Secrets. Things you don’t want other people to know about you.
Here’s what we’ve discovered in more than ten years of being a Life Coach. Keeping your dark secrets gets in the way of your growth and success. They get in the way of living a full life.
Let’s use an analogy.
In Life Coaching, we ask clients what they want to improve in their life.
It is like asking a client to show us the different rooms in his house. The rooms in your house are the different aspects of your life. You have the career room, the business room, the health and wellness room, the relationships room, the leisure room etc.
And when you have a life coach, you are asking for help so that you can improve these rooms, whether an upgrade in air conditioning or improving the amenities of that room, cleaning out some stuff. This is like saying you want to have better finances, less stress at work or letting go of some baggage in your life.
Sometimes we come to someone’s attic or basement. This is the room where people store some of the things that they don’t want to face in their life. Maybe some old memories, maybe things that would embarrass them today. They’re stored and locked up, “never to be seen again”. And yet, the person keeps those in the premises of their home.
This is like having a dead rat. The stench permeates across the house. You may mask the smell, but if you don’t address the source of the bad smell, it will continue to be an unhealthy aspect of your life.
Secrets are like that. They are stored, locked away in some mysterious part of your life. And it is eating up your energy without you knowing it.
Take these stories as examples.
One client had an inexplicable aversion for a particular restaurant chain. When friends invite her to that restaurant, she begs off and misses out on the time she could have spent with her friends. It turns out, the restaurant reminds her of the time when she caught her husband with another woman. She unleashed her wrath. And she doesn't want to be reminded of that aspect of her life.
Another client has never had any close friends at work. She keeps people at bay because she does not want them to start asking her questions about her life. She has a child whose father is a priest. Instead of risking being discovered, she has kept her friendships at bay. What a way to live. :-( .
Another person, a man in his 40’s committed grave sins three decades ago in his teens. If he had been discovered back then, he could have been sent to jail. He carried the guilt, the shame all these years, affecting his marriage, sabotaging his sexual intimacy, sabotaging the growth of his relationships.
You're as sick as your secrets.
- Isabelle Holland
Think about it. What is that thing in your life that you don’t want other people to know about? And how are these secrets getting in the way of living your full life?
Maybe you committed some petty crimes. Or online harassment, cyber-bullying. Maybe infidelity, having an illicit relationship. Maybe you bullied someone or harmed someone. Maybe you were bullied or harmed by someone else. Maybe you have debt or other financial problems. Maybe about sexual desires, porn, or anything that could be eating up your mind or heart.
Whatever you don’t want other people to know about, THAT is eating you up. It is holding you down, preventing you from reaching your full potential.
What do you need to do about it? Here are four steps you need to take today.
1.) Acknowledge it.
By denying it, pushing it away, sweeping it under the rug, you are spending energy on it, and it’s not helping you any.
Acknowledge it. Your secret is a part of your life. It is one -- just one -- aspect of your life. It does not define you.
2.) Examine it. Learn from it.
There’s a purpose for this secret. Examine your secret, see how it has affected your life. It has taught you a lesson. Maybe now you are more prudent. Maybe now you are more kind. Maybe now you are more loving because you’ve learned from your mistakes in the past.
There is a gift within this secret, something that has made you a better person.
3.) Disclose it.
Especially if you are the one and the only person who knows about this secret, allow yourself the freedom of disclosing this secret to a safe friend.
A safe friend is someone who you trust, someone who will accept you and your secret without judging you. Ask your safe friend to keep everything confidential. And then disclose.
You don’t need to give your friend the nitty-gritty details. What you need to do is *begin* exposing this secret to the light. When you disclose, you will feel lighter, as if letting go of the weight on your shoulders.
There is no secret of the heart which our actions do not disclose.
4.) Act on it.
So you’ve taken the first step and disclosed the secret to a friend. Now you can continue to make things better. If your secret is porn, get rid of it. If your secret is a bad deed, do something good for someone else. Do something to make things better.
Warning: There will be repercussions to making a correction in your life. Allow it. This is all part of the process.
This is like taking out the dead rat -- it may not be a pleasant experience while it’s happening. And if you are clear about why you need to take out the dead rat, you’ll know that this is something that will be good for you and your loved ones in the long-run.
There is a reason you’ve kept your secrets all these years. That is exactly the reason you need to let it go now. It has served its purpose, you now have learned from it, grown from it.
It’s time to set it free. And it’s time to set yourself free. Today.
Image credits: pixabay.com
The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!