So many people ask me why I decided to change careers and become a coach. A lot people are not familiar with what a coach does on a day-to-day basis especially because it sounds like you're coaching the rugby team at the nearest school.
A coach can be quite different from a psychologist or counsellor in the sense of focusing more on the present while offering practical steps in how to reach your future goals.
I realised I wanted to be a coach when working with clients who were victims of family violence. Although the work often dealt with immediate safety options for clients, I discovered a pattern with most of the people I was assisting. Regardless of what was happening in their lives at the time, the conversations always turned into what was really important for them in their lives, and how they had these dreams that at the time felt unattainable.
The pattern of not feeling good enough to change their lives was heart-breaking for me to see, because what I saw in front of me was so much more than that. Women who had experienced the worst possible situations in life were strong women carrying everyone else in their lives. I became determined to help women in particular, to become more aware of what they are capable of, and to feel worthy of getting what they always envisioned for themselves.
Help You Realise What You Want
A great coach will ask questions that ignite curious emotions within you. You know, those type of questions that make you think differently about something you've always only had one perspective on. Often times, when we are stuck, we tend to either talk to our friends about our problems or try to resolve everything on our own. The only issue with this is, where do you actually find the time to think about these things in-between work, family, kids, gym- and generate an action plan to solve it?
Your friend might listen to you, but just enough to respond or give advice. In the long run, this option is not sustainable because you find yourself in the same situation over and over again without actually knowing what's really bothering you or how to fix it.
2. Get Your Own No-Judgement Cheerleader
As mentioned, it can sometimes be difficult to discuss your problems with friends and family. They already know you and will most likely have pre-conceived notions about who they think you are. So what do you do? Deal with it yourself? Go see a therapist? What if your problems aren't appropriate for a therapist or counsellor? A coach SHOULD be able to support you with no stakes in your game, if you know what I mean. Although a coach can challenge you and help you see what's holding you back, there is no personal involvement in what you actually achieve. The only gain for the coach is seeing you develop and reach your ultimate goals. The coach supports you by listening to you and guiding you forward.
3. Develop Your Confidence
Do you ever feel like there are so many things you would like to do but lack the confidence and trust in yourself? Yes? Okay, I'll keep going then.
A coach is not the one who creates the changes in you, let's get that straight. You do all the work. What the coach CAN do is entice awareness within you so that the fears that are holding you back come up to the surface. But how can you develop confidence if you don't have an understanding of who you are? By pushing you (lovingly of course), supporting you and guiding you to see your potential and all you have to offer. The coach can take you places you wouldn't go into alone.
4. Understanding What You Are About
What's the first thing you say when meeting new people? Your name? What you do for a living?
Often times we categorise ourselves depending on what we do for work, if we are a parent or not, someone's wife or husband. We tend to list all these titles and roles we have in life. But is that who you really are? So, if you don't have a career, a partner or children, do you not exist? Are you not important?
How can you change your life, if you're not even sure what you want or what's vital to you? Again, a coach is not going to tell you who you are (sucks right?), but a coach will help you prioritise, dig deep into the things you are avoiding, and help you start being honest with yourself so you can figure out how to get more of what you want.
5. Shutting Up that Inner Critic
See, the inner critic is always just around the corner. It's that voice who says things like: "You're not good enough, why can’t you be like everyone else, you're going to fail anyways, no one likes you, you should change"...bla bla bla.... Sounds familiar?
Although we all have this inner critic, some of us are better at dealing with it than others. During a coaching session, a coach will be aware of what you are saying to yourself based on how you describe a situation.
A coach should be able to guide you to become aware of the negative self-talk, especially if it's affecting your career, relationships, or personal development. It can be hard to notice this voice because it has most likely become a regular "friend" of yours. Realising what these voices do to you is the first point of change- limiting beliefs and low trust in yourself can result in a circle of procrastination-loss of control- not reaching your goals- feeling unhappy and unmotivated.
The coach helps you stay true to yourself while noticing the negative thoughts that have been making the decisions for you.
6. Uncover your True Purpose
Do you feel that all the dreams and passions you want to chase after seem so unattainable due to fear of failure? Or whatever else you’re telling yourself? It pains me to see people not going after what they want because their inner critic is telling them not to- telling you to stay in your comfort zone where nothing bad happens and there are no mistakes.
So, when is it ever a good time to start? Are you going to start living your purpose when the kids are all grown up, the mortgage is paid and you finally have some free time? Wouldn’t it be great if it happened like that? Only problem is, we never know what's around the corner. Anything can happen at any time that can change everything. We are here for such a short amount of time, why not have your heart explode with joy now instead of later.
7. Cru(z)ise Control and Take Action
Well, what is there left to do after discovering your purpose, boundaries, and how your negative thoughts impact you?
Taking action of course.
It's not enough to just talk about it, now you’re going to implement all of this knowledge into your life. This is the fun part!
While a coach will help you with all of the above, you are the one who will manifest everything into your life: an exciting career, a great love life, awesome relationships with others and a magnificent relationship with yourself. And, if you ever get stuck, your coach is always there to keep you going.