I must admit. I grew up in a small town and therefore my automatic response to most things in life naturally leans towards a small town mentality. Anything outside my habitual boundaries feel dangerous, risky and like no-go zones to be avoided.
As life gifted it… I married a very adventurous, let’s-test-every-single-boundary-wall-in-sight-and-wander-into-the-unknown-while-jumping-into-mid-air-with-big-leaps-of-faith husband. Just writing these words, cause the muscles in my stomach to contract. During our fifteen years of marriage he stretched me in a multitude of ways. I occasionally held him back in my small town approach, where things go untouched, feeling nice and safe.
I have a lot of faith, mostly while operating inside of these boundaries. After living in England for three years, we returned to the beautiful coastal city of Port Elizabeth to settle once again in the our country of birth, South Africa. Not long after this, we stumbled upon a property in the heart of nature just outside of town.
We immediately fell in love with it although it was in need of maintenance.
I fell in love with nature and the space.
My husband fell in love with nature, the space and all the possibilities to renovate.
We did not exchange much of our “love stories” and built our agreement to purchase the property on the fact that we both wanted to live there.
After a year of settling and enjoying the peacefulness of the surroundings, my husband started to nudge me in the direction of his vision – renovation. As usual everything in me kicked, screamed, jumped straight up and forced me to utter the favourite two-letter word “NO”. Too risky.
“Don’t go beyond my small town view of the world. Everything is under control now, although the wooden window frames are falling apart it still offers a partial view of the ocean. I realize we don’t have a front door but what is wrong with squeezing past the car in the garage to get into the house. I would rather be stuck with the chipped tiles than dare to risk it outside my ‘boundary wall’ of the known and risk paying too much. The risk of dreaming up new possibilities that might go terribly wrong. Who knows, we might even find that the foundation of the house is not solid. Let’s just leave all be and live with what we have. We might overspend and have to sell the house….” and so I rambled on…
For at least another year.
My we-can-do-this husband was getting fed up with my lame excuses and inability to see the multitude of possibilities that the property offered. He increased the pressure. I still don’t know why and how I got to the point where I decided that I will just jump with him and embrace the unknown, but I did.
From the moment I said yes, I experienced ‘if I only knew’ regrets.
Making huge decisions is really not my thing. Architects, budget, sifting through options and the huge gap between my husband’s eye for perfection and my willingness to settle for anything as long as I can settle.
We survived. We improved our property into a dream not ever imagined by me. Not only because of the additions but the possibilities that opened up due to the additions. We created new spaces for each family member where they could simply be and feel inspired. I still wake up in the morning with a sense of awe. We shared this house with many loved ones and occasionally opened it up for special events.
We filled it with laughter, enjoyment and we felt a deep sense of gratitude for trusting that life will be better after renovations.
I got rid of many of my false small town beliefs and opened up to opportunities in new ways.
As a life coach I realized that a small town mentality is not that odd. In my profession, I meet a wide variety of people. A large number of them verbalize their preference for the status quo.
They live in bodies, but with minds that are in desperately in need of renovation, yet, they are not willing to face it.
The windows of their souls, offer only a partial view on life, because of neglect and lack of transformation.
The renovation process eliminates outdated elements that no longer serve their purpose and replaces it with a new version that will serve in a variety of ways.
The moment when we replaced all the small windows in our house with large ones, a much bigger view appeared in front of us.
Renovations are exciting and scary, daunting when the walls come down or have to be rebuilt, but absolutely fulfilling if once optimistic dreams turn into reality.
I would like to quote Kirsten Constable who wrote this in a blog entitled “How Coaching Really Works”
“By changing our thinking, we can change the neural pathways in the brain, creating new ways of seeing and interacting with the world. As coaches, we use tools and techniques that promote neuroplasticity. By thinking about our thinking (also called metacognition) we can create new feedback loops for deeply ingrained beliefs that trigger responses, which trigger feelings that lead into action or avoidance. In this way, as Brenda Corbett and Justin Kennedy, Ph. D., wrote for Choice, coaching can in fact change your brain.”
Did our renovations cost a lot?
It sure did. We made many sacrifices: months and months of discomfort, of dust and chaos and the financial burden to make this happen.
It was not always easy or without hiccups, but at the end it was worth it. We recovered from all the short term struggles that accompanied the process of renovation and restored and increased long term value to this amazing property.
Life Coaching is really not much different from the renovation of a house. You must be willing to invest time, money and energy into it.
Without investment your minds will be hesitant to commit and your expectancy of the outcome might be of average quality – mediocre.
May you take a careful look in the mirror today and see possibility.
May the possibility persuade you to take brave steps and start the renovation of your life.
You are welcome to contact me if you need more information on life coaching.
There is a life outside of our restricting mind patterns.
We don’t have to wait until the walls of our small town mentality cave in and force us to move outside.
We can do it today. https://youtu.be/4fVCKy69zUY