Out of the Shadows

By: John Salow


Today I had a revelation….As I was reading an article by a coach that I admire, Rich Litvin, I noticed that I haven’t been as authentic in my previous blogs as I would like to be.  You see, when you read Rich’s articles, you hear from Rich.  You get to know Rich.  While I have been hiding in the shadows, offering “best practices” and “tips” in my coaching blogs.  Don’t get me wrong… I think my previous blogs have been great resources, but they’ve been missing something….they’ve been missing me.  I’ve been hiding behind the best practices and tools and not sharing who I am.


You may be asking “Why is he writing this?”  “Why is he airing his dirty laundry with his audience?” Well, as I see it, if you are going to be a good coach, you need to be authentic.  You need to be willing to share things about yourself that make you uncomfortable.  Why?  Because as a coach, I am expecting my clients to share personal things about themselves, things that make them uncomfortable.  It’s only fair that I share who I am with them.   As a client, you should be able to ask your coach what they are struggling with, what they find challenging, and where they are a work in progress.


You see as I see it today, I have many things in my life that are “in progress.”  Sometimes I find myself not saying the things that need to be said to my coaching clients.  Sometimes, I don’t share with my wife when I’m feeling angry and sad.  A lot of the time, I don’t know how to connect with my teenage children.  I’m a work in progress like everyone else, and that’s okay.  That’s what makes me become a better coach.  Being humble, being able to say “I’m struggling with things too.”  It doesn’t make mean that I can’t help you in the areas you struggle with.


So today, I make a commitment to my blog readers. I commit to coming out of the shadows. I commit to having more “me” in my blogs.  It doesn’t mean I won’t share tools and resources that I find helpful, but I’ll share more personal examples.   I’ll share things that I struggled with and how I overcame them.   I’ll share who I am.


Where are the places you are hiding in the shadows?  What are some of the things you are not sharing with those around you, because you’re afraid that they will judge you?  Make a commitment to be more authentic and share “you” with those around you.  I can’t guarantee what their reactions will be, but I would imagine in most cases, they will feel closer to you for it.    It’s time to start claiming your “you-ness” again!   Take a step, that makes you vulnerable and uncomfortable.  Take a step towards being okay that you’re a work in progress and willing to be open and honest about it.  Because we’re all in this together!  Take a step today to share with someone you love something authentic, a struggle that you’re having, a challenge you’re not sure you can overcome.   If you do, you will grow in more ways than you can imagine.

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