Our lives have all been touched by a powerful teacher or guide at some point in our lives - if we’re lucky, we’ve been blessed with many of them. A great teacher or coach is essential if you want to blast through your blind spots and claim your optimal success. You will have the most success if you come to your coaching relationship with a few principles in mind. Some of the inspiration for this post comes from an article by Tim Ferriss entitled, “The Magic of Apprenticeship--A How-to Guide.” It shows an interesting history of students finding apprenticeships that truly worked for them, and times when they didn’t. It got us thinking about finding the right coach and making the most of the coaching-client relationship. The way you show up for your coaching relationship will determine how quickly you reach your goals and how supported you feel during the process. Here are some guidelines to help you get the most out of coaching:
Find a master. Many people choose to work with a coach to help them master an area of life that they struggle with. This might be relationships, business, mindset, or spirituality. If this is your situation, look for someone who knows more than you do about the area you struggle with. This may seem obvious - yet it’s often overlooked. The financial consultant who never has any money, the relationship coach who never has a steady relationship, the business coach who doesn’t have a successful business, the spiritual teacher who is manipulative and angry - they aren’t the ones for you. If you’re looking for someone to make you feel good, secure or to commiserate in your struggle, find a friend. If you’re looking for someone to blame when things do not go according to plan, get a stuffed animal. If you are looking for guidance towards your clear goals, find a master.
Trust your gut. With #1 in mind, if you feel a person can help you, they probably can. When you are focused on what you want and the right mentor or coach appears (yes, he/she will appear!) you will recognize that person and understand that the Universe sent you a guide to help you on your mission. Often, finding the right person doesn’t require that much searching. You will know when you find him/her. The part of you that wants to research, interview a bunch - it’s a distraction from your truth. If you feel a big YES when you’re trying on working with someone, go with that. If it’s anything else, move on. Trust your gut.
Get All The Way In. Ask yourself, “Am I here to learn?” Once you’ve chosen your coach, choose to go all the way into the container they hold for you. This takes faith in yourself (Choose this everyday!! You deserve it!!!) and in your coach (Why are you working with them otherwise?!). This also requires a surrender to the process they are guiding you through - and there is deep vulnerability in surrender, so be prepared to get uncomfortable out there on the edge of what you know - that’s how you grow. How do you know if you’re all the way in? We’re so glad you asked! Are you willing to do what your coach suggests (or do you come up with reasons why you should ignore their instruction)? Do you prioritize your work with your coach (or procrastinate with other activities)? Are you doing the work because it’s truly what you want in order to live the life you deeply desire (or because you want to be a good student)? If you choose the first part of each of those, you will hear and see the truth - comfortable or not - that will ultimately contribute to your growth. Release your grip on control. You chose your coach. Get all the way in.
Take 100% responsibility for your own results. This is one of the most commonly misunderstood elements of working with a coach, or as it turns out, any teacher: they can’t do it for you. No matter how good your coach, no matter how amazing their advice, no matter what they have accomplished, it's still up to you to do the work to change your life. Only you (thank goodness, right?!) have the power to change your life. A great coach can hold a door open for you; you have to walk through it. This is so important, it rivals #1 in this list. Take 100% responsibility for your own results and you will change your life so fast your head will spin.
Communicate. Talk to your coach about what’s going on. Let yourself be seen in your challenges and in your successes - this is how the work is done. Whatever you hide will sabotage the work. It’s vulnerable, we know. Include your coach in your process - especially if you’re struggling to make the most of the coaching relationship! They can help you through the issues you are having - let them. If the issues you are having are directly with your coach, you will only be able to take care of them and get on with your important work if you get it all out on the table.
The key to getting what you want--including the right teacher!-- begins with allowing yourself to want what you want, focus on what you love, show up fully and let the universe will provide. We love your questions and comments - please share with us below!