What is the itch?

You’re here because you’re a bit of a rebel. You wouldn’t be here without this rebel instinct. I like that about you. It means that, like me, you don’t blindly accept everything that The Herd thinks and does. The way other people do things doesn’t always seem right or natural to you. You question things. You feel the need to plough your own furrow. You have a strong sense of self, of your own value. Rebels come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, they turn up in most sections of society and in most professions.

When I talk of Rebels I am not referring to those who take up arms and create mayhem by attacking government buildings and assassinating politicians. I am talking about those of us who have an independence of spirit. We have an inner feeling that we are somehow different and in some way special. We know that we have a unique gift to offer the rest of society.

Right now, you’re searching. You know there’s something good out there for you it’s just that you can’t quite put your finger on it. The good news is that you’re on the move. The challenge is to find your best direction. You have the itch, but you don’t know how to scratch it.

We all get The Itch. Some get it bad and constantly, others only get it occasionally. But when you get it you gotta do something about it. If you don’t scratch it, it’ll just go on and on itching away at you.

Sometimes the itch is specific, like it might be telling you you’re hungry. That’s an easy one to scratch, you just get something to eat. We’re not really concerned about these minor and obvious itches here. You already know how to deal with them.

What I’m talking about here is The Itch that you can’t quite put your finger on. It’s like the one that’s high up in the middle of your back. You can’t reach it when you bring your hand up from the bottom and you can’t twist enough to get to it by reaching your hand over your shoulder. With The Itch you can’t quite figure out exactly what is making you so restless. You just know that something’s going on inside you. Something’s not right – something’s missing. This is the “not quite defined” irritation that I call “The Itch”. Many of my clients have had The Itch and it has been a real life-spoiler for many of them. Sometimes it’s a feeling of dissatisfaction, other times it’s a feeling of certainty that there’s something better out there just waiting for you to live your life in a more fulfilling way. The Itch can make you miserable and it can make you angry if you don’t find a way to scratch it.

Annie had The Itch. She opened a restaurant, but that bored her after a few years. Then she became a yoga instructor, but that didn’t quite do it for her. So, she became a coach. We’ll have to wait and see how that works out. Perhaps her journey still has a way to go. The great point with Annie is that she never stops looking and she backs her hunches, pursues her dreams. The process of following different paths to see where they lead is exciting, but not everyone has the courage and self-belief that Annie has.

Clinton was an IT Systems Architect. He became frustrated by the purely commercial, money-making focus of his employer’s activities, such activities seemed meaningless to him. He felt the itch to do something more meaningful in a humanitarian way. After journeying for many years through jobs with charities and healthcare companies he eventually found his niche with an agricultural company developing ecologically friendly ways to improve crop productivity, soil conservation and plant health. The ecological benefits of this work captured his imagination and provided an outlet for his energies. The last time I saw Clinton he was like a new man; he radiated purpose and energy.

Am I the Only One Who Gets The Itch?

We all get the itch at times. It’s telling us we’re not making best use of our capabilities, that we need to be using our talents in order to feel good about the way our life is going.

What you need to do is simple. You need to find your Itch and then give it a good scratch. The Itch is when you don’t know, but you suspect that there is something out there that would make a BIG difference to your life. This release is a kind of freedom. However, as you don’t yet know where your itch is you’re going to have to play detective, to figure out exactly what’s bothering you.

I say, “you’re going to have to play” because that’s how we’re going to get to the scratching post – we’re going to play a few games together to help you pin-point your itch. Perhaps you have read self-help books that give you exercises to do to help you self-analyse? The problem is that such exercises can be boring. I want you to enjoy this journey of self-discovery so we’re going to play games together.

You maybe have several itches. That’s OK we’ll find your scratches for most, if not all of them.

The Sherlock Holmes Approach

The great detective went about solving his cases by asking, “How was this crime committed?” Then, “What skills and abilities would be needed to commit this crime?” Then, “Who is the person who has this set of skills and abilities?”

Your approach to scratching your Itch will follow a similar path. You will be looking for solutions as to how to make best use of your abilities rather than to simply looking for alternatives to what you are doing right now. You will ask, “What skills and abilities do I have? And, what do I really enjoy doing?” Then you will match these strengths and joys to a way of living your life. What I ask you to bear in mind is that you probably have a great many abilities that you have never yet used. You haven’t used them because you have not had the opportunity or the need to bring them into play.

It may be that buried amongst your hidden abilities are a whole host of talents that are itching away in there begging to be used. And it could be that when you start to use these hidden abilities you will suddenly find a whole new world of satisfaction and fulfilment. We’re going to seek out your hidden talents and discover how to bring them into play.

Right now this may look like an impossible task for you, but that’s why I’m here. It’s my job, as your coach, to walk with you, to guide you along the path. Together we will unravel the mysteries and reveal the possibilities. You will always be in control. No-one will tell you what to do. All the decisions will be yours. At the end of the day it will be you who chooses your direction. It has to be, because it is your life that we are looking to make more fulfilling and rewarding.

The BIG Itch

The BIG ITCH that bugs most people is, “who am I?” The problem with this itch is that it’s all mixed up with “what am I?” We tend to define each other by what we do. You know the scenario, you’re at a party and you get introduced to a stranger, one of your first questions is often, “what do you do?” They tell you they’re a lawyer and from then on that’s how you define that person; “she’s a lawyer”. And because of that we tend to define ourselves by what we do.

The question then is, “are you doing the job that’s right for you, or just the one that you happened to end up in?” Many people stumble into a career as a result of a number of accidents. Perhaps their first job came about because a family friend recommended them to an employer. Or perhaps when they were desperate to start earning money, they saw an advertisement for a job they thought they might be able to do. Or perhaps they had a skill that was required somewhere, so they got a job. And from these unlikely beginnings they got trapped on a career path that is proving less than fulfilling.

The problem is that you have been branded by what you do. You have worked hard so you now have value in your market and that has now trapped you because you need to earn enough to pay the bills. At the same time, you do not appear to have the skills or track record for other jobs that look appealing. Goddam-it, you’re trapped.

Good news – you’re not trapped. You just don’t know how to escape – yet – we’re coming to that. Just bear in mind that millions of people have escaped from tedious jobs and found fulfilment and prosperity.

The Other Itches That May Be Bugging You

Jobs aren’t the only kind of Itch that can make our lives frustrating. We can get stuck in relationships that fail to nourish us. Sometimes it’s the way we are in a relationship that makes it unrewarding, Other times it’s that we’re with the wrong partner.

Itches often come down to a matter of self-expression. When you can’t find an outlet for your thoughts, your ideas and your talents it can feel like you’re living in a strait jacket.

The under-achievement Itch can be especially tough on individuals who have a strong sense of their destiny. Often such people have set expectations on themselves that are based more on fantasy than reality. If you have failed to carry out reality checks on your dreams you may be frustrated by your lack of success.

Roland was a member of a team in which I played as a young man. He thought he was going to the heights. But he had no clear idea of his talents, he had no plan, he did not put in the hard miles of work. He just had an arrogant vision of himself as a superior being. In middle age he became an alcoholic still dreaming of being top dog but doing less and less to achieve his desired status. He had never carried out a reality check on his aspirations.

The Problem With Instant Fixes

It can often seem that if you could just suddenly find a crock of gold, perhaps win the lottery, everything would be sorted. But let’s be realistic, the odds against that happening are over 15 million to one. It just won’t happen. And, even if it did, it would not necessarily solve the real issue. One study in Florida found that 70% of lottery winners were broke within 5 years. They couldn’t use the money to find a satisfying answer to the riddle of life. The fact is that you are a creative, inventive, striving human being; the only truly satisfying solutions will be the ones you develop yourself.

You will feel better about yourself when you develop your own solution to The Itch. The self-satisfaction of being able to say, “I did this for myself, all on my own” will make you feel proud of yourself and will earn you the respect and admiration of others.

To achieve anything worthwhile requires a bit of time and effort, but that doesn’t mean to say that we cannot enjoy our journey together.

Who Gets The Itch?

Many of my clients have told me that they feel like a bit of a rebel because they don’t feel comfortable in The Herd. They want to react against the arrogant “we’re always right” attitude of other people. But when you have been privileged to confidentially coach as many clients as I have you know that the majority of people get the itch from time to time. I have coached CEOs, CTOs, PAs, Sportspeople, Consultants, Salespeople, Tekkies, Actors and Standup Comedians, all of them have had the Itch. It seems that there is something built into our DNA that makes us strive for something more, something better. 

The Itch can drive some people to rocket up their career ladder and it can drive others from job to job like itinerant tramps. It can make some people into faithful and loyal life partners whilst turning others into prolific philanderers. My experience suggests that when you use your natural talents and abilities to scratch your itch you will prosper and when you try to force yourself to comply with someone else’s idea of how you ought to live your life you will struggle.

The answer lies within. “Know Thyself” is sound advice. Other people will  tell you what they think or what they might do if they where in your situation. But they are not you and they are not in your situation. Their advice, even when well meant, is unlikely to be based on an incomplete understanding of all the many facets of your being.

It is you who has to find a way to express who you are, and you have to find a way to do it in a way that will make you happy and prosperous.

I am going to tell you a lot of stories from the case studies of clients which whom I have worked over the years. I will also tell you stories about interesting and relevant people I’ve met on my life journey. The purpose of these stories is to show you what is possible so that you can tell yourself, “if they can do it then so can I”. I have changed the names of the subjects in my stories to protect their identities.

The Unemployment Opportunity

At the time when I am writing this the world is in the grip of a great pandemic (Covid 19). This pandemic has caused many people to lose their jobs. Of course, it is a emotional catastrophe when you lose your job, but it is also a great opportunity. Once you get over the initial shock and start to take stock perhaps you will realise that for the first time in your adult life you are free. Of course, you’re concerned about how you will pay the bills. But you also have unlimited opportunities. You are not tied down by your job. You can go in any direction you choose.

You have the choice of two alternative paths; you can bolt back into The Herd and get another job similar to the one you had before. For those people who really enjoyed the job they had before this is probably the best choice. But for rebels it is time to explore your possibilities. It may be time to face the fact that you may well have lost your job because you simply were not good enough at that particular type of work. This does not mean that you, as a person, are not good enough, it just means that you were not in the right line of work.

Ronald Reagan was an actor who was only ever good enough to appear in “B” movies – eventually he couldn’t get work as an actor. He took stock, redirected his career and became a great President of the USA. He served two terms in office. His legacy – he ended the Cold War with Russia.

How You Will Scratch your Itch

I am writing a series of free blog posts that will take you through a process that I have used to help thousands of clients scratch their Itches. We will play a series of games that will help you to:

  1. identify your Itch – what it is that you really want to do with your life? What will make you feel happy and fulfilled and allow you to prosper naturally.
  2. Work out a way to create the life you’d love to live in a way that can work for you.

The aim is to enable you to identify particular talents and skills that can be welded into a method by which you can express who you are. We will work out how you can do this in a way that will give you a feeling of fulfilment and allow you to prosper in the world.

You will derive maximum benefit from the blog posts if you read them in numerical order, like the chapters of a book.

At the end of the day your life should be about feeling good about yourself, feeling that you are worthwhile, that you are contributing and feeling proud that you are making something of your life.

Start Scratching

You can now get a free copy of my book The Itch and How To Scratch It in the form of a series of blog posts. The collection of posts describes how to decipher the unique code that allows you to lead a happy and rewarding life. The series will come to you in the form of private, password protected blog posts. 

To get your personal password that will allow you access all the private blog posts all you have to do is complete the form below, or on the right if you are using a PC.

I look forward to travelling with you on your exciting journey of self-discovery as you create the life you’d love to live 

The Rebel Coach

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