I was talking with a client the other day, and we discovered we had something interesting in common. This got me to thinking about some of my fellow coaches and friends, and pretty soon I saw a trend. In this highly informal study, I was able to draw an interesting conclusion: there seems to be a correlation between success and extreme optimism – what I call being a Pollyanna.
I am a Pollyanna. I believe that I can have what I want – not from a sense of entitlement, but from a sense of creative power. I believe that if I want it, I can create it in my life. I don’t give obstacles any power, because I’m always thinking about creative ways to get where I want to go in my life. So what if the road I’m on isn’t taking me there. I’ll find another one. Obstacle? I’m going to find a way to go around it.
I built a highly successful coaching practice with no business background, no marketing expertise, and zero experience in anything remotely related to coaching. I live in an area where coaching is not exactly a well-known profession. I started my business in 2008, which was not exactly an amazing year for the economy. And yet, every year my business has grown, my dreams for it have come true, and I’m happily doing everything I wanted to do as a coach.
Pollyannas get what they want. It’s just how they roll. I look around at fellow Pollyannas and I see great things happening for them. They build successful coaching practices. They create health in their bodies. They lose weight and feel good about their bodies. Pollyannas can still get stuck in life’s issues, for sure, for a while. But they find the other road and get on it. They get creative and move around the obstacles.
Being a Pollyanna is a mix of extreme optimism and fierce determination. It’s not about pretending things are great or “rising above” when emotions happen. It’s about being willing to feel all emotions, get real about what your soul wisdom is, and then going for it. When I was in severe physical pain, I definitely hit rock bottom. I remember feeling utter despair, panic, and anger. And then, my Pollyanna self kicked in. I knew there had to be a way out of pain. I was determined to find it. Nothing was going to stop me. I felt what needed to be felt, and then I tapped into my extreme optimism (all the doctors said I had chronic pain…) and fierce determination (…and that there was no true cure). Where did it get me? Not just pain relief, but a whole new (much happier) way of living.
This was the same energy I brought to creating my coaching practice. I knew I was meant to coach. I knew there had to be a way to make a successful business for myself out of doing what I loved. I knew I could serve people and facilitate their mind-body journey. I was unbelievably determined to make it happen with every creative bone in my body.
I look at fellow coaches, and I see the same optimism and determination. They are living the successful coach dream. I look at clients like the one I talked to the other day, and I see the same optimism and determination. She was only a couple weeks in to using the mind-body skills for herself and was already feeling pain relief. I’d say being a Pollyanna is pretty powerful.
If you want to be a successful coach, or if you want to successfully heal yourself, tap in to your inner Pollyanna. She’s there, waiting for you. All you have to do is say, “What would my Pollyanna Self do?” Think extreme optimism and fierce determination. That’s the magical mix. Pollyanna is not going to take no for an answer. She’s going to find another way, she’s going to create a whole new way, she’s going to make it happen, whatever it is. Whatever other people say can’t be done or isn’t the right way, she’ll prove them wrong. Pollyanna may get down every now and then, but she’ll rise up again, decision made to find a way to make it happen. She won’t follow the rules. She won’t let anyone dictate what’s possible for her. She’ll doggedly move in the direction she wants to go, ever tweaking her techniques until she gets where she intended to go.
Welcome to the Pollyanna Club. I think you’re going to like it here.