1. Is the idea of stretching ourselves an involuntary process that inevitably comes as we grow, or do we have to constantly seek out ways of stretching ourselves?
Life pushes and pulls us, because life itself is ever evolving, the world itself is ever changing. Therefore, we really do not have much of a choice but to constantly seek out ways to grow, change, evolve and learn something new. It is however a choice. There are people who resist the push and pull of life and choose to keep the same old beliefs and behavioural patterns. These people struggle through life, adopt a victim mentality and are always unhappy and unfulfilled. People who are open to evolution usually see a difference in who and what they are now as compared to 5yrs ago.
2. How can one tell the difference from when they are stretching or exerting themselves?
Stretching feels good, it is exciting. Stretching fills a curiosity or learning need in us. It makes us better people. Stretching yields tangible, visible fruits. Stretching makes one want to stretch some more and teach others how to stretch too. Exerting ourselves is strenuous, unpleasant, depleting, forced and draining. When one exerts themselves, they eventually burn out or give up without seeing much fruit, or they gain what they sought out to gain but lose something in another area of their life.
3. We know that expanding the boundaries of our comfort zones can be uncomfortable, but why is it important to push through that discomfort?
For the same reasons as laid out in question 1. If the world is ever changing, and you want to keep up with it, you have got to spin with it. Nothing good ever comes easy, one must work for it and sweat for it, in a good way. The harder one works, the more focused, committed and consistent one is, the better the results. The reason why expansion is uncomfortable is because we have never gone there before, it is unfamiliar and sometimes scary, but those who are constantly moving through life and expanding, will tell you it is well worth it. And besides, there are some things in life you cannot receive, until you have capacity for them. Sometimes the dream exists, but it has no room to manifest.
4. How would you advise someone to cope with the awareness that they’re at a point in life that requires that stretch, but also dealing with the frustration of living in a country with limited opportunities?
It is true that the environment we are in plays a major role in whether or not we will achieve what we set out to do. But there is always another way to do things. Perhaps you need help in doing things differently. There is always another thing to do. Perhaps what you are doing is not necessarily viable for this moment in time, as good as it looks on paper. There is always another time to do things. Perhaps next year, the circumstances will be more fertile for your idea. There is always another place to do things. Perhaps you need to move. It may not be what you initially had in mind, it may not look like exactly how you pictured it, but once a dream takes root in your heart and mind, there will always be a way. The first thing to ask yourself is am I doing enough? If the answer is yes, ask yourself, am I doing the right thing, (as in profitable or possible)? If the answer is yet, then it can only be where you are. Am I in the right place to get this done? It is important to identify what the limiting factor is in order for you to deal with it and resolve your dead ends.
5. Fear is a big factor in why people choose to never stretch themselves, but what other factors are at play when we are stuck? And should one wait until they feel safe enough to stretch themselves?
Socio -Economic factors affect the stretching abilities for example people born in underprivileged communities, burdened with poverty, debt, lack of resources and black tax or even war and dictatorships, cannot go as far as those who are born in privilege, peace, abundance or equal opportunities. Not trusting oneself is another factor. People who need permission from others to do what they need to do, or people who listen to external voices from family or friends as opposed to doing what they feel is right for them. Limiting beliefs like having a pessimistic attitude can also play a role when stuck. Someone who thinks the glass is half empty expects things to get worse and is less likely to take risks like stretching themselves. There is never a safe time to stretch. There is always a problem or something missing, those who wait for the 11th hour never make it. The best time to stretch oneself is when the need arises, when opportunity arises or when the small inner voice nudges you forward.
6. As a life coach, how would you begin to assist someone who came to you because they felt stuck and unable to ascend in their professional and personal development?
I would first ascertain where they are, where they want to go and what they deem is their challenge. There is a lot you can tell from someones life story like the relationship they are having with themselves and others, their perception and view point in life. Where one wants to go is crucial in ascertaining the kind of coaching methologies and the kind of skills and tools they will need to equip them in their journey. We brainstorm, strategize, and set goals together and establish practical ways to keep you motivated, balanced, wholesome and effective. Lastly we take a look at what you have achieved from the time we started, all the great things that you have implemented and all the wonderful things you have accomplished as a result and how you can maximize, maintain and thrive in it! We also look at how you can continue to grow into new frontiers. Overal, Coaching is meant to be an eye opener for you. It allows you to change your internal dialogue, empower and encourage yourself to follow your passions through exercises and soul stirring conversations. The best part is that the Coaching tools used will help you unearth the answers from within you!
7. And lastly, why is stretching ourselves so vital to our development?
It is the natural order of life. There is no other way around it. That is why babies sit, crawl, stand, walk and eventually run. We need to stretch so we can:
1. Have new perspective on life
2. Adapt to life’s many changes
3. Adopt new skills needed in our journey
4. Achieve your goals
5. Help others in similar situations