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When Your Default Settings Work Against You Part 2

Jun 21st, 2011 | By | Category: Life Coaching

Sometimes even a coach gets stuck.  That has been true for me over the past few months, which is why you haven’t heard much from me. My default settings have been working against me.

I don’t like to admit that I have been stuck; I’m the coach, after all! Coaches don’t get stuck – or, if they do, they quickly figure out how to get moving again so they can get out there and continue the business of  helping others.  That, after all, is what I do. That is what I’ve been trained to do.  I navigate this life in such a way as to keep myself moving forward in a healthy way, while remaining strong enough to help others with their challenges and struggles.  At least, that is what I would like to THINK I do.

Today, however, I’d like to tell you what my life has really been about these past four months.  Call this one part confession, one part memoir – today I’m going to tell you the truth about my life.  I hope you find my words authentic and encouraging.  If you are encouraged by what I have to say, I will know that God has been speaking to me in a way that only He can.

At the end of January, I was feeling pretty good about my blogging life.  I had received some good feedback on my first article, and I was beginning to find joy in getting my thoughts on paper.  After months of believing I was hearing God whisper in my ear, “you know, you really need to be writing,” I was finally taking action on it and enjoying it!

Then, life happened.  It wasn’t anything bad that happened;  in fact, it was a lot of fun  events that occurred in a short amount of time.  First, my husband and I went on a long-anticipated trip to Atlanta and Charleston.  Next thing I know, it is March.  Then our college student son came home for a week, which always changes the dynamics around the house.  Suddenly it’s the end of March, and my cousins arrived from Sweden for a visit.  This motivated me to finish one of my long-unfinished projects, which of course derailed me even further from my stated goal of writing.  Suddenly, the calendar said April 1, and of course taxes are due in April, so my writing was delayed once again. I finally made it through that project, and once I had cleaned up the mess created from the whirlwind of finding all my necessary receipts, it was May 1.  Now May is tricky, because my “other job”, (the one that pays), is as an SAT tutor, and of course May is last-minute panic time for many high school juniors to get prepped and ready for the early June test date.  During busy SAT months, even though I only tutor a couple of hours a day, I become rather analytical and results-oriented; it seems as though it’s the nature of this type of work for me.  This mindset, however, is not conducive to putting me in a place to do my best writing, which comes from my creative side.

Now, I don’t share this with you in the hopes that you will admire me (“She sure is important to a lot of people!”), or so that you might wish to advise me (“You let yourself get so busy and sidetracked that you forget your true passion!”). I share this with you in the hope that maybe you can relate to how easy it is to get sidetracked by events, responsibilities, people – in other words – “life” as we pursue our dreams.

These past four months have been difficult, filled with frustration, regret, self-criticism, but recently I’ve begun to hear God whispering life back into my dreams, and this has given me a newly-restored hope.

One part of my makeup that I have had to confront once again (I wish I could say this was going to be the last time, but I’m afraid that is hoping for a bit too much….) is my perfectionism.  I like to describe myself to others as a “recovering perfectionist”, but when I am truly honest, I know that  my perfectionism holds much more power over my choices than my recovery.  I don’t like acknowledging my perfectionist side much, as it has limited me time and time again in my life.  But it is there, and I’m learning once again to acknowledge it as an important part of the total package of who I’ve been created to be, rather than my enemy.  More on this later.

The gift of the past four months is that God did not leave me stuck in my perfectionist puddle of frustration.  Slowly, as I have walked through this time of being frozen, he has begun to remind me of what motivates me in the first place.  That is, he has reminded me that as I remain in touch with my heart, with that self that I know was created by him and longs to respond in love to him, I am again drawn to the work which brings me true life.

I was involved in two book studies this spring, and in mid-May I realized that these two books were dovetailing in an amazing way.

In The Gift of Being Yourself, by David Benner, which I was leading as a follow-up to our year-long Listen to My Life workshop, I read the following:

“God’s call to our fulfillment is therefore a call to take our place in the grand restoration agenda of making all things new in Christ.  Our vocation is grounded in the self that from eternity God has willed that we be.  Our calling is to become that self and then to serve God and our fellow human beings in the particular ways that will represent the fulfillment of that self

In The Life Model: Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You by Friesen, Wilder, Bierling, Keopcke, and Poole, which I studied with some of my closest friends, I read this:

“Living from the heart Jesus gave you means you are being the person you were designed to be.  You are acting like yourself.  The heart is the place of spiritual discernment where you know who you are.  When you are living from your heart, you are following an inner directive that, if governed by the Spirit of God, keeps you on the path that is spiritually attuned to you.  You are following God’s leading.

Two books, two groups, one very common message:  to do the work of God is to be the person God created me to be! As I relax into this personhood, in other words, as I learn to live out of my heart, God is able to work through me, which hopefully means that he will speak through me to you.

Perfectionism is about performance.  Perfectionism says I need to stick to my schedule, stay focused, be professional, and above all, pursue excellence.  Living out of my heart allows me to live out my calling more lightly, focus more on the needs of others, and not take myself too seriously.

I know now how I got stuck and what to do about it.  What about you?  Are you stuck?  Do you know why or what to do about it?

I still believe in the basic framework I told you about months ago, which is that there are three steps to getting your default settings reset:

  1. Troubleshoot
  2. Diagnose
  3. Repair

We will continue to discuss these more in the coming weeks, hopefully sooner, not later now that I am learning to live out of my heart once again!

Thanks for listening to my story!  I’d love to hear yours; please feel free to share your comments with me.

–Julie Jensen

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One Response to “When Your Default Settings Work Against You Part 2”

  1. kel1013 says:

    I sought a life coach, and we got “unstuck” on some personal growth issues for me. I moved forward, got my Life Coaching Certification, and listened and followed what I felt was God’s leading, His timing, etc. But now that I have moved back to the states from the other side of the world, I feel stuck again. I don’t have work, my husband is not joining me, so I’m trying to figure things out on my own. He may join me later, but for now, I feel like I’m in a dark quiet hole. I am praying, seeking, obviously which is why your blog crossed my path. Thanks for sharing your story – and please pray for me if the Lord brings me to mind. Thank you.

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