When you first get started on your personal development journey or working with a coach, it’s out of the desire for finding more in your life. The “more” could be meaning, satisfaction, time, health, or any number of things, and each person’s journey is very personal and unique. That’s why it can be hard to know what to expect when you begin working with a coach! Your friend’s experience won’t be the same as yours. Yet because it’s nice to have some sort of idea of what to expect, I've put together a list of five things you should know about coaching that will make your experience that much smoother.
1. I won’t tell you what to do. While it would be amazing if I held all the answers to your life, I don’t. You do! No one should tell you what to do, because you are responsible for your own life. But within a coaching role, what I will do is ask you clarifying questions to help you get to your own answers. Yes, I may help point you in the right direction and give you information or tools to help you find your way, but it’s really up to you to make your own decisions.
I spent many years as a childbirth educator, La Leche League leader, and a birth doula. In those roles, I’d never tell someone how they should give birth or breastfeed their child, but I did guide them to solutions that felt right for them. Personal development coaching is just like that.
2. It’s about knowing yourself better. I do certified high performance coaching, which may sound like it’s for elite athletes, but it’s actually designed to help you know yourself better. It’s curriculum-based because the same questions come up for everyone as they strive to understand themselves and their dreams with more clarity. The questions also help you figure out your strengths, your weaknesses, and will give you the tools you need as you navigate through life.
3. Clarity comes from taking action. While working with your coach and journaling are important steps to finding clarity in your life, you must take action to truly find it. You can dream all you want, but you must get out there and go for what you want, so you can learn, fail, and succeed - and keep going! Life is not a destination, it’s what’s happening to you right now. I’ve done a lot of things in the past twenty years, and each step has got me closer to where I am now - which is what I really feel like I was meant to be doing.
Think of it like creating a cake recipe; you put the ingredients together, pop it in the oven, and see what happens. It’s not the exact cake you want, so you tweak some things and try again. It’s unlikely that the first (or even the fourth) attempt will be “perfect”, but each cake will be closer to the perfect one you want to create.
4. You’ll get better at identifying opportunities. One of the best parts about developing clarity around your dreams and goals is that you’ll become a lot better at identifying the opportunities that will get you closer to them. When you know with utmost clarity what you want to be, do, and have in your life, it’s so much easier to create the space to make those things happen. I love watching my clients become more confident about what to say “yes” and “no” to as they create the life they want.
5. The right community is essential. Somewhere along most people’s personal development journey, they realize just how influential the people are around them. That’s because when you surround yourself with others who have big dreams and goals, it will help you dream bigger and strive for the more that you’re looking for. Your supportive community could be a group of people, your coach, or someone in your life that you can be 100% honest with (and who will be honest with you).
I’m not saying that you need to stop hanging out with anyone who’s on a different journey than you, but I am suggesting you at least add a community of people that will help make it easier for you to create the extraordinary life that I know you want. For example, if the people you interact with the most hit McDonald’s or the bar every Friday night, it’s going to be a lot harder for you to lose weight or stop drinking as much. Or if you’re around people who complain that their life is terrible but do nothing to change it, that will make it hard for you to share your dreams and successes with them.
Now that you have a better idea of what to expect from coaching, what comes next? Well, if you have any questions you can hit “reply” and send me a message. And if you’re ready to take action with your own self-development, a great first step is to join one of my Design Your Decade workshops.
I love these workshops as a stepping stone, because you’ll create a vision of what you really want for your life ten years from now. It’s such a great jumping off point for starting to live the life you’re dreaming of.
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