Within the world of personal development there is a constant flow of cliches and Coaches are not immune! Getting under the surface of the noise and discovering the truth about Coaching for yourself isn't always that simple. It requires some sifting and then reflection on whether the investment is worthwhile.
Here are a few reasons why I think it's definitely worth it.
1. Avoiding Your Own Echo Chamber
Our own thinking is immersive and our experience is coloured by a multitude of presumptions about other people, ourselves and the world around us. We often pre-judge things and believe our own thinking to be the truth. Although there are often good reasons why we believe our own story about ourself and others, there's also a lot within our own thinking that keeps us limited. We need to expand our understanding and find new ways of seeing ourselves in order to achieve more. A Coach can help you do this. It's their job.
The outside perspective a Coach can bring to you and your business can add a huge amount of clarity. A client of mine recently commented that he felt the breakthroughs he was having during the Coaching sessions were bringing tangible changes in his mindset - particularly with how he saw his employees. His mindset had shifted from expecting others to approach their work just as he did, to one that was much more appreciative of how each individual in his team added a unique set of qualities to the company. As a result, he was more able to motivate them and build rapport with them.
If we want to grow our businesses, develop our career or find new ways to thrive as a person then things need to change. If we keep doing the same things, then we can expect the same results or worse.
It takes intention, will and determination to go against the flow of our habitual responses to life's challenges. If we don't want mediocre results then we need to find a way to transform our responses.
I was with a client recently who had identified several patterns in his behaviour that meant he really felt stagnant with his life and frustrated by the lack of control he had with his business. He wanted a robust and powerful method for change that would mean exciting results that would engage him fully with a new career and a transformed outlook on himself and those around him. We worked together to develop a plan that would ensure the right changes would happen, over a six-month period. He knew he couldn't do this on his own and that he needed to invest in himself in order to create what he wanted. After the Coaching programme had finished he confirmed to me that his relationship with his business has transformed completely - he was now in control of his business and not the other way round. In addition the stagnation he had felt in other areas of his life had shifted too.
The secret to this change is really in the mindset behind the behaviours. Once the mindset changes then everything changes.
3. No Investment, No Return
Without investment, there can be no return. It's a simple fact that many people considering Coaching don't fully appreciate. Often we tend to look at the pain of having to make a decision, rather than the joy of focussing on the desired result.
One thing to consider is that when we don't exercise our health is likely to get worse, not stay the same. I think it's the same with our mind. Our habits get stronger and our thinking becomes entrenched. It feels like we are meeting the same problems all the time and we get disheartened.
We need new insights. We need fresh thinking. We need to be challenged and supported.
A potential client of mine was a millionaire. She had built up a successful drinks company and was in the position not to have to work anymore. But, despite her success, she couldn't see how investing in a Coaching programme would work for her - even though she had the sense of her life being rudderless with a sense of disconnect between that and her goals around social justice. Despite my best efforts she just couldn't make the connection. And that's was completely fine with me. Any decision needs to come from within, but the outcome is clear - no action, no courage, no investment = things stay the same.
4. Amplify Your Own Wisdom
Let's face it, life is sometimes confusing. Through sharing our experience with a qualified Coach we can gain clarity on our predicament and begin to see what the best decisions are for ourselves. It's not the job of a Coach to sit in judgement over us, it's their job to listen and ask the right questions so we can develop our own wisdom in a way that is impossible to do on our own. Add to this an understanding of how the human mind works (something that not all Coaches have) then you can make incredible progress.
5. Test Your Goals
When it comes to our ideas about what is realistic and what isn't we need to test them out. With a Coach, you get that opportunity to troubleshoot your ideas and develop a plan to achieve goals in a way that is enjoyable and realistic. We can't stay in our heads when it comes to testing our goals. We need to find a way to move beyond the pipe-dreams and into a workable, energising plan.
Try Before You Buy
Engaging a Coach means commitment of money and time. You need to find the right one for you, so it's a good idea to spend some quality time with a prospective Coach. If you want to try my Coaching you can book a free session and make an informed, pressure-free decision.
A radical approach to being more incredible
It’s easy to think that confidence is a quality we either have or we don’t - depending on the situation. We may feel we’re confident in one-to-one situations but not in groups. We might even believe we’re confident in social situations but not with our bosses. Sometimes we just shrink, can’t find the words and feel paralyzed with fear. At other times we’re unstoppable. Why?
In this article, I’m going to describe how to recognise what confidence really is and how we can enhance it using the principles behind how the human mind works.
What is Confidence, and Where Does it Really Come From?
Most personal development approaches use different factors which try to help you become more confident and effective. It may be through understanding your personality type, developing leadership abilities or communications skills that provide the principal content. They may put forward certain attitudes, thinking patterns and strategies to adopt that enhance confidence and help you to be more successful.
The approach I use is different as it explores the fundamental and natural functions of our mind, what thought is, and how our thinking (and narrative) creates our experience of confidence (or lack thereof).
Lacking Confidence Is Painful
The human mind is capable of the most incredible feats of understanding and creativity, yet somehow our full potential eludes us. Somehow we’ve become scared to explore our own thinking, and therefore our own reality, whilst perhaps accepting the common assumption that 'life happens to us' and that the qualities, feelings and important things we aspire to come from ‘outside’.
Even if we try to change our thinking, attitudes and beliefs, our experience can easily default back to what it was before.
There's a missing link.
Part of our failure to really feel the extent of our own awesomeness is that we don’t fully appreciate how our mind works and how it shapes, and indeed creates, our experience. The common paradigm is that the world is ‘out there’ and things ‘happen to us’ thus we see things from an outside -> in perspective.
When we use this common approach in relation to confidence we’ll seek confidence in what others think of us, praise, status and the external trappings of success (for example what car we drive or what brands we wear). As a consequence of the way we see things we seek some kind of ‘confidence fix’ in the wrong object. No wonder we end up feeling deeply unhappy and lacking in confidence when we lose an important client, our boss berates us or our financial situation is not as good as we’d hoped.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that receiving praise or encouragement from others is bad or not helpful. And I’m not saying success and financial freedom are not useful. I’m saying that in themselves they can’t provide real confidence and if we rely on them we’ll remain vulnerable and lack resilience.
Key Principles of How The Mind Works
In truth, what is really happening is that the world 'out there' is shaped, formed and experienced from inside. Our mind is creating (and trying to understand) the world around us and our thinking shapes our experience of it. So, in reality, the external things that contribute to our ‘confidence’ simply don't have the power to deliver because they are outside of our mind and ‘confidence’ is something we’ve made up - a bunch of thoughts and feelings about ourself that we mistakenly attribute to what others think of us, our status or some other external thing. Our 'confidence' will, therefore, be sitting on thin ice.
There's a deeper confidence that's available to us. But to access it more of the time we need to understand how our mind works.
The way the mind works is a bit like the body's immune system - when we allow things to heal, they heal. They sort themselves out more effectively. The mind is like this and our busy thinking just gets in the way.
So, when we get out of our own way and allow our mind to function as it should, we can see things from a wiser perspective. One of the natural side-effects is that we experience more flow, connectedness and confidence. Our mind becomes clearer and new insights can emerge. For example, when we sit quietly in meditation our mind eventually settles on its own. Or we may be focussing on a big challenge without any solutions coming. If we relax, do something different, forget about the problem, then new insights can emerge.
After 25 years of martial arts, deliberate personal growth and meditation, I don't doubt this at all. You see, the nature of the mind is really clarity and lucidity. Our personal thinking obscures this, just like clouds hiding the blue sky behind.
Our Thinking and How It Creates “Confidence”
Are any of these thoughts familiar to you?
From our stream of thoughts, and through how we have interpreted events in our lives, we create a narrative about ourselves. That story forms much of our experience and although it changes over time, it can keep us stuck in counterproductive patterns, that we end up believing.
And guess what? That thinking governs our behaviour and creates a feedback loop of ‘reality’.
But we forget one really important thing. Our mind is not the camera – observing and recording our experience – it's the projector. It’s all made up from inside. We’re making it up with our thinking.
So, confidence doesn’t really exist. It’s just part of a narrative or story we tell ourselves. And that narrative is not accurate nor is it even the truth of what's happening.
How to Enhance Confidence, So That it’s Always There When We Need it.
We’d all love to experience more confidence, but as we have seen, our thinking about ourself just gets in the way, so having an understanding of how the mind works means we can access a deeper form of confidence.
The challenge is that our thinking is immersive. So how can we access the qualities that are already present within us? How can we shine, and feel happy to do so when the noise in our mind is telling us so many other things?
The interesting thing is, when we get out of our own way, we feel capable, in flow, effective, able to deliver - because confidence and all those other qualities we have are actually already there because they are naturally part of us.
But how do we get out of our own way?
We might need a few minutes a day to remember these key things - or use some kind of lever to rebalance our mind for example meditation, yoga, going for a walk or something similar. When we allow our mind to work unhindered, we then find that we can be naturally confident. It seems so simple, yet this is quite a shift in our mindset.
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Get in touch to arrange a Trial Coaching Session.
We all hit adversity. And chaos. It's inevitable. Things go wrong, they change and it feels like we're in deep water. But how we react will dictate whether it's a problem or a challenge. This then opens the way to either sinking into anxiety and stress or transformation through learning and insight. Gritting our teeth and moving into survival mode can get us through - but will leave us depleted, not having learnt much and never wanting to repeat the experience.
Examples of the type of adversity I mean here are:
One: Get Some Perspective
When we're in the thick of it, it's hard to get perspective on what's really going on. Because our thoughts are so immersive we easily lose perspective and believe everything we're feeling and thinking. The truth is, our own thinking is limited and at times unhelpful. In fact, many of our thoughts are based on stories we tell ourselves - stories that are fundamentally untrue. No wonder we feel confused sometimes.
To get some perspective talk to someone you can trust about what's going on - a mentor, friend or colleague. A Coach can also help. Find someone that can magnify your wisdom and help you see beyond your problems.
Two: Ask Yourself - Where is The Problem Really Coming From?
We might find it hard to see where our problems are really coming from. Often we feel stressed and experience some kind of mental pain when things get challenging, but that's our internal reaction to external events at work there. What we really need to look at (and give space to) is our feelings. By separating out how we are feeling about events from the events themselves, we can identify what is causing us difficulty or discomfort internally and let go.
By seeing our feelings like temporary weather in our mind, then we can gain clarity again. This then puts us in a much better position to deal with the external events and challenges.
Three: Know That Clarity and Insight Are Available To You At Any Time
The deeper nature of our mind is clarity. And when we allow it, our wisdom is there for us. Our emotions can cloud our judgement, but the essential clarity of our mind is always there. You can enhance this greatly by meditating for a few minutes every day.
Four: Get Out of Your Own Way
Often we get stuck - thinking we are the feelings we are having and then following a story such as 'I can't cope with this' or 'I'm an anxious person'. When we see beyond our superficial thoughts and stop identifying so strongly with our feelings we can return to equilibrium. Getting out of our own way means confidence returns and we feel more naturally able to meet any challenges we are facing.
Five: Look After Yourself
It seems obvious but it's really hard to get enough sleep, exercise and nutrition when things get tough. Make sure you relax in the evenings, after some nutritious food and don't put off that trip to the gym, meditation session or yoga class. You can thank yourself afterwards!
Want To Find Out More?
For a free one-to-one Coaching consultation, or just a chat, contact me on 07717 172 691.