How is your metaphor holding you back?
I once had a client whose overarching metaphor in the coaching was bike riding. She told me that she felt like she was trying to ride on the back of someone else’s bike--her boss’s bike, her mom’s bike, her sister’s bike. And they kept “falling over” and “getting their legs tangled”.
We developed this metaphor with a lot of laughter, and it became a focal point of our sessions in many areas of her work and personal life.
She used "riding my own bike" to find the part of herself that was capable of making clear decisions, taking leadership, and separating her own views from those of her boss, colleagues, and family members.
Years later, if we bump into one another (metaphorically speaking), she’ll sometimes still say with a wink, “I’m still riding my own bike!”
Metaphors are used uniquely and consistently by each person based on their own experiences in their own body and how they respond to their world. Because metaphors illuminate some aspects of an experience, they leave other aspects in the shadows. If you're hitting a wall, is that wall really even there? If you're in the dark, where's the light switch?
Strangely enough, real-life consequences are the result of the metaphors that we are unaware of--thinking and acting can be limited by the ways of thinking that show up in the metaphor. Therefore, when a person’s metaphor changes, their behaviors and decisions change.
What's a metaphor that you've been using? What happens when you change the visuals, the feelings, the language? Then what's possible?
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