Read on to find out my biggest takeaways and what I learned from my life coach.
Ever since I was introduced to The Life Coach School Podcast by a close friend of mine, I’ve been a fan. I’ve listened for years and enjoyed hearing Brooke Castillo explain “The Model” and all sorts of concepts related to it, including real life examples. And I thought I knew it pretty well.
Until I got my own life coach.
One day I was puttering around online (wasting time, probably trying to distract myself from a feeling I didn’t want to feel) and ended up on The Life Coach School website. I thought to myself, “Oh, I’ve never checked out their list of coaches on here.” So I headed to that section just to check it out. No intention of doing anything with that info. Seriously. Just trying to kill time.
And then I found her.
She kept popping up in the different categories I was searching in. And, I think I saw something about coaching moms and got curious. I clicked on her bio, read her little blurb, and immediately burst into tears. (And I’m not a crier.)
Something about the way she talked about guilt and shame and motherhood just pierced my soul. (And I was feeling less than stellar about motherhood at the time.) Before I knew it I had completed the little form to set up a free consult.
“What the heck did I just do?” I thought.
But it was done. And this whole experience obviously meant something. So I followed through with the consult and hired her as my coach.
After a year of being coached by her I can honestly say: best money I’ve ever spent.
Here’s what I learned from my life coach, in no particular order.
“What If It Was Always Meant To Happen This Way?”
Oh boy. This was a tough one for me. I remember telling Denita (that’s her name), “But this is not what I signed up for!” on more than one occasion.
It’s not that I had expected life to be perfect, but I had expected certain things to happen. Like, what I thought were minimum expectations! And when they didn’t, it rocked my world. Not in a good way.
Challenging my thinking about how things were “supposed” to go was one of the best things she could have done for me. Now, in the face of disappointment or frustration about what has or hasn’t happened, I am more inclined to get to this thought fairly quickly.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll still wring my hands and gnash my teeth a little but then I go, “oh wait, um, okay so….” and the self-coaching begins.
I’m not as good at it as Denita, but I’m learning. Actually, I feel like I’m killing it over here in comparison to the me from over a year ago!
“You’re Not That Powerful”
Admittedly, that may sound like a not nice thing to say. But let me give you some context.
I often worry about the ripple effect of what I do or say and how it might “make” someone feel and then act. And them I’m responsible for what they did!!! What if what I say ruins something? Like a relationship? That’s a big deal!
Well, here I am thinking that I’m completely in control of all that happens in a relationship when we all know it takes two to tango! But the simple fact is that I really am NOT that powerful. Lifting that burden from my shoulders was an awkward, but then amazing, experience.
I can’t control what someone else thinks, feels, or does. I can only control how I show up.
Which leads me to the next thing I learned.
“How Do You Want To Show Up?”
Because I can’t control someone else, I’m left with knowing that I can only control me. So, with that truth, how do I want to show up?
I still get angry. Still fume and vent. I have yet to stop rolling my eyes or mumbling under my breath about some thing that happened. But, I am better at slowing down and observing my thoughts.
Denita suggested that I think of the thoughts in my brain like zoo animals. I’m just walking around checking them out, noticing things. Taking that time to “look around” in there really helps me to be more of an analytical observer. I’m not judging (well, trying not to), I’m not pointing fingers. I’m just being curious.
With all that judgement out of the way, I’m free to make some decisions about how I want to think, feel, and act. This has made a huge difference in my life.
“What’s The Worst That Can Happen?”
Does this sound negative too? Look, I’m not a certified life coach, but I know that for me it’s not a negative thing to think about. Because the next step, after thinking about “the worst” (like, reality, people….not like I will die of embarrassment or something), is to think about whether I can handle that “worst” thing.
And usually, that worst thing is not really that big of a deal. And if it is a big deal, if I showed up how I wanted to, I can’t control it anyway (remember, I’m not that powerful).
Let me give you an example of how I’ve used this to calm myself down and get over some fear. Rick and I are contemplating a move. We’ve been in the same town for almost 30 years. And we’re ready for something new. But, “oh my gosh, what if it’s a mistake? What if this desire to move to a waterfront home (it’s only, like, an hour from here) is a huge disaster? What if….”
Question: Julie, what’s the worst that can happen really?
Answer: Um, let’s see. We move, miss our old home, but now we have a different one. But we’re on the water like we wanted, so it’s not a big deal?
Maybe I’m oversimplifying that one. But I tend to get so bogged down in the fear and worry about making a big change that I make it into some kind of life-or-death scenario. It’s not. It’s just moving.
Graduates of The Life Coach School learn The Model for coaching. It’s simply a way of examining human behavior. And it helps grow your awareness and take responsibility for your feelings and actions. I thought I understood it; and I did in theory. Habitual application of The Model? That’s a whole ‘nother thing!
The Model basically shows us how we react to a circumstance with our thoughts, feelings, and actions which then illustrates why we get the result that we get. Here:
- Circumstance (this is neutral–a fact, like something that could be proven in a court of law)
- Thoughts (the sentences that run around in your head….we have like 60,000 of them a day!)
- Feelings (could be anger, sadness, loneliness, fear, resentment, happiness, excitement, etc.)
- Actions (what you do, and this is driven by the feelings)
- Results (and this almost always points back to that thought)
I’m not going to go into it any more than that because, as I mentioned, I’m not a coach. But I highly recommend both my coach and The Life Coach School Podcast if you want to learn more. It’s so useful for identifying how to recognize why we are not getting the results that we want. And for figuring out how to get the results that we do want.
This model is at the core of the coaching. It’s how it’s all done–the framework, if you will. Every circumstance or thought or feeling or action or result can be run through this model. It’s freaky accurate, y’all.
Denita held my hand through this model and after a few months I found myself able to take some steps on my own. Now, I’m of course perfect and never struggle.
I just feel so much more equipped to handle what happens in my life. And I feel like I understand others better as well.
I Could Go On And On…
…but I won’t. I’ll just end this What I Learned From My Life Coach post by saying how grateful I am for having found the right coach. I
think know that finding her was how it was always meant to happen.
I’m grateful that I’ve learned to turn my back on trying to control how others think and feel, and have turned that power inward–I feel more powerful about myself. I feel able to show up how I want to, without so many nagging doubts about how others will think about me.
When I hired my life coach, I felt like I was already in “the worst that can happen” but soon learned to reframe those thoughts and gain a new perspective.
And without my life coach, you wouldn’t even be reading this post!! Denita was instrumental in helping me develop the courage and confidence to start this business and convince Rick to join me. And it’s. been. awesome.
And, as I said before….best investment I’ve ever made. Coaching? Costs money. What I Learned From My Life Coach? Priceless.