Do you consider yourself a lifelong learner?
I like back to school vibes because it reminds me of being a kid.
Practicing packing things into my backpack just so. New pencils and pens.
A new beginning.
Who would I meet? What would I learn? How would I change?
I was super introspective even as a child. 🙂
Would I embarrass myself? Is this the right outfit to wear? Will anyone be my friend?
I was human even as a child, my brain installed with all the usual social frets and worries. 🙂
I was in a new school almost every year, although my dad tried to arrange changing cities and schools so that we’d start at the beginning rather than move in the middle of the school year.
Maybe that’s why back to school is extra meaningful for me.
Each August or September, I walked into a new ecosystem, an invading cell from some other ecosystem.
It was up to me to find clusters of friends, activities and habits that would feel like home.
Every new school year, I decided to feel like an explorer. (“Awkward new kid” is absolutely not my vibe!)
What’s here in this exotic new place?
Moving and being in new schools frequently shaped me a LOT.
This week, reflect on your own back to school experiences.
What did it mean for you socially, academically, logistically?
How did your family relationships inform your school experience?
My 14 year old son and I were talking the other day and he said, “I prefer to keep my school and personal lives separate.” That cracked me up, but it also says a lot about how he sees life.
He has formed stories about “how life works” from the school/home/activities life experiences he’s had.
And he’ll carry these stories into adulthood including relationships, careers, and – of course! – his self-concept.
Coaching doesn’t linger in the past, yet it can be helpful to reflect on how our stories about life were formed.
Recognize that the stories and interpretations you formed are totally arbitrary.
Being in a new school every year taught me that “the rules” of “society” and how “friendships work” and what’s “normal” are more ecosystem dependent than most people might think.
What’s normal here is not typical there.
I learned that beliefs about right and wrong behaviors are much more permeable than most people think. What an interesting perspective to have on the world as a child, and I’m very grateful for those experiences.
Write down 5-7 beliefs about the world that you learned from your elementary or junior high/middle school experiences.
Then ask yourself how that informs your identity, including how you tend to be open to learning new thoughts and behaviors.
Take yourself “back to school” in your mind to see what comes up for you.
Love you madly,
P.S. Can you imagine growing up with a life coach as a parent? I suppose time will tell if my sons consider it an advantage.🤷🏻♀️ Our systems of origin and the people in it have powerful impacts on our storytelling mind. How much of our social mindset is inherited from generations gone by?