Want to transform your life?

ARE YOU SURE?

Here’s how to know.

Disclaimer: I have been a life & business coach for more than 20 years, and while no one wants to attack their own industry, it is no secret that the coaching world has a million-and-one problems. After some hemming and hawing, debating what to do about it, I’ve come to understand that my job is to solve exactly zero of these problems. My job is not to fix the coaching industry. My job is to serve people and give generously to those who value what I provide. That’s why I think it’s important that you hear this message from an industry insider about what to reflect on and consider before spending another dollar on personal development.

There are two archetypes that make up the broad majority of people who join personal development/ coaching programs, buy self-help books, register for transformational retreats, etc.

Joy and wellbeing is something everyone wants more of, right? Everyone wants to improve their relationships, don’t they? And doesn’t everyone want a solution for chronic overwhelm, dissatisfaction, and the exhausting hamster wheel experience? I mean, who doesn’t want more love, happiness, abundance, freedom and ease…?

It seems like a no-brainer – but is it?

Those who seek and embark on such things tend to fall into one of two personas. 

I’ll name one Jackie (the larger segment) and the other, Claire (the much smaller segment).

Before I introduce them, for context, let me share a reference to the renowned work of Joseph Campbell about “The Hero’s Journey.”  Writer and professor, Joseph Campbell highlighted a pattern, or route, that every hero’s journey follows. He outlined the mythological stages that a hero moves through on a quest, to include: leaving their comfort zone, accepting the challenges ahead, meeting a guide, navigating obstacles, rising above and conquering fear. This journey changes the hero. It transforms the hero. The hero grows and changes as they experience and live the journey toward success and the satisfaction of achievement and discovery. 

Here’s a short video that sums up the Hero’s Journey:

In many ways this is a tale of my own journey. 

From painful dynamics within my family of origin, and decades of relationship struggles … to finding love, within myself and in partnership. 

From fiercely striving for independence and defensively fighting for self-preservation … to realizing autonomy in interdependence, self-love without conditions, and self-actualizing dreams that are an extension and reflection of my brain, heart, and inherent self-concept.

From trying to fit the status quo path I was told I should follow … to blazing my own trail, designing my own career and building a business that fulfills my sense of legacy, mission, and purpose while supporting my lifestyle freedoms.

From studies of therapeutic models that provided some value but were more theoretical than practical … to developing my own fusion of models, deconstructing old constructs, and implementing REAL CHANGE, with breakthroughs that stick.

From shame-filled dysfunctional habits and default patterns (the best ways I knew to cope) … to establishing new habits, integrating new perspectives, and implementing strategies that enable me to not just cope, but THRIVE. 

From “don’t make your bad day my bad day” people with a central role in my life, to “I’m here for every kind of day you have” people and relationships. 

But, these are all starting-line to end-point snapshots. 

It’s the journey in between that’s important. It’s the shit, and the pain, and the drama, and the trauma, and the crying on the bathroom floor, and the collection agency calls to my basement apartment, and the wanting-but-fearing support, and the how-do-I-make-it-happen exasperation and doubt and questions in the “messy middle,” that tell the REAL story.

When I started my hero’s journey, I was the “Jackie” archetype. I was flailing. I was a hot mess. I was a pained self-protective person trying to not get hurt, or fail. I was a Psychology major and a personal development amateur – even while being paid as a behavior mod professional and part of an addiction treatment team at an Ivy League university. (That is the circa 2001 unfiltered truth of the matter.)

I came to learn that the “Jackie” archetype was destined to live a life of “somedays” and would never get out of her own way. Her dreams, her goals, her passions and joys were buried under something heavy. Her aspirations of an uninhibited heart-led love-filled life would always elude her, unless she changed. Unless she transformed. 

I realized I had a critical choice to make:

  • Continue to blame my circumstances, and others, for why I couldn’t have the life I want, continue living in a perpetual state of crisis whack-a-mole, exhausted but running in place, frustrated and wondering why things weren’t going my way and why unfortunate things keep happening to me and why “the good stuff” in life always seemed to be for other people but not me.
  • OR, I could transform into an empowered, self-actualized version of myself, represented by the archetype of who I’ll call “Claire” here, to depict this hero’s journey.

It was from that dark, musty basement apartment that I made a new choice: Claire.

It wasn’t a flip of a switch transformation. It doesn’t happen like that. (Anyone who tells you, or sells you, on the idea that it does, simply isn’t telling you the truth.)

The only way to make the transformation from Jackie to Claire is to choose to go on the journey, to navigate the obstacles, to slay the “monsters”, to do what it takes to grow and become the person you know you can be, the person who goes after your dreams and lives a regret-free fully embodied and self-responsible life that reflects your big Self, your true Self. 

Now that I have over 20 years in the coaching industry, with credentialed psychology of change knowledge under my belt and hands-on in-the-trenches support for countless other Jackies-turned-Claires… I want to share what I’ve discovered helps Jackie navigate obstacles and emerge victorious on the other side, as Claire.

And, the REAL REASON that what you’ve tried so far hasn’t worked.

Next: Part 2 (of 5): Why everyone is not cut out for this

SUMMARY

1.   Most people aren’t getting the results they want from personal development programs. 

2.   In part, this is due to sales strategies persuading people to get out their credit card who may not actually be ready to show up for the process and make the changes needed to reap the benefits of what’s being offered. Self-reflection about the two primary customer archetypes, done in advance of purchase, helps protect both the client and the industry.