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What is life coaching- and what can it do for you?

Have you ever wondered what life coaching is? Or perhaps what it isn’t? The word “coaching” is used so broadly it can be a little confusing what people mean when they say “I am a coach” or “I offer coaching”. One of the first questions prospective clients ask me is “What is coaching and what can it do for me?”

What is Life Coaching

From my understanding, the roots of coaching are firmly embedded in sports performance. Timothy Gallwey may well have written the first life coaching book with The Inner Game of Tennis.

He talks about using the body to learn new habits, embodying the feel of movement to create great, high-level performance. It’s a short step to embodying any new habit, including feeling confident, empowered, powerful and engaged in any number of daily life situations.

Any high performing athlete needs a coach to motivate, inspire, guide and improve physical and mental performance. So why not any person who wishes to perform at a higher level in any area of their life? Success is not assured, but the likelihood of improvements and achieving desired goals is highly increased.

Life Coaching for Everyone

The parallels with everyday life are massive. We all have goals. We all want to improve our performance, be it at work or in our private lives. Mind sets around showing up in relationships and creating the life you long for are essential for success. Life-limiting mind sets keep you stuck in old patterns. Finding mind sets that are aligned to your goals and values make success more likely.

Now, there are many ways to make this happen. There are books and courses and retreats, webinars and seminars, both on-line and off-line. There are executive coaches, therapists, financial coaches, counsellors, relationship coaches, consultants and life coaches.

When the word “coach” is made to mean the same as “consultant“, you might get an expert in a particular field. The client or coachee is expecting input from the coach/ consultant based on their experience in business say to advise and guide. Incredibly useful. I myself have used business coaches at certain points in my business development. This type of coaching or consulting is a step-by-step, incremental development as the client grows in knowledge and experience.

Co-active Life Coaching

The kind of life coaching I do, co-active life coaching, is transformational. Rather than step-by-step, incremental growth, the client experiences transformation. Evolving from caterpillar to butterfly.

For over 20 years I have taught martial arts. The Japanese word for that role is “sensei”. That roughly translates into English as teacher. Yet, as is so often with different languages, the work “sensei” means much more. It is one who cares for the physical, mental and emotional well-being of those that are supported by him. There is love, patience, compassion and a fierce longing for their true strength and power to reveal itself and manifest in ever area of their lives. It comes to each individual in its own time. Yet the sensei never stops longing for that truth and working with them to make that real in the world.

When I went into life coaching, I felt a natural affinity towards this type of coaching. It was a great fit. An extension of my “Sensei” role. And I could bring physical embodiment to my life coaching and greater emotional intelligence to my “Sensei” role. You can learn more here.

Life Coaching and Transformation

An example of this transformative process with one of my clients follows. Changes in perception and perspective in almost every call lead to massive shifts in action that gave new and exciting outcomes. The client’s life was literally transformed.

“I have been lucky enough to share a coaching journey with David that has been and still is a transformational experience……….What David brought to the game that was priceless, was an in depth exploration of these ideas and plans to put any changes into daily action. That’s where the real power of coaching is and with this depth has come great personal rewards….. I found that the positive benefits of exploring these concepts actually manifested themselves very powerfully after the sessions and are still going on now.

“David is an empathic and passionate coach who held my wishes as a client foremost in our relationship and gently but very firmly held me to my decisions and personal promises without distraction. It’s not new knowledge that to change old habits, reach new heights and achieve ones goals, powerful and sustained focus on them is required to empower them, but theres a vast difference between just knowing how to do it and actually doing it, David helps make it happen.”

Evoking Transformation

The caterpillar needs to dissolve away old ways of being and doing that support old goals. Instead, embrace new ways of being and doing that are aligned to new goals. The shift is not incremental. It is transformational. New perceptions and perspectives that drive deep, inner change.

That is what I want for any client that comes my way. If I know I cannot walk along side them to support that change I will suggest appropriate coaches I think can. Then the client can decide. And if I can, I will use all my love and compassion to evoke transformation in my client. An on-line dictionary defines evoke as “bring or recall (a feeling, memory, or image) to the conscious mind.” Coaching tools delve into exploration and awareness. As you become more aware, you have access to inner resources previously unavailable to you. Those inner resources ignite new levels of consciousness or being which result in different doing.

Over to You

On and in it goes, revealing more potential at every exploration. If you would like to make those transformational shifts, perhaps you are ready for co-active life coaching with me and bring new inspiration to your career, relationships, health, wellness and life as a whole.

Pass it on

If you know people who want to make transformational change, please forward them the link to this blog. Alternatively, if this has inspired something in you, please get in touch and we can have a conversation about how we might be able to walk the path together towards a more fulfilling life for you.

Self- Growth, Realising your Potential and Building Confidence

Like all life you start your existence as a seed in fertile soil, full of potential that may, or may not, be realised

How do you know what you are capable of? What qualities do you possess that lie within you unnoticed and unfulfilled? How are you going to discover these hidden talents? How will these talents manifest in your life? What difference will they make to your quality of life?  How will they affect your confidence?  Finally, what does personal growth look like to you?

Seeds of Confidence

Like all life you start your existence as a seed in fertile soil, full of potential that may, or may not, be realised. It is only through life situations that you discover your talents and so grow in confidence. Some you are placed in by chance and others by design. That design can be your own or others.

By chance or design these situations shape you, drawing out skills, qualities and talents that drive you forward, see you grow and make a contribution to the world. Both play an important role in ensuring your growth and improving your confidence.

Growth by Design

Firstly, it is in design that you take control of your growth. By placing yourself in the path of mentors, teachers and guides you are introduced to new things, made aware of previously unseen skills and encouraged and inspired to step out of your comfort zone and grow as an individual.

Therefore, I am constantly seeking support from people who can teach me to grow my business, show me new skills to cultivate myself and ways in which to help others. Life is a never- ending classroom that can lead to on- going growth and development of that seed into something magnificent.

There is also self- directed growth. Learning does not need only come from outside of you. It can also come from within. Through exploring a subject you can get beyond text books, courses and external teaching and begin the process of innovation, integration and development. Your unique journey gives you a unique view on all of life.  As a result, will you bring that unique vision to life and share it with the world, your community or family? Would you walk the path less travelled and forge a way forward that creates something new for you as well as the world around you?  Can you purposefully step into the unknown and discover what lies in the void?

Growth by Chance

Nevertheless, in amongst all of this design there is the chaos of chance. New and unexpected events, opportunities and learning will come your way that contribute to your growth. Some of it will be painful, much of it exciting and inspiring. This is the nature of growth. Only by putting yourself in the charge of guides and stepping out and creating your place in the world will you grow and open yourself up to chance and chaos.  The opportunity for growth, on- going development and fulfillment will follow.

How will you know which direction to go? You can take the advice of other people who have experience in the areas you wish to develop.  You can also follow your Intuition.  This means asking “What are you drawn to?” and ” What do you get the sense you are inspired to do?”  For years I have had a sense that I am drawn to help people discover their life- purpose.  At one time that looked like running a martial arts business.  I helped people with their self- confidence and trust in their own ability and intuition.  More recently, that has developed to include life coaching.

Chance and Design

I never expected my previous career in science to come in any use once I walked away from biochemistry and neuroscience.  Now I am drawn to using that expertise in helping people with finding their life- purpose as well.  I am currently exploring meditation and seeing how that can be incorporated into movement.  Together they help combat stress, tension and encourage relaxation, self- expression and creativity.  These are all key elements in living your life- purpose.  The journey unfolds one step at a time and help and support comes in many guises, both internal and external.

Consequently, many of my clients are taking the steps towards living with greater fulfillment. By a combination of trusting their own intuition, creativity and resourcefulness they become empowered to follow their life- purpose and reach out for whatever help and support will get them there.  By living in- line with your life- purpose you ensure continual growth and fulfillment.  See yourself flourish and thrive in such a positive and empowering environment and grow from a seed into a beautiful, healthy and vibrant plant: strong in its foundations; fruitful in its creativity and furthermore; unique in its shape and expression.

Over to you

What is your experience of growth? How do you live your life- purpose?  How do you continue to grow?  I’d love to hear your comments and offer inspiration for people who are travelling a similar road.

Pass it on

If you know someone who would enjoy this blog and find it useful why not send them the link? I’d really appreciate it.  May be they will as well?  If you’d like to receive a direct link to the Potentiality Coaching monthly blog into your in- box, why not sign up here and receive a free e- course on Confidence as well?

 

Am I good enough?

"Am

When faced with the challenge of stepping out of your comfort zone do you worry about whether you are good enough? Does this worry stop you from trying and giving it your best shot? Would this mind- set help you rise to the challenge?  Would you do it half- heartedly because deep down you think that you’ll fail?

Self- limiting beliefs such as ‘Am I good enough?’ can really hold you back.  Consequently, you feel trapped in the cycle of ‘can’t do it’.  You feel like you’re over stretching your self and taking on more than is realistic. Both strategies lead to fulfilling the prophecy that you are not good enough. In a way you know it’s true.  That’s only what experience has taught you based upon the way you are approaching the situation. What I find fascinating and inspiring is that in spite of this self- created evidence, you still strive to be better and good enough.  How can you begin to build the evidence that tells you that you are good enough? How can you realise that you are full of the potential that you feel intuitively inside?

A new mind- set

What would help is a different mind- set.  A  perspective that challenges your old thinking and establishes new, empowering thinking.  As a result, you will grow and develop in the directions you choose.

Perhaps it might be useful to reframe the question? When you ask “Am I good enough?” I actually think people are asking “Can I do it perfectly?”  The answer to that, if this is your first time, is almost definitely “no!”  The expectation that you want or have to do it perfectly is the thing that stops you from trying at all. Perhaps that demand puts you under pressure.  So much in fact that the authentic and heart- felt delivery that would make it a success becomes stifled, tense and forced. You may have an idea of where this thinking comes from and that may be important for you to know.  In coaching it is more significant to notice that you are feeling that way in the moment of not feeling good enough.  This can empower you to think and act differently.

Where do you go from here?

By giving your self permission not to be perfect, you are setting up the opportunity to make mistakes, reflect on them, learn from them and act differently next time around. This is part of the growth mind- set that I have spoken about in another blog.

The iterative process of stepping out of your comfort zone, making mistakes, learning from them and altering behaviour accordingly drives you towards ever increasing excellence.

In my experience, this takes away some of the pressure I have placed on my self that actually leaves me stagnating and instead able to take action. I see clients empowered to try, cognisant that they may not be perfect (and to be at peace with that truth).  That those mistakes will be the stumbling blocks they will turn into stepping stones in the future.

With this mind- set, “Am I good enough?” becomes “I am good enough to start and get progressively better as I learn and improve”. My belief is that you are good enough, as are we all, to do excellently at whatever you choose. False expectations from out- dated beliefs will only keep you stuck and struggling to move forward and grow. Find ways to step up and grow your self. Believing that you have what it takes to be good enough goes a long way to allowing you to grow into that role and realise the potential within that lies dormant, untested, until you step up.

Over to you

Feelings of “Am I good enough?” are normal and natural. I hope this perspective has given you some food for thought.  That it challenges that question and gives you room to explore how capable and powerful you are.  As ever, I would love to hear from you.  I invite you to share your experience, observations and insights.  Fellow readers and people that share this path of uncovering their full potential will benefit. Please leave your comments below.

And if you’ve enjoyed this blog and think someone you know would benefit and enjoy reading it, please pass it on. You can also sign up to the monthly Potentiality Coaching Blog Newsletter here and be the first to hear about what is evolving in the world of Potentiality Coaching, including newly published blogs, new packages and coaching offers.

Freedom to Choose

Do you find your self limited by old ways of thinking? Are you frustrated by getting the same results time and again?  Do you hold on to old ways of thinking that do not work? Would you challenge an old perspective?  Do you notice your self blaming others for the undesired results you get?

Do you come at challenges from the same direction? Can you change how you look at things so that you see them with fresh eyes and have different outcomes? Do you get bored with your career, relationships and perhaps even your self? Are you fed up with walking the same path?

Perhaps you need to challenge your thinking? May be what you bring to the table is contributing to the frustration? What if you were to look at the situation from another perspective? What if you could see a situation like a child, without boundaries, limitations or blinkered thinking?

Ritual Action

Without boundaries there is no need for limited perspectives, just the freedom to move and think as you choose

Without boundaries there is no need for limited perspectives, just the freedom to move and think as you choose

I came across this gate without fencing on either side of it in an open field while walking in Cambridgeshire.  It looked so strange in its place that I had to take a picture ( the wonders of modern technology).

Clearly at some point it had marked an access across a boundary. Now that boundary had gone and the gate was obsolete. I walked through it as a homage to old ways of thinking and ideas.

That ritual got me thinking about our entrenched ways of looking at life in general and at specific situations in particular. If we could break down the boundaries we wouldn’t then be forced to enter a situation from a given viewpoint.  Without boundaries there would be no need for a limited perspective, just the freedom to move and think as you choose.

Altering perspective

Let me share two examples in my life. I have a relationship with my bank that until recently has driven me mad with frustration. Every interaction I had with them from withdrawing money at ATMs, to speaking with staff or even internet banking left me agitated as I struggled with PINs, passwords and seemingly endless bureaucracy. One day I had the thought “Perhaps it’s me?”  When I complained about the bank to others, no one else seemed to have a problem.

I vowed to enter into interactions with the bank from then on with a new perspective and low and behold I have not had a frustration with them since. The boundaries I had created forced me to walk into any interaction with the bank through a certain gate- let’s call it “The Frustration Gate”. Once I dissolved away the boundaries there was no need to walk through “The Frustration Gate” any more.  I was free to interact with the bank openly and without feeling disempowered.

My second example goes much further back. My memories of childhood had overwhelmingly been very sad. I looked back at childhood with a dark veil over it and I imagined myself a victim and totally without power. Challenging that mind set has been liberating, allowing me to see that a few terrible situations had coloured my vision of my entire childhood. A sad yet avoidable truth. It has taken work which is on- going and now I see my childhood memories with so much more colour. Perhaps some boundaries are gone? Perhaps there are more gates now to the boundaries that remain? Who knows. What I do know is something is shifting, bringing joy and light into my life that wasn’t there before. That can only be a good thing.

Transformation and Freedom

So if you find your self endlessly meeting frustration and disappointment in life, perhaps there is more you can do than you realise? What can you do to challenge your old thinking? Can you create “gates” that bring new perspectives? What can you do to remove boundaries? Have a brainstorming session and see if there could be other ways to look at the situation? Talk with friends and colleagues about the way you see things?

As a life coach I see people’s lives transformed just by viewing old scenarios from another perspective, giving clients power, choice and the freedom to create the life they truly want for themselves.  When I teach I witness students’ horizons broaden with every new perspective they create for themselves.  As a leader I observe people stepping beyond the limited boundaries of their old perceptions and explore new territory that brings new challenges, growth and self- appreciation.

Over to you

I’d love to hear about your experiences of overcoming old ways of thinking and how that has empowered you towards choice and freedom. Please share your frustrations and successes so that we can build a resource on this website that people can come to for education, inspiration and find the ways to live their lives from their fullest potential.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

The Power of Connection

Never before have we had resources at our fingertips to discover the work & experience of others & learn from them

Never before have we had resources at our fingertips to discover the work & experience of others & learn from them

Connection is key to our human experience.  Without it we feel isolated and alone.  Connection binds us to each other.  Therefore, we are stronger as a collective.  Alone, we have our skills and talents alone, no matter how considerable.  Together, we have the skills of many and we can achieve so much more together than we can alone.

Having said all that, do you feel that asking for help and support shows a sign of weakness and that you are cheating in some way?

Do you think that if you want to achieve something you have to do it alone?

When you do attempt to do it alone is it stressful and hard work and often not that much fun?

The Power of Connection

If the above questions sound like you then let me assure you- you are not alone. For many years I had that attitude.  It is only recently that I have changed my view and reached out for support, guidance and help.

For me, the sense of weakness came from not knowing the answers.  Surely I should be able to work it out!  The sense of cheating came from an assumption that it had to be hard and harsh before it would feel like a success and accomplishment.

In truth, why should you know the answers? You know your questions which point to the gaps in your knowledge. If you do not have the experience, why would you know the answers.  Why would you know what to do next and what direction to take?

You wouldn’t!

Someone with more experience in that area may have a better idea and be willing to point you in the right direction. As a consequence, that new information gives you answers to your questions.  Those answers will lead to the next step along your way to exploring your full potential. Therefore, finding the answers to your questions is the key.  Whether you do it alone or ask advice from others, discovering the answers is the driver.

And why should it be stressful?

Why, it could be fun?

It could be the chance to: create strong working and/ or personal relationships; build a network of like- minded people who can benefit from your willingness to reach out and learn; learn more and learn it faster if you reached out to the experts and the more experienced; discover the people who are happy to give their time freely without charge if only we would reach out.

Never before have we had resources at our fingertips on the Internet and other media.  It allows us to discover the work and experience of others and learn from them. There are times when you really are walking the road that no one has walked before.  Perhaps then it is time to stride out and forge the way, leading others with the power and confidence of your experience.

Over to you

What are your experiences of going it alone? How do you feel about reaching out? What works for you and what doesn’t work……  I’d love to hear from you and in so doing build a community of people who support each other in their path to discovering and fulfilling their full potential.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Growth happens outside your comfort zone

Growth happens outside your comfort zone

It was Eleanor Roosevelt who said “Do one thing every day that scares you”.  In this age of super human heroes in movies, fearless warriors in computer games along with the facade and bravado that people often display in every day life to show that they are fit and strong enough to compete for the greatest successes in their personal and professional lives, the idea of doing something that scares me is overwhelming.  It feels like I have to be this perfect ideal.  That shows no fear and never makes mistakes.  It feels like I have to up the ante each time.

Who can compete with that?  I certainly can’t!

Comfort Zone

The idea of doing things daily that seem to require super human heroism on my part often means that I don’t do anything.  Over time this has a negative impact on my self- worth and self- esteem.  Then someone introduced me to the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone just enough so that it was a challenge.  And importantly, not so much that it felt like over whelm.  I began to use Mrs Roosevelt’s saying in a way that enhanced my life.

Public Speaking- a common speak out of your comfort zone

Let me share, if you will, a personal example with you.  I have always had a strong aversion to public speaking.  What is interesting in that for years I have felt that I should do it.  I have written lectures TED style, courses to be delivered to classes over 6- 12 weeks and video scripts.  I’ve never been able to deliver.

On a recent CPD course it occurred to me that perhaps I was setting my sights too high in the first instance.  Perhaps the talks on video and in front of classes would come.  Even a TED talk.  For now though I felt like I needed to take a small step to prove to myself that it was possible.  So I did.  Although there was a sense of fear and anxiety there was also a sense of feeling alive.  It felt on the edge, challenged and at the same time manageable.  The feeling of success was elation and then what followed was a calmness and serenity that had eluded me for years.

I had avoided the stress of public speaking and other such things that made me feel anxious.  It was always accompanied by this gnawing feeling that I should be doing something more.  Now I had taken that step, mustered the courage.  It felt great to have taken myself to the edge of my comfort zone and survived.  A little melodramatic granted but that is how it felt.

Yin and Yang, pressure and serenity

In Taoism, the Chinese speak of Yin and Yang.  These are the polar opposites of right and left, up and down, masculine and feminine, light and dark.  Taoists and ancient Chinese understood that these concepts work in balance and in cycles.  In fact, there cannot be one without the other.  Just as darkness gives way to light, so challenge and the accompanying pressure to perform give way to a sense of calmness and serenity.  This is exactly what I felt.  It is strange to me to think that in order to feel serene I have to earn it in a way by stepping out of my comfort zone.  It is by this law of nature, as the Taoists would say, that things move forward and grow.  Humans are no different.  We are still subject to this natural and universal law.

“Do something every day that scares you”

Then, the serenity gives way to the gnawing feeling again and I know that I must move on and challenge myself again.  As Eleanor Roosevelt reminded us, this cycle lasts about a day.  It stops us becoming complacent, stagnant and bored and encourages us to be ever vigilant and searching, moving forward and engaged with the act of living and growing, in pursuit of achieving our full potential.

Pass it on

Did you find this article useful and interesting?  If so, why not pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word?  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at https://www.potentialitycoaching.co.uk/ and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.