“Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant.” ~ Stephen Covey from First Things First
As a professional coach, what I want is for my clients to reach the place in their awareness, discipline and vision where they can coach themselves. I want this for several reasons: they become more independent, more interdependent, they become empowered and self-motivated, act as role models and leaders and they are able to positively influence others.
So how long do we work with a coach before we become able to coach ourselves? No ‘absolute’ answer for that, but I have my own experience and those of my clients. I had a full time coach (3-4 times per month) for almost 5 years. I had my first coach for 18 months, then a second coach for three years, then I switched coaches depending on ‘where’ I was in life or ‘what’ project I was working on — sometimes having more than one coach at the time (a Spiritual coach, a mentor coach, a book coach, a communication coach). Then a couple of years ago, I moved to the ‘coach on call’ basis meaning that I would set an appointment with my coach (one of them) when I felt I needed it. Keep in mind I had already established a firm coach/client relationship with these coaches.
So what’s the problem? It sounds like a good plan, huh? Well the realization is that while I am very good at coaching myself, it is still easy to get off track. At times I forget to do what Stephen Covey calls — putting first things first. The unimportant distracts me and the important (and occasionally the unimportant) becomes urgent. Urgency drives my decisions and choices and calls upon adrenaline, which in turns drains my energy and tears down my immune system.
Not to mention what it does to my brain chemistry (which influences my beliefs, my expectations, my perceptions, my imagination and my creativity). In short, without a coach, I stop stretching, start complaining and sometimes suffering. I get off track, stuck in stress and lose sight of the important in life. Ugh! Get me out of here!
I have used the last few days as an ‘at-home retreat’ to re-read Coveys’ First Things First and Jim Collins, Good to Great. I’ve done some reflecting, visioning, and planning. I have retaken the Clean Sweep assessment, which covers 100 points in the areas of Money, Physical Environment, Well Being, and Relationships. I have taken it with a critical eye and a truthful heart. Incidentally in order to be a Certified Mentor Coach, I MUST maintain a 90 or greater on this assessment. (If you’d like a copy of this form, just email firstname.lastname@example.org).
I have set new and structured goals for myself, spoken with two coaches, joined a fabulous supportive mastermind group, gotten my brain chemistry back in check, subscribed to spamarrest.com to rid myself of unwanted email distractions, and journaled (the greatest and most successful men and women of our time have been journalers).
I have set the intention to live life fully awake, intentionally, and on purpose. I am committed to speak with my coaches much more often as there is a lot to be said for having that observer/partner to hold me to my vision, keep me stretching, on focus with the important and having fun!
Does one need a coach? Well, does your car ever need an oil change or a tune-up? Does one need a vision? Some people don’t have one, they just live life everyday and keep plugging along. Who is in charge in this situation?
We all need a coach, coaches need a coach — one who models what they resonate with and/or aspire to. Would you take your car to a mechanic whose car wouldn’t run, or would you go to a hairdresser who needs a haircut? Would you go to an internist who is over-weight and out of breath? Would you hire a financial planner who lives beyond her earnings or a personal trainer who has little vitality? I think NOT.
Perhaps a ‘ personal thinking/planning retreat’ is a useful thing. It certainly has been for me.
I challenge you to ask yourself: “What would it be like to live a life of no-excuses?”
WHAT’S HAPPENING — Is there a goal you don’t seem to be able to achieve after repeated attempts? Are you stressed, not sleeping, low energy, have difficulty making decisions, or angry? Phone or email Judy to inquire about the Peak Performance Profile: A drug free way to alter your own brain chemistry by monitoring your diet, exercise, and activities. This program has worked successfully for Judy as well as hundreds of others.