I‘ve spent the last six months wondering:
- How do I best reach the people I’d love to work with most?
- How do I market my services without feeling cruddy about it?
- How do I blog consistently when I feel like I have nothing new to say?
- How can I be perfect so others will love me and want my help?
Okay, that last one is a bit extreme but I think you get the feeling behind it. Coaches are not immune to the issues they help their clients with. We go through slumps and bumps just like anyone else. But, hopefully, we’ll have learned a few things in training and through life experience that help us push through them without excessive damage.
Many coaches in the first few years of their practice are eager to help anyone and everyone they can. They also want their practice to become large enough and their coaching sessions consistent enough that they can give up their 9 to 5 job and focus solely on coaching. Like me, they’ll take course after course, free teleseminar after free teleseminar, comparing their website and packages and pricing and free offers to every other coach they can find. During this process they begin to question themselves, doubt whether this is really their true calling because Coach “X” is so much better at writing and Coach “Y” is a wonderful speaker…and why am I not as good as anyone else?!!!
See where I’m going here?
We humans tend to compare ourselves to others in almost every aspect of our lives, and often find ourselves lacking. Why is this? Why do we torture ourselves in such a way as to doubt our abilities and confuse our intentions to the point of immobility? This is the rut I found myself in during the darker moments of the last six months. It is why you haven’t heard from me here in quite a while. But, and it’s a very big BUT, I reminded myself that I’ve been through this before, as most of us have at one time or another, and life has already given me the tools I need to pull myself up and out of it. You have these tools as well.
Are you feeling less-than; or like you just can’t break down the barrier you’ve built between you and what you desire? Negative self-talk and comparisons to others are based on faulty thinking so what can they do but tell us lies? If we’re constantly telling ourselves lies, we soon don’t see ourselves as we truly are.
Think of one negative thing you tell yourself, then ask yourself if it is really true. Be completely honest with yourself. The questions in the following example are from The Work by Byron Katie:
My negative self-talk: “I’ll never be successful as a personal coach.”
Question: Is it true?
My Answer: “Well, I’m not reaching my business goals as quickly as I’d like but I can’t know for sure so I guess it is not completely true.”
Question: Can you absolutely know it is true?
My Answer: “Ah, no. No, I cannot.”
Question: How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
My Answer: “I feel defeated, and sick in my stomach. It makes me feel like there is nothing else out there. And yet, it also makes me wonder if I need to look closer at my definition of “success.”
Question: Who would you be without the thought?
My Answer: “Hmmm… I’d feel much more free. Yes, freer to move forward and try different things. I wouldn’t be second-guessing myself all of the time and I’d hold a better sense of wonder and possibility.”
Okay, so now that you know what I mean, why don’t you give it a try? Remember, being honest to yourself is key. Will you share your results or what you think about this process with us?
Sometimes, it’s all in the perspective. What if I had explored further my definition of “success?” Maybe I’ll never be the highest paid coach with all the book deals, high-profile speaking engagements, and doting personal assistants. Is that what success means to me? No. My definition would be that I am able to spend time listening to others’ stories and help them improve their lives. Maybe they’ll each receive an “A-HA” moment and/or finally see themselves for the brilliant, beautiful souls they are. If I could continue to benefit others in this way, be it full-time or part-time, it would be a grand success for me!
It took a good deal of soul-searching and examining my beliefs and motives, but I finally feel peace around business practices and marketing strategies. I know who I am as a coach, and understand that the empathy, intuition, life experience, curiosity, practicality, and respect I bring to my clients will serve them well in their journey. While I can’t promise I’ll never compare myself to another, my goal is to remember more quickly why it is a destructive habit and replace it with positive action.
I will conduct my business and price my products and services in way that is respectful of my clients and honors my time and resources.
There is no need to worry about being perfect; just being the best person, the best coach I can be. That is enough. I am enough.
You are enough.
Along with your comments about The Works exercise above, please tell me at least one thing you find pleasing about yourself. Go ahead and toot your own horn! I wanna hear it! ♥