“Reality is reality, there is no point to sugar coat it “– a friend of mine uttered with a great sigh! I agree and there is more. It reminded me of the story of a young woman, Irene, who didn’t try to sugar coat a gloom “reality”. Instead she chose to focus on another reality –It turned her around from being stuck to being successful.

potholeWhen Irene reached out to me during February this year, she had been feeling stuck. She was not able to make any progress in her PhD thesis for a very long time, every time she tried to force her, it backfired. Her thoughts/ideas got crippled by a fear that if she missed that last deadline, all five years’ worth of work would become a zero.

At first I thought Irene was exaggerating. After all she did for five years, how hard would it be to do it for a few more weeks! But as we talked more, I sensed that big boulder of fear on her chest, she was really stuck! Few deep breaths on my side helped me bring back to my center. I knew there must be something more powerful than this fear. I asked, “What is the most intriguing part of your research, what drew you to this in the first place?” Irene started talking, in a few seconds her voice energy heightened; I could tell she was coming from her original passion of making an impact in this field of study. I brought her attention to it. Then as a follow-up I offered her to imagine what her PhD committee members could learn from her work. Voila! That was the last push she needed to bypass that fear and focus on her real intention – to enrich this field with her own work of passion – that could potentially benefit those daunting committee members even.

Irene completed her theses, presented it to the committee and passed, all within that hard deadline. By shifting her focus from the reality of the deadline to the reality of possibilities – she made it a success. No,Irene didn’t sugar coat the reality that victimized, she simply chose to shift her focus towards a reality that empowered!

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