“Live the life you love”
The words that have sprung out of many life coaching articles, that have leapt up and punched me in the face from lots of coaching related websites and I have to hold my hand up right now and say…….I HATE THAT PHRASE (well in relation to life coaching I do and maybe not hate as I don’t like that word either but strongly dislike will do!)
Does everyone not want to “live the life they love?” I can’t begin to imagine that people set out to hate the life they live do they? I find it very interesting that this phrase has stuck around life coaching for many many years. When I first had coaching myself which was over 20 years ago, it was relatively new in the UK, it certainly wasn’t written about as it is now but even then, the claims of the coaches were to help you realise your dreams, to push you to do the things that seemed impossible.
When I was looking for a coach, it was because I had recently been made redundant having moved my whole life (and I’m not kidding) away from everything and everyone I knew just a year earlier to do a job that was absolutely brilliant but due to 9/11 sadly folded leaving me in a very strange and vulnerable place. At the time, I was not searching to “live the life I would love” but more to find a job that would pay the rent and allow me to eat and I didn’t know where to turn.
I was lucky, my parents were hugely supportive as were my friends back home but they were 180 miles away and at the age of 30 I felt that I needed to do this my way, to find my own solutions and hence found myself a wonderful and inspirational coach. People questioned my decision to sign up to coaching, it wasn’t a concept they understood, it was very much still in the realms of “hippie nonsense” as one friend put it. Magazines who were starting to write about coaching were focusing on living this dream life, a place when you took a leap of faith and followed what was in your heart – I just wanted to survive, I just wanted to live my life, a life not filled with anxiety and stress from trying to pay the bills.
My coach was brilliant. We started off by her setting me actions for which I had to report back. They were things like; 1. You are not allowed to put your pyjamas back on before 6pm in the evening (easier said than done when you’re wallowing in low self esteem issues.) 2. You must eat regularly – plan your meals and stick to the plan. 3. You must get outside at least once a day to walk, breathe in the fresh air and move your limbs. 4. You must structure your day even if it’s just little things i.e researching potential jobs each morning between 10 & 12.
These things seemed so simple when I looked at them on paper. Surely I could do that? It took me a while, my mood was low, I was feeling decidedly hopeless and unmotivated but little by little, bit by bit I got there and I can honestly say, got there a whole lot quicker thanks to my coach who supported me through the whole process gently pushing me and guiding me to a place of safety.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love working with the clients who come to me with a dream, whether it’s a change in career, a change in lifestyle a change in anything that they have dreamt of doing BUT…….. equally, I love working with the clients who come to me because they want to live the life they have but they just want to do it better or differently. Both sets of people are ultimately after the same thing and that is support to make changes.
The support of someone who won’t sit in judgement. The support of someone that doesn’t really know them so can say things that family and friends can’t. The support of someone that wants to cheer them on whatever the changes are they wish to make, however big or small. There doesn’t have to be anything wrong with you or your life to want to do things differently and to seek out the services of a Life Coach to do just that.
It’s not all about “Loving the life you live or living the life you love” – that’s an added bonus. It’s about finding the way to do things your way, that add a different dimension to your life that create moments of joy for you and yours. A way to reduce stress and anxiety in a world that can feel overwhelming at times.
So next time you read a magazine article or read something on line where people make promises that they will help you “live a life you love”……..remember you might already quite like the life you’ve got and actually that’s ok too. The odd tweak here and there never hurt anyone if it adds something positive to your life and if you are just about managing to put one foot in front of the other – guess what? So are hundreds and thousands of other people, you are not failing at life, you are doing the best you can in the circumstances you are in and that is a small miracle in itself.
Life coaching is not just about realising dreams, it’s about helping people find balance and supporting them while they do that, helping them create a plan to move forward – maybe it’s something you might look at a bit differently now?