We all have a lot of options and avenues to improve our health and well being these days. We have fitness gyms, yoga and pilates classes, meditation retreats, walking groups, sporting clubs, and dozens of different dietary approaches and diets plans like; intermittent fasting, paleo, keto, vegan, and so on. For others a little more curious or adventurous, there is cold water therapy, sauna and steam room exposure, and red light therapy to name just a few more. So where does life coaching as a health and well being strategy fit in here exactly..?
As a professional life coach, and someone who has spent the majority of my life exploring spirituality and personal development, I know the value and the power of life coaching. I have witnessed it. I have experienced it. I have demonstrated it as a coach.
I also know that most people have very little idea what that coaching value and power is, what coaching actually is, or that the value in having a personal coach can help them maximise their health in a more present and holistic way.
That may sound a little vague and a pretty big claim to make to some people, so lets shed some light on the subject, and see if I can help you understand that value a little more.
I would like you to think back to a time in your life when a person truly touched you, built you up, instilled self belief, supported you, trusted you, believed in you, and absolutely was there for you.
Do you remember how you felt back then? Did that person inspire you? Did they encourage you to step up from where you were to new ways of seeing your life or world? Did they help you more clearly navigate the challenges or issues in your life at that time? Did you feel they truly understood you perhaps, or that they provided a supportive and non judgmental relationship for you to simply be you?
"The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." - Albert Einstein
We have all had those times when that special someone truly touched us with their presence, acknowledgement, and their listening. We felt heard. We felt listened to. Do you remember such a time? If you do, what came next? Where did that lead you to? What happened as a result of that, or in having those transformational conversations?
Did you feel better as a result of this person being in your life? Did this persons presence lift your spirits? Did the conversation/s with that person open new doors or possibilities for you? Did it help you see some light at the end of the tunnel perhaps?
Many of us do not get to truly experience the support, acknowledgement and the listening we need to go to new levels of appreciating life and ourselves. We are so caught up in the treadmill and the grind of daily life, that we don't take the necessary time out to truly experience who it is we are, the gifts we have to share, the talents we have to move us forward in new directions.
The fact is that many of us get stuck living a life we think we should live - or more to the point, living a life that others think we should live. We fell into a job, a relationship, a situation, and somehow just accepted it as being the way life is, or just another story in the struggle that is seen by many as being the lot of the average person.
Is that lifelong approach or mindset healthy do you think? Will any amount of workout sessions, organic foods, or pilates sessions, or tennis on Wednesdays for that matter, help you to go beyond that way of existing or struggling in your life?
Probably not. In fact, they will simply be add-ons or distractions perhaps that are unable to fundamentally and meaningfully bring the change and the conditions you need to go beyond that feeling of struggle and just going through the motions of a living someone elses version of the life you are living.
I was fortunate enough to recently have a conversation with a person I coached with 6 or 7 years ago. To see how she has grown, to see the opportunities she stepped up to and created, to witness the way life worked out for her - some things in truly magical and miraculous ways I might add, really hits home to me the value of life coaching in relationship with another person. And this is not just my opinion - it is something we both readily acknowledge. We know the power of transformational coaching and in having transformational conversations.
As a quick note regarding the above, we both agreed to follow up with 10 more coaching sessions in 2020. The progress and the tangible, quantifiable, measurable, demonstrated results she was able to achieve in these sessions - and beyond them - was breathtaking. When life coaching is done with a competent, qualified and experienced life coach, coaching works!!!
"When your 'why' has heart, your 'how' gets legs." - Jon Vroman
Most professionals we see in our daily lives are 15 minute matter of fact appointments - they are transactional. You get a service. You pay. You move on.
When you begin your sessions with a competent, qualified, professional life coach, these appointments become transformational. You experience deep listening - in other words, you are being truly heard. You are genuinely and sincerely acknowledged for who you are, and what you bring to life - and what you are bringing to life.
You experience a level of presence and listening you rarely experience in any other form of relationship you have. What you experience is a professional who is connected, and connecting with you - someone who sees you as the expert in your own life. Someone who seeks to bring out your very best.
A misconception with people, and with a lot of coaches for that matter, is that coaching is all about setting goals and getting outcomes. This approach often fails to connect to the heart, the soul, and the being of a person. It often overlooks the deep inner desires or aspirations of a person, as it seeks to quickly tick another box, or set another goal - to get things done in other words. As a coach focused on transformational change, I see the above approach as being negligent and self serving at best. You find gold by digging for it - not clutching it out of thin air.
Give me just one deeply embedded, crystal clear goal in alignment and agreement with a persons values, beliefs and aspirations over twenty five tick box, outcome focused, ego based goals any day of the week!
"Infinite patience creates immediate results." - A Course In Miracles."
Our lives, just like our health, takes time. Building muscle and getting fit takes time. Moving to new levels of performance in any field takes time. Experimenting with new diets or foods takes time. So why is it that we race to set and achieve goals that we don't spend the necessary time to get right in the first place? Good things take time.
A professional coach, with a transformational change focused approach, is one of the pillars you can utilise in the quest for a balanced healthy life. Your life coach will be a genuine support system for you to truly live not just a better life, but a more connected life lived in alignment to those things and conditions you truly do value, love, appreciate, and aspire towards.
Craig Hedge is a professional life coach based in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.