By Dana Houk
It is important to discover who you really are or who you would like to become. As a life coach I love helping clients get IN TOUCH with their true Self. Ask yourself these powerful questions. What do you think is most important to you? Family? Friends? Having fun? Spirituality? Money? Intimacy? Health? Career? Being bold? Independent? Really think about these questions and write down what resonates with you most on this list. What do you think prevents you from having what you really want? Most people find that the answer is fear. While it is easy to stay within your comfort zone, I encourage you to challenge yourself and try something different each day.
When I asked myself those same questions, I found that it was hard for me to be bold in person. In the beginning, I am quiet and shy around people I do not know. I knew that I would need to overcome that trait to become a successful life coach. Ironically, I can speak with people I do not know for hours on a daily basis over the phone. Although I knew this was an issue for me, I was not sure what I would do about it. Then, I was given the opportunity to be bold. I was taking classes and assigned an interactive observation exercise. The assignment was to observe strangers and to make assumptions about them. Then, I had to ask them specific questions. Needless to say, I was apprehensive about the assignment.
A few days later, I went to a popular coffee shop alone, which I rarely do. As I was getting my drink, I noticed three businessmen sitting at a table with their laptops. There happened to be an empty chair right next to them. I thought about my assignment and knew this was my opportunity. I sat in the chair and listened to the three businessmen talk about their dogs. I was expecting to hear them talking about business. I had to talk to one of them, so I chose the closest man sitting next to me. Before I spoke to him, I tried to think about what he valued, what his dreams were, and what was important to him now. I thought of things such as family, money, and career.
As I was making my notes and trying to gain the courage to approach him, they were about to begin their business meeting. I knew I had to seize the moment, so I leaned over and asked if he would participate in my assignment. I told him I had three questions to ask him. I assumed he would say no because they were busy, but he was willing and very receptive. I asked him what he valued most. He answered his family. Then I asked about his dreams. He said he wants to see his kids be successful, and then everything else would fall into place. For my last question, I asked what was important to him now. He answered contentment. It took less than two minutes and I thanked him for his time.
I admit that I was nervous during the observation exercise, but it was not as scary as I thought it would be. In regards to the assumptions I made about the businessman, I only had one answer right (family) out of three.
It is human nature to assume what people are like based on what they look like or what they are doing in that moment. However, you never know what someone is really like until you speak with that individual.
This assignment tells a story about the fears I overcame, assumptions people make, and it allowed me to get IN TOUCH with my true Self—and you can do the same!
Everyone Has a Story
As you get IN TOUCH with your true Self think about the stories you possess. Does your story define you? Some people may argue that a story is just a story or that stories make us who we are today. Sometimes people can get stuck in their stories. There are many opinions about this subject, and none of them are right or wrong.
I believe there are two issues that can negatively impact stories. First, some people will try to change your story and how you perceive it. They may retell your story in such a way that they try to simplify it and what it means to you. Do not let anyone make you feel like your story does not matter.
The second biggest issue with stories is when people get “stuck” in their story. This can prevent them from moving forward. When certain things happen to individuals their mind tends to replay it over and over again like a broken record. Remember, beliefs create your reality. Cognitive therapy can help change those thoughts, behaviors, and triggers. However, therapy tends to focus on past issues. Although life coaches are not therapists, they can help clients reframe their thoughts from past events to future events. They can turn stories into something positive and meaningful. When people journal stories, talk about them, and work through those stories they can move forward.
When you are ready to make new stories just remember that people can be a part of your life, but it is your ink that writes the story.
Overcoming Fears and Putting Goals into Action
As a life coach, it is important to get personal with clients by asking potent questions. This may require them to dig deeper for answers. So, I am going to challenge you to overcome your fears and put your goals into action. Imagine what it would be like if ALL OR even some of your dreams came true. If NOTHING could stop you, what would you really want to do? Think about it, believe it, and achieve it. If you do not try, you will never know the outcome. One of my favorite quotes from Audrey Hepburn is, “Nothing is IMPOSSIBLE, the word itself says, ‘I’m Possible!’
Dana Houk holds a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and Development from Walden University. She owns and operates In Touch Coaching LLC, a business that specializes in Life, Career, and Relationship Coaching. She is also a certified Peer Coach and works with an online university as an academic advisor/success coach. She has coached hundreds of people and has spent over 1,000-plus hours speaking with them. Dana is a solution-focused life coach who provides support and practical feedback. She helps clients achieve personal growth by integrating tailored coaching techniques. This allows individuals to get IN TOUCH with their true Self! Visit www.intouchcoachingllc.com
This article is a chapter from the book Transform Your Life! written by 60 real-life heroes and experts and available at Amazon.com, BN.com, www.Transformation-Publishing.com and all ebook formats.