How do you tackle a problem that’s plagued you for months – or even years? Maybe it’s time to consider a coach. I’ve used one on and off in my business and my entrepreneur life for more than a decade.
Coaching comes in many forms, from career coaching to a marketing mentor to a coach for coaches (Yes, it’s a thing!).
“It’s all life coaching,” says coach Dani Bates.
Dani focuses on working with “intelligent, capable women” who feel stuck with some part of their life — helping them get in touch with their “inner badass.”
One of her specialties is weight loss coaching, which, she says, often requires some work around changing our habits. Trouble is, our brains are quite happy remaining “efficient” — doing what’s already ingrained, even if it isn’t the best choice.
That’s what can make changing your habits so challenging. Your brain already knows what it likes, Dani explains, so it’s going to do its best to get what it wants. Sleeping in instead of getting an early workout, anyone?
A coach can help you get through those stumbling blocks you unwittingly lay for yourself. Dani says we often carry around outdated beliefs that no longer serve us, like “My whole family is overweight, I’m doomed by genetics,” or “My last business idea was a miserable failure, so this new idea will fail as well.”
You may have a failure (or two or three) under your belt, but is it really a failure? A coach can help you learn from your past mistakes because it’s more than likely that you gained something from that last diet attempt or business venture. You just couldn’t see it. That’s what a coach is for.
“The coaching process allows for immediate feedback,” says life coach, professor, and public speaker Dr. Melissa Bird. “You can try something new and know that your coach will be there to assist you, redirect if necessary, and help you see what worked and what didn’t — and what you can do next time you take another step toward your goals.”
Melissa’s work focuses on helping women tap into their passions and use their authentic voices to make a change in their lives and in their communities.
Whether your lofty goal is to run for office or run a marathon, a coach can help by encouraging you to stay the course toward that goal.
Of course, you might hit some stumbling blocks along the way. That’s OK.
Dani says she often sees clients who get waylaid by their own thinking as they try hashing out new solutions to the same old issue.
“It feels productive,” she says, “but, in the end, you’ve just gone over and over the same problem in your mind — ending up in the same mess of confusion.”
By serving as a second set of eyes on their problem, her clients often have an “aha” moment when she points out a new way of looking at things.
“Sometimes all you need is a different perspective,” she says, “and ‘Wham!’ the whole situation looks completely different!”
Melissa says she often sees clients who want to make a change but are afraid of leaving the familiar behind. “This creates paralysis and doesn’t just keep us stuck, it keeps us in a safe zone that doesn’t foster growth and joy. Coaching helps people get out of paralysis and into action. Coaching is the kick in the pants to shift.”
At this point, you may be thinking, “This coaching thing might be worth investigating, but will I really get something out of paying for a cheerleader?”
I use a coach and have on and off for 20 years. Every time I’m feeling stuck or when I’m needing help with a transition, I reach out to a coach. Right now, I’m working with Sonya Stoklosa at executiveathlete.net.
We’re working on the thorny issues around growth, strategy, and drives. It’s fascinating but hard work, and I’m so happy to have someone to guide me through it all.
Like anything worthwhile, you’ll get from coaching what you put into it. And — bonus! — you may find out you get much more than you were expecting.
“I pay my coach a gigantic amount of money because every single time I work with her I transform in ways I never imagined I would,” Melissa says. “You are investing in an experience, not just in yourself. If you are ready for the experience, the price of coaching is priceless.”
Isn’t that worth the cost to hire a coach?