In the last coachNote I promised to share what my visiting Martian would witness and conclude about my real priorities and my actual goals, not the goals to which I proclaim to be committed.
Let's use my goal to declutter as an example. My antennaed green friend would observe:
~ Books bought, but not read
~ Magazines dog-eared, but never discarded
~ Greeting cards selected, but rarely sent
~ Old e-mails answered, but seldom deleted
Back at the mothership, he would log the following report: "I have observed the 56-year-old female human, analyzed and extrapolated the data points, and have come to the following conclusions:
~ Having the idea and intention to do something is a priority; the doing of it is considerably less important.
~ Habits include the delaying of action until the emotion of shame reaches an apex, at which point the resulting stress makes inaction unbearable.
~ The conditions of freedom, variety, and exploration are highly valued and seem far superior to the conditions of focusing, deciding, and committing."
Am I not committed to decluttering? Yes, I am! But I have a hidden commitment to a goal which exerts much more of a magnetic pull on me. I am committed to perfectionism, and that perfectionism is driven by a big assumption that if I miss something important, or misplace something I (or someone else) may need in the future, that I will be seen as stupid, careless, and uncaring. And who needs somebody like that in their lives?
So, I wait for the perfect moment to settle into reading a book, when I can focus and absorb it. A magazine doesn't get pitched until I have read everything currently or potentially relevant, not just to me, but to my family members, friends, and colleagues. Cards aren't mailed until I find "the one," with an image and message right for the person, and then, it can only be addressed with a pen that coordinates with the color of the envelope. E-mails are not deleted until I have printed and/or electronically filed them.
I will share what my observant Martian would likely conclude about my actual mission statement, my true purpose, in the next coachNote. What would your Martian say about you? What mission would that Martian reasonably assume you were focused on fulfilling, based on your choices and actions? We'll also discuss how to help a coachee resolve this disconnect and move forward.