The phrase "Can't Shake It Off" resonated with audiences who experienced Lee Chandler's suffering in the 2016 film "Manchester By the Sea."
Played by Casey Affleck, Chandler couldn't let go of the tragedy he accidentally put in motion. He won an Academy Award for that performance.
To keep up a beer high he walked to the convenience store for more booze, forgetting to properly attend to the fireplace in that New England winter. His three young children perished in the fire which occurred.
However, the movie ends in hope that through his relationship with his nephew he can find an emotional exit ramp from the pain that's keeping him stuck in the past.
The concept of shaking it off is grabbing some of us.
Last Sunday, it proved to be an effective way to enter our state of meditation at the Unitarian Church in Youngstown, Ohio. The leader instructed us to shake off what we had brought into the room.
Today, in a session with my executive coach I asked how long will it be until I could shake off a bad fit of a relationship with a client from another culture. I terminated it yesterday, relieved but haunted with questions such as why hadn't I fled that force field earlier - or, more to the point, not even accepted the assignment.
The coach's answer: The black cloud will hover over me until I can forgive myself for my own myopia.
And, that's exactly the insight I usually pass on to my own coaching clients. They wind up tangled in an emotional and spiritual straightjacket because they keep replaying the past in their heads, trying to reconfigure it. The scenarios go: If only I did this, if only I did that …
That pain becomes so embedded in lawyers who don't make partner. Perhaps it's the sunk costs years of education and on-the-job training. Their identity is totally their professional one. They can't shake that off and open themselves to The Next.
What's the direction out of the past, into the present - addressing the current problems?
It's surrendering to the reality that the scenes from the past can't be done-overs.
One physical exercise that is useful is to literally shake our heads and bodies, chanting "Shake it off." That panned out when I was coaching a group of sales clerks during the high-pressure holiday season. Together, we shook off whatever mindsets were getting between them and customer service.
Free to click open and download is my book on escaping a comfort zone Download Over50OutsmartingYourComfortZone
Contact Jane Genova email@example.com.