Green Clementine

Reflections… holding up the mirror

By Claire Buckland

The best part of my job is helping people grow. Even in my everyday life people give me feedback about how I have challenged them in a positive way to make changes and develop themselves by reflecting back what I hear and observe. There is an increased self-assurance and confidence that comes from personal development and a huge sense of satisfaction we feel when we move forward.

As humans, we are programmed to take on new information, our brains have a huge capacity and it is our ability to learn that offers great rewards. Making new discoveries, breaking barriers and reaching beyond boundaries is second nature to us. A brief look back in time shows us how people have achieved the so-called impossible by changing their outlook.

Sometimes growing can be painful, do you remember what is was like when your molars or wisdom teeth came through or have you ever tried to soothe the pain for a teething baby? This often happens when we step out of our comfort zone… there’s a reason it’s called that! Moving beyond the here and now where we are safe, and venturing into the unknown can be at the very least daunting or even scary. Our comfort zone is like a cosy warm blanket protecting us! However, if we don’t leave the cosiness, we will not be able to see beyond our own nose and discover something new and grow into a better version of ourselves. In order to develop, we must first relinquish these comforts and embrace the challenge to create new comfort zones, pushing their boundaries or making them in different places. These different places often appear in people’s dreams. “Oh, I would love to do that”; “I’ve dreamed of being there”; “if only I were brave enough to…” BUT “I’m not like them, I can’t do that, I don’t have the… (fill in the appropriate blank)”. These beliefs are unhelpful and need to be challenged so that we can grow. They are called limiting beliefs, and if not removed can hinder our progress through life.

Coaching can help make these dreams a reality and offers a supportive framework where growing becomes easier. Conducted in a professional relationship, coaching offers an excellent opportunity to develop in a safe environment where the discomfort can be managed and the successes celebrated. Challenging limiting beliefs or holding up the mirror can be an uncomfortable experience. Being asked for explanations; having our thought processes questioned; and the realisation that our auto-responses that we have programmed ourselves to deliver are now redundant. What do we know now that what we believed has gone? The empty space that is left needs to be filled. The good news is, we can now start to dream and find new beliefs that serve us well. We will learn about ourselves and discover a new appreciation for our talents and how we can achieve more and move forward. We have now entered the realm of those who live with a “Growth Mindset” (C. Dweck) discovering the art of the impossible. Where fear and barriers no longer exist, where we are only limited by our own imaginations.

So, hold up that mirror and take a really good look at the real you.

Are you happy with the reflection you see looking back at you?

Are there ways you would like to grow, are there new discoveries to make about who you want to be?

How will you do this?

I named my company after a fruit ready to ripen as a reminder of the power that change and growth brings. How will you grow from a green clementine?