Life Coaching Realities
- What Actually Happens?
The biggest reason we lie down and fester in a life which
doesn't suit us, is the certainty we feel - that there is no
way out. We've tried some stuff and it didn't work; it may even have made
things worse. And we don't see many of our friends stepping up to Great
New Lives either.
So when some geezer comes along inviting you to "live
the life of your dreams" in exchange for cash, it's hard to take
Here's a little secret...
Not many clients come to me with wonderful new
life-dreams and sacks-full of courage and positive energy to make their
dreams come true.
Most of my clients come to me because they are
finally so fed up, they'll try something new. And they see my money-back
guarantee, so they think "hey - why not give it a go?". They
think they have nothing to lose, and they are correct.
Let me show you what usually happens.
Before our first session, clients
describe their life situation to me through a special written exercise.
Before the session, I review it carefully.
Here's an example. One lady ("Jane") had a
stressful job, three unruly teenagers, a "problem husband" she
was drifting away from, an empty social life and money worries. Other
than that she was dandy :-)
We talked about where Jane wanted to be. I helped her
to overcome defeatism and negativity for long enough to paint a picture
of how she would like things to be. Even that is something she would not
have been able to do alone.
Let's take one small part of her new picture: Jane wanted
to re-build her relationship with her husband. But the stress of work
meant that making time for him was difficult. Also, his reclusive manner
and unwillingness to help with the children bred resentment and anger.
When she came home from a stressful working day, she was saddled with
the children, the housework and him. Jane was fueling their relationship
problems through her anger, which caused knock-on problems with the kids.
And that's just her relationship with her husband - only
one part of what she wanted to change. It's no wonder she could not see
a way out.
I liken these situations to large and complex knots of
string. All of the elements are inter-dependent. Choosing the best way
forward is like deciding which end of string to pull in order to untie
So I worked with my client using a special exercise to
see which area we would work on first, and she chose her husband. We spent
some time exploring what had gone on and how things were now. What were
the flash points? What behaviours made things worse, and what could we
change to make things better? This is not easy stuff.
Jane had to work hard on herself to swallow resentments, to make gestures
which put her out on a limb, and to "pay it forward". She made
some small but highly unusual gestures and this broke a pattern of ill-will
between them, and caused what I have termed the "avalanche effect":
a small event destabilises a situation, and a whole bunch of stuff
comes tumbling down.
Things weren't perfect, but Jane saw something close
to magic - her life was now a different shape - and a better one, and
it was down to her. This caused another avalanche effect, because
now she felt empowered. She had destroyed her own "nothing ever changes"
mind set, and things got easier and a lot more fun! We dropped session
frequency to once a fortnight.
Next up for overhaul was her working life. We looked
at what she did, and where the stressors were. We drew a picture of how
she wanted things to be. We found and tackled two big opportunities for
positive change. One happened fast - the other was a long-term investment.
With a better marriage and a better job, Jane was a very
much happier person; not only had she made practical changes which suited
her, but she had proven that change can happen, and she was hooked on
taking control of her life again.
Bottom line - over eight sessions, spanning three months
and costing £360 Jane is in a very different place. She didn't leap
off any cliffs, and she was always in control of her coaching. Small steps
gave her confidence to make big changes.
Is Jane "Living the Life of Her Dreams"? Probably
not, but she is much happier, and she is empowered to keep on making things
If you want to try it for yourself, just contact
the Next Step
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