I was talking with a potential client last week, and like many such conversations, there was a moment where we both saw that the problem that he had come to me with, a passion project of sorts, was not the problem that he actually needed help with.
The passion project, while commendable, was only a way to get relief from the life he had built. Or rather, the life he had let others build for him.
For years, while being a very successful professional, he had also created a life where others felt they could make almost unlimited demands on him. He was on call to someone almost 24-7.
Yet when he wanted some space for himself, to rest, to pursue a cause, the people around him accused him of being selfish. They had come to rely on his generosity, his willingness to drop everything for them.
This was true both in his professional life and his home life.
And now he is paying the price.
He had not seen this before we talked. But now he does, and he still doesn’t know what to do. It feels like the moment Neo sees the Matrix. He might be able to go back to his former life. But can he unsee what he just saw?
He is uncomfortable moving forward, to claiming a new life for himself, after years of avoiding confrontation, avoiding discomfort.
He sees where that life has brought him. The question is what he will do about it. The opportunity, if he can get through the discomfort, is freedom.
What is it that you’re not seeing that’s holding you back? What would it be like if someone could help you see it?