The Brighter Side of Dead Broccoli

Self-doubt seems to be a pretty common factor when it comes to people not living the lives they want to live.  I experience self-doubt from time-to-time.  My inner self-doubter sometimes says, “Who wants to listen to you?  You don’t have a perfect life.  You don’t have it all figured out.”  That’s when I have to stop, breathe, and remind myself of the following: no one has a perfect life, and no one has it all figured out.  Those two things are not the point of life coaching, and any life coach that portrays themselves as having it all figured out is probably a hack.  I am a normal, every day person just like everyone else.  I have goals and dreams.  I have obstacles to overcome and barriers to break down.  Some days I feel like Snow White singing while she cleans and all the woodland creatures are singing along.  Other days I am more like Ursula from The Little Mermaid when she puffs up really big and destroys everything in the sea.

A life coach must be committed to constantly building a better life for themselves as well as helping others to do so.  The tag line I have chosen for my business, Vision In Action, is: Co-creating the life you desire.  I was asked once if I am living the life I desire and I ecstatically responded, “Yes!”  Later in the day, I started to wonder if that were true.  After some thinking, I reminded myself that I was being ridiculous; of course its true.  I am living the life I desire, but there are aspects of it that I am always working to improve.  For instance, I envision having a year-round garden that literally pukes vegetables at my family.  Well, some years all of my broccoli dies and the slugs eat my cabbage.  My husband and I are constantly working together to find ways to improve the garden next year.  There are many missteps, but each trial brings us closer to our goal of year-round, homegrown nutrition.

Long story short, I did not begin life coaching because I believe that I am better at life than other people.  I began life coaching because I am skilled at helping others work through all the crap, that I have first-hand knowledge, life can throw at us.

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Mission Possible

I finally completed the mission statement for Vision In Action.  It was a pretty enjoyable exercise to help me really clarify what my goals are for this business and to more easily describe what I do to potential clients.  I thought it would be even more helpful to break down my mission statement and provide further rationale to each piece.

Mission: To positively influence the world through creative, client-driven coaching partnerships that develop the ability of each client to face challenges with self-confidence by supporting, motivating, focusing, and holding the client accountable to their vision of an ideal life.

“To positively influence the world…”

This is a pretty grandiose way to start a mission statement.  It’s a pretty grandiose way to start any statement, truth be told.  However, I really mean this.  I started off by using “community” instead of “world,” but felt that I needed to use a word with a more broad reach. This statement is meant to express a philosophical idea as well as a practical one.  Philosophically, I believe that every thing we do (be it positive or negative) affects the world, even in the most miniscule of ways.  Practically, I offer my services regardless of physical location and, therefore, I may have clients that live outside of my community or even my continent.

“…creative, client-driven coaching partnerships…”

Coaching is not a step-by-step program.  The growth and success that comes from coaching are brought about through the partnership developed with a skilled coach.  Every person and their goals are unique, requiring a unique plan to fulfill those dreams.  It is important to remember that the coach does not develop the plan FOR the client, but WITH the client.  The coach may suggest an avenue of approach, but it is the client’s role to accept, reject, or modify the suggestion.  If the client’s goals change or part of the plan isn’t working as intended, the plan changes to best suit the client.

  “…develop the ability of each client to face challenges with self-confidence…”

That is really the heart of most unfulfilled goals.  Every goal we set for ourselves or dream we create, is a challenge.  A major reason that people don’t master challenges is because they let fear and self-doubt get the best of them.  Everyone has the ability to meet challenges head-on, but we sometimes forget this or just need to learn a new tool.  If a person’s self-confidence is developed, they will be better prepared to seek out what they need to succeed.

“…supporting, motivating, focusing, and holding the client accountable…”

This is the very key of what I do for my clients.  They have the dream, I help them make a plan, then I support, motivate, focus, and hold accountable.  Everyone needs support, but unbiased support can be hard to come by sometimes.  A coach’s only interest is that the client is happy and successful.  It doesn’t matter what makes them happy or what they are successful doing.  We often need some outside motivation, too.  No matter how important a goal is to you, some days it is REALLY hard to not just say, “screw it, I’m tired.”  That’s where your coach comes in.  I can be that little voice that reminds you of why you are working so hard (though I might remind you that it is O.K. to take a break).  Another piece to the puzzle is that big dreams have important smaller goals that must come first.  This can be overwhelming, and a coach helps to narrow the client’s focus and make sense of everything that is vying for attention.  Lastly, accountability is another important aspect of the coaching relationship.  It is the coach’s job to help the client realize when their actions are not matching up to what they say they want.  Perhaps your goal is to be more family oriented, but you continue working late into the evening.  It is my job to remind you that your actions are not in-line with your goal and help you find a way to address them.

“…vision of an ideal life.”

This might sound a little “pie-in-the-sky,” but this is important.  Most of us will likely never have our perfectly ideal life, but by working toward it, we can craft our current situations into the most ideal possible.  Even if all seems lost, there is always something that can be done to bring you one step closer to the life you most deeply desire.  As a coach, it is my job to hold this vision for you and to help inspire you to create it.

Now that you have a better idea about my vision for my business, what do you think?