Meet my inner fan

(Dutch version here)

Hi dear inner fan, can I introduce you to my foreign readers?

Yes of course, we just did it in Dutch. I know how you hate to write the same thing twice, so let’s make this a whole new conversation.

I like that, but still… There are some things I need to tell about you. How we’ve met in a meditation weekend. I was totally out of touch with myself. Felt only Shame and Rejection.
In that weekend we sat in pairs. On speaking on the subject “Who am I ?”, the other only listening. At the end of the first day I was done with talking, done with all the stories I told myself. There was silence. First uncomfortable, then finding comfort in them. At the end of the second day I was able to let go of a lot. I wrote this poem.

(translated by a friend, Brigitte Kavermann)

That my longing Can depend on
Things that are around me
That I can paint The world
And all of me as well
That I can lock me away Outside
Never seeing the bars I don’t sing
I found me a whistle instead of a song
But don’t deserve the applause
Trying hard All of the time
Runs into these same old walls
And being black and blue
Bothers me less and less
I’ve stood years of this duress
Sowing doubt Circling ‘round
Biting my own tail
But when the winds of change have this fierce a blow
Needing a stronghold is all I know
Bound i’m floating
Loose i’m shaking
I feel,  I live 
Plunge myself into a freefall
Straight up from the pit
Grabbing my own hand
Feeling my feet in the sand
Now I can feel everything
Singing anew Including, me
I do remember i’ll have to take a leap sometimes
But I don’t always straightly dare

That is when I saw you. But that was more than 25 years ago. 

And how many times I lost you!

But you were always there when I turned at you. You told me, that you had to wait for me turning to you. That your energy is being, not doing. Not seeking me out, but always watching me, always being there when I reached out,

Sorry, I’m doing all the talking.

Keep on talking, you do it well.

So you made me realise that all this wandering, getting off track, was all part of the deal. You didn’t even warn me that I was a transgender! I discovered that one years later!

But you are such a good listener. You immediately got my power of being. And that is what you are going to spread in the world. Take the stage with me. I so want to touch other peoples heart. You see, we inner fans, we seek each -other out. So, wherever you taken me, I will connect people with their own inner fan. That is you mission.

Hey! I thought you didn’t do advise. 

I was  using your own voice, because I ilke it.

So that is my mission.

Bringing people in contact with their inner fan.

They need that.

Because people are avoiding the very things they need to face. And I get that. I did that for years!

And yet. You always found yourself again. Faced stuff about yourself. You always came back to me for comfort, so you could go on. Even if it did take you long. You didn’t waste time.

Yes, you are my gift. The gift I want to share with the world.

I gladly share you mission. Go rock that stage!

 

Gesprek met mijn interne fan

(english version here)

Dag lieve interne fan, wil je meeschrijven aan dit blog?

Tuurlijk, dat deden we al vaker toch?

Vind je het erg als we wat dingen herhalen? Ik zit hier met mijn nieuwe naam op mijn nieuwe site, ik heb nieuw publiek. Ik wil je aan wat nieuwe mensen voorstellen.

I’m all yours

Echt? Weet je, ik ga je verkopen. Vind je het niet erg om commercieel ingezet te worden?

Lieve Emma, ik hoef toch niet meer aan je te vertellen dat die oordelen de andere stemmen in je hoofd zijn. Dat woord commercieel heeft geen negatieve lading voor mij. Ga gewoon helemaal je gang. Ik houd van je missie. Verkoop me.

Oké.
Beste lezers, ontmoet mijn interne fan. Ze koestert me, ik praat met haar, en soms doe ik dat live op een blog, zoals nu.

Ik ontmoette haar in 1995. Ik zat er behoorlijk doorheen, en kon op geen enkele manier meer bij mezelf komen. Ik voelde alleen nog maar schaamte en afwijzing. Ik draaide rond in een vicieuze cirkel.
Toen deed ik een meditatieweekend, soort van. De sessies bestonden vooral uit jezelf leeg praten op het thema “wie ben ik?” tegenover een ander die niks anders mocht dan luisteren. Nou na een dag ben je wel leeggepraat. En dan volgt stilte, Eerst werd ik ongemakkelijk van die stiltes. Later voelden ze fijn. Ik liet op die tweede dag van alles los.
Ik schreef toen dit gedicht.

Dat mijn verlangen
af kan hangen
van de dingen om me heen.
Dat ik de wereld
kan behangen
en mezelf van top tot teen.

Dat ik me buiten
op kan sluiten
en de tralies niet kan zien.
Dat ik niet zing
maar sta te fluiten
en het applaus niet eens verdien.

Dat hard proberen
alle keren
op dezelfde muren stuit.
Dat blauwe plekken
mij niet deren.
ik houd het zo al jaren uit.

Twijfel zaaien,
rondjes draaien.
Ik bijt mezelf weer in de staart.
Maar als de winden
zo hard waaien,
dan is houvast wel wat waard.

Vastgebonden zweef ik.
Losgelaten beef ik,
voel ik, leef ik.
Ik stort mezelf in vrije val,
recht omhoog vanuit het dal.
Ik pak mijn uitgestoken hand
en voel mijn voeten in het zand.

Nu ik de dingen
weer voel zingen
en mezelf van top tot teen,
weet ik weer:
ik moet soms springen
maar durf dat niet altijd meteen.

Ja, dat was een mooie ontmoeting. Eindelijk zag je me.

Ja, en ik raakte je ook snel weer kwijt. Hoe gaat dat dan toch! Ik dacht dat ik met deze ontdekking het leven aan kon!

Dat kon je ook.

Ja duh! Ik heb nog flink doorgesukkeld. Had je toen bijvoorbeeld niet even kunnen zeggen dat ik transgender was?

Ik ben er niet om je te vertellen wie je bent of wat je moet doen. Ik ben geen adviseur. Ik ben. Al die andere stemmen komen naar je toe.
Ik kan dat niet.
Ik ben.
Ik ben er altijd.
Ik zie je altijd, en ik wacht tot jij me weer ziet. 

Ik baalde er wel van dat, toen ik weer in de mallemolen terecht kwam, je me niet even op mijn schouder tikte om me te waarschuwen. Ja, ik weet het nu. Dat heb je me toen ook verteld. Het werkt alleen als ik je opzoek.

En dat deed je toch elke keer weer? Ook al duurde het soms lang. Steeds weer kon je het vertrouwen opbrengen om me op te zoeken. En weet je, je bent een hele goede luisteraar.

En al die omwegen die je maakte. Die hoorden er gewoon bij. 

Dat is waarom ik jou wil verkopen.
Ik zat eerst op een andere lijn, ik wilde mensen waarschuwen voor die omwegen. Ik zie zoveel mensen op alle mogelijke manieren vermijden waar het echt om gaat.

In plaats van waarschuwen wil ik ze in contact brengen met hun fan. Want je hebt een fan nodig om aan te gaan wat je hebt aan te gaan.

Dat is “the stuff we are made off”. En zo mooi dat jij dit doet. Het past zo bij je.

Trouwens, voel je dat je met elke stap die je hier mee zet ook zelf een laag verder komt in zelf-liefde? Wacht, dat was een retorische vraag. Ik weet dat je dat voelt.

Dus grote lieverd:  Rock that stage!

Waarom ik het podium op moet

Ik gooi er even een ouderwets blog tussendoor, zo eentje waar ik tijdens het schrijven ga ontdekken waar ik het eigenlijk over heb.

Steeds opnieuw valt het me op hoe mensen alle waarheden, adviezen, tips, levenswijzheden, zedlfhulpboeken, TED talks en Oprah-gasten kunnen gebruiken om te vluchten voor hun leven, terwijl ze er juist van overtigd zijn dat ze dat leven to the max leven.

Als je wil weten waar ik het over heb, google dan eens op spiritual bypass, of lees deze https://holistik.nl/burn-out-spiritualiteit/. Maar het is niet alleen spiritueel, we bypassen zo’n beetje op alle fronten.

En ik snap het zo goed. Ik deed het zelf jarenlang. Ik doe het nog, vermoed ik, op sommige fronten.

Het is een soort default, waar we in terug springen.

Het verschil tussen weten, voelen en zijn.

Ik shreef deze, omdat ik het wist. Ik voelde het zelfs.

 

En dan komen er foto’s van mij, in actie op het podium.

fotograaf Sannaz Photography

En dan denk ik:

Buikje, frons, vooruitstekende onderkaak, wéér die handen zo.

Ik zette het op facebook, en in dit geval zelfs om van anderen te horen dat het allemaal zo erg niet was.

WTF!

Ik wéét toch dat ik juist door al die dingen ben wie ik ben?

Zit ik potverdikkie toch met één of ander indeaalbeeld in mijn hoofd naar mezelf te kijken.

Het duurde ruim een dag tot ik het weer kon voelen. “Dit ben ik, en ik houd van mij.”

En niet omdat ik vond dat ik mezelf moest accepteren dat ik ben wie ik ben.

Dat was wat ik vroeger deed. Mijn teleurstelling inslikken, en dan maar tegen heug en meug mezelf accepteren: fake it untill I make it.

Hier schreef ik daar over.

Ik zoek er woorden voor, voor dat verscchil.

Nóg een voorbeeld.

Prachtig boek.

Ik wilde dat ik het geschreven had.

Zegt precies waar het op staat.

Maar als ik dit boek 5 jaar geleden had gelezen, had ik het gebruikt om mezelf te misleiden.

Ik had het gesnapt. Ik had het zelfs gevoeld: “Jaaa! Zooo waar!! Dit weet ik, dit snap ik. Zo ga ik het doen.”

En ik was mijn best gaan doen.

Misschien is dát het woord: Je best doen.

Misschien deed ik te veel mijn best.

Misschien is het omdat ik toen niet ergens naar toe ging maar ergens van af wilde.

Misschien is het omdat ik niet accepteerde wie ik was, en was ik bezig  aan een ideaal te voldoen.

Misschien was het omdat ik op zoek was naar iets dat nu eens een keer wél zou werken.

Misschien was het omdat ik nog steeds dacht dat één inzicht mijn leven kon veranderen.

Ik had dit allemaal hevig ontkent, als je dat toen tegen me gezegd had. En vervolgens was ik gaan knutselen, om te zorgen dat ik al deze dingetjes ook nog even mee nam in mijn nieuwe stap.

Een tijd lang was mijn standaard antwoord op dingen die me gezegd werden: “Weet ik!
Dat betekende:  “Shit! Deze had ik moeten zien aankomen. Nu zorgen dat dit me niet weer overkomt.”
Ik was er steeds opnieuw weer van overtuigd dat ik het deze keer allemaal anders deed.

Maar nu doe ik dat allemaal anders.

Yeah, I know.

Hoe leg ik dat verschil nu uit?

Ten eerste is het nu weg die ik afleg in plaats van een stap die ik gezet heb.

Ten tweede ga ik nu wel van alles aan, steeds opnieuw.

Ten derde, iemand zei het gisteren tegen me: “We kuinnen ook niet meer terug”

Brené Brown zegt het zo:
One of the truisms of wholehearted living is You either walk into your story and own your truth, or you live outside of your story, hustling for your worthiness.

En weet je?

Al deze zinnen zou ik vijf jaar geleden ook gezegd kunnen hebben. So don’t take my word for it.

Dit is balen voor een blogger, er achter komen dat woorden hopeloos ontoereikbaar zijn.

Daar, in die foto hierboven, die met die uitstekende onderkin. Daar breng ik het over. Met mijn lijf. Met met stem. Met mijn alles.

Ik moet toch echt dat podium op.

Dát is dus waar dit blog heen ging.

Dank, ik heb nu ook de titel.

Ik hou van mij.

 

 

Why your marketing may work against you as a coach

Dear coaches,

You may not realise this, bit your ‘therapeutic’ relationship with your clients begins with your marketing.

Because you want to sell, you search for needy people, and you present your programs as the thing they need.

If you are successful, your client will give you the power to fulfill their needs. This by itself is okay, even needed at first. I wrote this blog about that.

But there’s a catch.

Your clients don’t see you. They see whatever they need, and project that on you.

This is called transference.

You can use that. But please be aware of it’s presence. Because otherwise you could well end up with ‘countertransference’.

If you start to believe what your clients see in you, you invite the risk of wanting to please them.

One obvious disadvantage of that is that your self-worth will be attached to satisfied clients. A mismatch with one of your clients will hurt more than is has too.

The other disadvantage is that you will lose your sharpness.

Clients are dodgers, they avoid the things they need most to address.

If you really want to help your clients  (I know you are the kind of coach that isn’t satisfied with a shallow success), you will want to help them face these things.

And here’s the thing.

You will have to work very carefully with transference, use it, and transform it.

Your marketing will make your clients see you as the expert. And at first your relationship is built on authority. That may seem the perfect starting point to get your clients to tackle the things they are avoiding.

But it isn’t.

Because the things they are avoiding involve shame.

What you need to walk with clients through their shame is a trusting relationship.

This is why I like the branding approach of Esther de Charons Wonderfuly Weird Women.

She brings authenticity to your brand.

If you want really top-notch skills to take your clients through their shame take a look at this academy: (sorry for Dutch readers only, but don’t worry I took my education there, and I can help you If you want to reach next level-coaching)

Use your sensitivity, to guide your clients to the process, and please, teach them the skills to keep on growing. Because however great your program, you know they are just starting out on a journey.

Please don’t leave them needy.

It’s never the method, it’s you

(Dutch version here)

No matter how great your method is,

you are what makes the difference.

 

Because your program may be perfect, but everything depends on the mindset of your clients. Especially the reason behind their enrolling.

When I was a teacher at elementary school, I used to coach children on woodwork. We didn’t have standard programs, children would come in, with a project in mind and I would guide them in the process.

That was the idea.

A great one, except . . .

Children didn’t want the process, they wanted the finished product. Usually a sword, or any other cool object they saw from other kids.

You know, there would always be this kid that was interested in the process.  That was great. She or he would work her or his ass off, totally submerged in the work. And then finally (maybe after some frustration and trying again) there would be this very cool product. A sword, a chair you could actually sit on, a dolls house, toys for a doll’s playground.

And then the other kids came in: “I want what she’s having!”

Despite my warnings, these kids would begin enthusiastically, but soon enough they would not only need my help, they wanted me to take over.

You will get clients like this.

They will skip large parts of your online course, and if they don’t, they will try to find out what result they think is necessary , and work towards that result, skipping the process.

They even can do this with artistic, out of the box programs.

They will be constantly searching what it is they need to deliver. And they will deliver it, like the good student they are.

When your course is about dealing with perfectionism, they will deliver perfect faults.

This is one of the things where you come in. You have to find out what it is they are avoiding. You have to guide them in their acceptance. Real acceptance, not the one they will show you, the one that suddenly pops out because you triggered something, with the right question, the right remark (or that look, that only you can give).

This is never in any program.

It’s in you.

 

The choices of the Camel

(Dutch version here)

You know the story of Frith and El Arairah? It’s from Watership Down.

In the story Frith gives animals their ‘presents’,  their special powers.

But the story doesn’t tell that the animals could choose their own abilities.  They could, and I would like to tell you about the choices of the Camel.

The Camel had some specific wishes:

Long legs, with broad feet, to be able to walk in the desert.

A double pair of eyelashes because of the sand that blows in his eyes constantly.

And no more thirst, there’s so little water out there.

Frith frowned at that last wish, but granted them all.

“You can come back, if you change your mind”, with these words Frith waved the Camel goodbye.

The Camel did come back. Three weeks was all it took.

“Hm”, said Frith: “I thought so. Tell me, what is it?”

“The legs, feet and eylashes are great, never better, but . . . ” the Camel hesitated, ” . . . but I so miss the thirst. You know, I get a drink sometime, form an oasis. But it’s not the same. Water doesn’t taste good anymore. I so miss it, when I finally see an oasis, dying form thirst, and then plunging my head in the cold water.”

“I thought so”, said Frith, “You know what? I’ll give you two lumps om your back, to store water, because you’re right, there’s precious little of it. But I’ll give you back your thirst. You will be always wishing for the well, form time to time.”

 

As a coach you are the well. 

And that’s a good thing, at least at first.

Be aware that your clients often have stood dry for quite a long time. The crave for recognition. Rejection sensitivity is a bitch!

Let me tell you about rejection sensitivity, not the meaning because the words are self explaining, but how it grows.

Your clients are highly sensitive, right? That means that they stand out. They see other things, make other connections.

As a kid, when the teacher, asked them something they could think of at least seven answers. And then they found out that only one of then was considered right. Wow! weird world, and a puzzle! Even if they do get this puzzle right, they take longer than others, considering the possibilities and the circumstances.

This process is even more difficult when it’s about social stuff.

So stand out they will! And if their family didn’t do an awesome job supporting their standing-outishness, they feel rejection. Please note that this feeling is also stronger when you’re highly sensitive.

So they try to fit in. Trying to be faster at making the puzzles, and breaking the social codes.

And they are less and less themselves, which makes it more difficult to be seen for who they really are.

So there you are, the tail biting ,self-fulfilling prophecy.

There’s another reason why your clients are not feeling their self worth.

They hate the fight for the high places on the social ladder, so they let other go first.

They are so desperate for an oasis.

And there you are as a coach. 

Be the oasis.

And then teach them how to refill their lumps.

Teach them to find other oasis, so finally they won’t need you anymore.

But first: be the oasis.

 

afterthought:

Please don’t teach them they can find the oasis in themselves. I believed that bullshit for too long. Lumps yes, no.
Don’t people have an incredible inner source? Yes they have!
But recognition and being seen isn’t to found in that water. That is why Frith made all those other people.
And vice versa, peoples inner source isn’t for them alone. It’s for all those others.

 

Why your clients still avoid the stuff they think they’re working on

(dutch version here)

Sometimes I meet a client who doesn’t feel shame.

This always makes me a bit suspicious. We need shame. Shame is the feeling when you trespass on other peoples values.  We need shame to stay connected. Of course we also need to learn how to deal with shame, because we tend to relate it to our self-worth.

Because of this relation with self-worth, shame is one of the most important things to work on with clients. Balancing personal values and values of others. These two need to communicate:  our values need to be fed from the pool of other peoples values, and that pool needs our personal values. If this communication is done with self-compassion, we develop a healthy set of personal values.

The more our clients live according to their own values, the less they let shame hold them back.

Going beyond shame is not the same as feeling no shame. It is deciding that your own values are worth so much that you are willing to act regardless of your shame.

So what about those clients who think they feel no shame?

(I’m not talking about sociopaths, they are not clients of ours.)

Two things can be the matter:

Disconnecting

Sometimes the feeling of shame can be too hurtful. The unconscious solution is to avoid or reflect the feelings coming in. The cost of this is disconnecting from others and disconnecting form self. 

This recognizable. Maybe coaching isn’t the first step. Maybe therapy is needed.

 

Not recognizing shame

The most common reason that people say they feel no shame, is because they confuse shame with embarrassment. Embarrassment is the light version of shame, it comes and goes, while shame tends to stay.

 

What this means for your online programs.

By interchanging shame with embarrassment people are prone to skip over exercises involving shame, because of: “been there done that”.

This “been there done that” is one of the ways to avoid facing the real stuff, the stuff where the exercise is really about.

Another common way in which clients avoid the real stuff is doing the exercise in their heads. Imagining instead of feeling.

This effect makes it so very difficult to get your clients really engaged in your online programs, where the interaction one-on-one is limited.

There may be a facebook group, but that group can be as easily used to help each other avoiding things as it can be a means to help each other face them.

One of the answers is  in the moderating.

That is a skill.

Because you want the perfect mix of encouraging and tickling you participants.

You will have to use your sensitivity to ‘smell’ the avoidance patterns of you participants.

You will have to use your sensitivity to feel when someone is ready for the next layer.

I think this could be the most important skill for a coach.

If you do this right it will set you out form the average online course.

 

Pleas share your thoughts on this

 

The two ways to use an exercise in coaching

Dutch version here

When I started out as a trainer, somewhere in the beginning of the 90’s,  my only goal was giving people insight.

For me, personal growth was all about insight. I even was so naive as to expect my participants to get the one insight I wanted them to get. I designed my training’s that way: now you will see the light I want you to see.

I saw it as a failure when people didn’t see this light. I was jealous of other trainers who had more guts to push harder, so they could break through the resistance of their participants.

Soon I learned that my weakness was not a weakness but just being prudent and considerate. I learned that not everyone is ready for everything at the same time.

So I learned to trust my ability in sensing what it was that people were ready for. I guided them to take that step. I learned them to deal with their own resistance.

But still it was about a breakthrough, an insight, an experience.

And for a long time I thought that that was it: with this new way of seeing themselves and the world, nothing would be the same, ever!

That was true, but  I was wrong thinking they were ready to take on the world.

Because they weren’t.

Having an insight doesn’t automatically give you the skills to cope with life. It’s a condition, not a guarantee.

So while the first, very important function of an exercise is creating an insight, an experience,

The second one is about growing and learning.

Technically knowing how to throw a spear doesn’t win you the match.

Breaking through your resistance in a controlled exercise doesn’t mean your resistance is gone.

So there are the exercises that you give as homework: taking little steps, trying out. Again and again. And remember about the 40% rule. (Read about that here)

And if you want to know what kind of thing your clients need to learn, take a look here.

It doesn’t stop at being aware!

The 9 fields on which your client has work to do

So here is this highly sensitive client. Yes she is, you can bet on it. Because I am and you are. We sniff each other out. Because we’re safe.

And because she (yes she can be a he, but let’s just get on with the female pronouns) is highly sensitive a few things happen.

Feeling can be overwhelming.

Sharing what you feel is impossible (no one gets it)

Rejection sensitivity builds up: HS people stand out even when they don’t mean to. They are slower to respond (because they need time for all the associations in their heads), and when they respond, it’s always slightly skewed, off the mark.

 

So they tend to shut up and do it all in their heads. Even the feeling, because the pain of rejection sensitivity causes real pain, comparable with physical pain.

 

Not every highly sensitive person does this. The ones that grew up in an environment dat was encouraging their uniqueness do quite well. They don’t develop rejection sensitivity. But you will not see them as a client, because they don’t need you.

 

So here they are.

In their head.

And most of what they feel is also inside their head, because they are fast thinkers, and wildly imaginative. And this is what makes them so difficult. They can fool you because they can fool themselves.

So if you do a thing about feeling selfworthy, feeling powerful. They can relate. They can even do an exercise about it and really feel that. They can dig that up, and at the same time  carefully avoid the place where all their unworthiness is.

They can give you the feeling you want as a coach (they are such pleasers) and at the same time block their feelings.

So how do you get them out of their heads, and keep them out of their heads?

I know.

I was a head-dweller myself. And now I am so much in my body that whenever my head is robbing my attention I friendly tell my head that it can play with my attention a bit, but not too long, because I want it back.

And it works, it keeps on working.

Because I did the work.

I worked at all nine fields of the resilience toolkit.

I love the word resilience, because you can not avoid being floored by life, but you can learn to get up by yourself. (Asking for a hand is also doing it by yourself).

To get out of my head and stay there I learned to

  1. Be open minded.
    Letting go of judgments. Learning to be curious again.
  2. Letting go.
    Seeing my flow of thoughts for what is is, and be able not to go with it all the time.
  3. Focus and attention
    Becoming  aware of how  my attention was all over the place, and learning to control it.
  4. Acceptance
    Going to the dark places. Feel what is there. Letting it be, instead of wanting to alter it.
  5. Facing it
    Learning to deal with pain. Letting my body get used to feeling pain and anxiety. Teaching it that these are just feelings nothing to be afraid of.
  6. Flexibility
    Practicing all this in real life with very small and fun (yes also a bit scary) steps. Knowing it is not about the results but about what I feel at the moment. Building courage muscles.
  7. Equality
    Dealing with differences in status. Little evolutionary story: we HPS’s are not fond of the fight for a higher place on the ladder. So whenever we meet someone where the difference in status is not obvious, we lower our status, so we won’t get into a fight. To be able to be fluent in status change we need to practice high status without shutting off our feeling (that being the easy way to pull of high status).
  8. Joy
    Learning again to enjoy all of my senses, without holding back
  9. value-based actions
    Here is the shame-guilt thing:  Shame is feeling that you trespass on values of others. Guilt is feeling that you trespass on values of myself. I need shame, because my own values need to be checked with the values of others. There is this constant interaction between the two. But now I get to decide what is healthy for me and act on that. My decision to care about values of others is my choice, not based on fear of rejection. My values are worth that rejection.

It was not one thing I learned that as an avalanche triggered all the others. Not even my transition could do that. In fact my transition was the cause of, as well as the condition for many of my work on these fields.

They all depend on the other, they overlap, but you need them all. And as a coach you should be aware of that.

 

These nine fields are based on the toolkit from the Ducth expertise center on High Sensitivy “GaveMensen run by Xandra van Hooff.
Xandra has made her toolkit based on this book: 

Mind and Emotions, Mathew McKay, Patrick Fanning and Patricia Zurita Ona.

The smarter the goals, the more dangerous they are in coaching.

Coaching is all about interventions.

Everything you do with clients is an intervention in their lives.

Or it is about putting in perspective the interventions that life has to offer.

Your clients learn form these interventions.

And, as with every good learning, the process is more important than the result. Most schools, sadly, haven’t figured this out yet. I hope you have.

Ill’say it again, because this is really important.

The process is more important than the result. It is about growth mindset.

As a coach you will have a goal with your client, and that’s okay. But please . . . forget that goal during your coaching!

The smarter the goals the more dangerous they are in coaching.

Because by their very nature they focus on results. (And the time factor alone will kill everything.)

And strange as it may seem, it’s also not about the actions.

I know!

Bummer!

Because all these actions and results are visible successes! Good for the confidence of your coachee (and let’s be honest, good for your confidence and your marketing too).

But the
“I finally did it!”,
“Hey! I can pull this off!”,
“I did something, I didn’t dare before!”
are meaningless in the light of what your clients felt when they did it.

If they felt anything at all.

Because, when the challenge is too big, they shut down their emotion.

I remember a summer when I looked up at my older brother because he could dive from the highest dive board.

He made a project out of me diving form the highest board that summer. As a real coach he worked on me, telling me that I could, that I had it in me. So, in the end, maybe just because I didn’t want to disappoint him, I did it.

But that didn’t mean I faced my fear. I just blocked my fear long enough.
I never dived from a high board again.

This is what happens when you focus on results. Your coachees will block their feelings. And if they are not aware of that, you not only missed a chance, but you’ve just taught them a new avoiding mechanism.

On a scale of scary, from one to ten, your clients need to work on a level not higher than a four.

Then, they are able to feel, because then there is room for fun, next to the sacry bit. They can laugh at their faults. They can make room to really feel what is going on inside them.

They can play.

You only learn when it is playful.

 

 

 

It is your task as a coach to help your client bring down the interventions that life deals, to a four.  And that is not always possible, I know, life is good at dealing the unexpected. But when that happens, it is good for your client to know that she dealt with a seven or even a ten.

And as for the exercises you assign (which are kind of your interventions on remote control), make them a one a two or a three. Make them playful. Design them for your client, so that they can include them in their own routines.  These exercises are not about the results, but about to get to learn what is going on inside them, while they are doing them.