A lot of people out there write about coaching as if having a 45-minute call every two weeks for six months is going to transform a client's life from today's reality to a state of nirvana...where all their dreams have suddenly come true.
That is simply not possible!
By the time you get to the place where your dreams have come true, you will realize that your dreams have never been true. For most of us, our dreams are a bit fuzzy, because they are not based in a solid understanding of who we really are.
Let's face it, the reason you got into coaching in the first place is that you realize you were doing something wrong in your life. You realized that the life you were leading was completely dissonant with your true nature. In the worst case, you recognized that were seriously at risk of becoming a zombie. That revelation is huge, and it starts the process of living your life "on purpose" - so congratulations, Coaches!
Knowing what you are not does not equal knowing what you are.
If you are a coach, you are very likely not in this profession to make a ton of money, and not even really (just) to help others - you're here to figure out who you are and to become a better version of yourself. The amazing thing about that is...miraculously, as you hike up the mountain toward your destiny, you will guide your clients on their own journey toward their truth.
"Wherever you go, there you are."
Consider the following scenario – it's something I hear coaches say happens to them all the time:
You're struggling with a challenge in your life (maybe your work is turning you into a zombie, you manage your time with the attention span of a squirrel, you're (wrongly) blaming your spouse for the level of difficulty in your life, you just feel like sitting on your ass on the couch all day, etc.)...
Then, the phone rings for your next coaching session, and you ask your client the question you are supposed to ask:
"What would you like coaching on today?"
The next words out of your client's mouth speak straight to your struggling soul - their story is your story!
And NOW...magic can happen – that is, as long as you are able to stay "over there" with your client in Level II and III listening and not make it about you.
The magic that happens is that you can see the topic (your topic!) from a totally new, unbiased perspective. Suddenly, the powerful questions that you couldn't fathom asking yourself just pop-up in your brain matter. You powerfully belt them out to your clients, not letting them off the hook - no matter what.
Their answers resonate with you, your intuition blazes like the stadium lights at the Super Bowl, the back-and-forth with your client is electric, and all the while...you know that as your client figures himself out, you are starting to chip away at the frozen tundra that has surrounded your authentic self for years. You feel warm inside, because you know the ice is starting to melt.
Photo by: Natalie Lucier
This ice is not just a cube floating in a a glass of cola...this ice is the B15 iceberg, and you can damn-well spend the next 20 to 50 years trying to melt it...that is why you can't imagine not coaching people.
That is why you're able to really listen to the cashier at the grocery store, and you feel compelled to ask her a question about her values or her dreams or her fears. You feel compelled to ask everyone you meet about their lives, because you see yourself in them, and you are curious as a Thundercat to uncover yourself.
And, so...maybe in 20 to 50 years, you will be living your dream life, but that dream will be grounded in an authentic sense of truth about your being that is totally unflappable, because you've been studying it for decades.
That is why you will no longer care what people say about you, because everything they say is merely something they see on the outside: you're not funny, you're too fat, you're bald, you're a bit hunched over, your house is too small, your ego is too big, you make too much money, you're a shallow bastard...
None of that matters to you, because you know who you are.
Keep coaching for your own sake – it's what will keep you motivated to live in service of your clients for the rest of your days!
More importantly, it's what matters to them...it's what matters to coaching.