Flip the Switch

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-by Matt Leedham

As Jaime mentioned yesterday, we just returned from a very intensive training and certification program in the Boston metro area and our heads are spinning. As we learn valuable skills for coaching others, we also benefit tremendously from personal development.

My awareness of blocks that can hold others back from reaching their full potential also brings with it an acute awareness of what’s holding me back. It’s unavoidable. During these training conferences, we become guinea pigs for other coaches as they develop their coaching skills. The only way to be a good “peer client” for a coach in training is to use real examples in your own life. So, by default, you are both being coached and coaching others for hours on end in an effort to master the trade.

Last night, on a peer coaching call, I was the client. In an effort to bring more purpose and meaning to this brief story, let me share with you the real issue we were addressing.

My Block:
I am beginning to question why the heck I am always trying to achieve more, do more, and impress “others.” I don’t even know who the “others” are – all I know is that I am seeking validation from “others” for someone else’s vision of what success should be. I also don’t know who “someone else” is either, nor do I even have a clear understanding of what “success” is. Huh? I know! Crazy, right?

Having discussed my new found awareness of long-standing issues holding me back from being my true self, my astute coach said, “It sounds like you just flipped the switch on in a dark room.”

That caught my attention! And my immediate response was, “Yeah, and the roaches scattered.” (sorry if you don’t like bugs)

Both of our points were dead on. By being more conscious, aware, present, and open, I am exposing my spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical blocks to the light. And when the light goes on in a dark room, the ugly things seem to run for their lives. Interesting…

But he wasn’t done. His next point was brilliant. He asked, “And what had to happen for the light to come on in the dark room?”

Unsure of myself, I responded, “I don’t know. I had to flip the switch, I guess.”


The choice is mine. I can take action…or not. I can flip the switch…or live in darkness. And frankly, there is no right answer. There is only choice. And it belongs to me.

Now, THAT’S empowering, my friends.

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