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How To Choose The Right Coach To Create The Life You Want

By David Foster 4 weeks ago
Choice

Being a coach you’d think I’d have most things sorted. But, truth is, I’m stuck.

Why? In 2018 I’m taking an exponential leap forward in my personal and professional life and have yet to find a coach to support my growth. Reading this may help you choose the right person to support you in creating the best year of your life in 2018.

Even though I have a coach at the moment, that agreement ends in December, and without my own coach for 2018, I feel a bit like the cobbler’s son who’s walking around with no shoes on.

To me, a coach without a coach is a bit like employing a really unfit personal trainer who smokes like a trooper, always eats junk food and never works out. It just doesn’t add up and lacks integrity.

— RESILIENCE and GRATITUDE —

As a youngster, apart from sports and the social scene, I found school dull as dishwater. I just didn’t ‘get’ why I had to learn all the things they were trying to get me to learn. I charmed my way through doing as little as possible. I found it so boring and put my energy into creating small businesses to make money in the playground.

After leaving school I was a lost soul. Bouncing around from job to job, quick win to quick win, waiting to stumble across the thing that would make me a millionaire. Chasing ‘the dream’ was one of many things that led me into a deep depression when I hit 20.

Fortunately, I came out of this with a new perspective on life.

When you’ve hit rock bottom and bounce back it gives you two key things: enormous resilience and gratitude for the simple things in life. My children smiling. A great workout. A sunset. Birdsong. A beautiful book. Laughing with loved ones.

— STUCK WITH A GROWTH MINDSET —

As an adult, I’ve always enjoyed developing, growing, learning and pushing myself beyond limits. I get energised by developing new skills in things that excite me—leadership, coaching, training, cooking, fitness, sports, hobbies, people, parenting, spirituality, music—my natural curiosity leads me into many areas. I’ve invested huge amounts of time, money and energy into my own growth.

I opened my Apple iBooks and Kindle accounts the other day and was aghast at how many books I’ve devoured since I went digital. It’s literally hundreds. That’s without all the other paper books (remember those).

The majority are about personal development, biographies of incredible people and inspirational stories. You don’t do that unless you’re passionate about creating a better life by reinventing yourself—and I have a history of hitting rock bottom and bouncing back up again in life, love, mentality, business, relationships and health.

I’ve invested sums that would scare the average person witless on coach training, coach groups, one-on-one coaching, intensive training and workshops. Each and every time I’ve done this I’ve made it my aim to create HUGE value out of the experience.

All the investments I’ve made have always come back to create a better life for myself and others. I now use this intellectual capital and real-world experience to support people in their growth. Award-winning entrepreneurs, globally renowned sports people, national icons, husbands, wives, parents—incredible people.

But now, I’m stuck.

My current coach and I part company at the end of the year and now I want someone’s support to help me develop, but, I don’t know who that is … yet.

— EVERYONE NEEDS COACHING, NOT EVERYONE WANTS IT —

Ever had a friend you know could benefit from extra support? You may have found yourself saying something like:

“they need help, maybe a therapist or coach, someone to help them get over their situation and change their mindset.”

Even though deep down you know it would change their life, set them free and give them a better life, they resist—because they don’t want it … even though they need it.

If you want it you’ll make it work for you.

I want a coach.

I want to belong to a community of people that get me.

I want to grow.

I want to make a healthy dent in the universe by serving others powerfully.

I want to publish a legacy book that creates a healthier next generation.

I know incredible coaches who have achieved amazing results for their clients. I have opportunities—that’s not my problem.

And, I’ve allowed my ‘thinking’ to make me feel like I’m stuck. By writing this I’m even buying into my own story.

— WHAT’S THE REAL PROBLEM? —

Truth is, I’ve not got complete clarity on what I want for 2018 and beyond—even though I have numerous ideas.

This is what I ‘think’ the problem is because knowing where to turn to for support is hard if you don’t know what you want.

The real problem here is how I’m ‘thinking’ about the problem—not the problem itself.

I’m coming at this from a place of believing a passive statement rather than creating a powerful question.

— PASSIVE STATEMENTS VS. POWERFUL QUESTIONS —

My passive statement is:

“I don’t know which way to turn to in order to get the support I need to make 2018 my best year yet—personally and professionally.”

This sounds so whiny.

So much like, “please, somebody, make the choice for me so I don’t have to take the responsibility if it doesn’t work out, it’s just too hard.”

This is a very passive approach and history shows me that when I take a passive approach the very best that happens is I stay where I am. I invariably go backwards in some way, shape or form.

— CHOOSE TO BE ASSERTIVE WITH POWERFUL QUESTIONS —

If I took an assertive approach to it, by asking powerful questions, it would become much clearer.

For example, rather than a passive statement, my first question should be:

“What do I want my life to look and feel like in 2018?”

Can you see how powerful that is in comparison to the passive statement?

Journaling on this for an hour would give me much-needed clarity. If you know what you want it’s easier to find the right road to get there.

{{As a side note, if you find it really hard to get clear on what you want a great coach will help elicit that from you, too.}}

Once I have a destination to aim for everything else seems much easier. I now have the outline of my picture and all it needs now is to be coloured in.

Once I have more clarity I can look at all the opportunities I have for growth to see if they help me add colour to my picture.

Then, once I know where I want to go, I can ask more powerful questions.

For example.

“How will working with {insert coach/group} help me achieve what I want in 2018?”

Answering this helps me move a little closer to making an informed choice.

— TALK TO SOME COACHES AND FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION —

I recommend you talk to the coach you’re looking to work with, outline your vision to them, and ask:

“Now you’ve heard where I want to go, how can you support me in achieving it?”

When they answer slow right down and feel into what they’re saying.

Listen to your intuition. Your intuition is your best friend. The one with a very quiet voice that’s more feelable than hearable.

The third part, once you have a shortlist of people, is to ask yourself:

“What would working with {insert coach} need to produce across all areas of my life in order for me to reflect back and say that was the best investment I’ve ever made, a 10X return?”

Another powerful question, not a passive statement.

Once you know what your version of a great return is you’ll discover if this person will serve you the way you want to be served.

If it’s a “Hell Yes!” nothing will stop you getting what you want.

Why?

Because it’s actually your responsibility to create the value you desire from working with your coach, not the responsibility of your coach.

The same way as it’s your responsibility to create the level of fitness that you desire, not your personal trainer. How many personal trainers do you know who lift the weights for you in the gym to give you the body you want?

A great coach helps grow your own energy and enables you to get what you want yourself by shifting the way you see the world—that way it’s sustainable for you.

— AN INVITATION THAT COULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE —

Now that I’ve shared some of my inner processes for choosing people to support me I have an invitation for you that could change your life.

I invite you to start practising living your life from a place of creating powerful questions rather than coming from a place of accepting passive statements.

I’ll give you a couple of examples to help make this clearer for you.

If you’re an entrepreneur, rather than make a statement like this:

“My team just don’t care as much as I do about the business, that’s just the way it is.”

What about asking:

“How can I create a culture where my team cares MORE about the business than I do?”

Can you see how powerful that is? It’s taking control and leading versus stating a problem from a place of not having the power to create a solution.

Another example, if you’re a parent:

“My kids just don’t listen to me when I ask them to stop doing something, but that’s kids for you.”

Can you see how much of a powerless statement this is? What about something like:

“How can I change my parenting so my kids listen to me when I’m giving them feedback?”

As a parent it’s your responsibility to grow healthy, centred, happy and responsible children—not theirs. If you’re waiting for your children to change, or you just accept “that’s just the way they are” it’s very passive, not assertive.

If you have a partner and you’re not feeling as close to them as you’d like to, rather than saying:

“I feel like they don’t love me like they used to.”

Consider:

“What can I create in my relationship that expresses pure love to my partner and shows how much I care for them?”

This is creation rather than reaction. Creation gives you control and power, good things come from it. Reaction is passive.

Finally, what about this one, you may recognise it from earlier:

“I just don’t know who the best coach is to support my growth in 2018?”

Here’s my revised version:

“What would I need to create with a coach in 2018 for me to consider it the best investment of my life?”

— QUESTIONS GIVE YOU POWER —

I encourage you to start living a life of powerful questions, not passive statements.

Living a ‘passive statement life’ is easy compared to a ‘powerful question life’. It’s called the path of least resistance. There’s nothing wrong or bad with this, it’s a choice. And if you choose that life good for you. But, if you want to change this may not be the best choice for helping you do that.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

If you want to transform your life, choose the path of more resistance—the path of asking powerful questions. I promise you won’t regret it (although you may find it trickier).

I’m off to do take some of my own medicine now and answer that very question!

With love, David.

Ps. How you make your choices about who to work with to support your growth?

Categories:
  Blog, Growth, Inspiration, Leadership, Management, Personal development, Strategic Planning
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