“I don’t need a coach”.
That’s what I thought when reading the title of an article about coaching about 10 years ago. It was even worse, I thought “who would need a coach?”, full of judgment and thinking that people hiring coaches were just not strong enough to get their job done on their own. Being a competitor since I had been a swimmer at national level back in my high school and college year, and a high achiever since then in my career, I was seeing hiring a coach as a sign of weakness, thinking proudly: I can take care of myself, of my career, of my life. I actually couldn’t be further from the truth, for 3 reasons:
- Number 1: I learned that getting some help from others was not only OK but was just smart and makes your journey much easier. I learned that vulnerability was not a weakness but a strength. In a world where we are expected to know everything (from our youngest age at school to the work place), I realized that asking questions could be more powerful than providing answers and advice, as very well illustrated in a “More Beautiful Question” by Warren Berger.
- Number 2: I thought I didn’t need anyone to make me move forward …. But actually, I realized that having someone challenge me, inspire me have me make promises and be accountable to them was making a huge difference in the efficiency and the speed of the actions I needed to take and that I often kept postponing for all the good reasons I could find.
- Number 3: I actually didn’t know what coaching was. I imagined someone coming to tell me what I should do, and no one really likes to be told what to do. But when I was first introduced to coaching, I discovered a completely different story:
- When being coached, I was asked questions rather than told.
- I felt heard, not judged, supported and most of all safe. I realized there was actually no space in our lives where we could process our thoughts without the fear of being judged or having to justify ourselves.
- I observed that just talking through my challenges or goals, and having someone rephrase or re frame what I said, helped me get clearer on what my needs really were (and they are often not exactly what we think they are).
- It helped me see my blind spots, which I actually didn’t know I had (this is the tricky thing, until someone helps you see them, you are not aware of them…).
- I learned to see things from a different perspective, to challenge my beliefs, to think bigger, to open up to new possibilities.
- Eventually I learned that “Awareness Leads to Choice and Choice leads to Change”, an empowering statement that I recommend everyone to keep in mind every day.
For all these reasons, I now know that I still don’t need a coach but, to increase my Awareness and take Actions toward my goals and dreams, I want one (and I have one).