Recently, Wifey and I got a few hours of space away from the kids. We went out for dinner and as per usual, the menu was amazing! I wanted to try most of the items, but of course that’s not possible. I had to select something, and leave the other dishes for another time.
Navigating the menu in a restaurant isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but it does teach us an important lesson.
I had a client come to me with a sense that something was missing. This isn’t uncommon mind you, as most people I work with can’t exactly pinpoint why they’re feeling uneasy and discontented. However, this provides an excellent place to begin the coaching relationship.
You see, my client had young kids, a lovely husband, lived in a beautiful suburb, acquired several uni degrees and was generally happy. And yet, something was missing. It’s that ‘something’ that we started to discuss and dig into.
It’s easy to think that life can be better over ‘there’, wherever ‘there’ is. We find ourselves stuck in a myriad of self-doubt, battling to understand if we really have what it takes to live with purpose and experience fulfillment. The loneliness in our relationships and the uncertainty of how to move through it all inevitably means we stay stuck.
At the core of these concerns, stressors and worries is one simple question: “can I have it all?”
The answer to this question is something that I allow people to discover on their own. Of course, the questioning leads them to the discovery, but deep down, most people (but parents in particular) want to know if they can have it all. And by have it all, I mean; a loving family, advancing career, interesting hobbies, time for self, financial security and so on. For many people the list is diverse, but always has conflicting items on it.
Back to our question.
So, can I have it all? Well, yes, yes you can. But (there’s always a but), you can have it all, just not all at once.
It’s often the most liberating moment in any coaching discussion. The challenge of balancing everything is an outdated concept. Instead of balance, we need to think about being aware. Aware of what’s happening around us and to clearly identify where we’re at, what’s important for now, and then create a framework to better understand when and how ‘we can have it all’.
Essentially the trick to having it all is:
- knowing what you would like. This doesn’t have to be crystal clear, but having some kind of idea is important and can be easily explored
- knowing which stage of life you’re at and how that affects everything thats happening
- which desire/s you are able to achieve right now and which need to be placed on the backburner
All of these steps are uncovered through the magic of coaching and simple conversation. It really does lift the fog and help people to see the options in front of them and that the path to ‘having it all’ is certainly possible in your own unique way.
So, can you have it all? Yep, you can, but not all at once.
And that’s ok.