June 5th, 2020 by Gina January 3rd, 2020 by Gina
I do not tell people what to do, I don’t offer advice and I’m not a therapist. Rather, I guide people down the path to discover answers for themselves. Life coaching misconceptions can deter you from this life-changing process; I will discuss two false beliefs.
My purpose as a life coach is to introduce people to themselves. You believe certain things about the world around you; you believe certain things about yourself. I hold up a mirror, ask you to reflect and I take your brain to places it has not been. The purpose of getting coached is that you get out of your own head, expand your myriad opportunities and become grounded so as to think in useful terms (see Post #18). This process transforms you into an emotionally mature, self-confident thinker who makes purposeful decisions. I’d like to clear up two common life coaching misconceptions in an attempt to be transparent with my coaching style. Note, I cannot speak for other life coaches; I speak for my own practice.
Myth 1: “We should be happy all the time.”
Accuracy: There is no good without the bad.
One hundred percent happiness is not an idea that I teach to my clients, nor do I believe it to be true. This is a typical life coaching misconception. In fact, my stance is that there is no good without the bad, there is no great without awful, and there is no happy without the sad. Part of our human experience includes contrast. It is a given that we are going to experience the full spectrum of emotional contrasts during our lives.
What my life coaching offers you is the ability to handle the awful parts of life and enjoy the positives. It teaches you how to think in a self-serving way despite your negative circumstances. You learn how to process emotions. When you understand where your emotions come from, you can use them to your advantage. Emotions are the fuel for our lives. Everything you do and say stems from the emotions stirring up inside you.
Myth 2: “We should set goals and achieve them so we can be happy.” Accuracy: Your reward is found in the journey, not the destination.
This life coaching misconception may leave you curious. Our typical society leads most of us to believe achievement is essential to our wellbeing. For example, it’s good to achieve a stellar grade point average, a high salary, a stable job, or a large house because that is what success ‘looks like’. We are fed messages throughout our lives that the achievement of tangibles or intangibles equates to happiness.
I teach my clients that while achievement can be a great thing, it is not the end all be all. This is true because after having achieved that wonderful goal or item, you think about the next one and you are left wanting more. When you derive fulfillment purely from the end achievement, you will never gain long-term satisfaction. Rather, you will be left with another empty void to fill.
The purpose of goals, my friends, is not to achieve happiness. Whether you achieve the goal itself is irrelevant! The purpose is to take yourself on an uncomfortable, demanding, self-discovery with bumps and traps along with way. Strategizing a way through obstacles is what forces you to grow and evolve. The harder the journey, the higher the reward. Achievement of a goal is simply a fun byproduct; the true reward comes from conquering your grueling obstacles.
November 29th, 2019 by Gina
Why do you do what you do, i.e., are you fulfilling your why? I dare you to write down your answers. Do your answers feel good? Perhaps they bring about genuine sadness … or a sense of longing for something more. Maybe your answers are superficial enough that you don’t recognize the person who wrote them.
The Negative Build Up
If fulfilling your why is compatible to, “This is my passion … it is fulfilling … there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing…”, congratulations, you’ve made it! However, if your answers are less than thrilling or flat-out depressing, then let’s take action (see Post # 05). Because if you don’t process the negative emotions of feeling stuck, bitter, confused, etc., then you may continue to ignore. When you continue to ignore, the negativity builds and eventually combusts in one form or another.
Reclaim your WHY
Perhaps you can acknowledge you are suppressing your feelings and sweeping them under the rug. Now what? You don’t have to change your job (or your circumstances) in order to be happy. This may be a new concept to you so allow some time to digest. But the source of your unhappiness or negative feelings is not due to your job, your boss or any external entity.
Rather, your ways of thinking, i.e. your beliefs, are causing you to feel negative emotions. It’s tempting to blame your career or an external entity, but the root cause of your problems is due to your own beliefs. Blaming external causes for your feelings depletes your wellbeing because it makes you feel powerless.
A significant life coaching lesson to my clients is that the sources of our pain are not other people, our jobs or external circumstances. The source of our emotional pain is due to the way we choose to label the world around us. How do you choose labels and how do they influence fulfilling your why?
Maybe you’re contently performing your very first professional job. Perhaps you’ve been around the block having worked for many employers under many job titles. Or, you’re somewhere in between. But there’s one thing you’re sure of: someday you will land your dream job.
Boundless marketing messages feed into the idea that your dream job is awaiting your much anticipated arrival. Colleges love to brag about high job placements for their graduates into happily-ever-after occupations. Social media bombards with promises to help you find your dream job. Recruiters, career coaches and career strategists like to boast about placing people into their dream jobs.
If you noticed, I am referring to your dream job as an ‘idea’ (see Post #17). As mentioned above, this idea is rampant in our society, as if your dream job truly exists (you just have to find it). After all, it sounds completely reasonable, and even expected, that many working professionals feel entitled to that one dream job.
What’s the problem with all this fluffy messaging? The problem is that maybe there is no dream job out there. In fact, I would state most professionals I’ve encountered have never found their dream jobs. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly some people who do. I’m afraid they are few and far between.
So, if you are on the hunt, if your mission is to find that dream job, you may be searching for a while. The ideal job may not be out there like the external messages state. I’m not wanting to crush your soul or make you feel regretful, despite my sounding like a wicked person. Rather, I’m offering a valuable truth that I wish someone would have shared with me. It is a legitimate possibility you’re looking for something that does not exist.
Which naturally leads you to the next question: “Now what?” You suspect the next best thing may be to find a job that’s close enough to perfect … like a spouse or a house. It is a reasonable guess, but it is not the answer I have in mind.