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Insights: What coaching REALLY is
November 20, 2007

What coaching REALLY is

This week’s Insights article is an adaptation of an article written by Neil Asher, who runs New Insights Global.

Today I called a woman back who had inquired about coaching and she said: "Thanks for calling me back so quickly. It helps to keep the momentum going". And what coaching REALLY is suddenly became crystal clear!

Impulses for Change
From time to time, we get impulses for change. It might be because we get inspired. We might see someone else with what we want. A new possibility might occur to us. Perhaps it’s a flash of insight. Or maybe it’s a challenge from a friend or colleague.

Most often, though, it's because something has gotten worse than we're willing to tolerate, and we say: "I've had enough!"

Whatever the reason, this impulse for change comes along at certain intervals in our life. However, we all know the impulse rarely lasts.

Last week I had an impulse to exercise (again). However, it's not particularly consistent, and doesn't always come at times when it's convenient for me to exercise.

You may have thought: "You know - my relationship really could be better. Surely I can do something to improve it?" And the next day the impulse is gone. Or "What would it take to double my profits? I'm really going to make some changes in this business when I am less busy." Then, a few days later, your focus is on something else.

OR, perhaps you are the kind of person who takes on new projects with gusto thinking “this is good, I’m going to stick with it and make it work”, only to find out that a few weeks or months later it feels like old hat, and you follow a familiar pattern of switching to something else?

The point is IMPULSES FOR CHANGE DO NOT LAST! This is why we human beings often don’t take the actions that we know and believe are necessary to improve our lives.

Without coaching - without a STRUCTURE for change - our natural tendency is to keep to our ‘grooves’; to keep the same barriers; to want the same things to change, but not to change them; to feel an impulse for change, then lose the impulse for change.

Staying the same is the natural outcome.

But Do We Need to Change? No. But wouldn't it be wise?

These impulses for change are the signals telling you what is next for you in life. They are your intuition letting you know that you are missing opportunities. They are messages (sometimes subtle) about what you would really like to do in your life, what your business needs right now, what the perfect job for you would be, who you should be with right now.

If I may get a little deep for just a moment, these signals are not only the signals that will help us achieve the goals we are striving for, but the signals that are telling us how to evolve as people. If we ignore these impulses, we'll feel restless at a very deep level - knowing something is wrong, but not being sure exactly what. In our struggle to understand and come to terms with this restlessness, we seek ways to quieten it – through the over-use of TV, movies, alcohol, smoking, withdrawing from society, etc.

OK - I'm getting a little off track but I think you get my point. It's important to recognize impulses and not to leave them by the way side.

You want the secret to achieving your goals and having an amazing life?


The Coaching Structure
At it's simplest, coaching may be described as a structure for change. Coaching harnesses the energy for change - those impulses that last from a moment to a few weeks.

Coaching helps you ensure success in achieving any goal that's important to you by committing you to actions that promote irreversible change.

Think about it. If you had an impulse to exercise and become fit and you actioned it by going out for a run, that’d be good – but it’s quite likely that you would refrain from running again until the next impulse. On the other hand, if you actioned this impulse by taking out a year’s contract with the local gym and hiring a personal fitness trainer, then you would be far more likely to effect an irreversible change and actually get fit!

With life coaching you make a commitment, in the presence of your coach to reach your goals, and to working within a certain time frame, often 3 months or 6 months, usually with one or more review points to assess progress. Normally, once a week, you have a conversation with your coach, and you commit to specific actions to move you forward.

Within a coaching structure, your natural tendency is to pursue your goals and achieve them. It's hard, in fact very hard, to keep your patterns and your life the same when, in the presence of a third party who’s holding you to your commitments, you focus so much consistent time and attention on what you really want.

With a coach, the woman who feels an impulse to change careers isn't still thinking about it in three months time. By then, with the help of her coach, she's found a new career possibility which inspires her, and she's got a new resume and ten interviews lined up!

With a coach, the man who wants to organise his business so that he has time for himself, isn't still complaining about it in six months time. He's working with his coach on a way to allocate his time in a more empowering way, he’s setting boundaries, he’s hired an assistant, he’s looking happier and therefore attracting more clients!

So here's the key: Without a coach, most of us tend to follow the path of least resistance, i.e. to keep our lives the same. Impulses for change come and go with little or no action on our part.

With a coach, the path of least resistance is to achieve your goals! Impulses for change become fantastic momentum building opportunities that, when taken, lead to growth and contentment.

So would coaching be a smart investment for you right now? Are you the kind of person who could benefit?

You decide. I say it's for people who recognize that coaching is a powerful structure for harnessing your energy for change, and to help you move forward.

If you're content for the next five years to be similar to the last five years, then you don't need any input or help from anyone. However, aren't you curious to know what your life could be like in five years time if you harness your impulses for change, carry through on your actions, and have fun while doing it?

Perhaps your 'impulse for change' has been signalling to you that you're ready to become a life coach?

If so, don't wait till the impulse has receded. Act now, by contacting New Insights Africa and embarking on a wonderful journey!

Till next time...

With much warmth

Bill Burridge

New Insights Africa Life Coaching Skills Training - Putting an Extraordinary Business within reach of Passionate People.

If you think you are Life Coaching material why not study, at your own pace and in your own time, with New Insights Africa? Visit our website.

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