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Awakenings: Still Ambitious, but with Boundaries

June 16, 2020

“Find a purpose to serve, not a lifestyle to live.” 

― Criss Jami, Venus in Arms


We all know what it is to be Type A personality: A high-achieving, sometimes high-intensity doer. Someone who works hard and plays hard. As we listen to the narratives of this COVID-19 time, we’re hearing about how many of you are adapting to a new daily rhythm and getting a glimpse of how our lives could be different how we can make things better.

Take one coach, for example, who was struggling with the assignments necessary to complete a narrative coaching certification. When we set up a time to talk, she was seeking advice on how to handle the workload of the portfolio assignments. Yet, when we finally met a few short weeks later, she had easily conquered the assignments with no additional support. When I asked what had changed, she answered, “Well, normally I’m going out every night and going to the symphony, or I’m going to dinner with friends… I don’t have a lot of bandwidth to do things like the portfolio assignments on a certification program. But now that I can’t do all those [social] things, I find I have plenty of time.”

She then talked about what this time had taught her, saying, “I want to move from being a Type A to a Type A-Minus.” What does that mean, exactly?, I asked. She explained that in hindsight she hadn’t set the boundaries she needed to preserve time for herself, that she had been saying “yes. at the expense of her own development.

She went on to reflect that she experienced a kind of self-esteem boost from being busy.  She’d say “yes” to prove her value. What a tender, wise and mindful insight! And she sees it differently now.

She sees a Type A-Minus as someone who preserves time for herself and doesn’t gain self-esteem from being busy. Her story is a strong example of the meaning that people are finding in these challenging times. That this situation could help us see something about ourselves or bridge the divide within so that we can connect more deeply with each other and with ourselves.

We’d love to hear from you. What have you discovered about yourself and your previous patterns? What meaning are you finding in these times?


“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. The longer I live, the more my mind dwells upon the beauty and the wonder of the world.” 

― John Burroughs

P.S. If you’d like to take a step back with us, reflect and make meaning to begin to transform your experience, sign up to receive the Awakenings series along with a free guided journal page to your email every week. Sign up here.

Read More from the Awakenings Series:

Awakenings Amid a Quarantine: Reconnecting with Our True Selves

Awakenings: What does that mean that “I need help?”

Awakenings: From Monotony to Mindfulness

Awakenings: Facing Ourselves – Maybe for the First Time

Awakenings: Same Scenery, Different Perspective

Posted in: Awakenings|Heal The Divide

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