Coaching as a Space for Reflection

A reflective perspective

A reflective perspective

I’m often asked what I do when I’m coaching. I’ve written some earlier posts that cover definitions of coaching but some people just want a layman’s answer. One of the ways I describe what I do is ‘I create a space for reflection’.

We all need to press the pause button sometimes and take stock, but it can be very difficult to do this properly in an always on society. There is always something or someone fighting for our attention. Many people struggle to tune out the static and the noise and allow themselves the time to truly reflect on what they want or need.

To reflect means to ‘think deeply or carefully about’ something. When was the last time you really took time to do this for something that you want to achieve? Too many people identify something they want to do and look for a short cut or a quick overview of what someone else has done. The most popular blog articles tend to be the ones that start with titles such as ‘5 ways to be a millionaire’ or ‘3 exercises for killer abs.’ The self-help industry loves a self-help junkie who pinballs from one book to another, from one course to the next and from one guru to the next.

Many of these people are stuck looking for the one thing that will make the difference without considering that the difference begins on the inside. If you start to reflect on what people really want and boil it down it tends not to be the fast car, the big house or the trophy partner (extrinsic rewards). People want to do something of value, something they makes them feel like they make a difference. The real satisfaction therefore comes from internal or intrinsic feelings. Most of us instinctively know this but we have forgotten it, due to the onslaught of marketing trying to get us to feel happy by buying more stuff. 

Creating a space for reflection and challenging assumptions leads to some strong breakthroughs in client’s thinking. Starting with the basics, I help them to build a new approach to achieving what they want. The difference is that this time it’s truly what they want and not what they think they first wanted. This is a seemingly small shift but it makes all the difference in the world in what clients achieve. Many clients have undersold themselves in what they can achieve and I help to calibrate a new way of thinking and being that helps them achieve at the right level.

This does mean that clients have achieved high levels of external rewards as a consequence of doing what they want, but it’s not the main driver now, more a happy additional outcome of their inward success.

A recent post introduced the subtle art of procrastination and I believe that many people procrastinate as they are not really sure what they want. They’ll spend time avoiding tasks and then doing them but resenting them all the while. This could be avoided by investing some additional time in reflection about what they truly want to achieve. Sounds simple, but if it is why don’t people do it?

There are countless reasons, both logical and illogical, why people don’t really focus in on what they want. Too many believe that they can’t really change anyway or that this sort of transformation only happens to others. Trying to do this by yourself can be difficult due to the old worn doubts and fears that creep in. Using a coach to challenge these and draw out what makes you come alive can help to instigate a way of thinking that helps to set clear actions to move you in a different and more positive direction.  

Change happens in an instant – change your thinking and everything changes. However, such change needs sustaining through action. People generally don’t successfully implement change because of a skill, knowledge or attitude gap. They wobble, they succumb and they fall back to where they were. This is where coaching is so important. A coach works with you through the journey to help keep you on track to what you want to achieve.

Identify an area where you’d like to make a change and think – why not? Get a pen and paper and jot the topic down. Then start to brainstorm some ideas - What would it give to you to make a positive change in this area? How would it make you feel? What would others notice about you; what would they say?  Write down some action steps you can take over the next 5 days to start to explore this in more depth.

This may not work the first time but keep chipping away and slowly but surely you’ll loosen up and start making more sense of areas that you want to make a change in. Remember people tend to be happiest when their expectations match their beliefs in a given area.  The closer you get to your expectations, the more you’ll do as when you’re happier you tend to be more engaged.

We’d love to help you on your coaching journey to creating your business success. Contact us to see how we could work with you. We help people create clarity and achieve success.