Personal coaching: tools to learn to be yourself
In a world where we live stifled by daily obligations and our circumstances can be overwhelming it is not surprising that we drift apart too easily from our goals in life. Have you stopped living the life you want? Do you long for unlocking all your potential? Do you want to manage your insecurities?
These are some of the questions that most of us ask ourselves consciously or unconsciously, almost daily, and we do not have the tools to answer them.
Are you sure? The tools, actually, are within us, but just as we can’t see the woods from the trees, the mist in daily life doesn’t let us explore our inner potential for happiness.
Professional coaching is a discipline that uses several communication skills (listening, questions, explanations, rethinking), among other techniques, to help clients discover new approaches to achieve their goals or what they want to accomplish. Sometimes it involves a specific need, such as “how to overcome a breakup” – says José Miguel Gil, president of the Spanish Coaching Association (ASESCO).
Among those who use the services of a coach “we can find all kinds of personal situations –continues Gil. “They consult with us about job crisis, personal insecurities, people who believe they ‘are not good enough’, people who suffer with the reconciliation of work and family life (…) even people who can’t quit smoking or can’t lose weight in spite of having tried everything, or who can’t find the motivation to do it”.
In this sense, the figure of the coach will accompany the person through an inner exploration journey, from the beginning of the conflict until its resolution. The duration of a program depends, to a great extent, on the needs of each client, as well as the motivation and the willingness to change. “In average a person needs between 8 and 14 sessions of one hour or an hour and a half” –assures Gil –and the sessions can be on-site, but also by telephone or videoconference.
"The path towards self-knowledge is an essential strategy to leave internal emotional stress behind, and will help you live life in a liberating and happy way"
People need to stop “putting themselves down”
When we speak to José Miguel Gil, one of the first things that he makes clear is that personal coaching “is not therapy, and is not psychotherapy (…) we work with cases that do not involve disorders. If there is a diagnostic present, then it is the job of a psychologist”. And, to tell the truth, this vision is quite reassuring.
Haven’t you found yourself blocked by a situation where you would need professional advice but without the need to resort to a clinical setting? Perhaps, this is one of the main appeals of personal coaching, the unblocking, the expansion of our resilience, someone who will ask us the correct questions and, specially, the lack of judgment or censorship. Someone who will help us identify obstacles and solve conflicts naturally, with our own abilities.
All of us have gone through this; we forget who we are and what do we want in life. We, as human beings, have an incomparable tendency to self-boycott. “We are specialists in putting ourselves down, and we forget about the many things we have achieved, about how valuable we are” –claims Gil forcefully. “When you start working with people you discover how many things they have achieved throughout life and you show this to them; then the person becomes empowered, grows and starts moving forward” –the expert concludes.
If you are beginning to think about living your own revolution, opening yourself to a new world of possibilities and take charge of your own life to know yourself more in depth, then you can start by taking notice of these tools to relearn to be yourself. Do not forget that the path towards self-knowledge is an essential strategy to leave internal emotional stress behind, and will help you live life in a liberating and happy way.
Go for it!
3. Follow your intuition.
In other words, do not stay in your comfort zone. Do not suppress that inner voice that keeps on reminding you what would really make you happier. Change jobs, start that new amazing company that you’ve been dreaming about for years, say ‘yes, I do want’ or ‘enough is enough’. On one occasion, the computing tycoon Steve Jobs said “don’t let the noise of other people’s opinions silence your own inner voice. And, most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition”. Amen.
2. Substitute self-destructive thoughts with positive statements.
Take a notebook and write positive statements on it, things that you would say to other people to acknowledge their merits (and that unfortunately you never tell yourself). With these positive statements in your possession, stop saying sentences such as: “I’m terrible”, “I can’t” “I’m so stupid”. Every time you realize you are doing it again, think about your positive statements and repeat again: “I’m brilliant”, “yes, I can”, “I’m so brave”. This is the first step to accept your true identity and personal excellence.
3. Stop pleasing others if that’s not what you are feeling.
It is exhausting! Why should you always please others? It is obvious that social acceptance is an essential pillar in our existence. As a matter of fact, according to researcher Richard Boyatzis, expert in emotional intelligence, the fear to social rejection is one of the three most common causes of human stress. Don’t let fear to rejection poison your soul. When facing a situation where you don’t feel like giving your approval, try keeping silent or disagreeing politely. Never lie; one lie leads to another and before you know it, you’ll be in a snowball effect situation.
4. Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help
Create a support network and trust it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help when facing a conflict that ‘blocks you’. Sometimes help comes as a simple informal conversation with a friend or even with a stranger. Use people as support and guidance. Verbalizing your problems will help you know yourself better and will have a positive impact on your personal growth.
5. Never compare yourself with others
Human beings are different from one another even in their fingerprints. You will never be yourself if you are trying to be someone else. One thing is to get inspired by someone, to follow someone’s example… a different thing is to duplicate these virtues; learn from them, internalize them and rewrite them with your own signature.