Saturday, August 7, 2010

Coaching someone else, coaching myself

I spent an hour coaching this afternoon. S. and I sat outside on my terrace in the cool cloudiness of this unusual August weather. She'd come prepared with a list of the problems in her life, a list of what's she's tired of and doesn't want any more. I read it over, set it aside, and then said, "Let's each make a list of things that we really want, big and small. No limitations. Anything is possible." The only caveat was that anything that was purely money-oriented (like paying off a mortgage) had to go on a separate money list.

We each wrote for about 20 minutes. Then we read our lists to each other. It was fascinating to me how different our lists were (the only thing we had in common was a desire to be at a healthier weight), and it was interesting to me how few of her desires were very large. One of the results of years of personal transformation work is a lot of practice in dreaming big, setting high stakes for what we want. It was going to take S. some practice to move beyond some of her small wishes to truly big possibilities.

After we read our lists, we worked together to create several more lists for her. One was ways to approach the three most important things on her list. And we discussed that for a while and began talking possibilities. We had a very fruitful conversation. We also identified some issues that she's collapsed into each other (job stress makes weight loss impossible; job change would mean financial ruin). We looked at how these aren't necessarily true although she lives with them as true and that's an important distinction. 

Then we made a list of 10 very easy steps to take to begin moving out of stuck and into possibility and she left much encouraged.

After she left, I realized, as I usually do, that I got coached too in the process. I got reminded of always asking if my assumptions, especially if they are long-held beliefs, are, in fact, true. Usually they aren't; they're just my point of view. And I got reminded of my dreams and how I can make my own list of 10 easy things to do to move forward and that it would be good for me to do so.

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