Whenever I share to friends or acquaintances I have a life coach, they’re very curious to know what life coaching is all about and how it’s changed my life so far. I remember being pretty confused about the concept when I first heard about it too. Lots ask me if my coach helps me set goals and make plans to achieve them but it’s much more than that. My coach Aimee has helped me get out of my own way from getting what I want whether it’s love, success, happiness, confidence, or communication. When I started talking to Aimee I didn’t express myself as much as I do now to friends, lovers, coworkers, family etc, I wasn’t as satisfied with myself, my body, or my accomplishments, and I let the little voice of judgement in my head speak louder than the others. Here are some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through receiving coaching:
- Life is happening for you, not to you.
This is an improved version of “everything happens for a reason.” Whenever I find myself in a shitty situation, it’s easy to focus on how it’s all working against me. Aimee taught me to ask myself, “How is this situation happening for me? What am I learning from this? How can I use this to my advantage?
While I was working with Aimee on my ability to communicate my needs, I started dating a guy who was doing a whole lot of things I wasn’t a fan of. I knew it probably wouldn’t work out with this guy, but I thought to myself, “how is his behavior happening for me?” and I realized that it was an opportunity to practice telling someone what I need from them. Rather than thinking “Well I’m sure this is all happening for a reason and one day it’ll all make sense,” I can now say I dated this guy to learn to improve my ability to communicate. He wasn’t a total waste of my time, he actually contributed to my personal growth.
2. How to recognize the need behind every complaint.
Complaints are just unfulfilled needs and figuring out the need can help get rid of the complaint!
I was once telling Aimee how annoyed I was at a friend who would respond cheerfully to EVERYTHING I said, including the bad news. “What’s the need behind the complaint?” Aimee asked, and when I thought about it, I just wanted to feel connected to her and have the space to share what’s going on in my life without needing to say “at least I…” So, once I recognized the need, the next step was to communicate it. I told my friend I’d like to feel more connected to her and that her cheerfulness was making me feel uncomfortable to be negative and talk about my frustrations. I wouldn’t have understood why her attitude was bothering me so much or what to do about it had I not asked myself what I needed.
3. How to recognize my own worth.
Throughout my time with Aimee I have realized I constantly find reasons to prove that I am not worthy, always trying to secure my seat on the victim’s chair. What I realized is that worthiness is subjective and everyone has a different definition of worth which meant I was always going to find new reasons to be worthless and keep myself down. For instance, while I was unemployed, I was beating myself up and feeling worthless because my parents were paying for everything while I looked for a job. “Worthless according to who?” Aimee asked and I responded “Worthless according to myself, and according to what my society says is ok in your 20s.” Then she made me write a list of all the reasons I AM worthy according to myself and what society says is ok in your 20s (laughing as I write that now). I read the 20 items on the list and she asked me, “So there’s all of these reasons why you are worthy but this SINGLE fact makes you completely lack any worth?” It shed a light on how often I fixated on a single negative detail and made horrible conclusions about myself based on them. I now have the tools to recognize when I’m doing that and step back to look at the bigger picture.