Being a coach is such an honor. I get to work side-by-side with my clients who truly want to live their best lives! And one of the cool bonuses of being a coach is that I get to learn from my clients every day.
Recently a client taught me about the importance of supporting others in following their joy. It’s such a simple concept, but I don’t know that I fully understood it…until now.
On a recent session, this client was discussing an upcoming family visit to see her mother-in-law who lived out of town. You could tell on the phone that she was uptight and anxious about this visit and all that it entailed. The dread in her voice spoke volumes.
Once we dug underneath the surface, it became clear that what my client was bothered about most of all were the “details.” Her mother-in-law kept calling her with questions in preparation for the visit with things like: “What type of food will the kids want?,” “Which museums should we visit?,” “When is bedtime for the kids?,” “What size shoes do they wear now?,” etc. This was bugging my client at a core-level, as she just wanted the visit to be stress-free and without all the questions and fanfare.
But as we talked more, together my client and I uncovered that it was “the details” that gave this mother-in-law her joy. She loved buying gifts for the kids, she loved preparing just the right meals that everyone would enjoy; she loved the idea of creating a perfect week for her children and grandchildren whom she loved so much.
So with an “a-ha!” moment that literally leaped from the phone, my client said, “Wait! When I’m bothered by these questions and avoid her phone calls, I am not allowing my children’s grandma to follow her joy!” She came to her own conclusion and realized that all these years she had been more of a hinderance in her mother-in-law’s path toward joy.
Going along for the ride
When I asked what she’d like to do about this, she enthusiastically exclaimed: “I want to go along for the ride rather than be a roadblock!”
Wow. I couldn’t have said it better myself. So my client welcomed each future phone call from her mother-in-law, knowing that all those “details” were simply representative of a woman following her joy.
The following week, my client even mentioned to me that she’d play into the conversation, too, by saying things on the phone call like, “Jimmy loves when you have his favorite popsicles in the freezer, so it would be great if you could have those on-hand as well.” The mother-in-law couldn’t have been more delighted to be of service in this area, and it was my client who was helping her embrace that joyful feeling.
The family visit turned out to be very enjoyable and stress-free. There is such wisdom in letting others be who they are and ride the wave with them.
I know what it means to follow my joy, and I know I can do a better job at making sure I’m fully supporting others in following their joy. Again, it’s a pretty simple concept, but one that can be easy to lose sight of, especially when we’re all coming from a different perspective in life.
When you’re interacting with the people you love, take a moment to think about what it is that brings them joy (if you know them even a little bit, you’ll be able to pick up on the clues). And then make sure you are supporting and rallying them on their journey; “going along for the ride,” rather than being a roadblock. To that other person, it will be a subtle gift (that they may not even be able to put their finger on) that will make them feel good, heard, valued, and uplifted. The world needs more of that!
Special thanks to my wonderful clients who are willing to do the work it takes to live a great life! They routinely teach me about humility and grace, as well as remind me of how powerfully amazing life can be when you’re following your joy.
Note: If you want to learn about the great work that some of my clients have been up to, go here!