My Personal Screw-up List for the Viewing

One of the delights of my Coaching practice is currently having 3 clients who are under the age of 24. It is mind boggling to witness these bright, talented young men and women begin to build such a strong personal foundation in their lives, that they can hold to a personal honor code and already push past fear and set strong boundaries when needed.

Almost every client of mine over 40 remarks at some point during our work, “What would my life have been like, had I known these things at a young age? These life skills and intimacy tools would have changed everything.”

I know. 

I know because I screwed it up for so long myself, all the way into my 30’s, until I landed in therapy and started on a long, uphill journey toward healing and waking up.

My new client asked me yesterday at the end of our call, “Did you make any of these stupid mistakes I’ve been making when you were my age, Barb?”

How much time do you have?

We all do.

Including me. And your parents. Your teachers. Also the person you idolize. Your mentor. That authority figure you look up to. Your minister. The million dollar Life Coach who’s speaking to you in a group of hundreds.

We’re human beings who “do better” when we “know better.” 

My list? Let me throw out a few that quickly come to mind including some little mistakes and a couple of horrible, life changing ones:

  • Lying constantly from an early age to not upset “the alcoholic”, but continuing that into my 20’s so I could do whatever I wanted to do.
  • Trying to hold an image up and impress everyone in my life – my boss, my husband, my friends, my parents and even my therapist when I first landed in her office.

  • Stealing things up until I was in my early 20’s. This is really hard to share. Supposedly there’s a link to the abuse I endured but I still feel the threads of embarrassment, to this day.

  • Saying “Yes” to almost everything that I actually wanted to say “No” to, so that people wouldn’t be upset with me.

  • Having an affair. You think #3 is hard to admit? This one changed my life. Thank God it landed me at rock bottom and threw me into therapy, which opened doors to a whole new way of living life. But it caused another person excruciating pain.

  • Dating the wrong people for the wrong reasons, marrying when I had no real skills or tools and participating in needless dramas over and over as a result.

Even today, after all this time, it feels incredibly vulnerable to share these things. I thought twice about deleting this and writing something less personal. My client’s innocent question reminded me that it’s so easy to look at people who are successful and making a difference in the world and believe that they’ve always had their #$@% together or that it’s been “smooth sailing” all the time.

My point in sharing? 

Every person has a story. Any individual who’s out living life is going to be making tons of mistakes, doing dumb things and causing themselves and others pain.  What matters is whether you’ve hit the point in your life that you’re open to real change, doing things different and can commit to the important “course correcting” necessary to begin creating a life that adds more healing, kindness and meaningful connection into our world.

The reason I’m an “expert”, kickass Relationship Coach and can take you swiftly through these challenges to a place of higher ground?

Because I screwed it up so badly in the past.

I’m reaching back to help pull you forward.  It’s an honor and my passion. Take my hand, or anyone else’s who’s stretching it out toward you with love and an open heart.

You can do this. 

Big tender love to you all~