Life Coaching – It’s everywhere.
Like a new craze, it seems that everyone either has a life coach, is a life coach, or is gushing with the importance of having a life coach. There is no escaping it, people have had their lives changed by the tools and motivation given to them by this ‘new’ phenomenon.
Last week, I found myself at a health and healing seminar. This seminar gave the microphone to some pretty impressive speakers, one of which held up a diagram – a diagram that seemed oddly familiar.
This diagram consisted of a large circle with a smaller one drawn inside. Most people around me rushed to copy this diagram into their notes and listened attentively to the explanation. The circle of control, the speaker explained, is a tool to help you focus on what is within your control and letting go of things which are not. As I listened, I realised where I had seen this tool before.
Stephen Covey’s incredibly successful book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, was a game-changer for me. In a slump, frustrated with things I had no control over, and desperate for someone to tell me what to do, I grabbed this book from my shelf. 7 Habits is one of those books that everyone talks about, recommends, and it ends up on a bookshelf, waiting for us to find the time and the willpower to invest in it. I had reached breaking point and grabbed it, not expecting the dynamic change in mentality that came with it. I will happily admit that Stephen Covey’s masterpiece became my life coach.
The knowledge is out there. These tools and revolutionary ideas are available for anyone to digest – they just need the willpower and motivation to change.
And that is where life coaches come in:
They are cheerleaders on your path to change.
They are stepping-stones to the tools you need to improve your quality of life.
They are the inspiration to guide you towards your goals and away from self-destructive thoughts and habits.
However, life coaches are not “hired help”. You cannot expect them to swoop in and fix your life for you, to dictate what you should say, what you should do, and how you should act. Life coaching is about taking control of your own life, not hiring someone to fashion a life you desire so you can simply step into it.
Sat in that seminar, I realised I had been my own life coach for a long time. Being a rather private person, the idea of opening myself and my problems to a complete stranger and allowing them to tell me how to fix my life was not an appealing concept. I’ve always longed for independence when it comes to knowledge and skills, and this was no different. I can coach myself, I thought. Which I did – to a certain point.
I had the knowledge, I knew what I needed to do – I just couldn’t do it. I sat wallowing for a few months, still lacking the motivation to pick myself up and do what needed to be done. Then I received a message from LaYinka Sanni, Founder of Evolve & Emerge – I had a 1-to-1 session with her that I had completely forgotten about. As I had worked with LaYinka before through writing and editing, she wasn’t a complete stranger, and the thought of talking to her was more comforting than anyone else. Hesitantly, I arranged a date and time.
Sister LaYinka was my cheerleader. Her kind words, insightful questions, and words of wisdom helped me to work through some mental barriers. Being able to purge certain thoughts from my mind was pretty liberating, and I realised that holding onto those thoughts had clogged up my mind, preventing me from doing what needed to be done.
My journey is by no means done, but it is off to a good start. But you see, life coaching is all about finding that person to spur you on and support you, not fix your life for you. That information is already out there (personal development is a HUGE industry!) You can be your own life coach, if you have the motivation for it. But if you have no desire to find the resources already available to you, then a life coach won’t be able to help you.
So, are you ready for a life coach? What steps have you taken in your personal development journey? What books would you recommend?
Let me know in the comments!