When those close to us don’t see all we are and can be

» Posted by on Apr 1, 2017 in blog

In a recent coaching session with a woman launching into retirement, the conversation focused on various options she is considering to re-engage, not merely “retire”.  As we explored her transferable skills and natural talents, I sensed she had a strong leadership edge that was seeking to come alive and put to good use. My client provided an example explaining that she had initiated an informal support/action group with former colleagues who were sharing the same goal of increasing their health/fitness and stamina.  It worked very well she said; the participants were supporting each other and had good success reaching the goals they had set. 

Our coaching conversation then shifted to exploring her core values, and motivators that could be activated at the intersection of her leadership skills and current interests and passions.  As specific ideas arose in her mind, about what she would like to do and who she would like to help as part of a volunteer engagement, her spirits further lifted and her voice became animated.  As I mirrored back that fresh enthusiasm and acknowledge her leadership strengths, she said “unfortunately, my husband does not see that part of me”. 

She is not alone feeling that her spouse does not see nor appreciates her work-related strengths and skill sets. Indeed, it is sad that those closer to us are often blind to our greatest gifts and abilities. This may be so because they have become habituated to seeing mostly the domestic part of us they interact with in the confines of practical daily life.  In a form of subtle collusion, the greater perspective of all of who we are and can be is lost over time, and with that loss, the wide and expansive potential of the person is left unacknowledged and may even become dormant.  But in the depth of our resourcefulness there are enormous capacities to be awakened.  If we could actually see it, it may have the magnitude of a huge waterfall like Niagara in Ontario.  Sometimes, this potential needs to be seen and acknowledge by another before we can really own it and run with it, to make real tangible use of those gifts. 

By the end of the session, my client was effervescent with renewed confidence after making notes, capturing ideas and insights, identifying clear next steps to give time and attention to, in the process of designing her meaningful re-engagement.

If you are approaching this time of your life, I invite you to contact me by email to arrange a consultation about retirement to re-engagement coaching?