A Coaching Model Created by Anna Lundberg
(Business Coach, UNITED KINGDOM)
Anna! Go back and walk properly!
I was three years old, and my parents had been invited to our end-of-year ceremony at play school. When my name was called, I sprang joyfully out of my seat and skipped towards the teacher. “Anna! Go back and walk properly!” she said, and my face fell as I returned to my chair.
Throughout my childhood and, then, adulthood, I always followed the “good girl” route, obeying the rules, doing my homework, studying a “useful” subject at a top university and working at a big multinational corporation; doing what I was “supposed” to do. Something wasn’t quite right, though, I was stressed, I had migraines and I felt stuck; I was dreaming of other things but not doing anything about it. I finally got up the courage to take a sabbatical to have some time away – and then I made the decision to quit my full-time job altogether and to leave the city where I’d been living comfortably for nine years.
Today, I’m designing a life that allows me to live according to my most important values: freedom, personal growth and development, and authenticity. The experience of making my own choices, listening to my intuition and to my heart as much as to my head, is still new to me – but it has also been incredibly rewarding and transformative beyond what I ever could have imagined.
Everything you’ve ever wanted is one step outside your comfort zone.
Within our comfort zone, we can have a feeling of safety and stability, confidence, and a sense of being in control. Stress and anxiety are minimal as we’ve already mastered the problems that exist in this world, we know what’s coming next, and we have habits and rules in place to deal with everything. And, let’s be honest, it’s easy to put the responsibility on others as we blame our parents, our teachers, society as a whole, and so on, for our choices. However, this can be incredibly disempowering while we may also experience stagnation, frustration, and feeling stuck as our comfort zone inevitably shrinks around us.
Moving away from the “easy” path, from the path you’re “supposed” to follow, will inevitably mean moving out of your comfort zone. In my own life experience and that of working with clients, I’ve found that personal growth and development comes when we push the boundaries of what we feel is comfortable and challenge ourselves to try new things, take calculated risks, and keep exploring and experimenting so that we ultimately live our most fulfilled lives.
But we are actually moving towards a zone of ultimate and all-encompassing comfort, that of being completely, 100% authentic and true to who we are. And moving forward doesn’t mean that we’re losing all those things that have given us comfort, that we love and value: we can bring all that with us, while letting go of the things that no longer serve us. Once we’ve reached that new space where we are truly being ourselves, we can still continue to challenge ourselves, and we will still face challenges and fears from time to time – but we will do so knowing that we are on the right path and that we have a support structure consisting of a clear direction, a foundation of strong personal values, and a whole set of internal and external resources.