So you want to be your best self? Fantastic! Me too, and for me, that sure wasn’t easy. I kept dancing with the same challenges and only flirting with big opportunities. The tension between where I was and where I could be made me enthusiastic and frustrated at the same time. I was far from a hero but I began to feel a growing potential and desire in me. I felt energized by the idea that there could be more to life. That I could make my dreams come true. Off I went chasing my dreams and got knocked down on my ass pretty quickly. The setback paralyzed me. I decided to pull back and try again next time, when I was ready. After a year I started to get frustrated with myself. I couldn’t continue like that. It was killing me inside. I decided to find a way to get myself unstuck, unlock my potential and break the chains for good. After $24.782 and three years invested into various ways of self-development a friend of mine recommended coaching to me.
This post covers my personal experience with coaching after ten one hour sessions. I’ll break down what coaching is, what happens in the coaching process and what are its pros and cons.
What is coaching?
Coaching is a tailor made process that helps you focus on your true path with improved productivity, goals achievement and satisfaction with life and work.
When I understood this, I thought “Just what I need, tailor made! Ah, finally someone to tell me exactly what to do to get unstuck!”. But, luckily, coaching is even better than that.
We have a plenty of people telling us how to live our life. I was so used to relying on other's advice and strategies, in the process I had totally lost me. That’s actually the last thing we really need. I thought I could find “the way” by modelling the ways of others. I did, but I found their way, not mine.
“You simply must stop taking advice from other people” Alvin Toffler, American Author
In coaching the coach rarely, if ever, tells you what you should do. Here’s why: everything about you is unique. You, your personality, your strengths, your life, your situation and your future are unique. Only you can unlock your potential but how? Coaches see you as the expert of your life. You are the expert of you with all the answers within you, waiting to be found. During the process, you'll hear your own true voice.
A story of a golden Buddha statue sums it up quite nicely. Long time ago a war broke loose and a village was about to be attacked. The people of the village decided to cover their golden Buddha statue to protect it so that the enemy wouldn’t destroy it. The enemy got hold of the village and the statue stayed untouched for 1000 of years. During that time the original villagers took over the city again but they had forgotten about the statue. Then one day a wagon accidentally crashed into it. A piece of the clay fell off, revealing the gold inside. The message spread fast and soon villagers were surrounding it and cheering as they broke off the clay from the surface.
Similarly, your true voice can be hidden under tens of years of advice on what you should be, do and strive to achieve. It might have been your family that imprinted these beliefs on you or by someone who didn’t see your unique worth and who you really are. And now, maybe after couple big hits that have forced you to take a closer look at yourself you see, that there's a core in you that is worthy, potential, full of personality and dreams.
The Benefits, Pros, and Cons
Coaching helps you to remove the clay that is covering your best self, your true self.
But we'll get to that and the benefits of coaching soon. Before we dive into what benefits I received from coaching, I'll quickly cover the obvious cons that coaching has.
Overwhelming coach choices
If you're lucky you might find a good coach through your own network by asking around. But that doesn’t guarantee that it’s the right one for you. The coach my friend used wasn't a great match for me. So I tried to look for one by myself. I used hours searching for a coach that would match my needs and situation. It was so overwhelming that I gave up. After a while, I heard that my friend was developing a service called Coachilla that helps people find the right coach. I tried it and it made it super easy for me (that's actually how I joined our team too!).
When I first tried coaching I was in a bad situation, making only $700 a month. Luckily I found a coach that suited me perfectly and had a low price per session. Using Coachilla we were matched together, met in a free coaching session and connected via video calls. I took ten sessions within 3 months for $400, $40/h. Coaching can cost anything from $40 to thousands of dollars per hour. More experienced coaches usually cost more. The average price for life coaching being $178/h. My second coach cost $400/h. It’s recommended that one takes 7 - 10 sessions and I agree. Changing habits requires time. With both coaches, every session gave me a lot of mind blowing insights, even the first session. The insights piled on top of each other. I started to see bigger improvements in my thinking after the first five sessions and forward.
Requires a scheduled time slot for the session
My life is busy and I'm pretty sure that so is yours. It can feel daunting and counter intuitive to take time for coaching when there's already so much we would like to do and get done but just can't seem to find the time for it. I learned that that's actually one of the indicators that one could really benefit from coaching. Like that feeling ain't enough, some days I felt that I just didn’t know what I want to do in the coaching session. So there were times when I went into the session not feeling like it at all. I doubted if I would get maximum benefit from it in that mindset or if I should be more prepared. But it turned out to be just the thing I needed in that moment to get out of the funk. The really good thing was that with video calls, I didn't have to go through the traffic and travel to meet the coach. I could join the sessions where ever I wanted (and wear my home pants!). We talked about my schedule and "tailored" the process so it was flexible and took into consideration my needs and desires.
The magic is in the coaching process
Your coach asks you questions, uses tools, and exercises to understand you better. She'll help you identify your values, needs and goals. You’ll reveal what you really want, why you want it and what lights the fire in your belly. The emphasis in coaching is on the action, accountability, and follow-through. Your coach might help you divide bigger goals into easy to achieve pieces with reminders and incentives to keep you on track and increase your confidence and motivation. Your coach helps you to find ways how to unleash your passion in the most effective way to achieve your goals.
Coaching can help you to:
- Discover, clarify and align with what you really want to do and achieve
- Encourage and guide your self-discovery
- Guide you to identify solutions and strategies that fit you best
- Hold you responsible and accountable
- Face difficult situations and push past emotional barriers
As the coach asks you great questions you gain fresh perspectives. You discover more about yourself; why you feel stuck and frustrated, what do you really want, what strategies suit you best and how you’ll stay focused and motivated to achieve your true ambitions. You gain confidence and enhanced decision-making skills from that knowledge and clarity. Most start to see an enthusiastic energy that gives them drive to pursue your dreams, resulting in increased effectiveness, productivity and goal achievement. When you are closer to what you are capable of being and do what you love to do, you feel satisfaction and joy. The ancient Greek word for joy translates into “good mood of the soul”, and if you ask me that describes the wholesome benefits of coaching quite well.
You get to the core of the matter much faster than you could by yourself or by watching e-course materials or videos that were made to fit many situations. The action steps that you'll plan are the ones that move you in the right direction immediately. Being accountable really makes the difference. You have a cheerleader and someone that helps you when you fall.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Abraham Lincoln
One of the best benefits of the coaching process is that from the experience you actually start to learn how to coach yourself. Instead of chaining you to be dependable on the coach, coaching aims to set you free. Its purpose is to make you self-sufficient and capable of trusting your inner voice. That sure comes in handy in a world that is filled with opportunities, decisions, and requests.
Based on study results, by The International Coaching Federation, 99% of coaching clients are “somewhat to very” satisfied with their coaching experience and 96% would repeat the process.
Sometimes the best thing we can do is to take some “me-time” and focus on ourselves for a moment. And I can’t think of a better way to make fast progress than to use a coach to build a personal plan how to develop yourself. Coaching really puts the “personal” in personal development and gives meaning to what self-development is for you.
If you feel like coaching could benefit you and want to find the best coach easily, let us help you. I'll give you your first session for free, just like Eeppi, my buddy and the founder of Coachilla, did for me when I needed it the most.
Click here and get your first session for free and find the best matching coach, when we launch (soon).
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