My heart aches for a client. She has had unspeakable things done to her as a child. However, despite that, she has made a successful life for herself…but at this particular crossroad, her confidence feels shattered. Also, her husband’s heart feels a million miles away from her even though they are still married and have great kids. Then, to top things off, she grapples with having the energy levels for her high energy job, much less having the energy it will seemingly take to make positive changes in her life. So, the tears flow.
This client is not the first client to come into coaching with such a heavy heart. Usually, a first question they ask is, “Where do I begin? I feel so overwhelmed.” So….we grab our shovels and begin to dig around. The following is an overview of some “first steps” toward lasting change.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: In coaching, this “digging around” is about finding the nuggets of not only what really hurts but what is in her that she can further develop as tools (her strengths). Also, we really assess her truest values (and this is not always what people think). We, then, look at her deepest fears, core beliefs, and the top two needs that are driving her. Then, our work also sheds light on habits that are keeping her stuck. Sometimes this can be quite the surprising step.
DECIDE WHERE TO GO: The most complex question I have found in coaching is asking the client, “What do you truly want from this opportunity?” After we laugh about wanting a magic wand to change her husband or co-worker or pocketbook, we get to the heart of what she wants from what she is saying she wants. Sometimes, however, due to so much unbelief that anything could ever change, clients have lots of difficulty giving themselves permission to look deeply into their heart to discover what their deepest, truest desires include…..a vision for their future life.
BE THE CHANGE: As we come to a clearer vision, before we can go any further, as Gandhi has said, “We must [first] be the change we want to see in the world.” Although this can be quite the challenging step, once a person “gets it,” they begin to see ripple effects in other people, circumstances, and opportunities in their lives they never thought possible. Sadly, this is also where some people choose to stop working if they do not have strategic support. They do not feel comfortable enough with the uncertainty that a next stepping stone will exist. So, I hold her hand, provide the structure for change and help clear the path with specific strategies.
After all the digging around, unearthing stepping stones and planting seeds of strategy, the most amazing event occurs. A most beautiful life is revealed in ways that can only come from the Divine.
I love my job!