Coaching helps you get clear about how you want to show up in the world
No matter who you are and what’s going on in your life-work-business- relationships, when you’re preparing for change or feeling ‘mired’ in the muck of it all, it’s often a good idea to regroup and reconsider both your place in the world and your world view. I have a process for helping you consider the broader factors that influence how you are showing up in your world. You might be thinking and feeling lots of stuff, but being is a completely different thing.
When I work with people, we usually spend a little time getting to know each other – putting things into context, and deciding what’s relevant to the task at hand. ‘Context’ is all the things that surround and influence – environment, relationships, circumstances – the obvious and not so obvious fabric of our lives and ways of thinking and being. Some of this is significant, some not so much; coaching helps filter through contextual factors to get to what’s salient right now. It’s about getting perspective.
In art, perspective is a way of conveying the impression of depth and distance. So for me context-building involves developing a degree of detachment so we can truly see what’s going on, name it and give it some form.
Context calls on our creativity and analytical strengths, to articulate an accurate understanding of a present situation and the relative importance of facts, points of view, and influencers.
Context comes from reflection, self-and-other awareness, and courage to do the work to hold things up to the light so we can decide what we want for ourselves and others. This is about who you be.
Clarity equals power. No clarity often equals torture, indecision, floundering around, and plenty more of that. Clarity comes with a purpose, and with purpose comes greater energy and the ability to focus. We must have a focus and we must be able to focus. I get that this is difficult sometimes.
In some respects clarity comes from knowing where you’re going and what it looks like when you get there. Clarity asks the question: “So what do you really want?” which is often a really tough question to answer, especially when a person is feeling somewhat purpose-less or confused! So some of the work in coaching naturally flows towards articulating exactly and precisely what you want. Sometimes we just aren’t ready to say it out loud.
And many people think that the ability to move forward hinges on being ‘ready, willing and able’ because clarity brings a plan, and the best laid plans – well, the best executed plans, are usually derived from having a big over-arching vision or a great big heart-felt want-for. Yep, there’s goals, objectives, tasks, all that but are you clear on what you really want? Making a plan certainly makes things more tangible and actionable, because as much as it says here’s what I’m going to focus on and do, it also says here’s what I’m not going to spend time on any more.
However, clarity also comes from being in action, from taking a next small step. Just one. Just doing something when you feel stuck regardless of whether the full plan is all worked out or the glorious vision is crystal clear. Coaching conversations often centre on what life looks like when you get there, wherever ‘there’ is – it’s about envisioning. All the stuff in the middle gets sorted out on the journey – the gap between here and there.
The plan needs to be your plan, as in something you really do own. No sense writing down all sorts of goals and nodding yes, yes and yes I’ll do that on the outside, when on the inside there’s some tiny, persistent, irritating little voice that’s still saying ‘no!’ or ‘not yet!” I’ve heard that voice myself. Maybe it’s about comparing and resisting something that you just haven’t named yet? We call it procrastination, but that voice sure sounds like a close cousin to ‘gremlin’ and ‘inner critic’ to me.
So, on the one hand, clarity creates a vacuum that pulls you forward; it brings readiness, a timeline and the conviction to carry through. On the other hand, clarity comes from pressing on and being in action, despite the doubts and uncertainties – which often feels like taking a leap without knowing whether there is a net out there or not.
Clarity understands all those nasty gremlin voices, doubters, naysayers, blocks, barriers and self-limiting beliefs. Clarity helps us re-write those inner narratives and to turn around some of the ‘stories’ we tell ourselves (and others) about who we are and what we stand for.
Having lived in the swirl of ‘not knowing’ or at least being-unwilling or unable or not ready to really say, and mastering every conceivable way of wiggling out of what I already knew in my heart… I get it. I get what makes people stuck. I understand what it feels like to be in that place. And I have ways of helping you get clear and get moving again. When you get to that clarity place, having a business plan won’t feel so onerous because you’ll actually be inspired and excited about what you’re up to rather than constantly casting about for more motivation.
Capacity is our ability to receive, contain and absorb. Capacity is as much about having adequate mental power to be open to, understand and respond to, as it is about possessing an ability, aptitude or resources required to achieve something.
Frankly, if you want to achieve something and you really commit, you will do it. You will find a way to make whatever it is happen. But if you believe you don’t have the capacity, if you continually think of yourself as not quite ready, or lacking in some essential quality and allow that thing to hold you back – you probably won’t.
Someone once asked me when I was going to be “cooked.” As in done. Complete. Ready. No more ingredients necessary. It was an excellent question. I learned that continuing education is great, but one more course, one more day, one more thing wasn’t going to build my capacity to succeed any quicker. The only thing that was going to make things happen was to show up, commit to the long haul, and be a pro.
Certainly, for small business owners and particularly for the creatively self-employed, capacity-building can be about developing or acquiring resources, whether time, money, technology, structure, specific expertise, or other supports. And that’s work we do on the outside. And there will always be human factors and relationships and things that go beyond knowledge, skills and values to contend with, things like motivation, self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, influence, communication, leadership, collaboration, and resilience – the ability to bounce back better from the inevitable setbacks along the way.
But I’m convinced that the capacity to achieve our dreams comes from being able to stand for something in the first place, so congratulations for entertaining the idea of embarking on a journey that is so significant and meaningful, and that will change your self and your situation.
If you have a vision, something you’re working to bring into reality, there’s a purpose in there. Sometimes we get paralyzed by dreams that feel too big, or we have too many choices and don’t know where to start, or we care just a little too much about what other people think, and we sell ourselves short.
Sometimes we just don’t commit, plain and simple. And while there are all sorts of reasons for that, sometimes we’re just feeding ourselves excuses by the fork full. And we know that too. I’ve been there and done that. Work with me and you’ll enhance your capacity to commit. Really. You will.
To find out more about consulting or coaching please email or call me so we can chat and determine whether we’re a good fit. I look forward to hearing from you.