Last year I did something I’ve never done before in my life. I walked out of a training.
I flew half way across the country to attend an event, believing that I would hire the host as my new coach. From her marketing, I thought we’d be a good fit. I was wrong.
It’s not that she intentionally didn’t deliver. She shared a wealth of content and put a lot of energy into the delivery. For some people in the room, it resonated. For me, her broader message was consistent with my values but her manipulative method of teaching was not.
She lost me when she challenged us to play full out – after deeply seeding this as meaning we’d join the new program she was rolling out. She went so far as to say that she’d left her small children to spend time with us so our failure to give everything to her training would be cheating her children.
I remember these words as if it were yesterday… “If you don’t play full out, you are cheating my children.”
At that point, I concluded that I was cheating my own kids sitting there watching her antics, so I left.
Later, I ran into another participant at the elevator who I’d met earlier and clicked with. She asked if I was leaving. I nodded. Tears streaming down her face, she said, “I understand… but I’m not strong enough to leave.”
How heart breaking.
She didn’t trust herself enough to ask for what she needed. What she deserved. Why? She didn’t trust the trainer to stand behind her word of satisfaction guaranteed, no questions asked.
Although the program offered a full (super-platinum-no questions asked-I assume-all-the-risk-plus-more type) guarantee, based on her experience of the training, the woman by the elevator didn’t trust this. If she trusted, she wouldn’t need strength to leave. She could have acted on trust. (And it ends up she was right, there was no easy peasy refund coming).
Her strength had been sapped by the trainer’s messages that triggered the participant’s belief that she would be blamed for not getting out of the experience what she “should” get. She must have done “something” wrong not to get more out of the training.
This feeling was reinforced by the trainer giving messages like:
Stay with me and it’ll be okay … instead of let’s get you strong enough so that everything will be okay no matter what.
Follow me, I’ve got the answers … instead of let me teach you how to recognize answers when they come to you.
Look to me and outside of yourself … instead of first look within.
This trainer sought to grow a dependency on herself. Red flag: This is not a healthy growth partner.
When someone guides you to look outside of yourself for your answers, they’re using a self-interested map, not pointing you to your own north star.
The truth is that you have your answers within you.
Are you in a situation or a relationship that is not feeding your spirit or making you stronger – and you’re feeling that this is your fault?
Step back and get some perspective. Be honest with yourself about whether you’re doing what it takes to make it work. Be fair to the other person. This mismatch doesn’t always mean that the other person is doing something wrong or bad. Sometimes, it simply means that it’s not the right relationship to be in at this time.
If you are bringing your integrity to a relationship or an experience and it isn’t serving you, don’t be afraid to walk away. You owe it to yourself to get out of it — and the other person owes it to you to let you go.
Perhaps it’s time to move forward … into a greater expression of your essential, beautiful self.