by Steven Filante
Coaching doesn’t miraculously solve every problem. On the other hand, coaching can make a huge difference in issues that feel immovable. Here is a recent example from my life. 2018 was an incredibly busy year for me. Along with all of my normal activities with coaching and taking care of the house where I live with my dog and cat, I took on 250% of my usual coach training work. Midway through the year I found myself struggling to function. I felt like I was stuck under the overload of things I had to accomplish. Even if I managed to get some of them done, the next day the list had gotten bigger. I reacted by getting discouraged and moving slower. I found myself avoiding things I needed to do and feeling guilty as I watched videos or read mindless fiction. What was the point of trying?
When we are in the midst of something, it is hard to see a way out. Even obvious solutions are inaccessible or invisible. One of the powerful tools of coaching is noticing what assumptions or beliefs we hold about the situation where we feel stuck, lost, or discouraged. This was where I was and where having someone coach me turned things around. My coach helped me recognize that I was looking at my life as if I literally lived under a mountain of things to do that only got larger no matter what I did. My beliefs were making it much harder to get things done, to prioritize, to feel good about what I did accomplish, to enjoy the process, and to keep moving.
As part of the coaching I tried on different ways of looking at things. Through that process, I realized that although I had a number of things I was committed to doing, looking at them as a mountain that had buried me was only one way of looking at it. As part of the coaching, I imagined the mountain gone and myself living freely. I was shocked at the lightness and freedom and purpose that filled me. When I looked at my commitments, they had gotten smaller, not because I had fewer commitments, but because I had shifted how I looked at myself in relation to them. Instead of being buried under them, they were available to me to choose the ones I wanted to address. I regained some of the joy and purpose that had me choose all of these commitments in the first place.
Going forward, I kept a picture in my mind of me walking in the wilderness marveling at the beauty of the mountains and feeling supported by them. It was still a busy year. I still got behind and sometimes felt frustrated. On the whole, though, my life felt different because I was able to enjoy each day and each thing I did. I celebrated the things I accomplished and felt good about working and taking time off. I also received more coaching that kept me on track and in good relationship with myself and my life. Looking at the beliefs and assumptions we hold about a situation, noticing the impact those beliefs have on us, and then consciously trying on different beliefs and assumptions can completely shift our relationship with whatever we are dealing with.
I invite you to play with these questions: Where do you feel stuck or powerless in your life? What are the beliefs and assumptions you are holding about yourself and the situation? What is the impact of living from those beliefs? What are some different ways to look at yourself and the situation? What changes when you try on these different ways of looking? I’d love to hear what you discover.
Steven Filante, CPCC, PCC is a Professional Certified Coach, an international coach trainer and a mentor coach. Always open to new modalities and possibilities, Steven challenges his learners to examine all parts of the human experience and how it can bring value to coaching. He coaches small business owners and executives who need a coaching ally to translate their vision of change into the world. Steven designed and delivered Fire in the Heart, an advanced coach training course.
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