“That’s Me!”

by on October 23, 2013

I was assisting my wife bring her bicycle out to her car to meet up with a friend to take a ride. I realized that I did not have my sneakers readily available to go outside to assist her. She mentioned to me a friend, who was once in her life, would come to her home barefoot. I said to her, “That’s not me.” In fact, my wife was a cyclist long before I met her. Many have asked me when they find out that she rides, if I have ever joined her. While the answer is “No”, the more appropriate answer is “That’s not me”. And, because it is not me, and I know that my lack of enjoyment of the activity would likely detract from my wife’s enjoyment I choose not to join her. (NOTE: She has several friends she has cycled with for years, so I’m not leaving her to ride alone).

I thought about the “That’s not me” response. Obviously while true, it is negative in its construction. I’m in a profession that encourages people to look at the positive in what they do. I’ve seen first hand in working with clients that when their focus is on the negative, it inhibits them from moving forward in their life. Therefore, as I thought about things a bit more, I said to myself, obviously the opposite of what I am saying is “That Is Me”. So, reframing the perspective, if I’m not the fellow who walks barefoot outdoors, or who is a cyclist who rides regularly with his wife, who am I? As I was stating it more from a positive perspective, I was pleased with what I found.

I am a life and career coach who enjoys working with his one to one clients. In the last several years I am a person who has improved in my ability to listen intently to others and what they are saying. Additionally in those last several years, I have become very comfortable in meeting and talking with others I don’t know. While always a friendly individual, I am naturally shy. As such, until starting my second career and learning a whole new approach to business and how to share who one is with others, I usually stayed to myself, especially in full room situations. For a long time I have enjoyed spectator sports, although in recent time that has focused more on major league baseball, pro football and local college basketball. I continue to love to travel and learn while visiting places that I explore for pleasure or while having an opportunity to pursue my love of the coaching profession. I’ve become a more avid reader. One of my relaxation passions is completing Sodoku puzzles, particularly the 16 X 16 Saturday variety. I have also enjoyed being the owner and participating in a fantasy football league for the last 35 years, for the most part with many of the same individuals.

All of us have a “That’s Me!” description of ourselves. Yet more often than not, I hear individuals apologizing for what they are not. However, whether it is preparing yourself for applying for that next job, looking to move forward that next relationship in your life or just determining what you may want to do next from a list of choices, you have a story with a lot of positives in it. Others may do things that you do not do, and perhaps it interests you to try those same things. That’s great if you so choose. However, to not choose to do them, if they’re not part of who you are, is perfectly OK. Only you should be the one that chooses that which is a part of you. And, whether you choose to keep that being the things you have always done, something new you want to learn and introduce to your life, or try something and declare it is something you don’t want to do any more, as long as you are able to still say “That’s Me”, you are likely to be far more content than if you do not.

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