Hey Shannon #2 – Is this typical?

Last week while in St. Louis I had the pleasure of one-on-one, in-person sessions with three delightful, and very different women. Each woman wanted coaching on a different issue, and yet at some point in the session each one asked a version of the same question, “is this typical?”

I know I’ve been asked that kind of question over the years, but hearing it three times in a row had quite an impact.

Is that the real question?

First of all, there can be a lot loaded in that question:

  • Am I the only one?
  • Has everyone else already figured this out?
  • Is something wrong with me?
  • Can you help me because you have experience with this?

And that’s just a start of what might be packed in there.

But let’s just say we take that question at face value.

What’s the answer?

Yes. And no.

I can pretty much guarantee you that someone else struggles with similar things. Actually many someones. You are not alone.

I can also pretty much guarantee you that the exact way you get stuck or struggle with an issue is unique to you. It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of issue (or solution).

And yet, when you strip away the uniqueness, take out the story, look at the very simple and basic facts of how you do a problem, you’ll see that all problems have the same basic structure:

You see/hear/think something and you feel bad.

Go ahead, try it yourself

Strip the stories out of something you’re struggling with and check for that pattern. It can be hard to let go of the stories, the explanations the reasons, the very valid reasons. And when you do, you’ll find the spot that will let you gently get a handle on the struggle.

It’s in this way that all of our problems are typical.

Photo credit: Krispy Kreme Assembly Line by Steve Jurvetson on Flickr


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