The excitement after I qualified as a Life Coach kicked in quite fast. It took me only a couple of months to get my first clients in, some were pro-bono some others had accepted that I was convincing enough to pay the coaching fee :P
I was very happy to finally start coaching with the new knowledge I had learned during my studies. I have always been passionate about intentional growth, had been devouring books and books and became quite fluent in the language of self development but finally I had some sort of framework and a title / diploma to help people with!
As I met my clients, session over session I started to realize that there was something missing. The approach I was helping my clients with, felt confined to the brain only. Goals, repetition of new behaviors, positive affirmations, to-do-lists, accountability buddies...all tools extremely helpful in supporting radical change, my clients were happy!...but the question that kept coming at me was..what happens when this structure falls. There are just so many accountability buddies you can get to text you every morning to check that you went for your run. The to-do lists! pages and pages of items to tick off...but what happened if my client had their heart broken and needed help with that? What when a client needed support with their unhealthy eating habits, or a relationship issue?
I had to learn to help them dive deeper. Dive deeper into the motivation behind habits and routines that caused unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
See, we are so used to superficial quick fixes... 3 steps to achieve this and that, the 5 habits of successful people..the reality is that, change that is radical and change that is truly transforming, is slow, is deep is challenging.
As humans we often operate from a perspective of "gain" or "avoiding pain"... yes we are quite simple like that! :) Which is great news!!! This means that once we identify what are we trying to gain or what are we looking to avoid..we are many steps ahead towards our desired change.
So, I want to leave you with those simple questions you can ask yourself when you need them the most (think manically scrolling through social media, reaching for the bar of chocolate, cancelling the gym class, reacting abruptly to someone...)
What am I trying to gain here?
What am I looking to avoid?
Disclaimer - it's not bad per-se to be on social media or eat chocolate or cancelling the gym if you need to rest. What I have listed are just examples or the most common behaviors people might want to change and /or behaviors that create dissatisfaction with Life. And dissatisfaction, unease, unhappiness is the sign that you might want to pause and reflect.
I have seen it times and times again and I am the living proof of this... real, radical, sustainable change only happens when we first identify the motivation behind the behaviors we want to change and work from there.
May you live intentionally,