Should I hire a coach?

Photo by Evi T.

A few of the many reasons people hire a coach include:

You are ready for something new but need help figuring out where to start.

You want to change something. It might be your career, where you live, a relationship, or how you see the world and yourself.

And you have tried to change on your own and are having a hard time making it happen at the pace you want.

If this is true for you, a coach is a great support. Transformation will happen in a coaching relationship when the client is all in.

Because through coaching you gain insight, clarity, and awareness of who you are and what you want. You connect to your direction and purpose.

We all have internal blocks that hold us back; one of the biggest and most common is fear.

Classic fears everyone can relate to include: 

Photo by Carolina Heza
  • Fear of rejection
  • Panic around failure
  • Hating to feel embarrassed
  • Fear of disappointment
  • Terror of losing relationships
  • Worry of being fully ourselves (and judged for it)
  • Hatred of being criticized
  • Terrified of making mistakes 
  • Fear that we are not perfect, but we need to be
  • Worry we are not good enough
  • Fear of the unknown

And there may be more blocks and behaviors that keep us stuck. Some include self-sabotage and self-doubt, procrastination, or assumptions we make about ourselves and other people. No matter our life experience, we have only our background to inform our perspective. As a result, we all have limits in our viewpoint, blind spots we don’t even know exist. Those blind spots can create subconscious behaviors that have tremendous influence and feel impossible to shift.

A limited (and limiting) perspective

Our perspectives around who we are and how life works form early. Young children learn that certain behaviors please the people responsible for their well-being, while some do not. We want to appease our caregivers on a survival level because we cannot survive without them. Also, we learn to behave in specific ways so that our peer group accepts us. Humans have a powerful need to belong. And so we modify our behavior accordingly. Behavior shapes how we see ourselves and the world.

We learn lessons like, “This is how good girls behave,” “I must look strong and capable all the time,” or “I have to work very hard to have anything good in life.” We acquire beliefs about ourselves: “I’m not worth listening to,” “I am an anxious person,” or “Other people’s needs are more important than my own.”

The search for safety

Acting in ways that risk our relationships with others can seriously stress us out. We make a mistake around someone important to us, and suddenly our hearts pound, our palms sweat and we can’t think clearly, if at all. We may have the overwhelming urge to withdraw, get angry or freeze up.

Intellectually we know these fears are irrational (“I know my family will still care about me if I change careers!”), but the body doesn’t care about the brain’s reassurance. So we avoid behaviors that might stress us out or anger others.

We might not know why precisely any given behavior triggers us into fear. An old habit developed years ago becomes a subconscious response whenever “dangerous” thoughts or situations arise. We may not know why we suddenly feel anxious, afraid or stuck, but we can see our behavior.

Someone mistreats us and we become enraged. Our partner is angry because something went wrong and we want to run and hide. We want to ask for a raise but feel paralyzed. In the moment, we react to the triggering situation. Only afterward do we look back at the incident and wonder, “Why did I react that way?”

As children, we do anything necessary to feel safe, for we are helpless. Once we become adults and have moments of vulnerability, we may again fall into the same behaviors we used as children. In those moments, we are unable to choose a response. We react.

The role of coaching

Body awareness and staying present are critical to identifying and overcoming our irrational fears. Fears and habits live in our bodies and nervous systems, not just our brains. While using our brains to puzzle out our fears and blocks has its place, often we need other tools that reveal and heal blocks and negative emotions.

Coaching sessions provide a three-fold opportunity: 

Revolutionary tools calm down the body and change reactions into measured responses. You stop reacting to triggering situations with fear, for those situations no longer activate a survival response.

Those tools continue to serve you for any block in your life well after coaching has ended.

Finally, regularly using these tools and practices brings a greater sense of presence and mindfulness. Each day you are more conscious of what you want and need. Rather than reacting, you can approach your challenges from a place of choice.

One goal of coaching is to provide you with the self-awareness and tools you need to be your own self-led coach.

So how do I make it happen?

Mindfulness is the buzzword of the 21st century, but what does it mean? When mindful, our mind and body enter the present moment. We engage with what is in front of us, centered and grounded in our bodies, aware of our inner state and environment. We stop focusing on the past or the future. What might happen next, what we “should” get done in the future, doubts about what happened earlier–we put all that aside and are here in the present moment.

Sound fantastic? It is entirely achievable. Our constant stress, ranging from low level to high, keeps us from fully engaging in the moment. For many of us, our bodies are always slightly engaged in the fight/flight/freeze response. We spend much of our lives feeling activated, poised for action and possible danger. Constantly running loops of old stories and beliefs in our heads uses up energy and keeps us stuck. We can find both conscious and subconscious narratives, heal our stress response, and write a new story.

If you would like to learn more, check out my articles “Who We Are” and “Finding Joy.”

I invite you to schedule a Discovery Call to learn more.