Why Do You Need a Coach?
What is a coach supposed to do for you?
Have you ever had a really good coach, mentor, or teacher -- maybe on a high school sports team, an ally on your first job, or just some caring person who took a little extra time to help you with something? What was the key thing that made that person so helpful?
We all need support when we’re learning something new. There’s a lot we can do on our own, but the wisdom and guidance of someone else, who is a bit further along in the journey, can be invaluable.
If you ever decided to learn something new or change something in your life, chances are, one of the first things you did was look for someone to show you how. You may have gone to a class, watched a YouTube video (just ask my husband about the drywall finishing skills I acquired from a 4-minute video), or just asked someone for guidance.
You could have just read a book and tried to figure it out, but the advantage of getting someone else to walk you through it is that they can support you in your weak spots, give you hints to make it easier, and celebrate with you once you’ve mastered it. There is absolutely no substitute for have someone in your corner who maybe knows a little bit more than you do and wants you to succeed. That’s why even in the most well-structured online courses, there’s almost always an option to ask a question or reach out to the teacher for help.
When I started my own business, there was a lot I could do on my own. I read books and blogs and took courses. I learned so much. I got the basic concepts down on my own, kept myself really busy learning new technology, and dove into each new idea with unbridled enthusiasm.
But I reached a point where it felt like I had literally hit a wall. I had no idea what to do next. All the systems were in place, I had done all I knew how to do, and I was getting nowhere. Because I had some vague goal of doing it all on my own, I was extremely resistant to paying someone to help me. I was sure there were enough resources out there for my to be truly solo on this journey.
Here’s the thing I’ve since come to understand: when you’re working within your own set of values, ideas, and beliefs, it’s impossible for you to even see what’s holding you back. What a good coach does is challenge you, suggest new ideas, and support you in adding to your current knowledge. They can see where you’re sabotaging yourself, and offer guidance to think and do things differently.
One of the reasons I absolutely love being a coach is that moment when I can clearly see the limiting belief that’s holding my client back, and we can work together to reframe it. The coach’s job is to help get clarity, and provide relief.
Coaches take all different forms. Maybe you know someone who’s in a really happy marriage, and you get advice from them about how to navigate disagreements with your spouse. Maybe you’ve hooked up with a really successful professional in your field, who you can turn to when you feel stuck or overwhelmed. Or maybe you just call your sister when you’re having a tough time, and she’s great and giving you a pep talk and helping you calm down. Or maybe you need to find a professional who specializes in the thing you’re struggling with.
Here’s the caveat about a good coach, though: they have to be able to set their own judgments aside, have your best interest at heart, and actually know what they’re talking about. I’ve heard so many horror stories of people who felt vulnerable and needed guidance, but accidentally paired up with someone who was negative, judgmental, or just extremely rigid in their own beliefs, and ended up making things even worse.
When you’re getting advice or support from someone, notice if it feels right. Make sure the advice you’re getting is in alignment with your values, makes you feel good, and provides you some relief. People usually mean well, but sometimes they end up projecting all their sore spots and personal challenges onto you.
We’re not meant to navigate this journey through life alone. We naturally gravitate to other people who we feel aligned with, and it’s in our nature to help one another. If you’re struggling with some aspect of your life, find someone who can help. You can be absolutely sure that there’s someone else around you who has been through what you’re going through and would be happy to offer you some guidance. The first step is opening yourself up to receive that support.
Contact me if you’d like to learn more about how a coach can help you.