A lot of people who consider coaching feel nervous about reaching out to a coach. There are many reasons why you might feel that way, so this week I’m covering seven reasons why you might be nervous about coaching in a 7-day series of blog posts. Today I’m focusing on Reason #3: You’re not sure you’re ready to dive deep with a coach.
Here are the posts so far:
Reason #3: You’re not sure you’re ready to dive deep with a coach.
What does it mean to dive deep with a coach? It means you’re going to get real and get to the root of the “brain junk” that’s been holding you back all this time. It means you might have to talk about your mother. It means you might have to listen more carefully to the voices in your head, that inner critic that says mean stuff to you, and you might just have to have a conversation, talking back to that voice.
Diving deep with a coach is like weeding a garden. Have you ever seen a really weedy garden bed?
A couple of years ago, I planted asparagus in one of my garden beds. One day, my landscaper was working in the garden bed, and realized I’d let some low-growing weeds infiltrate the bed. He said, “You realize that if these weeds are here, the asparagus can’t grow, right?” He went on to explain that the weeds, while low-growing and seemingly somewhat innocuous (visually, at least), had roots that would prevent the asparagus from forming its roots. So while I was hoping for food to grow, it would never happen until I got rid of the weeds.
Deep dive coaching is a lot like weeding. You get rid of the brain junk and negative thoughts so that the good stuff can flourish. If you don’t do it, the roots of negative thoughts and patterns can take hold and prevent you from achieving your goals and dreams.
The point is, when you’re willing to dive deep with a coach and do the work, you can experience massive growth and transformation. When you’re willing to admit that the stories you’re telling yourself (and others) might not be true, when you’re willing to challenge your inner critic and give up old, outdated belief systems, you will see all kinds of magic happening in your life.
So how do you make the deep dive with a coach less scary?
You can make the deep dive with a coach less intimidating by hiring a good coach who is a good fit for you and by going slow. You don’t have to solve everything today. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I require a yearlong contract with my clients – some of my clients aren’t ready for the deep dive right away. I have a client who spent her first several sessions just complaining. The time wasn’t wasted- it allowed me to listen, observe, and get to know her thought patterns. And finally, one day, when I sensed a slight break, I said, “You’ve spent many of our sessions complaining about these things – are you ready to do something to change them?” From that moment forward, we were diving deep to resolve deep wounds that kept her cycling through the same complaints again and again.
At the risk of overplaying the vegetable metaphors in this post, sometimes clients are like onions, with multiple layers to peel back. The first few layers are often just surface stuff, the stuff you can throw away. But once you get into the good stuff, it’s time to hunker down and get to work. And yes, sometimes the work involves tears (see what I did there?), and that’s a good thing- tears and emotion mean you’re getting to the real heart of what’s holding you back, and that’s when we know that tomorrow will be a better day.
In fact, it’s the deep dive that makes coaching such rewarding and profound work. My clients aren’t just clients- we bond over the shared experience of transforming their lives, little by little, over the course of time. Many clients stay with me for years. Once we’ve done the hardcore deep dive work, we focus on continuous growth and transformation and finding the deep, soul-feeding pieces that make life feel complete.
Coaching is not for the faint of heart. But it need not be terrifying. And if you wait until you’re “ready” for the deep dive work with a coach, you might not ever get there. So don’t wait until you feel “ready.” Just…dive.
Tomorrow I’m going to take a look at Reason #2 that Coaching Might Make You Nervous: You’re afraid of what will be revealed.