• Joanna Rawbone


Today was one of those extraordinary days when so many things I’d been working on reached completion allowing space for more new things to begin.

One of those new things was a truly enlightening conversation with a fellow coach and I already have feeling that a particular moment in our conversation will become pivotal in my work.

We were discussing the programmes I’m planning for fellow introverts and how my own story enables me to identify with the inner struggles experienced by potential clients. A little later we discussed ‘comparisonitis’ (a troublesome inflammation of self-doubt), and how me having the freedom and courage to be myself will be the very thing that enables other introverts to be free to be themselves.

Then came the magic moment. When talking about what I’d overcome, my fellow coach said “you’ve outgrown what holds you back”. Hang on! Rewind a minute. I’ve outgrown, moved beyond, left behind, morphed into a new form......

That subtle shift in language seemed to make a world of difference to me. When I reflected on it, ‘overcome’ doesn’t have positive connotations to me at a subconscious level. It smacks of a power struggle and overwhelm. However, as someone who is a self-confessed lifelong learner, committed to my own development, ‘outgrown’ seems like a natural process of flourishing.

As I write this, some of the lyrics from Lola’s Theme by the Shapeshifters floods my mind.

Looking back, I know I was walking around in disguise,

I was just a lost soul I needed a guide,

And the moment that you came to change my life

(Looking back together yeah), you fired up my heart and made me smile

And you and I know that

I'm a different person, yeah, turn my world around ……

Fears I had, all fading away by the minute and I feel alive

So when you’re ready to turn your life around, ready to lose the disguise, ready to leave behind what you’ve outgrown, let’s flourish together.

I’ll be your guide.


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