People are smart, resilient, and resourceful. We start from a place of freedom and joy, but through the complexity of life, we gain and unknowingly walk around with deep-seated, outdated beliefs that often stem from our earliest years. My job as a coach is to get people to joy.
I was raised in an immigrant family who came with very little. My family worked very hard to make a good life, yet I was always scared it could be taken away from us at any given moment. This created a subconscious need to always make everything right and never rock the boat or trouble anyone for fear of losing everything, and ultimately, “being on the street.” That may sound dramatic, and, honestly, it felt dramatic. Since I operated out of fear, I developed habits and underlying behaviors that I didn’t even realize were spreading into my life and my work. It was hard for me to make decisions and speak my mind. I demanded perfectionism from myself and from others to control my own safety. I even locked my door many times at night.
The thing was, I knew better. After all, I’m an educated woman—professional, successful. I knew the lock was secure, but I kept checking it. I knew I needed to give my team more ownership, but I couldn’t relinquish control because I needed to manage my own destiny. People often recognize and want to address a certain mindset or behavior. They may know they need to delegate more or that they shy away from delivering tough feedback, yet the bridge from awareness to execution doesn’t always exist.
Through deep introspection and coaching, I’m proud to say, I’ve lessened my perfectionism. I have solid tactics and strategies to manage when I feel the many triggers life throws my way. I have learned to update my “operating system” and to look at reality to counter innate fears: I haven’t been fired, I have never been robbed, and thankfully, I have never been close to living on the street. I am a product of the work I do. I feel more grounded in myself and rooted, and I live more freely willing to bend and flow. Like a Green Reed.
I know how to help others do this, too. My work is focused on 1) helping people identify underlying fears and behaviors (e.g., why it’s hard to share ownership over tasks) and 2) providing a practical set of tools and strategies (e.g., practicing a hard conversation).
Here’s an example: Eric is a people pleaser at work. One downside of being a people pleaser is a lack of decisiveness. Eric wants to make sure all opinions are heard and validated, which is a good leadership skill, but in an effort to avoid making anyone unhappy, he struggles to make a final decision. There are two paths forward. One path is that he can read books and research frameworks on how to make better decisions. Eric may gain more decisiveness but it will likely be a forced behavior. A second path is to learn more about why he needs to please so that he can release that expectation of himself. This is a more long-term and effective strategy since it will result in a more natural decisiveness.
I start with the second path—I dig deep into the WHY. What's the hardest thing about making decisions? What happens for you when you feel like you are disappointing someone? I work with clients to better understand the factors that make you you. And then together, we work with tools and strategies to redirect your energy. Part of the process is awareness and becoming comfortable with yourself and part of it is learning tactics to manage the stresses that come your way so you will more naturally understand how to be rooted yet open to the changing winds.
Welcome to Green Reed.