Get a Coach, Save Your Life!

Get A Coach, Save Your Life!

Most people these days are familiar with coaching in one context or another. At the very least, you're familiar with coaching in sports. If you've been in business or professional circles, you've also probably heard of life, career or business coaching, but what is coaching, really? There are many common perceptions. Here are some of them. Coaching is:

  • giving advice on how to do something better
  • a motivational speech or pep talk to an individual or a team so they can win the championship
  • a form of hand holding for when someone is going through a time of great distress or challenge, i.e. a way to boost someone up after life has beaten them down
  • another name for counseling or therapy in which the client is guided to express their feelings about the past and thereby resolve the blocks and issues in their life.

While coaches will sometimes give advice, a pep talk, do compassionate hand holding, or guide someone to express their feelings, these things have little to do with what coaching is really about. Over the years, I've learned that few people really understand what coaching is about and this even includes people who use the term quite a bit.

My purpose here is to clear the air and clarify the true nature, depth and power of the coaching relationship. My intention is to illustrate why utilizing a coach is a virtual necessity in today's world.

It's okay if you consider my title to be extreme. I suggest you revisit it after reading this article. You will then understand why so many people hire coaches today and why coaching is not just for althletes and high level executives. You will ultimately discover that coaching, like friendship, is for everyone and is far more accessible and affordable than you might have been led to believe.

Before we can capture the essence of coaching, we need to introduce and define the term empowerment. What does it mean to empower someone? Unfortunately, you will not get very far looking up this word in dictionary because dictionary definitions of this term tend to be about 200 years out of date. Here's our working definition.

To Empower is to spark or ignite (as a catalyst) a person's own power so they can be, do or have whatever they want in their life. Empowerment has the effect of naturally activating a person's already existing resourcefulness, creativity and confidence.

Empowerment is very different from helping, saving or rescuing. In a relationship of empowerment, the guide or coach is acting as a catalyst, a partner in discovery, a compassionate, non judgemental friend and possibly a committed listener able to reflect your promises, commitments, values, standards, ideals, beliefs and life vision. They guide you to make the shifts! This is pretty potent stuff.

Empowering relationships can be simple and innocent. They can also be substantive and deep. They are characterized by a foundation of caring, respect and unconditional positive regard.

Please take a moment to reflect on a past or present relationship with this quality. Maybe it was the positive influence of a good friend or teacher. The relationship may have felt special, even pivotal yet often viewed as just the result of coincidence. The truth is that empowering relationships can be created intentionally!

I'm aware that for many people reading this, relationships based on empowerment will be new and will take some learning and practice. That's okay. The important thing to know is that these skills can be learned and the benefits are very far reaching. In fact, once you have had a taste of what this is like, it is unlikely you'll settle for anything less in the future.

So, what is coaching?
Coaching is a dynamic and empowering relationship in which the coach empowers the client to win at whatever games in life they are playing.

I am deliberately using the game metaphor here to make a point. We often have a tendency to get serious about the things that are important to us and in so doing we get a bit heavy. Part of good coaching is helping you lighten up, take things less seriously, and have more fun. As a result, you accomplish more too.

What do I mean by winning? Is there a competition? No! Im using the word winning here to simply represent getting the result or outcome you want. Coaching is result focused. There's a process of growth, but the emphasis is on outcomes. The desired outcome will vary greatly. For some, it is success with a job, career or business. For others, the focus might be on relationships, family or health or it could also involve changes in emotional patterns, beliefs or spiritual dimensions of life. Coaching can encompass any area and is limited only by what you believe it can be.

How will having a coach be beneficial?
There are many ways in which a skilled coach can have a profound impact on your life. In the following section, I will share some of the major areas in which coaching relationships have extraordinary impact. By relating these to what is presently happening now, you'll get some clues as to how a coach will be valuable at this time.

Discovering the many facets of YOU
A skilled coach is able to observe and listen in a particular way. Your coach can discern how you're limiting yourself in ways you're not presently seeing. Your coach is able to ask you powerful questions that will prompt you to look in places you usually don't look and into aspects of your world that are largely unknown or transparent to you. This then becomes a major source of new discoveries and insights.

Here's a concrete example. Consider asking someone, what they really want in their life that they do not presently have. They will give you some answer. You might be inclined to accept their answer on face value and not delve into it further. However, if you decided to explore it a little deeper you will often uncover a whole set of assumptions, perceptions, beliefs and labels which are largely transparent or invisible to this person.

As your conversation progresses and you return to your initial question what do you really want? You may very well get different answers than when you started. It is as if, delving even a little bit into their world peels away some layers of the onion and, in so doing, the person is able to uncover progressively deeper layers of themselves and their own truth. You may have experienced this phenomenon even in informal conversation.

Without this deeper level of clarity, many people wind up living their lives based on very superficial even distorted ideas of themselves and the world around them. From this limited view, only a tiny fraction of your potential is achievable.

You may believe everything is okay but relative to what? This is not that different from the hamster on the wheel racing feverishly but going nowhere fast. The bottom line is that you simply cannot know what you do not know until you know it. The coach is the catalyst, empowering you to see a far bigger, richer landscape.

Passion, Purpose and Commitment
Now let’s move on to some other aspects of coaching. A skilled coach is able to elicit your purpose and commitment in unique and powerful ways. When you're clear on your commitments, born of clarity and passion, rather than obligation or shoulds, you become on fire and you're able to accomplish extraordinary things.

From this place, motivation is natural and sustainable because it comes from within. You do not need to be jacked up every Monday morning to get back to work. You're heart is in it all the way. When was the last time if ever you felt this way about your job or business?

A skilled coach can elicit your vision of the future and guide you to create this vision as real for yourself now. When you get in touch with your vision NOW, you ignite your power once again.

The more emotionally connected you are with your vision, the more you attract the people, situations and opportunities consistent with this vision. In normal everyday conversation, you will not usually find individuals who care enough or are skilled enough to serve in this role.

A skilled coach not only serves you in this way, he or she teaches you how to become self reflecting so you're able to make future discoveries on your own.

Getting out of your Comfort Zone
Coaches instinctively know how to empower you to move beyond your comfort zone where you tend to play it safe. Working with a coach, you're invited to take (appropriate) risks, venture into new territories allowing new opportunities to emerge.

This does not mean doing something you are not ready to take on but it does mean staying on your growth edge. Unless you're one of the few natural risk takers, you will naturally tend to play it safe and not even know something larger is available. A coach is able to point out a more expansive landscape.

Communication, Networking & Marketing
Let's move on to the all-important topic of communication, the foundation of all your achievement in the world. A skilled coach can empower you to build on your communication strengths and overcome your communication challenges. Your coach will give you honest feedback and empower you to be more effective in all your relationships.

Since networking is an essential tool today, your coach can help with your networking and relationship building skills and strategy. This affects every aspect of your professional and personal life.

Job Search
If you're presently challenged in your job search, skilled coaching will likely accelerate your results significantly. Maybe you're one of the people who has operated in "lone ranger isolation mode" not making many connections with others. If this is the case, your coach can empower you to achieve the critical breakthroughs. I hope you are clear that without key contacts and alliances, you're clearly not going to get very far.

If you work with a coach who is knowledgeable about social media sites like linkedin, Facebook and Twitter, they'll be able to recommend specific strategies for building a network quickly.

Important: In the present economy, it is your network and key contacts which represent your chief asset for the future. This is the source of your opportunities and cash flow. It is time to let go of the outdated notion of job security.

Taking Action, Getting Results and Building Confidence
What is the number one obstacle getting in the way for most people? Taking Action! Studies show that most individuals are creatures of habit and tend to continue doing the same things in the same way which often means doing nothing at all.

As I'm sure you're aware, efforts on the part of people to bring about change is usually ineffective. There are a whole host of reasons why this is the case. Your coach is able to work with you on the fears, patterns and internal conflicts, etc. that hold you back. Are you ready for a breakthrough?

The tool we use for this at Breakthrough Coaching is called The The Confidence-Success Spiral. In simplest terms it is a tool, which, once fully embraced, allows you to consistently generate momentum, excitement, energy and results. The Spiral, in a nutshell, is about making winning a habit and therefore winning consistently.

The Confidence-Success Spiral is based on the simple principle that winning is the optimum healing agent and the best fuel for your success engine. It is based on years of research with a wide variety of people who started out stuck and demoralized. The application of this tool has helped turn around people's lives during just three to four months. How was this achieved? Through winning!

Shifting Your Beliefs
The most significant aspect of your reality map is your beliefs. Beliefs are usually formed at an early age without the young child realizing the long term consequences.

Over time, the experiences arising from these beliefs reinforce the "correctness" of the beliefs so your conviction in the belief becomes even stronger. Eventually, you forget that you have the belief yet it continues to operate behind the scenes defining and limiting the life experience you can have.

A skilled coach, especially one who is trained in NLP, will work with you to identify the specific beliefs holding you back and revise them. Our belief shifting process is available to all our subscribers.

Okay, coaching is a good thing, now what?
By now, you have hopefully gotten the idea that having a coach is a good thing. A coach might not save your life in a physical sense, but if coaching can have a great impact on the quality of your life, it will be tantamount to saving the life you want to live, i.e. the life really worth living, so you are not just existing or surviving! What is this worth to you?

Getting started
Your first most important step is our complimentary career assessment session. This will allow us to get a good picture of your present situation, what you are most seeking now and your best course of action.

Questions for further exploration:
How do you feel about the prospect of having a coach with the skills described in this article?

If you were able to work with a coach like this, what areas would you want to focus on and what would you like to accomplish?

If you were able to achieve these results, how would your life be different? How would this feel to you? Is it worth it to put forth some effort to making this happen?