“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelou
This is not the first time I have shared this quote on this website. I also have it up on the wall in my office.
This quote by Maya Angelou is a favourite of mine and one which often guides. I encounter lots of people who love this quote and for whom it makes a lot of sense, but say they do not feel it. That is, they do not feel as if they are truly excelling, or they have perhaps reached a plateau in life and are ready to move on to the next level in their own personal evolution.
According to Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google “Everyone needs a coach.”
I have a coach. If you want to achieve in sports, you have a coach. When you want to sing well, you have a coach. When you want to act well, you have a coach. When you want to achieve more, you have a coach. If you are looking to develop your business, advance your career or attain financial freedom or financial independence, it makes sense to have a life coach.
Coaching is now recognised more and more as an essential element in anyone’s personal and professional development and more companies than ever have their leaders and executives coached.
Contrary to what Eric Schmidt says, you don’t need a coach. We don’t need Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to remind us that we need oxygen to breathe, we need water to drink, we need food to eat, we need shelter and warmth to survive. You are likely to be here reading this because you wish to do more than survive, just as my first quote by Maya Angelou suggests. You wish to expand, you wish to be exponential, you wish to feel the full force of life, you wish to be the fullest possible expression of yourself and attain more of that which you know you are capable of. You no longer want the impossible dream to remain impossible.
According to behavioural scientist David Spiegel at Stanford University, “anyone should be open to seeking professional guidance when it comes to their emotional health.” There are numerous things that life coaches tend to do that parallel many of the helping and caring professions, but it is a totally different field of its own, and many people get confused by the distinctions.
Since the late 1990s I have worked as a hypnotherapist and seen several thousand individuals looking to free themselves of pain, anxiety, depression, unwanted habits and so my work is often a psychological or emotional need. When I coach my clients, they are looking to advance in different ways, they are looking to excel financially, tick items off a bucket list, advance their performance and create change before it needs to happen. This is not needed, but chosen and actively sought out to enrich and thrive.
Understanding what a life coach does and how they can help is part of the decision making process. The following list of benefits might help you to understand why life coaching is one of the best decisions you can make to create more in your life and your business.
- You Learn to Embrace Change:
Change is one of the scariest words of all for many people. Change of job, change of home, change of thoughts and so on. The very thought of change can disorient and you feel like you just don’t know where you are going, and you can’t clearly see the road ahead, it can feel disruptive and leave us feeling vulnerable. Loss of direction can make you feel momentarily stressed or afraid.
“Your life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change” -Jim Rohn
The Ancient Stoics would engage in negative visualisation to imagine life without their loved ones or other important elements of their life that mean a lot to them. Not only do we subsequently value the time we have with them, we prepare ourselves for change and accept the impermanence of life.
Likewise, Zen masters ask their students to meditate upon the beauty of impermanence. Change is inevitable, learning how to embrace and enjoy it is one thing, but embracing change before we need to is something that most successful people do.
For many, the notion of change is one that is well resisted. The pain is not great enough or the dissatisfaction of life is not quite profound enough to stimulate a need. When you choose to need the advancement, you seek out a coach.
Whenever there is change, we benefit massively from having someone walking beside us. The coach fortifies us ready for change and helps us avoid potential pit falls.
The coach is a guide and a support, but not necessarily an instructor. I have worked with some utterly amazing, world-leading ultra runners, for example. Despite being able to run a pretty fast marathon and competing in ultra marathons myself, there is not a huge amount that I can tell these world-class endurance athletes about running, or about nutrition or the way they train. I help advance resilience, enhance mindset, become psychologically stronger and better equipped, but importantly, I help them dig deeper into themselves; explore what they already know and examine how they do what they do, and find many big answers themselves.
Change is advanced with coaching also because coaching is exponential. That is, as Aristotle said,
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Funny people can write great comedy, but a team of funny people can create belly laughs that last a life-time. Working with a coach, you become exponentially more than just a combination of two people, you have a dynamic for advanced, powerful change.
- You Are Just Not Done Yet:
My children are both under the age of 5. Birthday cakes are wonderful when you are able to get the full number of candles on the cake to match the age! As us adults start needing enough candles on our cake that resembles a bonfire, or a cake the size of a football pitch to cram them all on, some of us get saddened. Of course, mortality can be a sad concept in and of itself for some.
However, as we get older, we reflect and philosophise much more too. We start looking back at all we thought we’d do with our life. We maybe thought life would be just a little bit different than it has turned out to be. We recall the dreams of our younger days when we were filled with the excitement of our dreams and the opportunity that awaits us.
Coaches properly reignite that sense. Acceptance of who we are and where we are is scientifically proven to benefit us emotionally and psychologically along with expressing gratitude for who and how we are today and what we have in our lives. That does not mean that we abandon all ambition and seek out nothing new for ourselves. Unfiltered child-like dreams and visions are not to be reserved for children, especially when you have a coach.
“Coaches have the ability to view things from afar – in what some call ‘helicopter vision’- and to shed new light on difficult situations. Often they can act as a sounding board through tough decisions, help sharpen skills, and motivate” – CFO Magazine
I like this quote.
Having a life coach reminds you that you can still accomplish a lot. It’s hard to know if you really are making progress without meaningful feedback and support. Your coach helps you create plans, objectives and measurable goals that will back you up and give you the support you need to be successful.
On that note, your coach gives you truth. Hard truth sometimes. Being coached is taking responsibility for your life, and you need to be responsible for it too. You cannot be responsible for something you are not aware of. Reflecting objectively and honestly with a coach who helps you discover the truth leads to awareness that opens doors in life. Doors to entire new worlds of life.
Being a grown up can be hard work, can’t it? All this goddam responsibility!
Many people procrastinate, many make plans and then don’t follow through and others just end up missing important events. Your coach makes sure you ‘show up.’
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver
When I write ‘show up’ this does not just refer to actual attendance of events, or taking real-life action (which is very much does also mean) but how you ‘show up’ each and every day of your life. How you demonstrate bold enthusiasm, how you serve others, how you renew yourself, how you be present and how you stoke your internal charge.
Just engaging with the coach often makes that happen for you. If you’ve chosen the right one for you, you leave each session with them feeling invigorated, revitalised and ready for action.
Action is one thing you start to notice when you work with a coach – the coach will ensure you get things done, become productive and you enjoy the action that there is no desire for excuses.
You enjoy the accountability, it is stress-free, enjoyable and taking action becomes a space you go to be free, fearless and uplifted.
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso
“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” – Benjamin Disraeli
“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” – W. Clement Stone
- Saves Time and Money:
Many people think of coaching in terms of affordability and it feels counterintuitive to think of investing in a coach as something which saves you money. It does though.
We have a natural tendency when doing something for ourselves to go the long way, and waste our time. A coach helps you find the right direction and avoid unnecessary costs or expensive mistakes. In terms of time and money.
“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action, can change the world” – Joel Barker
You can certainly make choices that will get you to your goals. You can read and explore and take action. Or, you can choose to work with a coach to help you get there quicker and more effectively. Your coach helps you to create the vision, be equipped with the right tools, and take certain steps to set your life in motion…the way you truly want it to go.
You can easily learn most things by yourself these days, but you learn exponentially, expertly, and more rapidly when learning with someone else. In turn, you get to be that developed person for a larger part of your life, and you get to reap those rewards financially too.
When it comes to coaching think of the opportunities it will present and how it’ll actually help you save time and money.
- Undiscovered Thoughts and Inspiration:
Many people keep doing the same things over and over and over and getting the same results and they just can’t seem to get inspired. Your coach is an expert motivator and encourager who will help you break out of those same patterns, finding new ways to make life better.
“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people” – Eleanor Roosevelt
A third party can bring a neutral and objective perspective and can also help you identify opportunities more so than if you are by yourself, especially if you are caught up in the daily process of life. Working with a coach does that; it opens your mind, you get to discover so much more of your own potential. It spurs you on to discovering new ideas and more importantly pursuing them.
You’ll love that about the process.
- Boost Self-Confidence:
Another thing that might sound counterintuitive is that by working with a coach you develop and build self-confidence and self-efficacy. You become convinced of your own abilities and this in turn makes you more capable.
Coaches come equipped with all manner of different stances, approaches, tools and techniques, but sessions with a coach tend to inherently help you develop your confidence and self-belief. Joshua D. Sparrow, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School, states “A healthy self-esteem allows us to go on trying things we’ve failed at, to strive when we haven’t reached our full potential, and to take on new challenges”.
“It is confidence in our bodies, minds, and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures.”- Oprah Winfrey
Having a coach, boosts self-confidence, especially when you start seeing your goals being reached and bypassed – this builds self-efficacy and you will feel you can actually do everything you set out to do, heck, you may end up royally raising the bar for yourself in your life as a result! Sometimes people start feeling they can actually master the world. You’ll both believe.
Coaching provides guidance, encouragement, correction, motivation, life clutter clean up, support, accountability, mental strength training, forward momentum and balance. With me it is all done with evidence based principles from psychological and behavioural sciences. Life is too short not to live it to the full! I think coaching is the single best investment you’ll make; you build knowledge, develop skills, learn deeply and have incredible experiences during and as a result of coaching. Don’t wait until you feel you need a coach. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Don’t wait for the pain to outweigh that mediocrity.
There are some wonderful coaches out there, go track them down. I only work with a very specific type of person for coaching, if you’d like to discover more about it, get in touch with me and let’s organise a time to talk. In a nut shell though, you want some one that will teach you how to learn whether your silver and gold investments will go up or down, not someone who is aksing himself, will silver go up?