What do I love about being a coach?
I can tell you exactly what it is I love about being a coach; helping individuals work out what they really want in life and helping them find the ways to achieve those aspirations. As a coach, I am in the unique position of being able to hear and understand how my coachee’s want to shapes their lives and develop themselves so that they overcome the problems that are preventing them from reaching their targets. In essence, I help them problem-solve by refocusing their thoughts to look for the solutions rather than concentrating on the problems. Not only that, I get to unlock the reasons for why it is they want what they want so that they understand the reasons behind what drives them.
When coaching, people come to me to discuss the changes they want to start working on to create the lives they truly want to live; it’s about having an idea and doing the necessary changes to make it possible. How do I help my coachees? By giving them space to work out what area of their life they want to change and then look at how to break that change down into chunks so that they can work on one part at a time. Each coachee experiences a higher level of self-awareness due to the self-development they undertake when working on their projects. Why self-development? Because on the pursuit of what we wish to be, do or have, we have to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and through that stretching, we acquire knowledge about ourselves along the way; self-development becomes inevitable.
As I go through life what continues to amaze me is the determination of the human spirit to keep learning and growing, to keep momentum and not be broken even in the face of overwhelming adversities. People who want to achieve or overcome something, in the end, always have one force in common and that is determination. When tapped into, the human spirit has a significant amount of determination that can be utilised. I admit that it is a blanket statement, but when you thing about it, is it not a universal truth? I can guarantee that you will know at least one story demonstrating how an individual or individuals become so determined they achieved or produced something that originally seemed almost impossible. Why have I picked on the quality of determination? Because I think first you need a great deal of determination to persevere, and even more so when the odds appear to be stacked against you. If you don’t believe me, then for an extreme example read Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl’s, which portrays his experiences and his survival in a German concentration camp through World War II. The conditions, the hardships and the atrocities he endured are beyond what most of us believe we could withstand. Yet, amongst others, he survived.
So I say to produce the outcomes you really want to produce in your life you need to keep applying your determination. You need to use part of that determination to keep reminding yourself why it is you are doing what you are doing, why you are making the sacrifices you are making, why you are enduring whatever adversity it is that you enduring. Not only that, you will need your determination so that you push yourself out of your comfort zone.
In order to achieve that long term aim you have been thinking of time and time again, you will need to call upon your resources and harness that unique human spirit; using it to persevere through all of the challenges and all of the hardships. Many times you may need to re-strategise, to re-group and to re-think how you are going to get to where it is you want to go. But that is all part of the character growing process that everyone of us must endure because if every single one of us gave up on the first try, how would this world look today? What great wonders would we not have discovered? How many innovative ideas would never have been produced? How limited would our understanding of the world and those that inhabit it be? I think we can safely say that the landscape of our world would look incredibly different if the human race only tried at something once.
The brilliance of the human spirit comes from our determination to keep striving forward and to find a solution; that is the beauty that I see when coaching. Individuals come to coaching because ultimately they want to find a way forward and they want to find the best way that works for them. Coaching enables people to explore different avenues and even if their method doesn’t work the first time, then through their learning and their coaching they can try different and creative methods until they discover what works best for them.
As a coach, I am one of the mechanisms which enable people to shape and change the landscape of their world so that they can create a different one for themselves. Does it happen all at once? Unlikely. Does it happen over time and with constant determination? Highly likely. I think the creation of a better world begins with every single one of us. It starts with our responsibility to take ownership of our attitudes and actions, which then leads to what contributions we make in this world.
I have found that if you want something badly enough, determination kicks in even after suffering defeat. The setback itself doesn’t deter you; it is how much time you allow yourself to stay in the defeatist mind-set. Think of a time in your past when you have become doggedly determined? It changes your attitude and approach doesn’t it? You notice a change in your energy levels and you become hungry to taste success again. Many motivational speakers say that you have to be hungry, you have to have an appetite for pursing your personal success, and mostly they are right. What it comes to is the level of commitment you are making to yourself; very rarely does success come without effort. So when I coach, I get to see that appetite for those aspirations reawakening and becoming strong enough for my coachees to start overcoming their doubts and therefore be able to develop their plans of action.
What’s the consequence of not being determined? What are you settling for? If you’re honest, what do you really want to change in your life?
(c) Katrina Ramsden