Recently, I have been given the wonderful opportunity to work with a life coach.
Now, I think it is really important to state that I was, in fact, pretty disparaging of the life coaching fraternity. I, like many others perhaps, believed them to be part of a pseudo-science genre that took your hand and told you that all you need to do is think positively and all will be well. I was wrong. Dead wrong.
Kate, my life coach (and it still sounds so weird to say that), is so much more than I could ever have imagined, ever hoped for. In the two weeks I have been seeing her, I have had more emotional and psychological progress than I have had in years of psychotherapy. And I am not overstating this.
This isn’t to say that psychologists aren’t vital in the realm of mental health, of course they are, and please don’t stop seeing one if you are reading this. But, unfortunately for me, the three psychologists I have seen in the last four years were just not for me.
Firstly, they were all about talking. And I do love to talk. I can talk about my problems all day, but I wasn’t being given any strategies to DO anything about them. I was in a pit of despair and I did not know how to do anything about it. I did not have the tools to dig my way out of that hole. I had a great understanding of my thinking, why I thought like I did, and how my thoughts controlled my life and the misery in it, but I did not know, for the life of me how to get past the barriers.
Kate, on the other hand, requires me to DO. Talking is vital, but DOING is even more so. Her methodology works differently to the standard life coach model. Her first few sessions are up to four hours long. She calls them “break through” sessions. And they work. Break through sessions are where you get to talk ad infinitum about (in my case) your demons, or the problem you are having, and as you talk she guides you to make some pretty phenomenal, you guessed it, breakthroughs. She helps you to come to your own understanding of your problem and what YOU can do about it. It is incredibly powerful and empowering. And yes, the sessions are long but oh so effective.
At the end of my first session I had a major breakthrough. A true AHA moment. I had never had one of those before. Ever. It made such perfect sense to me. A true light bulb moment. I could see how my thinking was affecting me, but more than that I could see my role in that and that I have the power to change it. For the first time ever I could see the light at the end of my very dark tunnel. For someone who has had suicidal thoughts, this is incredible. Suddenly there was, dare I say it….Hope!
I was given homework. Doing is the name of the game. I had to make a commitment to doing the homework and to make some adjustments to my thinking.
We are creatures of habit and our brains like patterns. The brain doesn’t care if they are negative or positive, if there is a pattern it’s going to stick with it. Become aware of the negative pattern, adjust the thinking using a couple of easily learned techniques and over time, your brain adjusts to the new way of thinking, takes it as a habit and voila! the day is suddenly brighter. But, this is only possible, once you have that breakthrough. You can’t fix the problem unless you know the very root cause.
It sounds simplistic, I know. But it works. And it does take commitment. But that commitment is so much easier than you think.
I’m in the early days of this process. But I am extremely hopeful. I haven’t had hope in an extremely long time. Having no hope is just waiting to die. I now want to live. And that is a rare and incredible gift.
If you haven’t considered life coaching, I would urge you to give it a try. It is an investment in yourself. And you are so worth that investment. Believe me, you are so worth it. It might take time to find the right one. Please persist. You owe it to yourself to move forward in your life and create that peace of mind everyone deserves. You deserve to have hope.
If you have a life coach, I would love to hear about it. How did you find them, what differences to your life did it make?
Kate, my angel. I cannot thank you enough.
From my heart to yours,