I love my job. I wake up in the morning and I actually look forward to going to work. For me, it’s more than a job, it’s my calling.
But first things first- what is a Life Coach?
It’s simple. A life coach is someone who helps you reach your full potential. For anyone seeking self-improvement, personal growth, and development, a life coach is a must.
Being a life coach for the past five years has been an incredibly rewarding experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Still, that’s not to say it’s always been easy. And it hasn’t always come naturally either. There’s been a continuous learning curve and many growing pains along the way.
That being said, here are the top 10 things I’ve learned as a Life Coach.
- Don’t judge anyone.
“Oh just get over it. It can’t really be that bad? Why don’t you just snap out of it?”
I truly believe every person I’ve encountered is doing the best he or she can with the hand they’ve been dealt. It’s natural to judge other’s based on our own experiences. How easily we forget, however, that not all of us hit the parent lottery.
According to the book, “Chasing the Scream” by Johann Hari, addiction is more childhood trauma is more strongly correlated with addiction than obesity is to heart disease!
Often times when I hear people’s back stories, I’m amazing as just how well they are doing –considering their circumstances. When I hear about the alcoholic abusive parents, the traumatic losses or the unfortunate medical conditions, it’s truly humbling. Judgment subsides and understanding fills its place.
As a life coach, or even just as a person, what good does it do to judge? In my experience, people seeking therapy have experienced enough guilt, shame, and self-judgment for this lifetime. Adding more isn’t the answer. So often times, just giving someone a safe place to process their feelings without judgement- and truly listen and reflect- is a miraculously healing in itself.
- If you’re struggling, you’re not alone
One out of four people struggle with a clinical depression or anxiety throughout their lifetimes. Millions of American struggle with substance abuse. Grief and loss, OCD, PTSD… No matter what you’re going through, there is help.
Sometimes support groups are wonderfully therapeutic. Other times individual coaching is the better fit. Regardless seeking support is not a sign of weakness, rather, it’s a sign of strength.
Think of it this way- Does Lebron James have too much support? Now, I don’t know Lebron personally, but I have to imagine that he’s got a head coach, an assistant coach, a shooting coach, a nutritionist, a chiropractor, a sports psychologist, a massage therapist, family, friends, and hundreds of millions of fans cheering him along. Is this a sign of weakness? I certainly don’t think so.
- The more you have going on yourself, the less you will be negative affected by others.
I’ve worked with many clients who, upon our initial meeting, talk all about all the people in their lives and mention very little about themselves. They talk about drama with the neighbors or their parents or their friends. They talk about their boss of spouse. Many times, I’ve listened to people talk about others for the entirety of the hour session, and in most cases, they’re miserable. They only time that talk about themselves is in the content of being victimized by others.
The problem here is that they’re not invested enough in themselves. In these cases, when I ask the clients what their personal goals, they’re often left speechless. They’ve spent so much time focusing on the actions of others that they’ve completed neglected their own personal goals and interests. Once they start to focus on their own goals and development, they find their “drama” with their friends, siblings, and neighbors become less important in their lives.
- Happiness comes from within
A quick script for unhappiness: focus on your appearance, your popularity, and your wealth. A quick script for happiness: focus on your service, your influence, and your achievement. The former will leave you always seeking and never satisfied. The latter will make your life richer and bring you lasting joy and fulfillment.
If you’re seeking happiness through a drug, the outcome of a specific event, a relationship, or someone else’s opinion of you, you’re happiness will always be dependent on something outside of yourselves. For me, that’s no way to live.
You are worthy because you are you. You are unique. You’re talented. You’re passionate. Once you discover this purpose, and you believe in your own potential, the world is yours.
- The person most limiting you is you
As a man thinketh, so is he. This phrase is not just biblical in nature (and an excellent essay written by James Allen in 1903), it also defines what is it is to be mentally fit. Mental Fitness is more than just the absence of mental illness- it’s mental mastery.
“Whether you say you can or you’re can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford knew the power of thought. Indeed, the only thing we are 100 percent in control of in life is our thinking. Master this, and the world will be at your fingertips.
- Blaming keeps you stuck
“Makes me” and “Happens to me” are two of the most deadly, toxic statements one can ever say or think. When you say someone or something “makes you” so kind of way, you’re essentially giving up all of your emotional power and control to that person or event. “Makes me” is making excuses and blaming.
The same rut of being stuck in one’s circumstances comes from the “to me” thought. Life is unfair. Life is uncertain. Life is unpredictable. How we look at life, however, is up to us. We can look at ourselves as victims, or we can chose to see how the world is happening “for us” to teach us life lesion and build our character and drive.
As a life coach, it is incredibly rewarding to see people start to take extreme ownerships of their lives and their emotions and stop blaming their lives on circumstance.
In the words of Tony Robbins, “decisions, not conditions” are what define us.
- Self-care is not selfish!
In our society, we approach health issues much more as “sick” care than as health care. This reactive approach costs our society tons of money and it’s a backwards model. When people don’t make their self-care a priority and continually put the needs of others ahead of their own, they burnout and get resentful. They succumb to compassion fatigue and often check out entirely.
For many of my mental fitness clients, coaching is like their mental gym. It may be a bit uncomfortable for a bit while you’re there, but you need theses disturbances for growth and you leave feeling better than when you came in. And just like going to the gym, going to counseling makes one stronger – and even those who are already in pretty good shape, can still benefit.
In the long run, the better you care for yourself, the better you’ll be able to help and inspire others as well.
- The best way to lift yourself up is to lift up someone else.
Did you know that helping behaviors release serotonin in the body? It’s literally a win-win. You feel good having helped another in need. They feel good for being the recipient of your help.
How easily we forget that is not about getting, it’s about giving. Giving your time and service to another is the greatest show of love one can give.
In our society we are trained to look out for ourselves first, but there comes a time when happiness is no longer gained by meeting our needs alone. With Mental Fitness coaching, you will find your primary purpose and learn how to create greater meaning in your life.
- Emotions, contrary to popular belief) are a good thing!
Emotions are a blessing. They’re our GPS system guiding us to get our actions in line with our values. Think about it- if you put your hand on a hot stove, you’d feel pain, right? Is that pain a “bad” thing? Of course not. It’s teaching you that’s not the right action to take. And what if we didn’t experience that pain? You’d burn your hand off!
Your emotions, like physical pain, signal to use that we’re off course and a change must be made. We should be thankful for this wonderful feedback system. Yet, how many of us say, “Thank you world for this feeling of frustration. I trust that it is helping me develop insights and guiding me to my full potential.” We don’t. However, the clients who I’ve seen make the greatest changes in their lives have learned how to can flip this script on its head and to be thankful for all of their emotions.
- The solution is already within you
I don’t fix anyone. I can’t help anyone who isn’t willing to help themselves. I’ve lost clients who I was unable to reach and who couldn’t overcome their own demons. Its’ a tough job at times.
Still, it’s not my job to tell people what they should or ought or need to do. That’s ultimately up to them. Rather, I help clients find the answer within themselves. Then, by offering strategies and encouragement, I simply guide them to becoming their true selves.
Being a life coach is an extremely rewarding job. Over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds, if not thousands, of clients. And though each person has their own unique story, these ten lessons are the ones I’ve most noticed that I am thankful to have the opportunity to share them with you.
I truly believe everyone has room for self-improvement. Helping people overcome adversity and live to their full potential is my dream. I am living my dream job. I get to have meaningful conversations and connections. I get to ask people how they are, and then really get a really genuine response. My job- my passion- adds depth, meaning, and purpose to my existence. My aim is that my clients can share in this feeling as well.
If you’d like to see if you qualify to be a Mental Fitness client please complete the following registration form!
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