A short note on "shit": Ought we figure it out?

“She’s really got her shit figured out.”

I’ve heard this more than once, and had a few conversations myself about how I wonder sometimes if, as a coach, I ought to try harder to demonstrate that I have my ducks in a row.

…except, what does that even mean?

Often we take use the description to talk about people who are successful and to whom success seems to come easy. We often speak of them in envious ways. We applaud these individuals who seem to do it all—and look good while they do it—and say that they’ve got it all figured out. And as a life coach, I’ve noticed that people often think that coaching is about “figuring it all out.”

But it isn’t.

In our lives, we might find ourselves feeling pretty on top of things. But the nature of life is change. We take new jobs, and our lives change. We get married, and our lives change. We break up, and our lives change. We have babies, and our lives change. We lose our jobs, and our lives change. We lose loved ones, and our lives change. We gain weight, and our lives change. We move to a new city, and our lives change.

That our lives change might be one of the only things I’m really truly sure of, to be honest.

I was about to write that life is filled with so much shit that we can’t possibly figure it all out before more of it comes our way, but I realized something: it’s not really “shit” in the truest sense.

A coach’s job is to help you navigate those changes and to help you direct the ones that you can control in the direction that will make the ride that we call life more fulfilling. The notion of figuring everything out is one that I wish would die. It suggests that when we struggle, we aren’t living right. But when we struggle, I think, we are the most alive. With change comes growth and learning, and you better believe that I think growth and learning are literally why we are here on this planet.

I want everyone to hire a life coach, but if you’re in it to “figure your shit out,” I’m afraid you might be disappointed. Yes, coaching will help you feel like you are in the driver’s seat of your life. But it will also raise questions that might otherwise have gone unasked, all in the pursuit of crafting the best life you possibly can. Coaching is not about finding the easy way out—it’s about rising to your highest calling and making the most of the time you’re given here. And to that end, we should welcome the “shit”—for it seems, “shit” is the finer stuff in life, what makes it interesting, and the stuff that amazing individuals are made of.

“Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” – John C. Maxwel