Recently a Facebook friend posted the following status update:
I see it all the time… two people with the same goal, having virtually equal capacity, talent, tools and skill, yet one advances/achieves their goal almost effortlessly while the other struggles and creates virtually no progress. Why do you think this is? In your opinion, what are the things that ultimately make the difference?
As I browsed the comments that were starting to light up the post, it lit up something in me.
Many answers were at most a sentence long. As if a person’s journey could be condensed into so few words. There were words like mindset, attitude, passion, and belief.
If you are in the middle of running a marathon and you suddenly collapse on the ground the last thing you want to hear is that it was your mindset, attitude, passion, and belief that failed you. Think of all the stories we see of someone, family, friend, or otherwise, picking another person up off the ground and virtually carrying them to the finish line.
We weep when we see these videos. We share them profusely and exclaim our renewed faith in humanity!
Yet, we see those that stumble and fall in business and point to their mindset, attitude, passion, and belief that failed them. If only they believed more in themselves and their message!
We discount their journey when we speak that way. My answer to that post was:
I tend to believe if all things are equal the person that is not making it has selected to model after someone else instead of finding their power and unique path. They struggle because they are not authentic with the message. In turn this also creates a vacuum and until they find their unique message they will continue to get sucked back into the vacuum.
These are the same people that believe in what they are trying to do with all their heart and they are crying on their pillows wondering what they are doing wrong. To me those are the people that just need a mentor and a safe place to be vulnerable enough to find their message.
We are all on a journey and some are further along the path than others, the greatest gift you can give is helping someone struggling to find the inner calm to see clearly and write their own story instead of trying to copy someone else’s test.
In retrospect that answer only talks about the tip of the iceberg, which means 90% of the answer is still missing.
Holding in power with someone takes a special talent, but it is the greatest gift. It is going right down to where they are, picking them up and letting them lean on you to the finish line.
It is ultimately what a mentor or coach is. It is the person in your life that has seen the finish line, they know the way to get there and they are strong enough to stay in their power while they re-light the fallen person’s fire.
Wait! Before the comments start flying. I am not saying a coach or mentor should “carry” their client to the finish line. Leaning on someone for strength before you can walk on your own is more like the baby that is first learning to walk and having a parent close by to steer the child from the real dangers, offer support to keep them standing, and of course brush off the falls.
I have worked with many people and the ones that are ready will very quickly gain their footing and start running. They find their message, their strength, and yes they have a mindset shift.
The ones that are not quite ready still get up. They might not take off running, but they are learning as they walk off the fall.
Remember when you speak of “how easy it is” to gain success that there are those that are so close and only lacking that place of vulnerability to bring the breakthrough necessary to show up to the game. And above all remember that everyone is placed into your path to offer a lesson to you. That means as the coach even the person you are coaching has something to teach you.
Photo courtesy of New York Daily News of eight grade twins completing a race together after a fall.