Shifts, shifts, shifts. The work of Professional Coaching is all about facilitating long-term sustainable shifts - which is entirely different than tricks, hacks and shortcuts.
I noticed a false and disheartening belief, (originally) in myself while being coached, and now, often within my clients. So many of us wrongly assume habits that have been nurtured and cultivated for decades can be undone in weeks or even in one moment - if only we could learn how! So we consume endless books, articles and podcasts - and we are in a perpetual search for the one guru, Coach, or therapist who can just give us the answer that will change our life around. We confuse information with transformation and wonder why we’re becoming more informed but not more at ease.
To give you a clearer idea of these tricky patterns, let me share a few of the damaging ones I regularly come across in my work with high-performing clients. These patterns create incremental, and overtime, exponential suffering for many of us:
- Saying yes to please people at a cost to our well-being and resources.
- Moving so fast through our days that we don’t enjoy and appreciate anyone or anything that’s not going at the same extraordinary speed.
- Avoiding uncomfortable but fundamentally life-changing conversations (sometimes for years and decades).
- Playing small and paying the daily cost of carrying that knowledge deep within us.
- Waiting - and endlessly playing the When/Then mind game - When I ------------- then I will --------------. We can fill the blank with any circumstance and desired action, and it’s still a mind trap.
- Not showing up for ourselves because we equate it with an inevitable fight.
- Feeling that life is always “happening” to us and we are at the effect of all the circumstances in our lives, endlessly being pushed around like a dinghy in the ocean.
The good news is that these are not characteristics we are born with like our eye color. We were not born confused, frozen, defensive, avoidant and moving at warp speed! These are just habits and patterns that have been systematically - if not intentionally - cultivated and practiced for longer than we can remember. As with any skill, like cooking, playing the piano, or speaking French, decades of consistent practice will lead to mastery.
Those of us who choose to make the investment of time and attention, are 100% capable of releasing these old patterns that make our days feel like a heavy boulder we are destined to carry around for a lifetime. Once we are truly and deeply aware of the specific mind traps that are causing our damaging behavior, we can shift to a whole new world of possibility, where we can begin experimenting with patterns, skills, tools, and behaviors that make life more peaceful, collaborative and fun!
Is this an overnight job? Not in my opinion, and I urge you to be cautious with anyone who promises you fast and immediate transformation. Band-Aid Coaching is cheap and abundant, and sometimes we can all use a Band-Aid. But Transformational Coaching is the kind of work that dives to the root of a problem to remove the destructive thought patterns and create unique, personal and powerful new ways to create continuously helpful, useful, and life-affirming shifts.
This is an overtime, not an overnight journey, and it’s the most worthwhile investment any of us can make.
P.S. I’m committed to sharing my Life Coaching skills and tools out into the world, in the hope that it can help others. If this blog resonates with you, please consider forwarding it to anyone who may benefit from it. If this was forwarded to you, subscribe here.