A Coaching Power Tool Created by Marie Laure Dancer
(Career Coach, MALAYSIA)
Or the battle between our « Ideal » Self and our « Ought » Self
You can be anything you want to be, have anything you desire, accomplish anything you set out to accomplish – if you will hold to that desire with singleness of purpose. – Robert E Lee
Rebecca is a very successful woman. At 36, she is a board member of her company. She is considered as an accomplished woman, supervising a team of 150 persons. She works in a very competitive and demanding industry : the finance sector.
Everyone admires her. She shows incredible skills in leading a team. She has demonstrated abilities to analyze, to gather scattered information’s, to prioritize actions, to make decisions. Everyone agrees on the fact that she has a bright future.
She is really an example for her colleagues. Her parents, husband are very proud of her successful career. However she hasn’t sacrificed everything to it, She is happy in her marriage, has two children and if she sometimes struggles to balance her life, she handles everything perfectly well.
Then, one day, she is not able to move forward. She suddenly stops working and she’s been on medical leave for five months. She has no more energy to go back to work for a job she is however good at.
Listening to a friend’s advice, she meets a coach once a week. At the beginning she feels really guilty of her burn-out. She says she must regain her energy to go back to her demanding job Her speech is that she has everything to be happy but she feels an unexplained lassitude.
She must not deceive her relatives who are so proud of her career.
It is important to have a successful career, to be the best.
She gradually takes consciousness that even if she has amazing skills to be a leader, to meet the challenges and to wear the « competitive » suit, it is just a suit. This suit is far away from who she is and the person she dreams of to be.
She recognizes that she has always lived up to her mother’s expectations. Her mother is a famous politician who really enjoys competing, be the first and win the race. She was a very supportive parent to achieve goals, to encourage her to compete and to make demands of herself.
However, she reminds that when she was a child and visited her grand parents she loved to contemplate nature, to wander in the countryside. She had not so many opportunities to do it as she had to work hard, to practice her piano and take part in piano competitions.
She discovers that her values and inner nature are not fulfilled in a competitive environment.
At the end, she realizes that she can use her skills in a more meaningful environment respecting her « Ideal » Self.
In the following months, Rebecca quits her job and is hired in a NGO defending economic development in emerging countries.
She is now attentive about taking the time to care for herself practicing yoga and having week-ends in the country. She also devotes a few hours a week mentoring women who want to run a business.
Her salary has been shrunk in half but she is definitely happier as her life doesn’t meet other’s expectations but her personal vision of an authentic life. Se has not reached her « Ideal Self » yet but has designed the path to get close.