Hello! Welcome to this new space and blog category dedicated to coaching and all the benefits adds to our lives. I will be updating this space and category weekly, with coaching tips, advice, techniques and the occasional tools and worksheets that you can fill out on your own to help you with your growth and development.
In my experience, as someone who has had the privilege of being coached by many exceptional people recently in my life, and a coach to several brilliant clients, coaching is a beautiful and insightful journey of exploration, new discoveries, growth and transformation. It is why I found coaching to be my calling, and my vehicle to be able to help people step out of conditioned responses and focus on what makes sense to them.
Coaching completely transformed my life, quite literally, from death; it transformed me from somebody that I would routinely say was a “failure and a nobody” into someone who conquered her fears, discovered herself, and is ready to take on any challenge the world throws at her.
In my case, I was my own coach, quite accidentally. As a two-time traumatic brain injury survivor, and as a person who comes from a culture that is still coming to terms with the importance of mental wellbeing, I felt like I had no sources for help. So, I dug into the trenches to do the hard work on myself, on my own. Through a mind-blowing amount of research, introspection, meditation, self-analysis, and trial and error, it took just over fifteen years for me to realize the truth about my potential. Fifteen years that could have been spent differently if I had the support I was seeking but didn’t have. It was brutal, and in many instances, would have been easier if I realized that what I was doing was coaching. But, truth be told, I had no idea that’s what it was.
Once I went through my journey, because of my background as a social psychologist who studied culture, interpersonal relationships and overall human behavior, I found out that I could see and understand other people’s struggles with “wholeness” quickly, and, deeply. I started helping out those who reached out to me with such dilemmas. It wasn’t until one of my best friends, who had recently had a coaching experience, compared the two that I realized I had found my calling. This is exactly why I decided to become a certified ICF coach. I want to be that support for my clients, so they don’t have to spend fifteen, or even five years stuck in misery, self-doubt, and, at a loss for a solution. And even though I wrote a book on it, I still find more things to say about what coaching is, as an exceptional form of support to guide anyone toward manifesting their dreams and seeing themselves in ways they never dreamed they would. The client, though, has to be ready and willing to invest in themselves. It is a present and future oriented perspective specifically designed to focus entirely on YOU.
Coaching is a very effective tool, whether used in the short-term or over several years. The amount of coaching you choose will depend on how invested you are in discovering who you are and what makes you tick. With a trained coach, your coaching journey will never be a temporary fix.. Coaching originated out of multiple disciplines, including positive psychology, organizational behavior, adult learning theories, cognitive science, and other social sciences. Specifically, its roots in positive psychology shape the entire coaching mindset and philosophy of trained coaches: any clients who seek coaching come to us with all the resources they need to grow and transform themselves. These resources however, are most often buried under self-doubt, self-sabotage, fixed mindsets, lack of confidence, external problems and judgments and a plethora of other issues that distract focus and attention from the progress that the clients seek.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of blogs out there covering this topic. But, as I mentioned earlier, what coaching means to every coach is just as individual as what the coaching journey is to every client. So, without any further ado, I’d like to launch right into the first step of this journey by exploring what coaching is to me.
1.) Coaching to me means direct and bold communication from both my clients and me. This is actually quite a risky endeavor, and it also means that not all clients are ideal for me. Some clients prefer coaches who are gentle, supportive, and hold their hands through the process. This absolutely does not mean that I’m brutal, cold, or heartless. Compassion, kindness and tact are the foundations that all coaches operate from. The partnerships I co-create with my clients are sacred, safe, non-judgmental spaces. My clients don’t pay me to not pay attention to them. They pay me for my explicit focus on their growth, development and success. And this requires transparent, honest, direct communication about the patterns I observe, and the insights I come upon in the course of the conversation.
2.) Coaching means calling my clients out on any inconsistencies in the stories they may be telling themselves. It is about tactfully, gently and firmly cutting through all the lies we bog ourselves down with, whether these lies come from the outside or from within us. In my opinion, the foundation of my entire LEGupward coaching program is based on self-discovery, growth and development. The journey to that has to start within each and every one of my clients, by examining what they are telling themselves, and how they think about themselves. It requires addressing internal inconsistencies so that my clients can holistically align their identities with their values, mission, purpose and goals. I would not be doing my job well if I didn’t point out inconsistencies in this process. Sometimes, this requires tough questions. But these are questions that empower my clients to realize that there might be hidden opportunities for growth that they’re missing because they are not being true to their core values, and their inner fires.
3.) Being a coach means moving my clients forward BECAUSE of the uniqueness of their life situations and past problems, not in spite of them. Every person in the world has some kind of problems that are uniquely their own. There is not a single situation, even including natural disasters and global catastrophes, where everyone’s subjective experience is not unique. I truly believe that it is this matchlessness of each person’s journey that makes them the experts of their own lives, despite their past problems. This perspective also allows me to respect cultural idiosyncrasies and enables me to be a culturally competent coach. My clients come to me because they want to improve themselves. I honor that they are all warriors of their own quests. What I help with is empowering them to learn and forge the best way forward that honors this individuality.
As a coach, I help my clients learn about their own values, strengths and resources, and ask them questions so that they can come up with ways to utilize them most effectively toward their personal growth and development. I support them in getting to their “why” so that they can realize their “what” and build up their “how” towards their own definitions of success and transformation. I do this with a well-developed tool kit that consists of several instruments designed to help the clients understand themselves and their core values, motivations and setbacks, in a profound way. Using the insights gained from these explorations, my clients then develop well-designed actions to move forward in ways that make sense to them, and, I hold them accountable as they make progress. In this way, I provide service that empowers my clients to find tremendous meaning, value, connection, and confidence within themselves. I also help them find opportunities in their obstacles and setbacks, so that failure is put in the place it rightfully belongs – as a stepping-stone to growth.
Over the next few weeks and months, you’ll have a chance to get a much more in-depth view of the coaching profession, my coaching practice, and me, as I share tips, advice and tools to help you think about yourself. I am excited about this journey, and, about sharing with you what I’ve learned about my own ever-expanding potential and growth as a coach and as a person.
Until next week, I hope you Learn, Empower and Grow, in the most magical and surprising ways!