My daughter recently said to me, ” I feel like I have bad karma. I seem to be living under a dark cloud.” She is in college, living away from home, and has had to deal with a couple of rough spots. Nothing major, but, then again, that’s my opinion, not hers. To her, life is a bit tough right now, and she is having some difficulty dealing with recent events. There is no doubt that life can be a real bear at times. Some days, everything is really rosy, the sun is shining, things are just falling into place. It’s all flowers, strawberries, chocolate and puppies. Then on other days, thunder and lightning surround you, weeds creep into your mental garden, you are greeted by a flat tire, someone rear ends you on the expressway, you spill hot coffee on your freshly dry-cleaned outfit, or drop your keys down a sewer grate (this actually happened to my other daughter several years ago. Talk about a significantly major PITA!). It just seems like nothing is going your way, and perhaps, it will not go you way ever again. At least that’s the way it feels, anyway.
We face these and even more serious issues every day in life. Some small, some large, some huge. We usually get through these times. We manage. We get by. But sometimes, you find the going tougher than you have ever experienced. You feel like you are wading up stream, in a river of molasses. You fight against the current, swim against the tide, making little to no progress. In these times, the swirling waters threaten to pull you under. You fight to breathe, you gasp for air, you struggle to survive. It is at these times that you should consider seeking out and engaging a Coach, a mentor, a sage. Someone who can listen to and observe the difficulties you are facing, putting them into their proper perspective, and assisting you in emerging successfully out of the morass you have gotten yourself into. A trusted person that you can trust to methodically and patiently help. I can think of many good reasons to engage a coach. I will share ten of them with you now.
- Good Coaches have experience. They have either personally gone through what you are going through, or have seen it before, time and time again. This helps immensely to cut through the haziness of a particular issue, since they typically have been there, done that, bought the T-Shirt.
- Coaches will look at your predicament objectively and unemotionally. This allows them to strip away the bad feelings and drama that you cannot do for yourself. They look at the facts and root cause(s) of your issues. The cut to the objective chase.
- Coaches listen really well. They make sure they understand your point of view (after all, you are the one with the problem!). They do not impose their paradigm on you. They look at things from your perspective. The walk in your shoes.
- Coaches steer you towards thinking about great outcomes. They help you to develop a custom vision of how things should really be. This is hard for us to do by ourselves when we are wallowing in a swamp full of alligators.
- Coaches are action oriented. After they help you develop the vision of how things are, they assist in putting together an action plan for getting there. YOUR action plan, not theirs.
- Coaches hold you accountable for your vision, and your action plan. They ensure you maintain ownership and accountability over your issues, your vision, your plan. Without thisd accountability, you won’t stick to it. you won’t get it done.
- Coaches tell it like it is. They don’t tell you what you WANT to hear, they say what you NEED to hear. Unfiltered. Unadulterated.
- Coaches are ethical, confidential, and private. You can be open with them, where you may not be able to with a friend, even a good friend, or a family member. This is one of the most important attributes of a coach. You can trust a person whose profession it is to help, and to maintain confidentiality.
- Coaches are outcome and results oriented, and they help you get there as quickly as you are willing to and can move.
- Coaches are balanced, and help you balance. Your life may not be a bowl of cherries, but its not all gloom and doom either. They help you see, recognize, and exploit strengths, while you are working on the weaknesses.
In short, having a competent, experienced person beside you, to guide you through the complexities of life, can be a real blessing. Many executives, celebrities, and professional athletes employ coaches, to give them that edge they need to be successful. We can all use the help. If its good enough for them, why not for us?
Let me know what you think.