Over ten years ago I was a successful but stressed out lawyer with no life or even less joy in my life. This was not caused by the loved ones and friends around me but by me, and me alone!
I was offered coaching by a good friend who had been a successful management consultant with Accenture and other leading companies. This was not the only time this happened. At various networking events I had met life coaches of different backgrounds and quality.
I always said NO! Not because I questioned the very fine qualities of my friend or the other coaches but because I didn’t believe in life coaching. I could not see how it could possibly benefit me or my life. I was arrogant, ignorant and really very stupid! This was despite the fact I was actually considered to be quite clever, as well as held in high regard by my colleagues and critics alike.
SO, how could it be that I was such a shortsighted idiot and what changed to make me become a believer in the skill, art and success of Coaching?
Reflecting on this my first thought on why I had rejected coaching was that it could be a cultural issue. I am British by birth, and you know, Brits can be quite a proud and stubborn lot! Just look at the United Kingdom’s dealings with the rest of the world both in history and now, where despite its reduced influence on the world, it still continues to punch above its weight, or at least us Brits like to believe we do!
In true British style, I have always been quite proud and worked hard for everything I achieved in my career. I have had some wonderful mentors along the way, not least my first ever boss, who took me under his wing when I was a 17 year old outdoor clerk in a law firm based in the ancient heart of the legal profession, the Inner Temple in London. I cannot tell you the love and affection I still hold for this man today but there are areas where I can reflect back and recognize with age and experience I no longer accept or agree with many of his views, not least where it came to areas like the expression of feelings and openness to believing in these fangled new age practices that have never helped anyone.
A successful lawyer and subsequently Judge, I wanted to be like him and for a long time, believed his every word. Please don’t get me wrong, it was not that he was incorrect, it was just a very different age born of the Second World War, as well as the period thereafter, which were tough times in the United Kingdom and Europe for people of my parents and grandparents generations. So was this a cultural issue that was responsible? I think it contributes but is not the only issue.
Was I a coward, I don’t mean in the old fashion sense of the expression! My wife tells me that one of the qualities she fell in love with is that I always try to face any problem head on and work hard to find a solution rather than avoiding it! That’s a contradiction to accepting the benefits of coaching right?
So, what was I afraid of opening up? Admitting I have made mistakes and facing them? I think if we are honest with ourselves, we are all a little afraid of doing so, that is what makes us human after all, unless of course you are a sociopath, a few of whom I have worked for over the years, in which case your self-belief and confidence is second to none!
The thing is, and it’s a silly thing really, COACHING REALLY WORKS! Not only does it work but it is not about mistakes or exposing you. It is about the future as well as the here and now!
When I work with a client it is my client who sets the agenda, and comes up with the answers, albeit with a little steering and guidance from me using my ears, eyes, and mouth, asking the right questions. My clients already have the answers but they can be hidden deep or right in front of their faces! I help them to find them and as I have already said, COACHING WORKS!
As a coach, when I see the breakthroughs achieved by my clients as well as the fantastic results they achieve, this brings me genuine pleasure and joy to know that they are progressing to the next stage of their success or breakthrough in life.
I shouldn’t be surprised really, as soon as I started using a life coach the old concerns and negative thoughts were there and I was initially hesitant, resistant, and nervous. My skillful coach asked me the right questions and pretty much straight away I noticed my life changing through a number of breakthroughs.
I was realizing that events that had held me back were not the root of my problems, it was me, and only me! I learnt to become a happier, better and more successful person.
So, all those years ago, how could I have been so unwise so as to believe that coaching could not help me? I’m still not sure I have an answer to that but coaching is about the future as well as the
here and now! That is all that matters!
Professional Life Coaches undertake specialist courses and obtain skills as part of their accreditation process which involve them learning about themselves to enable them to help others. It is a fascinating journey, sometimes difficult but extremely rewarding.
Why wouldn’t this be attractive? Is it cultural or more? Only you can find out the answer to that question but trust me, I wouldn’t have missed this journey for anything and I’m so happy that I am a LIFE COACH, able to help others on their journey too!
It is both exciting and fascinating.
If you would like to have a commitment free chat with me, drop me a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org