventually got the message and left me alone and then I got thinking about what had just happened (oh – I’m so analytical :))
What I started thinking about was Coaching compared to Advising.
I started thinking about how coaching worked for me and my life. My coach listened to me and what I have to say. She helped me elucidate what is important to me and what is going to drive me forward in life.
This is very different from someone that already has an idea about how life works and then tries to put those ideas onto someone else.
I can say that coaching worked for me. I don’t have to push myself to do things that I naturally want to do. I can also say that advising seemed to work for a while in my life. I did listen to what people advised me to do for a very long time but eventually the disparity between how I was living and my personal values led me to being stuck in life. I was not moving forward anymore when I was living someone else’s life.
After I had finished thinking about coaching and advising, I realized that this person did have one valid point that I will buy into. People do turn up in life when we need them, but sometimes it takes a little work (and analysis) to recognize this.