Inspiration is sometimes not what I need. Or the best thing I can offer.
My artist brain LOVES to post pretty photos from my daily treks around the acreage where I live. It has an urge every day to share the inspirational feelings I get as I absorb the abundant beauty of the nature that surrounds me.
The artist part of me feels loving and pure and it desperately wants my readers to see these photos and notice the beauty inside of them too.
Sounds lovely, right?
Sometimes it is.
But sometimes it’s not, because that day, it’s not the most valuable thing I could write about.
At least, that’s what’s true for me when I read other people’s posts.
I often feel an enormous weariness when I’m reading my newsfeed and I’m faced with yet another post trying, with great earnestness, to inspire me.
I know the messages are heart felt. But yet, I don’t always feel the love behind them.
Inspiration can feel priceless. And enduring. But this is rare.
In something as transitory as social media, only deep impressions last. That’s why beautiful photos with an inspirational slogan often feel cheap. The feeling of inspiration arrives, then it’s gone. That’s not worth a lot.
When I read an inspirational post, there’s no stickiness to any of the good feelings I get.
It’s kind of like watching a nice, light movie. It’s pleasant for the hour or two I’m watching the movie. Then I’m quickly onto the next thing.
I remember 15 years or so ago, when my ex and I would rent movie videos on Friday nights. I was working long, pressured hours at the time, and I had a strong preference for watching “feel good” movies in my spare time.
Phil and I would walk around the video store. I’d ask him, “Have I seen this one before?” “This one?” “What about this one?” Our kids found my inability to remember which movies I’d seen hilarious.
What can I say? Pleasant movies. No impact.
Some days, an inspirational post won’t land with me at all. Instead of feeling inspired, I might even feel cynical or judgmental.
The truth is that I don’t live in my artist’s brain all the time. The truth is that, although I quit law, I seem to have taken my “lawyer brain” with me.
Just like in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s bestselling book title, Wherever You Go, There You Are, my lawyer brain is apparently along for the ride.
No matter what transcendent artist or coaching experiences I might be enjoying, my lawyer brain stays in the side car as we head down the highway.
What I’m calling my lawyer brain is really that human brain we all have. It’s the part of me that starts to worry every single time I’m inspired to create something new.
My lawyer brain is analytical. A bit skeptical. A bit scared. Highly self critical. It needs evidence. It needs a solid plan. It needs to know how ahead of time.
It loves to imagine every disaster scenario that could possibly arise.
Its main job is to keep me safe. It believes that anything in my life that I’m contemplating changing could actually kill me.
If I left my lawyer brain unchecked, I’d stay in my corner and never do anything new at all.
The reality is that an occasional dose of inspiration doesn’t have much of an impact on my lawyer brain at all.
My lawyer brain needs to believe that I have the capacity to pull off my plan. It needs to know ahead of time that my idea is worth pursuing. It has trouble believing that what I want matters. It’s looking for someone else to give me permission. It wants to know before I start that I’ll have the inner resources to get through the doubt and make my plan happen.
My lawyer brain is why I love being coached so much.
When my lawyer brain acts up, as it constantly does, my coach helps me navigate through it all. She shows me thoughts I didn’t even realize I was thinking. She shows me all the ways what I’m believing isn’t true. She offers new ways of thinking through my problems to replace what I’d believed was the only way of thinking about it. She notices me repeating patterns that don’t serve me. She points out when I’m beating myself up.
Before I met my coach, I was high on inspiration, but low on making it happen. My lawyer brain was holding me back.
Now it’s still trying to do that, but it’s not succeeding anymore.
I couldn’t have built the amazing life I have now without my coach.
My clients’ human brains are why I love coaching them so much. I do all the same things for them as my coach does for me.
The truth is, it’s really hard to see these things ourselves. Even when we’ve read all the books and attended all the retreats. Even when we’re coaches ourselves and know all the tools.
That’s the thing about being human. No matter what enlightening things we learn, we all still carry our human brains with us.
The problem is that our human brain’s only job is to keep us safe. Which means it wants us to change nothing. Because change means risk, and risk can mean death. Change is dangerous.
Our human brain will offer us a lot of thoughts to prevent us from doing what we want to do. And we’ll get stuck because we’ll believe those thoughts are true.
We’ll think our thoughts are facts. Just the way it is. And we will be wrong.
If we let our unmanaged human brains rule our decisions, we’ll miss doing all those things we’re yearning to do, deep down.
That’s why I hired my own coach to help me create the business I want.
When will you hire a coach to help you create the life YOU want?
Hire me or hire another coach. Just do it. It’s the one thing you could decide to do today that you’ll never regret.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to share what your issues are and see if the kind of coaching I offer is what you need. I offer free, one-hour consults to give you all the information you need to make the best decision for you.