As much as it is important to look at how we can come together within our families and communities, it is equally important to look at how to align within ourselves. One of my clients recently commented that after doing the work within themselves (inner work), they were then drawn to clear their physical space (outer work). In Integrative Coaching, we frequently use the phrase – our inner world is a reflection of our outer world.

However, once the clearing of their physical space was completed, they felt drawn to do a physical makeover. It was a powerful reminder to me that when we do our inner work, our physical space might no longer reflects who we are. There is a need to change it; however, in this instance, the change we create is in how we appear in the world around us. It might include a physical makeover, but it can also be how we get along with ourselves and inspire changes in how we interact with our outer world.

In addition to clearing our space and getting a personal makeover, in what other ways might we change how we appear in the world? One path is to consider how we value ourselves, including the type of people we invite into our lives.

What are some types of behaviors or people we might want to keep out of our newly re-designed inner and outer world? Some examples to consider:

  • People who violate our boundaries
  • Narcissists who make everything about themselves
  • Individuals who love to play the game of subtle put-downs
  • Those who create an environment where nothing is ever enough
  • Those who play favorites, people who project their issues on us, or individuals that insist on having their way.

One frustrating behavior I hear mentioned frequently is “ghosting” – when someone stops all contact with another for no clear, specific reason. I’ve experienced this on a personal level lately, making me curious to look at it from several angles. I could see rationalizations such as “I don’t have the time to close the loop” or “if I ignore them they will go away”. While those reasons might be true, in something more than a casual connection, ghosting can be a reflection of how one person values another. It is also a clear signal of who to stay away from in the future.

Consider this scenario, someone you’ve been getting together with, have great conversations, work with on collaborative projects and consider a friend, suddenly gets a new full-time job which makes big demands on their time. You miss interacting with them and send them a text to say you’d like to get together.

In one instance, the person takes the time to let you know as much as they would like to get together, the demands of the job simply won’t allow for it. They acknowledge that the connection means something but that their priorities and time commitments have changed. Now take the same situation but with a different person who simply ignores your texts and doesn’t provide any closure on collaborative projects you had been discussing. The latter reflects a devaluer, someone to steer clear of if you want to be kind to yourself and value yourself.

I invite you to be kind to yourself this holiday season. How about finding small ways to be kind to yourself every day throughout the holiday season and into 2021?  A pat on the back, the ending of a relationship with a devaluer, the setting of a boundary, holding an attitude of gratitude, or doing something nice for yourself. You could also consider making an investment in yourself by scheduling a complimentary coaching session and gain a better understanding of how transformational coaching might support your best self to shine through in the year ahead –

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