Last month I attended my first in-person training session for my coaching certification. During the course of those three days, I (rather quickly) identified the biggest block I have to achieving any of my goals.
Throughout the three days in that session I worked with other members of my cohort on learning some skills to successfully coach clients to move past their blocks to achieve their goals. At the end of the three days, we symbolically broke through the biggest block that we’d identified at the beginning.
I felt really, really good.
I came home with every intention of doing the things I had planned to do. I was going to go back to weight watchers. I was going to start meditating daily. I was going to get myself organized and finish the final touches of putting together my workout area.
Apparently, symbolically counts about as much as reddit karma, ’cause I did none of those things.
In fact, when I got the email last week that alerted us that our three weeks of respite was about to end and the coursework and deliverables were about to be assigned, I became overwhelmed! The next thing I knew, I looked at my calendar and anything remotely resembling free time was GONE!
I was feeling overwhelmed. Really overwhelmed.
Tonight I spent an hour with my peer coach – another member of my cohort that is also earning her certification as a professional coach. She asked me what I wanted to work on and I said “I’d really like to work on getting healthier.”
Thus began about 20 minutes of back and forth about why my health was important to me, and how it has nothing to do with my self-esteem (which is super high) or a need to be validated by society or men or anything like that.
She seemed confused about what my block was. She finally asked me to name the thing that’s blocking me and I said “laziness.”
That’s when she suggested one of our coaching tools. What if I gave this block a name? Personified it?
I was stunned that I hadn’t thought of doing this myself. For a decade I’ve been talking about naming the depression or the anxiety or the other mental blocks that have plagued my lovers and friends. As a way of naming the thing and not internalizing it….”Jake is here right now and he’s taking up all my energy,” would be a way of saying “My anxiety is acting up and I can’t really be here for you right now.”
“OK,” I responded, feeling very open to trying it out. I walked by my bookcase and I was scrambling to try to come up with a name for my laziness. “I’ll come up with a name later, but yeah…let’s say….Uhh…..”
And then I just picked a name: Felicia.
I think it’s because it’s the name of a vendor I’m working with for an event I’m putting together, and she was the last person I spoke with before I left work today.
I figured I’d pick a better name later.
Now, to be completely honest – it took my coach and I a bit of time to get to the point where she started to listen to me and stop advising me (which is what coaches are supposed to do), but when she eventually got there, I did have quite a breakthrough.
“Felicia would say that she’ll unpack the suitcase that’s been sitting for a week in the basement tomorrow, but I am going to go downstairs and unpack it as soon as we hang up the phone.”
See, ’cause Felicia LOVES to say she’ll start things tomorrow and then find an excuse not to.
“Felicia would agree to doing 20 minutes of exercise three times a week, but I am committing to ten minutes of exercise every day for the next two weeks.”
Too many times, Felicia has committed to 3 days a week, and it’s amazing how easily three becomes two and two becomes one, and one becomes a string of excuses.
“Before I moved, I used to spend two hours a day in traffic commuting to and from work. Felicia has replaced those two hours in traffic with two extra hours of sleep in the morning, but I am going to utilize those two hours to give myself the free time that I’m saying I don’t have to exercise, meditate, or work on my blog.”
“You know what,” I said as we wrapped up our session, “the name Felicia is growing on me. I’m going to keep calling her ‘Felicia.'”
It wasn’t until my peer coach asked me what I wanted to say to Felicia that I realized what an appropriate name I’d picked for her after all.
From Urban Dictionary (modified for grammar and spelling)
A goodbye given to any unwanted, irritating, or disliked person. Start[ed] as a [reference] to the character Felicia in the movie Friday.