When values are clear,
decisions are easy
In the common image, coaching is summarized in the sentence: the coach motivates.
The sentence in its brevity contains a number of misunderstandings.
First, the subject of the coaching is the client, in the sense that it is the client who works during the session and the professional leads with the instruments in the “toolbox”.
Then, “motivation” never comes from outside, so no one can actually give you reasons to perform certain actions if you do not find them inside of you.
And if that was not enough …
We can also believe intensely that we have an authentic and personal push, nevertheless this is not always true.
We are convinced that we want to achieve certain objectives and this idea is supported by an impeccable logic. But the main symptom of the fact that we are not so convinced lies in the results that do not come!
“I want to be fit because I have a myriad of clothes that I’m not going to throw!”; “Yes, I am committed to the business objective, so I will have the bonus this year as I will have real freedom when I have finished paying the mortgage”, etc. etc.
With motivations like these, we end up not only not being effective, but also to mature a opinion of us as not sufficiently strong or capable. How many times have you told yourself: “I do not have strong willpower”?
I will be tranchant to simplify the reasoning, but let me throw a challenge a little “disrespectful” (as I would not do in session: your goals are really valuable to me too, but…) how important it will be if you throw your clothes? And are you really telling me that having a mortgage undermines the perception of you as a free person?
The question is: what really is essential for you.
I used examples on physical appearance and success not by chance. These are very frequent cases of social imperatives that (to be precise, not always, but certainly most of the time) do not have to do with what really matters to us.
It is also possible that there is another type of push within you to achieve the same objectives and the real one, the one that “mysteriously” keeps getting up on Monday at 6 am and running or at work makes you send the toad down with an unbearable customer: do you give importance to health? Do you have a large family to keep or certain activities in which you express yourself that are expensive?
The key is understanding your values.
Understanding our values means identifying what has always pushed us to do what we do. I add: with enthusiasm and direction.
Enthusiasm is a whole inner spark that we do not know where it comes from, but since childhood it enlightens us as human being and gives us the energy of life. Among the Greeks it was the condition of those who were invaded by a divine force or fury. The logic here is little at stake: the work is in not analysing but recognizing the values, in identifying them.
The direction comes from internal consistency. Let me explain: we think of the personality of the human being as a monolith, while inside us there are many facets. Said so, it is comprehensible that certain values could come into conflict: fun and professional success, typically, or freedom and family … This does not mean that one is to be sacrificed to the detriment of the other. One of the best possibilities offered by coaching lies in favoring the mediation between apparently antithetical impulses.
In the meantime, what you can do right away.
Imagine your goal. It can probably be expressed as a generic “I should be …”.
Divide a sheet in half and write this obligation and all its because, again in the form of a duty.
In the other half, express your goal in the form of “I want to do …” and in a more specific, circumstantial and realistic way, with all the goal it facilitates, one by one.
Example: “I have to be slim, because I have to wear the pants size 46, because, being in shape, I feel proud when I go around ….” becomes “I want to stay inside my ideal weight… So I can enjoy the energy and flexibility of a light body… So I can dedicate myself to all my interests and sports… So I can live my passions…”
What did you understand from this exercise? If you want, please share your comments.