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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.

Archetypes- Rebel

Coaching is about evoking transformation. This means growing on the inside, overcoming self- limiting beliefs and expressing a new and more whole voice in the world. By consciously embracing your fullness, you share yourself more completely. To do this takes courage, heart, determination and persistence. This does not have to be a hard journey. It is a journey of blossoming and blooming into your fullness.

Introducing The Rebel

The Rebel challenges the status quo & evokes transformation

One of the archetypes that can be really powerful in this process is The Rebel. So often we create strategies to get us through this situation or that period in our lives. Frequently we discover later on that these strategies are no longer working for us anymore. They do not give us the results we desire, usually because we have decided that we want different outcomes.

Childhood Strategies

As children, we may find that if we lacked attention from our parents for example, that we developed a strategy to get as much attention as possible. We might have been really well behaved and strived for outstanding results at school or sports. We hoped for positive attention by doing this and may have strived harder still if we did not get the praise we wanted. Alternatively, we may have decided to create havoc and get the negative attention that this generally attracts. Attention is attention and people employ different strategies to get it for a myriad of reasons.

Strategies in Adulthood

Later in life we might decide that trying to be perfect so that we can get praise no longer serves us. We might notice that no matter how hard we try we never get quite enough praise from other people to quiet the voice of doubt or concern. We may get to the point that we realise that the only way we are going to have true peace and contentment is to do what makes us happy. No external reference points. Rather an internal motivation that can be pleased if we are strong enough to answer that calling. Instead we might rather do things to receive self- praise rather than praise from others. Our behaviour might look completely different, as we are no longer doing things to please our parents or teachers. Instead we act to please ourselves. We might go walking in a rain storm rather than stay indoors and clean the house or watch TV.

The child that sought negative attention through misbehavior may notice as an adult that people do not trust them or feel that they cannot be relied upon. Therefore, they may not get the partners they want or develop through their chosen career. Their behaviour in the past was to get attention, albeit negative attention, which is going to attract people into their lives that will give them negative attention in adulthood. Until they realise this pattern of behaviour, they may get in the way of their own success. Noticing this will also lead to behaviour change.

Breaking Free

When we notice this need to shift, we need energy that will break free of the old patterns of behaviour. We need a Rebel within us to buck the trend, overturn what isn’t working and break the rules that have kept us in this place for so long. This means we have to destroy the old and bring in the new. We have to shock the system we have created, challenge the status quo and be outrageous. This is how it will feel to us when we take on the challenge of transformation. This is not an external rebellion per se. It is an internal rebellion that will lead to change on the outside.

Think of the rebels of history who changed the world. Mahatma Gandhi transformed India into an independent country free of Empirial rule. Martin Luther King evolved people’s views of Afro- American rights. Richard Branson challenged the monopoly of countless corporations and said he could do it too and even do it better. Steve Jobs revolutionised computing, music, telecommunications, education and publishing. Of course there are many more examples.

The Internal Rebel

For our own internal world, we want this same energy and vision for our own lives. We want to step out of our Comfort Zone, if only for a while, and embrace the unpredictable seas of change so that we can grow into the next version of ourselves. This is a positive energy that has us moving forward, growing, evolving and transforming ourselves on the inside. The result is that our external world will change as well. True growth starts from within.

We want this force in our lives as and when we need it. Not all the time. Being constantly on edge can be due to excessive Rebel energy. We might see this in someone who is always up for a fight no matter what or someone on the edge of society who may turn to crime. Excessive Rebel energy can be destructive and have a negative impact on us, and the people around us. Turned negative the Rebel evokes negative transformation. This can manifest as the Saboteur. A force driven by fear that leads to low self- esteem and self- destructive behaviour, blocking our own empowerment and success.

Rebel Embodied

The Rebel feels edgy. Internally, the Rebel challenges conformity within you. You might feel that as an uncomfortable sensation as the Rebel pushes for change and you resist. The voice of the Saboteur holds you in check while the Rebel calls for something different. This might feel energising or exhausting. Consequently, your body may stand really strong, focused and buzzy. Alternatively, you might feel crushed by the internal struggle, stooped, conflicted and on edge. That embodied agitation can feel uncomfortable for you and others. It may be a sign that the need for change is growing within you. It might be time to listen.

Rebel Energy

The positive energy of the Rebel is very different from the Warrior or the Sovereign. Though the Rebel can be principled and values driven, there is an idealism and searching in its energy that is very powerful. Let me give you an example from one of my clients:

Sacha was a manager in a supermarket chain who wanted to create a better life for himself and his family. He sent himself back to school and then on to do a psychology degree so that he could earn more money and have a career that was fulfilling. He had to overcome the barriers he had within himself that told him he was not intelligent enough to get the qualifications needed. Sacha challenged his preconceived ideas of what life should be like for him and his family. He chose a path he felt was more in line with his values and what was important to him.   He now has much more of the life he wants.

The Rebel’s time

Without that Rebel energy he would not have had the inertia and power to make that happen. More content now, that energy has subsided. It is replaced with other energies to move him forward on that career path which may include the Warrior and Sovereign energies.

As in history, the Rebel has his time and then is replaced by other leaders who cement the new ways into practice. Then in time, things have to change again. So it is with us. We find the energy to change things because life demands it of us or we demand it of ourselves because we do not wish to continue as we are.

Then we settle into a new way of being. Until it is time to change again and transformation is on the cards. Career paths, relationship shifts, growing children, our own old age, health issues, changing goals may all be the arena of the Rebel. When we call on the Rebel, we have the energy, fight and determination to create something new and better than what was possible before. For this, the Rebel is unequalled.

Over to You

When have you needed the Rebel energy? Do you struggle with change or embrace it? How have you managed to evoke transformation when change was required? Do you recognise the Rebel energy in yourself and others? Have you noticed the more destructive side of the Rebel in others or yourself? I’d love to hear your comments and learn how the Rebel has served you, or been a disservice, in your life.

Pass it on

If you have found this article useful, please pass it on to someone you know. You never know when words might strike a cord at a particular time and inspire someone you love and care about to evoke transformation.

Being and Doing

Being differently leads to behaving and living in a new way

Being differently leads to behaving and living in a new way

Deep powerful coaching is about evoking transformation. This is personal growth. It’s about doing things differently and being differently.

Doing differently leads to being differently. The converse is true too. Being differently leads to doing differently.

Being is a physical, emotional and energetic process that means you interact with the world in a certain way. What you do is driven by your state of being. What you do enforces your state of being.

Evoking transformation

Coaching works best when you have a willing client who is keen to evoke transformation in their lives. Usually that looks like doing things differently. By working with the client to bring about awareness of their values and beliefs, they are in a position to honour and challenge those thoughts consciously. Your state of being is fluid and you can take conscious control of that state so that you can do things differently in your life.

An American Indian Tale

There is the story of the man who found an abandoned eagle chick. He took it home and put it with his chickens to nurture it. The eagle grew up in the company of chickens and believed him self to be a chicken. Even though he looked different, he behaved as the chickens did. He pecked at seeds on the ground, he did not fly. He was content. Then one day he saw another eagle flying high above the coup and wondered how wonderful it would be to fly so high and free.

While the eagle was being a chicken in his heart and mind, that is what he would be and what he would do. He would need to change his perceptions of him self before he would be able to realise the potential that lay dormant inside him. And this is the key point. He had the potential.

What would Muhammad Ali say?

There is a school of thought I subscribe to that says that if you can conceive of a thing you can make it manifest in your life. The Brand New Heavies song You are the Universe advocates such a mind set.  Anything you conceive of you can achieve. Will you do all that it takes to make it real?

‘I am the greatest. I said this even before I knew I was.’ Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali spent years saying he was the greatest and proved it to the world early in his career. He was being the greatest long before he was. And once he became the greatest boxer he also became a phenomenal spokesperson for a generation and a nation.

What do you long for? How can you create the being state that allows you to manifest that truth in the world when you put your heart and soul into it? Even Muhammad Ali had a coach. He had to do the work, want it enough and it started for him by believing he was the greatest. He believed it authentically. What do you believe authentically that would be the highest version of your self? What mind- set can you create that means you achieve the goals you want in the manner you desire?

As promised…….

Last month I spoke about bringing awareness to a client’s inner being so that she could make choice about how to move forward. I promised to share the outcome. Remaining mindful of her chosen state of being, she was able to act from this place and achieve more powerful win- win interactions. With confidence and calm she was able to face all the challenges she met and come out of it with grace and integrity. Well done to her and thank you for allowing me to share your story so that I could share the power and strength of being.

Over to you

How has inner transformation changed your life?  What have you done differently that has made a powerful internal change?  How has thinking differently given you permission to act in a different way?  Gratitude is a huge change of state in being for me and it has altered the way I approach people and situations.  How has it affected you.

Next time

Continuing on this theme, next month I will be looking at the affect “lack” and “abundance” mind- sets have on our lives and the steps we can take to move towards greater abundance.

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.

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.