I had always thought that being a coach meant being an expert at something, sharing your expertise with another person in order for them to increase their skills and showing them how to attain a pre-set goal. I now realise that a coach can be that, but it can also be something quite different.
One of the dictionary definitions I came across is as follows: someone who you pay to give you advice about how to improve your life.
About six years ago someone close to me hired a Life Coach as they were having problems with life; feeling stuck, not knowing where to go and how to get there.
The Coach they chose was a lovely woman who would spend an hour a week, helping to identify goals and setting targets to reach those goals. My friend enjoyed the sessions and always felt good after them, but, within a day or two they would feel like rubbish again and any motivation they had felt would seem to disappear.
After a couple of months and several hundred pounds my friend stopped the sessions as he felt that he was obviously just the type of person who naturally felt rubbish and was not going to get anywhere in life.
Now this Life Coach, a lovely lady who cared deeply, was working to the definition above. My friend paid her and she gave him advice to improve his life. To do that she needed to believe three important things – that he would pay her (he did), that she would give advice (she did) and that his life needed improving (she did).
Now this is where I got confused. I could not see that my friend’s life needed improving, because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he was absolutely fine, in fact he was perfect as he was. Yes he was feeling that he was stuck and directionless but I knew that that would change and that he would come out of the fog when he remembered that he was perfectly fine, with a resilience and wellbeing that equipped him to really enjoy life.
I also knew that he didn’t need advice because he knew everything that he needed to know.
So, to me Life Coaches, at least the one that I met, were caring, decent people who had others best interests at heart but just had things a bit wrong. So that’s where I left it.
Fast forward a few years and I came across the Three Principles. I quickly realised that this understanding made sense of life and pointed me to something that I and everyone else, including my friend, had had all along – innate health, wellbeing and infinite potential to live life to the full. Wow!
This realisation was so profound for me that I knew that I wanted to share it with anyone who would listen and boy did I try! Now the thing that caused me the most sleepless nights was what to call myself!
A teacher? Maybe but not really as that had a different meaning to most people.
A Facilitator? Maybe, but that seemed to cause a lot of confusion and resulted in my struggling to explain what on earth I meant!
I toyed with other names; mentor, sharer and even buddy! Not surprisingly, none of them fitted.
As I met more people in the Three Principles community I noticed that many of them used the word Coach to describe what they do, and that the name made no difference to the way they taught or shared their understanding.
Interestingly a lot of the people that became their clients were in fact responding to the dictionary definition of wanting advice and to improve their lives because that was what they thought they needed!
I watched and spent time with Three Principles Teachers and Coaches who taught or shared the understanding of how life worked via the Three Principles, and I noticed that they were all doing the same thing.
They did not give advice, and they certainly weren’t in the business of showing people how to change their lives because they had a deep knowing that the people they were serving weren’t broken or in need of fixing anyway!
I watched these teachers and coaches as they pointed people back home, back to the place where they knew we are powered by an invisible Divine Force that knows exactly what we need to do in any given moment.
How did they do that? Well, they explained over and over, using metaphors and stories, how we have thousands of thoughts flowing through in any one day and those thoughts that we give attention to create our reality and the feelings that we feel.
Sounds too simple? Well it really is! We do have a choice as to what thoughts we give attention to and that those thoughts come with perfectly matched feelings and, even though it doesn’t always seem like that, it really is the way life works, 100% of the time!
And then, the really magic part is, that when we realise that our thoughts are neutral and powerless unless we give them attention, we can relax, and that then creates space for our innate wisdom and common sense (sense common to us all) to bubble up and show us the way. How great is that!
So, let’s go back to the beginning.
Why did I call myself a coach? Actually, because it doesn’t matter what I call myself.
I have chosen to share my understanding of how life works so that the people I work with, as they see the truth of it, gain a freedom that they had never thought possible, with a whole bunch of new opportunities for good measure.
I guess I may decide to change the name of what I do but I know that I will still be doing what I do – and that is sharing an understanding of how life works.
If this blog makes you curious to find out more about this stuff, please do contact me.
If you are left feeling totally confused and discombobulated then please don’t worry – you’ll know what to do when you need to know!