WHAT IS COACHING?
Coaching is simply shining a light. Light is enlightening. I love light. If we know there is a big spider in the corner because we got a glimpse of it, but didn’t see it very well, we might feel uncomfortable. If we shine a flashlight into the corner, we can see the spider and know what we are dealing with.
Coaching shines a light on our thoughts, feelings, actions, and options. It is fun and refreshing. “Oh, that’s all that’s going on here. That spider really isn’t as scary as I thought it would be. I can deal with that.”
Chatting with a life coach doesn’t have to be embarrassing. It doesn’t mean that we are weird or bad. It’s just for fun. A life coach uses tools such as curiosity, questions, and compassion. A coach helps you become aware of the tricks your brain is playing on you.
When we are in the middle of an issue, we don’t always see it clearly. Coaches help us mind-map. This is very useful because most of us have no idea what our thoughts and deep-seated beliefs are.
I am so fascinated to discover some of the things I have been thinking, such as “This world is a scary place. I have to be perfect so something bad doesn’t happen. I have to hurry.”
MY EXPERIENCE WITH GETTING COACHED
There are things I felt were impossible to overcome, such as overeating and worrying about what others thought of me. I tried everything. I tried counseling, nutrition, serving others, more time in prayer and scripture and so forth. Perhaps the problem was trying too hard.
Chatting with coaches helped me look at life with more curiosity and less seriosity, to ease up and lighten up, by becoming more aware of my brain.
Chatting with coaches has increased my peace, confidence and feelings of freedom. It has increased the light in my life.
I have not mastered everything, in fact I am sometimes hilariously imperfect, but I have good tools to help me deal with emotions, thoughts, habits, decision-making and relationships.
I coach myself every day. Here is an example:
I was running some errands in Salt Lake City. All was going smoothly until I had to find an address which GPS didn’t recognize. I called for instructions, several times. I was given too many steps at once. I realized later that the person giving instructions assumed I was familiar with all the tricky freeways. She left out some important steps and added some unnecessary details. I was trying hard to concentrate while driving in the rush hour traffic and maneuvering roads I was unfamiliar with.
I started to feel frustrated, then angry. I acknowledged the emotions and started to talk to myself. “This is not a problem. I didn’t hit any deer while driving up to the city. I have allotted extra time. This woman is patiently guiding me. I’m happy to be doing this errand for my cute husband.”
Those thoughts helped but the feelings were still lingering, because I was trying to create reassuring thoughts before I discovered which negative thoughts were causing the problem.
One coach, Jody Moore, says that our emotions are always a result of our thoughts, not the result of other people or circumstances, although sometimes we need to limit our exposure to certain people and circumstances because they can make it harder to manage our thoughts, but they don’t cause our thoughts and emotions.
“So, if my feelings of frustration are truly not from disjointed instructions or getting lost, what are my thoughts? What am I thinking right now? I felt very curious. What thoughts are causing my frustration and anger?”
Just by asking the question, the answer presented itself. I was subconsciously thinking, “I can’t do it right! I’m never going to get this right!” The awareness of the thoughts made me smile and the emotions dissipated. “Of course I’m going to figure this out.” (It’s not always that easy.)
Chatting with coaches and practicing what they teach me has changed my life.
How can I not share this?
Think about it: We go to a mechanic to get our cars running smoothly. We go to a trainer to get our bodies running smoothly. So why don’t we go to a life coach to smooth out a few quirks in our lives? Everyone has quirks. This is not a problem. It’s just an opportunity to look at it differently and try on some new ideas.
Even my amazing coaches have coaches.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO FEEL THE BENEFITS?
One single conversation filled with questions and curiosity can open up interesting insights. But a dozen or more conversations can multiply the benefits.
I had a long conversation with a coach who charges mega-bucks and will only coach for a full year, because he has found that a year is how long it takes to make deep lasting changes in life.
For me, true change required immersing myself in the coaching world, for at least an hour a day. After a few months I realized I was thinking differently and feeling differently.
I love being a life coach because it reinforces the concepts I have learned, and I love helping others.
There are a lot of coaches who coach in specific niches, such as grief, weight loss, computer skills, marriage, parenting, finances, writing, and sports.
COMMENTS FROM CLIENTS I HAVE COACHED
I am not sharing these comments to draw attention or accolades to myself. I simply want to give you a taste of the power of coaching.
You could be a coach too if you wanted to.
“I have learned a lot of cognitive processes and strategies to better understand myself and how to regulate my thoughts. Jill is refreshing and someone who genuinely loves the people she coaches. She wants me to genuinely succeed in all areas of life.”
“Jill has helped me through a painful, life-altering change. She brings hope and helps me feel that all these troubles are not a problem, but a chance to alter my course and look at life in a completely new way by being in truth. Just her voice and energy make me feel strong and peaceful.”
“I loved our session. Jill helped lift me up, spiritually and mentally. She is such a blessing. I would recommend her to everyone.”
“Jill has helped me realize that my thoughts create problems when I spend so much of my life trying to prevent or solve for other people. In a completely loving and nonjudgmental way, she helps me focus on loving myself into healthy behaviors, rather than trying to change others. Doing less means I can be more.”
“What I gained from my life coaching sessions is more patience and calm, more joy, and more gratitude for myself, my life and others. Jill provided simple, yet powerful tools to alter my thinking, which translates to my actions. There were some answers I was looking for, and Jill asked the questions that helped me to uncover the answers I already had within myself. I feel that the foundation for her knowledge and insights are laid by the love, acceptance, and understanding that emanates from her, which I felt made me especially receptive to learn from her.”
Dear readers of this article, my invitation to you is to go find the right coach for you. Try it out. Discover how you might increase your clarity, joy, confidence, and peace.