Are You Thinking of Hiring a Coach?
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I am not a coach. My work fits the well-being industry because I'm passionate about designing better ways of living while inviting change for the world we need. After researching about personal development and how we change, it seems that growth-work is never as easy as promised, nor can it be outsourced —as we are made to believe.
In coaching, there is much one can do. Attending webinars, completing tests and trainings, participating in discussions, and filling out questionnaires that boost our motivation; all these help us frame our mindset for change while resolving HOW we will get where we want to be. Coaching is about drafting a story and a route to change.
Once the story is ready, we start to live it and —in a SOLO adventure— we change. Welcome, and… good luck with that. I'm not saying coaching isn’t helpful, I simply think it is unnecessarily expensive and time-consuming when the outcome doesn't meet our expectations.
Why can it be disappointing? The resulting story from the coaching sessions may work like any upbeat Pop song that eventually wears off. In the meantime, and with mantra-like intensity, our inner critic advocates for its tune: “Don't go changing…I love you just the way you are”. Parallel to this, there is also less accountability, and our motivation loses momentum.
There may be an even more complex reason. More often than we think, we fail to be honest with ourselves and our desires. I’m surprised at how often I misled myself in designing my work and life story each time we moved to a new country. I dreamed it, lived it and eventually sabotaged it. Every new place has undertones that hit one's perception of reality; each culture has its unique way of making sense of things. Moving requires you to become someone you don't know yet. Amid the challenge of adapting, my inner critic trashed me every time, until I found Walt Whitman's poem Song of Myself, 51.
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
We are contradictory beings. One day we conceive a great idea, and the next, we may feel we are deluding ourselves. Learning to live while listening to our cluttered minds is hard; it creates the illusion of different voices arguing in a collage of viewpoints.
A few years ago, I hired a career coach. My inner voices sabotaged the flow, and the sessions progressed in weird loops. My coach, intelligent and experienced, struggled with me. I was disappointed at the time. However, eventually, I realised I'm accountable for: cleaning my mental clutter and aligning my voices into a decent script.
Before planning any story, it makes sense to consider if we are being honest with what we want. While exploring the concept of our Home within, I found Martha Beck and her approach to honesty Self-sabotaging happens because we don't know ourselves well enough.
It's possible to choose a coach assertively if one's intention and focus feel solid. Even then, to change, it is best to revise our Home Within. Change needs a holistic approach; it requires an alignment that transcends one's mind. Otherwise, it can feel like swimming against the stream of the life force we are.
Aside from coaching sessions, one needs time and space to be with oneself, listening to one’s voice(s) and emotions. When one allows Time and Space, it's possible to clean the mental chatter and find clarity. I've found some solid ground: 1) learning to curb my inner critic and 2) finding essential truths. I will be writing about it. If you are interested, sign in to my newsletter here.