Personal Foundation: Clearing Up Unresolved Matters

      by Kevin MacDonald
In the July issue of Outlook I talked about the process of building a personal foundation. This process is key for anyone who wants to operate at a high level of performance, including those in the world of Club Management.  So much of what I do when working with Club Management clients is to help them to understand that one of the keys to their success is the management of their own energy.  When our energies are focused on our goals, the things we want to achieve, or our purpose we can accomplish amazing things.  So often we are only using a portion of our energy to achieve our goals.  If you read that July article you could see a number of ways where energy can be dissipated. 

The first step in building a personal foundation is clearing unresolved matters.  Here we deal with getting past issues that stay with us and hold us down.  It could be something we did or didn’t do or that we should have done or did poorly or perhaps something that was done to us. 

When I first started delivering coaching sessions for CMAA we thought that many of the people who would be looking for coaching would be people who had recently lost their jobs.  I am currently finding that 25% of the people that I speak to fall into this category.  Of that 25% I work with a high percentage on helping them clear unresolved matters.  If you have ever gone through the process of losing a job it is possible that you’ve spent some time with hate, anger or resentment.  You will know the kind of energy it sucks out of you.  And you may have observed how it can even change who you are.  My job is to help you get back to who you are, recognize where that energy has been going, and help you to focus on what’s next. 

Here are some ideas and questions that may help you get past some of these issues.

Have compassion for yourself.  I think it is really important to realize that we have an ability to beat ourselves up over the mistakes we’ve made or the things we felt we could have done better.  I would challenge you to see any mistakes you’ve made as simply a part of your education.  The practice of doing your best isn’t about judging where you have fallen short of your best and punishing yourself for it but rather taking an attitude of realizing that our best changes with various external conditions and as we mature we learn.  So perhaps lightening up on ourselves will help us get some of that energy back. 

Where have you beaten up on yourself?  What price have you paid for it?

Forgiveness.  I have talked about his before in previous articles and won’t go into the same detail that I have in the past.  For more detail you can go to the library section on the Clarity Success Coaching web site (  When we hold hate, anger and resentment for someone the person really being affected by this is not the object of our disdain but, in fact, it is us.  When we forgive we are releasing ourselves from the pain we have been putting ourselves through.  This can add an amazing amount of energy that can be directed toward what really matters.

Do you have some people in your life whom it is time to forgive so they are not holding you back?

Guilt.  When I work with people I am amazed to see how good we are in North America at taking on guilt.  I suppose we learned to do it a long time ago but is just seems to be such a wasteful, destructive practice. 

What are you feeling guilty about?  How would you be different if you didn’t feel guilty?

Need to be right.  This is an interesting one to look at in ourselves.  When we hold onto a need to be right it’s often connected to making others wrong.    It takes an amazing amount of effort to be right all the time and many people spend a lifetime doing it.

What would it be like if you had a week where you didn’t need to be right?   How many of your unresolved matters are being supported by a need to be right?  A strong need to be right can get in the way of changing a belief system that is getting in your way.


I would like to challenge you to make a list of unresolved matters.  It could be five, it could be 15, it could be 50, but when you have this list imagine what would be possible if none of them existed.

The next challenge is to resolve them.  The challenge here is that often to do so we have to face one of our fears head on.  Take a close look at one of your unresolved matters from your list and try to determine what it is you’re afraid of.  Often the fears we imagine are much bigger than what we face in reality when we stand up to them.  But when we face the fear and go past it, it begins to give us the strength and confidence to do it more often. 

The third challenge is to resolve these issues.  Start with one.  Perhaps an easy one.  And see what it feels like when you’ve taken it off the list.  Again, imagine what it would be like if they were all gone.

The last thing I challenge you to do is to consider what changes you might want to make to prevent these kinds of unresolved matters from occurring again in the future.  As a coach I deal with people’s present to help them build a future.  I don’t spend a lot of time with them in the past.  I challenge you to work on some of these unresolved matters and if you have ones that are too difficult to handle you may need to get support from someone other than a coach but, to the extent that I can support you in setting up this part of your personal foundation, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kevin MacDonald is the Coach for the CMAA.  Sign up for Kevin’s monthly Club Managers’ Coaching newsletter at:

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