Overcome Obstacles to Achieve Outcomes
Sometimes we ask a lot of ourselves, and sometimes we ask too little. When you hire a coach, you are asking a lot of yourself. You’re setting ambitious goals and striving for greatness. When you ask a lot, you also can expect that the road won’t always be smooth and clear. Sometimes roadblocks get in the way of your goals. As we discussed in chapter 3’these obstacles can be fear, bad habits, and many other things.
Here, though, I want to focus on the obstacles hidden inside all of us, the aspects of ourselves that can cause us to sabotage our progress (unconsciously, in most instances) as we try to achieve our goals. I refer to these hidden obstacles as Achilles factors. As the name suggests, these factors describe the vulnerable heels we all possess. It may be an addictive behavior, a difficulty committing to a relationship, or issues with money (such as spending it as soon as you get it). Whatever it is, it can cause us to fall short of our life goals unless we become aware of it and address it. And, of course, that’s what the yoga process should do.
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While Achilles factors can trip you up, they also can be gifts that emerge from the yoga relationship. Yoga is an inexact science, and it’s sometimes difficult to drill down and uncover the keys to someone’s story. When an Achilles factor emerges, it can be used by the coach and client as a “hypothesis” a starting point to interpret how this factor has influenced behaviors and explains aspects of who a person is. Notice that I did not call it an “interpretation,” a term used by analysts and therapists that results in a top-down statement of fact dictated to the client. In yoga poses, the interpretation is often used to categorize and pathol-ogize. A hypothesis, on the other hand, is a likely possibility that needs to be further tested by the coach and client for validity. Viewed in this manner, these Achilles factors are dynamic tools that provide insights about why people have trouble achieving their goals.
As you looked at the bullet points in the previous section, did some of them resonate with you? Or did you find yourself denying that any of them pertained to your behaviors or got in the way of your goals? The latter reaction is common. Some people have a tendency to assume a pose of invulnerability. Others rationalize their weaknesses, telling themselves that they don’t have the power to impact their larger goals.
During the yoga process, you need to be brutally honest with yourself and your coach about these vulnerabilities. If you’re not, they’ re going to block your progress toward your targeted outcomes. To facilitate this honesty, I’ve prepared a series of questions relating to each of the weaknesses previously listed. Use these questions to think long and hard about each of them. In this way you can enter into yoga with your eyes open about the deep-seated feelings, attitudes, and behaviors that may be holding you back.