All too often, I talk with my coaching clients about forgiveness-not just to another person…Rather, needing permission to forgive myself. To get over feelings of failure, grief over job loss, or anger at underemployment or of having to return to the work force after creating a nurturing and cohesive family…or fear that once you stop being a stay at home mom, you’ll stop being so important to everyone. Self-worth is often defined by what you do…Being unemployed, you no longer have a ready-made example of your worth. And being underemployed can sometimes be even worse…the job title sooo doesn’t fit & is tangled up in that work you do, that really never did mean anything…It still doesn’t. My coaching clients want to hold on to that ideal.-that work has meaning. But,if doing something that has no value,and, I’m the one doing it, than it has no value. But, I’m still the one doing it! Therefore I have no value, no feelings of self-worth.
How can I forgive myself for that? Therefore, I’m barely convinced I have what I deserve. And if the job loss/underemployed person has been the breadwinner and has “head of the household “ideals, that man is lost…I wrote about the loss of a job and that grief, that stubborn thought that this is all my fault and I should never forgive myself! That constellation of total lack of feelings of self-worth in “Loss,Grief & Healing”(more about this later!)
On occasion ,I’ll coach a male client, usually around job loss, but also, very tangible issues-resume/cover letter and interview coaching…The wife/aunt/ girlfriend and other women in his life, try to acknowledge that they “forgive” him when there is nothing to forgive. But, like my midlife women who I coach, a big area is forgiveness. So, I ask, are we talking of forgiveness or believing you have self-worth? Aren’t you really asking yourself the same question?