IF YOU HAVE GOTTEN NO PSYCHOTHERAPY OR LIFE COACHING, YOU ARE, AT MOST, 80 PERCENT OF WHAT YOU COULD BE
Sorry. I hate to be the bearer of bad news. No one wants to be missing 20 percent of their potential. But the 80 percent only applies to you if you haven’t gotten psychotherapy or life coaching designed to unearth elements of your life story that you have instinctively buried—generally to avoid the pain associated with remembering them or examining them.
Human beings routinely avoid thinking about the events and relationships that are troubling to them. They think of them as land mines, when they are actually gem mines.
Why do I say this? Because it is during the uncomfortable moments of our lives and in the uncomfortable early dynamics of our lives that we left behind elements of ourSELVES. And the SELF is powerful. It is nuclear energy to fuel your true dreams and true possibilities.
Can you retrieve these elements of yourSELF without a guide? Can you independently mine the gems that will be like treasure to you for the rest of the days of your life? In a word: No. How much are those gems worth? At least 20 percent of your future success, personally and professionally. At least.
Here’s an example: If you have the suspicion that you were not appreciated for your core talents as a child or adolescent or young adult, you may well have partly or fully buried those talents. They weren’t a way for you to win the “love,” let’s say, of one of your parents. They might even have been identified as frivolous or a dangerous detour from serious ways to earn a living. Until you navigate back to those pages of your life story and deal with the fact that you were loved only conditionally in your family of origin, you won’t rediscover and embrace those talents. And they may—far from the way they were seen by your father or mother—the richest part of your potential.
That’s one example. There are hundreds. Or thousands. Will you really engage in self-analysis that yields such an insight and then guide yourself to make the most of it, going forward? Let’s be honest: Almost certainly not. And might revisiting your dream of being an entrepreneur or teacher or painter or poet or politician worth as much or more than 20 percent of your personal power? Of course, it is.
Have you not engaged in psychotherapy or serious life coaching? It’s time to ask yourself, Why not? Because, these days, avoiding it takes some energy. So, you might be on the run from something. And yet, the very things you fear confronting are the things that will make you stronger. You should be running towardthem.
Do you avoid all risk because you lost things early in life and never want to take a chance? Do you take too many risks because you’re on a lifelong campaign to not be your dad, who was compulsive, controlled and took no risks? There’s a narrative at the heart of how you are living your life, but that narrative isn’t going to allow you to live with your whole heart, until you see it for what it is.
You can’t do it alone. I would be lying to say you could. It takes you and someone committed to making you everything you can be. That’s why 1 + 1 can = 11.
Dr. Keith Ablow