“If your life just got a little bit harder, that probably means you just levelled up.”
The topic of levelling up has been coming at me from all sides lately.
I’m talking about reaching a new level in an area of your life, whether it be professional or personal. Think of it like reaching a new level in a video game.
When you beat the level in a video game, what do you do? Generally you just keep playing the game at the new level you’ve arrived at. Rarely would you stop and take stock of the skills you developed along the way. I imagine you don’t take the time to consider how your playing has improved since you first sat down to this game. You take the skills you’ve gained for granted, and you just keep playing.
In life, as in a video game, a certain amount of skill and experience is required to reach a new level, and your skills will now be challenged in a new way. The obstacles are harder, the foes are stronger, and the rewards are greater. You are being TESTED on this new level, and at first you’ll find it hard! It’ll likely take you more than one try to beat the level.
Let’s apply this using an example from my life.
This time last year I was about one month into my Coaching Certification program and I was feeling CHALLENGED. Truly masterful coaches were training me, and I was keenly aware of how my level of skills and experience compared to theirs.
I was also building my coaching practice during this time, taking a pretty significant financial hit to create the space in my schedule to accommodate my training and coaching.
The pressure was on!
I experienced all sorts of challenging thoughts and feelings during this time. As a new coach, I doubted my ability. I was practicing great self- management before my sessions with clients; breathing exercises, visualizations and affirmations to calm the self-doubt that kept trying to creep in.
Add to this the fact that my sessions were being reviewed by my supervisors, (with permission from my clients) and they didn’t hold back! They let me know where I did well and they had no qualms telling me where I fell short. It was a painful period of growth, I lost and gained clients along the way, and my coach was constantly reminding me to have patience and trust in my process.
Cut to present day, one year later. I have filled my coaching schedule with clients, I have reached the financial goals I set for myself, and I no longer require an extensive self-pep talk before sessions. I feel much more comfortable in my coaching abilities and I get great fulfilment from doing this work.
In all of the busyness of life I had arrived at my goals without even realizing it! I’d been beating myself up a bit, feeling like I’m not doing enough, striving for the next level, without taking the time to recognize that I’ve beat the level I was at one year ago!
I’ve always thought of life like a long climb up the mountain, with plateaus along the way. It is SO important to take breaks from the climb, to pause on the plateau, and enjoy the view. Take a look down at how far you’ve come from the bottom. Notice how much further you can see now from this higher vantage point. Rest. Recover. And when the time is right, start climbing again.
Taking the time to do this reminds you of your abilities. It lets you see the skills and experience you’ve gained along the way. The next level will always feel challenging, it will require patience, and trust in yourself and your ability. Just remember, you’ve overcome challenges before, and you will overcome them again, using all the tools you have gained along the way.
You chose this path, because you know you can do it. It wont be easy, but the view from the top sure is worth it!