As I work with individuals one-on-one or in groups, I notice the difference between those in protection and those in growth mode. I speak of this humbly as a person who still oscillates between the two attitudes. What I see in the protection mode is a will to maintain an old identity like those old T-shirts I notice in my partner’s closet, well worn, falling apart, but jealously guarded!
In individuals it is often the hanging on to a familiar persona: The Saviour, the Villager, The Prize Fighter, the Rebel, the Responsible One. These identities were very useful for getting to ‘Here’. In moving forward to ‘There’, they become straightjackets that stiffle growth and exploration. We live archetypes rather than follow our best instincts . Others ruefuly comment behind our backs on these ossified attitudes, but we refuse to acknowledge them.
My intention when I coach is to help individuals see these old reflexes for what they are, i.e. mutable patterns that have created a hollow reality that no longer serves them. In a respectful dialogue that probes and challenges, the individual comes to terms with the fact that he/she has evolved to this state without much thought. What she is pales in comparison to what she has the potential of becoming.
Then comes the process of letting go…