Giving the Limelight to Awareness (The Queen of Nothing)

February 22, 2024

By Allison Iantosca, ACC

I have always wanted to be the Queen of something, I think.

In fact, I recently checked this with my ego, asking if this was historically true? My ego sort of scoffed in an “as-if- there-was-ever-any-question” sort of way. I asked back if we could kind of ratchet the Queen part down now that we are over 50? That sent my ego into such hyperventilating hysterics that we haven’t been able to finish that conversation yet.

We have a bit of a rocky relationship, my ego and I. It claims to be healthy. Able to appropriately calibrate and properly protect. And it certainly has, all these years, shown up when I needed it most. With uncanny single-mindedness and stunning alacrity, it identifies the top, the best, the highest, the hardest and then unrelentingly demands that I turn my head in that direction, map out the most expeditious course, and, well, get there.

And I have. Gotten there. In some respects, I think.  “In many respects” my ego chimes in.  A bit prickly and irritated but ready for more. “And we’re not done” it sing-songs back to me, “I’ve been thinking…”

That’s where we get to lately in our discussions. It’s been thinking. And I say something less than useful like “how about we just…” or “wouldn’t it be nice to…”. In other words, nothing potent enough to actually redirect the course. Rather, and quite annoyingly, we’re at a complete standstill. Bickering, like longstanding couples do, over something mundane as a stand in for the bigger question…are we going to stay together?

“Fine” my ego says, “just do nothing”. Not in anger. More with a knowing that it’ll never happen. A lame attempt to call my bluff. We both know it is total BS.

“Fine” I say back with more heat than I expect. “Then maybe I’ll just be the Queen of Nothing!” 


That might work…

I often have coaching clients coming to me thinking that there is one part of themselves that is key to all the rest. One part they should get rid of or at least work harder to ignore.

But just about all the time, that part has a very good reason for hanging around. It has supported us for, well, ever. Brought us to places we never dreamed about. Reminded us to care about things, stand up for things, conquer things. We might dance a bit, jazzercise our way around the idea of letting it go, but it hardly ever works…until we give it some good old-fashioned attention. Until we explore what, exactly, about it we might miss if we actually had the wherewithal to dismiss it.

For some coaching clients, just this awareness is enough for a significant shift. For others, cracking open a small part of themselves is enough to begin to play with shifting. A coach can readily support this play. Can bring us back to what we resist or think we don’t want or need. Can help us hold this old part of ourselves in a good light; see it as helpful and kind and caring. Help us own it fully. In a big bright light before we begin to consider the parameters of letting it go.

My Queen of Nothing needs this light and space. She needs the playful to contend, for now, with my deeper habitual belief that I need to be everything. She even gives me a bridge. A way to go back and forth from old to new, just in case I might need my ego again sometime in the future. Because that ego has served me well and I do like the idea of being the Queen of something.

Allison Iantosca is a Gestalt International Study Center (GISC) trained coach certified by ICF with extensive leadership and management experience. She is an Executive Coach and is the Owner and President of Boston based FH Perry Builder.

*Photo Credit: Ashton Mullins

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