Blog Post No. 37
20th July 2016
Copyright © Renata Taylor-Byrne 2016
Renata’s Coaching & Counselling blog: How can having a coach help anyone?
“If I am through learning, I am through”. John Wooden
In this blog I want to explain why consulting a coach can be real value for money.
It’s not dead obvious how a coach can help you, and many people think that coaches are only for footballers, rugby players, tennis players and other sports-people, business people – but not for ordinary people.
But why not?
Ordinary people face massive challenges which are just as crucial, if not more so, than the challenges faced by people who are preparing for the Olympics!
Ordinary people (and extraordinary non-athletes!) face great challenges as they work to provide for themselves and their loved ones
Here are some of the massive challenges people face in ordinary life, as they try to create a decent life for themselves and their families:
# Many thousands of people are having to deal with information overload at work and the demands of unrealistic unsympathetic managers; and the insidious, Dickensian “zero hours” contracts; whilst trying to create a stable and loving home for growing children.
# Employees have the stress of constant change in computer systems and keeping up to date with new technologies, whilst holding onto a demanding job.
# Many people are involved in handling the demands of young and teenage children and partners, and managing the inevitable work-life conflicts constructively.
# Thousands of people are unemployed or living on a pension with a limited number of ways of creating a decent life for themselves.
# If you are a young adult, you can be faced with seemingly inescapable peer group pressures, both online and in the surrounding culture, whilst trying to succeed in your studies or in finding a half-decent job for yourself.
# There are many people in this country who are handling the disruption and suffering which is involved in having to leave their country of origin and their families, because their lives were at risk, coming to a new culture.
They are living with the uncertainty of unemployment, poor or absent accommodation and identity status – and also are having to deal with the prejudices and lack of empathy of the host culture.
There are many other pressures people face, heroically, day in and day out, and these can be much more demanding, emotionally and psychologically, than those challenges faced by sportsmen and women.
So why don’t ordinary people have coaches, just like millions of athletes, sportspeople and business people and politicians do?
Mostly they don’t have coaches because they have never been properly informed about what a coach can do for them. And certainly the media has no interest whatsoever in getting the message across – there’s no money in it for them.
Instead, there are vast industries persuading people that they can feel better and be happier if they drink alcohol, eat sugary foods and special meals, get new clothes, have new haircuts, cosmetic surgery, mobile phones, gadgets, exotic holidays, new cars – the list is endless.
So what can a coach do? How do they compete with all the goodies which are on sale to distract people from their worries?
What a coach can provide for you
“All coaching is, is taking a player where they can’t take themselves”.
Here is a partial and brief list of what a coach could do for you:
1…They give you very strong support and validation. They mirror you as you really are, and not as you view yourself. Inevitably, we see ourselves through eyes clouded with the distorting mirror of our families and culture. But good, well informed coaches, because of their research and understanding of the human brain, know your full capabilities and know how your full potential can be realised – though not overnight. It takes time – but with their help you can start to see, understand, dismantle and overcome some of the barriers which restrict you, both internally and/or externally.
“There is no such thing as a self-made person. You will reach your goals only with the help of others”. George Shinn
2. Your coach is on your team, 100%, and is a strong and consistent ally; and together, you can create a better and more meaningful life for yourself, as they help you to achieve your valued goals.
Struggling on your own is what most people do, but with the support of a coach you can speed up the process of shaping your life.*
3. Please remember: you can’t buy – (from the shops and the side-shows of this culture) – greater confidence, emotional fulfilment (or the satisfaction that comes from finding your passion and knowing how you can create a meaningful career for yourself). Don’t be fooled by the glossy adverts!
But with a good coach (or a counsellor or therapist) – whose reputation you can find out about – you can work together and have a safe setting in which you create a customised life plan for yourself. (Be careful who you go to, as there are good and bad coaches out there!)
If you decide to change your life or develop specific skills e.g. relationship, academic, self-expression skills, etc., this can be very hard, but a good coach can provide you with invaluable feedback – constructive and honest but encouraging and motivating information about your progress.
4. Finally the good coach (or counsellor or therapist) has a tool-box full of useful models and techniques that you can learn from, use and carry with you for the rest of your life. They also know how difficult it can be to change habits and they know the specific ways that habit formation can take place.
Not bad, for the cost of an evening in the pub!
Good coaches make a great difference to people’s lives!
Can you imagine Andy Murray winning at Wimbledon 2016, without the invaluable support of his respected coach, Ivan Lendl? Murray wanted to achieve his goal, and knew that he couldn’t achieve it on his own.
I’ll finish with a couple of great quotes:
“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them”.
Do you need help to change some aspect of your life?
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better”.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Are you engaging in any change experiments at the moment?
That’s all for now.
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