Designing our lives and leadership – Part 3


In Part 1 of the DESIGNING OUR LIVES AND LEADERSHIP series, we looked at the difference between powering our lives from wounds or powering our lives from scars and understanding which we are operating from.

In Part 2, we looked at how we are responding to events in our environment and the results that reactions, repression or conscious responses can have on designing our lives.

I’m back in Part 3 to talk about the benefits and empowerment we get from transforming a wound into a scar and the learnings, tools and techniques we can live by to ensure positive, long lasting transformative outcomes.

Essentially, we talk about the scar metaphor as a signal of adaptation, strength and a representation of healing.

When we’ve got an open wound, however, it means our body can’t heal, we’re having to divert energy and attention to that wound, to try to heal it, to try to stave off infection and to try to keep things safe. And therefore, you don’t get to perform at optimal function.

The example of having emotional responses and reactions that are disproportionate to the circumstance or having an inappropriate response to the circumstance, which a lot of people have with their boundaries issues, are all symptomatic of people operating with wounds. This is essentially people living from past circumstances, past events, beliefs or conditioned behaviour. Whereas a scar is a representation of adaptation and healing and strength.

Every scar tells a story on our body. And don’t humans just love telling the story about their scars. This one was from an accident when I was five. I had 20 stitches! Now I use it to tell my right from left haha! The physical scar metaphor is exactly the same as our emotional scars. We love telling stories about what we learned, how we overcame challenges, how we gained power and insight.

I get really empowered around this concept of scarring. To me every scar tells a story, every scar tells you that I’m stronger, that I have learned a tonne, I’ve got a whole lot of life experience, a whole lot to give and a whole lot to share. So for me, scars are truly empowering.

You know you’re living from scars when you’re able to talk about past experiences with genuine appreciation for what happened, whether it was good, bad, right or wrong. You’ll be able to talk from scars when you don’t blame others.

Reflecting back on to wounds, you know you’re talking from wounds when you blame others or yourself. You’re going through the motions that it’s still distressing or reminiscing of the emotions from that time. Those emotions are still being experienced when you re-engage with those stories or memories. Just like a wound that hasn’t healed. Your focus is on hurt, pain, the ugliness, the inconvenience and how it impedes your progress.

Ways you know you’re living from scars is you get really excited when you see someone going through something similar. You know you’ve got something to offer, to share, to support and help them learn through that particular circumstance or experience. One of the things that happens for me quite regularly, is being able to connect with what that person is talking about, because I’ve worked on or transformed an issue with a similar flavour. As a coach, I’ll be able to provide an access and know which particular concept to teach or which transformational technique to engage or which piece of theory or structure needs to be introduced. That person can then get the learning and move on with greater power, and release the old past based emotions, beliefs and limiting ideas.

When we talk about designing our lives, we don’t typically think we would want a life designed with a lot of scars, right? That’s not the pretty picture of how life’s meant to be. Aren’t my goals supposed to be perfect? But a future without scars means, a future without a lot of learnings. A future without learnings is more prone to mistakes or rather relapses of old thought and behaviour patterns. These relapses are the opportunity to create learnings. You see what I’m getting at. Learnings are essential to transforming and designing changes.

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