I won’t do it for you.
In fact, the actual truth is I can’t do it for you.
And the even deeper truth is that, if I could, I totally would do it for you.
Perhaps it’s because I’m the first-born. Perhaps its written all over my stars or it’s my destiny, but I’m a fixer by nature. I see a situation or problem and I just want to roll up my sleeves and fix it. In fact, this desire has gotten me in trouble a few times. Why? Because I simply can’t do it for you. No matter what it is.
I saw this many times when I practiced immigration law. Someone would come to me with a problem (yay! I can fix it for you!) and we would discuss a solution. I’d then present the client with a list of things they need to do to get the ball rolling. Then, I’d wait. And wait. And wait. I’d try to fix it myself, but of course, I couldn’t. All those things on that list were a necessary precursor to fixing the problem, and they were all things that I couldn’t do for them.
This frustrated me to no end. I’d try pestering the client, I’d try looking for the documents myself. Of course, this was all futile. And the reason it was futile was because I just can’t do it for you.
The fact that I couldn’t fix things for people in the law may have been one of the reasons why I left it (at least for now, but that’s still a work in progress). Somewhere along the way, I was drawn to coaching. Looking back, I have to admit that one of the reasons that motivated this new career path was the same one that motivated my prior career path: I can fix it for you.
I recall my first coaching client. A bright young lawyer. She had been through a lot and here I was, tools ready, sleeves rolled up; I was going to fix this. By the end of our time together, I know she learned a lot, but I was pretty frustrated because I wanted to hand her a new, fulfilling, completely aligned career. I believed it could happen. Let me rephrase that. I believed I could make it happen for her.
Of course, that was never my decision to make. Because, I can’t do it for you.
I recall a time when I was the coaching client. I was moving through some really big stuff and I was really upset about something I was seeing out there in the world. My coach tried her hardest. When she asked me this question: “Are you ready to let this go?” the answer that rolled off my tongue was “No.” At that moment, I was stunned, looking at myself, heels dug in, arms crossed, refusing to move. I knew, at that moment, that my coach couldn’t do it for me, either.
What a shock and incredible realization all at the same time. It also caused all kinds of confusion for me as I reflected on two of my chosen career paths. If I can’t do it for them, then what is my role in all of this?
This question has been simmering for a while. And today, I believe I clearly see the answer. I can’t do it for you. And now, I won’t do it for you.
Because you have to do it for yourself.
So, what’s my role in all of this? My role is to guide you. To push you. To make you dig your heels in and cross your arms so you feel with such an intensity that it actually stirs up these stagnant emotions and makes you aware that you actually do want to do something about it.
My role is to give you a different perspective. My role is to help you step aside, to help you get over yourself, to help you feel the truth of all that you are and all that you want to be. My role is to be here for you, so you can be there for yourself.
It’s taken me almost 40 years (lol, yup!) to integrate this into my being. In fact, whenever I felt like I couldn’t fix something, I felt really broken. I felt wrong. I felt like a fraud. (Taking a moment with this awareness.)
With experience comes perspective. With perspective comes wisdom. I now understand that I’m none of those things because, at the end of the day, I can’t do it for you. And now I know that the absolute truth is that I won’t.
You’ll do it when you are ready. You’ll do it when it’s time. You’ll do it.
And regardless of when that is, I know that the right person will be there to help you move through it.