Here it is: Get to the Hidden Truth.
The important word here is ‘hidden’. Truth seems to come in at three levels, public, private and hidden.
Public Truth is what we tell other people is the truth. And it is of course, or at least some of the truth. None of it is technically untrue, but provides a favourable slant, putting us in a good light. (Or a self-deprecating light if we prefer that!)
Private Truth is the truth that we would rather our public did not know. We may confess it to a priest, a good friend, or a coach or counsellor, but it has a definite element of confidentiality about it. One reason for this confidentiality is that the consequences of that ‘truth’ getting out may be potentially very damaging, not just to us (not necessarily EVEN to us) but to others we care about or something else we value highly.
Hidden Truth is of a different order all together. It isn’t necessarily secret – though it may be. It is hidden. It is this ‘deep truth’ that we may not realise ourselves, so hidden it has become inaccessible to us. Initially we may have deliberately buried it deep, or distorted it to ourselves, so even we won’t be able to find it. And then we discover how successful we’ve been: it is now distorting US and we can’t find it whatever we type into the ‘Search’ box of our memory.
I’ve been coaching professionally for 15 years now, and I reckon it is the revelation of this truth that is often the MOST freeing. When we’ve found the ‘file’ it is in, we can delete it, or at least restore it to its uncorrupted original. It brings instant and wide-ranging freedom:
“My parents’ divorce never was my fault!”
“I couldn’t have made any difference to saving the girl’s life if I had wanted to.”
“I was only five – he was an adult.”
Signs of a Hidden Truth lurking:
“OK, so how do I know when there is a Hidden Truth distorting my life?”
You’ll know. Here is an incomplete list of signs:
- Sabotaging yourself
- Never quite succeeding for some reason
- Going to great (irrational) lengths to avoid a particular situation
- NEVER (or ALWAYS!) doing this or that
- Feeling you need to be ‘careful’ all the time
- Never really knowing a ‘sense of abandon’
- Never seeming to be able to shake off a sense of fear
- Feeling ‘hampered’, as they say in snooker.
Even when the Hidden Truth reveals you were wrong, at least it gives an opportunity to accept that aspect of your humanity and grow some more, drawing useful learning from it for the future. As I’ve said before, the chances are a person cannot get to this Hidden Truth by himself or herself. The person is too ‘inside’ it. So you need to see a pro – not least because friends and family are too close.
A professional coach will ask the key questions no one else is asking, and won’t be swayed by red herrings or smoke screens (human beings are highly skilled at keeping hidden truth well and truly hidden) and won’t let you out of a bolt hole. After all, YOU want to get to it too, don’t you? That is what a good coach will do for the client – get to it. He or she will ask questions – in a way that works – that reveals the Hidden Truth.
A pro will provide the solutions to SORTING IT OUT. And when all is revealed, the source of the pain, discomfort or persistent unhappiness loses its power, and peace and joy become a much more real possibility. More often than not the new understanding becomes highly useful and explains so much about your life that didn’t make sense before.
That is my Second Secret of Successful Coaching: Get to the Hidden Truth.