Coaching for progress, not perfection... every time

Committing to our personal development and making change through coaching asks us to keep an open mind and have a willingness to explore alternative perspectives. How can we keep the focus on the small steps forward, find the joy in the journey, and let go of the perfect end result?

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Imagine if we focused so hard on one specific point in the future, one that we invested all of our energy in reaching and had a reluctance to deviate from the plan. In holding such a fixed, single view (even when it doesn't 'feel' right for us) we are already closing down our opportunities. We aren't able to see possibilities and alternative paths. Is it ever possible to arrive at the point of 'perfection' and for it to live up to our expectations? Is it as we imagined? Does it make us feel how we had hoped? Does it feel aligned with who we are and our values?

This topic comes up so often with clients, at different stages of the coaching process. Of course, we need to hold a vision and map out goals to enable us to see where we are heading. However, if there is one theme that stands out it is that the journey will change, time and again. The career we desire, the boundaries we uphold, the opinion we hold of ourselves will shift and so on. 

As we start the coaching process we bring to mind the endpoint. The point where we'd like to be, the point where change has been made or at least begun. We do this from our current mindset, with our current self-talk chattering away and in keeping with our long-held belief system. 

Then we embark on a journey of self-development, we ask questions of ourselves, of our relationships, of our decision-making skills, of our long-held beliefs, we begin to define and reassess our values... we do a lot of self-inquiry. A lot!

We unpack all of the things that we 'know' and begin to swap out unhelpful beliefs for new, shiny, positive ones. We bring in new boundaries that make space for us, for our voice and our opinions. We replace our inner critic with an inner cheerleader. We learn to say no, to take time out, to put ourselves first and celebrate our strengths. We take stock of our achievements, we take pride in our journey so far and understand the value of our experience and learning up until this point. We start to move away from the expectations of others and the expectations that we have put on ourselves. 

Of course, with all of this comes a new perspective, we see the endpoint through a new lens. Our outlook is from a new, fresh, self-assured angle and we view what we want for ourselves differently. There are new possibilities that we see, bigger decisions to take and bolder moves that we believe we can make. 

This is progress, big progress! And at each stage, we are learning and discovering alternative ways of living and consciously designing a life for ourself. The journey has also shifted direction during this same time and what felt like a fixed 'perfect end point' has become another step in our personal development. Wouldn’t it be a missed opportunity if we weren’t able to take one step at a time and create the flexibility for lots of milestones rather than just one? Even small steps count, perhaps they count the most because added together they create the transformational change along the way.

Life Coach Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, FY8
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Written by Sarah Green, Professional and Personal Development Coach
Lytham St. Annes, Lancashire, FY8

I'm Sarah and I am an experienced and qualified Professional and Personal Development Coach and Accredited NLP practitioner. The coaching packages I offer have helped my clients to regain clarity and confidence, and develop self-belief ... allowing them to positively challenge themselves, their thoughts and to overcome self doubt.

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