I continuously get stuck on answering the question of, “What is a Personal Coach?” I have colleagues who have these beautiful one liners that are powerful, engaging, and colorful. I’ve tried that approach and it just isn’t me. I feel like I’m trying too hard. I’ve been known to ramble through a tirade of items I have used coaches for over the years. Sometimes I will say something that speaks to the person in a big way but often I see their eyes glaze over as I overwhelm them.
One thing that does tend to resonate is the personal trainer approach. A Personal Coach is a Personal Trainer for your mind. Personal Trainers work with clients to focus on certain muscles or problem areas that the client identified. The Personal Trainer will offer new exercises and ways of thinking about fitness while holding the client accountable to reach their goals. A Personal Coach works the same way.
The idea of exercising your mind is often new for people. Scientifically our brains are designed for survival. All living beings need to be conscious to their surroundings and be aware of danger. The result of this design is that nature has us looking for the negative. When you really think about that pull we all have as humans towards the negative, it begins to make sense why positivity is a major sales market. Books, videos, speakers, courses, and Personal Coaches to name a few things. To live in a positive, rewarding, and life-fulfilling way takes practice, exercises, new ways of thinking, and accountability by a trusted person who has your best interest at heart.
Here’s an example…
Client: My husband is never going to change. He never supports me.
Coach: Have you asked him to support you in something specific? You have this upcoming charity event, what if you ask him to be a greeter at the front door?
Client: He will just say no.
Coach: Is that really true? Have you ever asked for something this specific? Have you asked in a way that is positive and not assuming he will say no?
Client: I guess not, he’s just never showed interest in my events, so I know he won’t do it.
Coach: What if he thinks you don’t want him involved? What if he thinks you aren’t interested in having his help?
Client: I never thought about that. I am usually a crazy taskmaster when planning an event and he has jokingly called me The Tornado.
Coach: Interesting … It’s true that you are clearly in charge and super capable, what if he thinks he will be in your way?
Client: I see how that could be the case. Okay, I will ask him to be a greeter at the event. He might go for it.
By challenging the client’s habitual negative thinking towards her husband, a new way of communicating with him was considered by the client with a potentially different outcome. She may find that her husband wants to be more supportive but is only needing a specific request.
As a Personal Coach, I would follow up with the client and hold her accountable to testing those long held negative beliefs around communication with her husband. I would continue to help her find new tools for relating to him that are positive. These tools will help her create more enjoyable relationships with all her loved ones.
Have you considered how positive thinking is a daily exercise? When you get derailed from your goals and dreams, do you have a practice to focus your mental resolve back to living your best life? Having a personal coach can be a luxury … sure … but from my own experience … every time that I invest in myself … from hiring a coach … to buying a leadership book … to watching an inspiring TED Talk … the payoffs are immeasurable. Just the same as when I’m working hard at the gym.