Thursday, October 12, 2017

How to Slay a Dragon: A Very, Very Short Real Life Love Story

We all have that thing or things that you are always trying to conquer like being braver, speaking up, not being a pessimist, not blowing up and losing your shit so much, eating better, not being so judgmental, saying no, not feeling so guilty (about saying no), etc.

In the coaching world, the things that you want to improve about yourself are referred to as your "learning edge".

Your learning edge is the thing you need to conquer or master in order to help you achieve your goal.  Whether your goal is getting promoted at work, losing weight, improving your relationship with a family member, finding a new job, increasing your business, raising good kids, you are going to have to deal with your learning edge or not reach the full potential of your goal.

A very wise woman (my coach) shared this with me during one of our session in which I was
whining about always battling with my learning edge, and never feeling like I was getting anywhere.  She said your learning edge may always be your learning edge.  Stop trying to run away from it. You can't move past it until you accept it, acknowledge it, and make peace with it.

"You mean I will always be trying to deal with this???" Well, this was disheartening information.  I needed to deal with this crap now.  I needed to slay that dragon so I could move on and reach my goal.  By the way, my learning edge was/is being more patient.  Patient with people, patient with the process, patience with not being able to fast forward through commercials on Hulu.  The irony of my words was lost on me at the time.

As disheartening as it was, it was also freeing.  Now instead of trying to fight to slay or outrun this dragon in me called impatience, I've tried to make it my pet.  It doesn't relieve me from the responsibility of not letting this dragon run amok, like when it snaps at my kids or husband, but it does allow me to stop beating myself up for it's behavior long enough to learn what went wrong, what triggered that snarl, what can I do better next time? And then take baby steps in the direction of improvement.

Learning to discipline this pet is a ongoing process.  However now I feel like I have a chance because I no longer feel so guilty about failing to slay the dragon. 

I may (on most days) be a picture of peace and tranquility, but that dragon is still there. I accept it, and I even love it (although some days are harder than others and I have to restrain myself from kicking him).  It's part of me.  It helped shape me into the person I am, so not loving it is like not loving a piece of myself.

Life is a journey not a destination, and you will travel it with your dragon whether you acknowledge him or her or not.   Imagine that journey with a friend who is loved despite his or her flaws versus a hostile enemy you are always trying to slay.

I know which one I would pick.... Come along Spike.  Such a good boy.

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