One of my most interesting and inspiring moments of being a coach is that moment when I see a client unravel unconscious though patterns, exposing limiting belief systems and realise “it’s not me, it’s just in my head!”
Personally, I have always had conversations with myself, in my head. Sometimes pleasant conversations, supporting, encouraging, or comforting. But every so often they could turn into nasty conversations, blaming, judging, doubting self and others. I always have known that these thoughts were not necessarily helping me. But I kind of accepted that they were just there, the “lesser” part of me.
And they are a part of me. But maybe they are not the lesser part at all. Maybe they are just a sign that a part in me needs some love and attention, some compassion.
In my development as a coach, I learned that labeling these thoughts can be very helpful for myself and for clients. When labeling these thoughts you expose them, you make them more visible. You start to recognize when they show up. And at some moment you start to recognize when they are hindering you instead of helping you.
I have come across different ways to label them. Some describe them as voices that have a certain tone or pitch. Others describe them as sub-personalities, making them come alive by giving them names, appearance, characters. Or they draw, paint, or visualize them in another way.
In my current certification program from Positive Intelligence, they are described as Judge and Saboteur accomplishes; over-developed characters who are sabotaging you and your happiness, making you feel negative about yourself and others.
And indeed, labeling and recognizing them is eye-opening, both for myself and for many of my clients. Suddenly I realize my pleaser saboteur is stepping in, making me commit to things I should not commit to. Or my Judge is having a feast on my good night sleep, making me doubt if I’m good enough. The control freak in me is jumping up and down, causing me to become rigid and stubborn: nobody tells me what to do. The moment I label them and recognize them, I can manage them better. I can have a conversation with them; what is it you need? Why are you showing up now? How can I turn you into a Friend Accomplish instead of a Saboteur Accomplish?
It’s fascinating to uncover, and I love it. I love it because I see how it helps so many of my clients to put names and labels to what was once just limiting them. I love it because I can use it in so many ways to help myself and others. And I love it because it taps into my imagination and my internal conversations have gotten a lot more interesting since recent.
And most of all… I love it because it also means that I’m never alone! 😃
*Illustration: book cover Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine