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  • Writer's pictureLily

Coaching is powerful.

Updated: Aug 26, 2023

I think there’s two main reasons why. First, because it changes how we feel. And second, because it also changes how we think.

  1. The Feels

It sounds so simple, but having the space to think and ‘talk out’ what’s on your mind can often get you most of the way to solving whatever problem or challenge you have. Despite the best intentions of our friends, family, and colleagues it’s rare that we have a completely neutral space to just say whatever is on our minds in a totally objective and judgement-free zone (like you can with a coach). Sense of relief can be huge.

And talking about your unique goals with someone else really helps to embed them into reality. Once you’ve told your coach what you want to do, the sense of accountability will feel much more significant.

A second powerful feeling that comes from coaching is new self-awareness about your beliefs, mindsets, and patterns of behaviour. Bringing these things to the foreground can work wonders for creating a sense of clarity and understanding about why you feel stuck, and what could un-stick you. Naming these things helps to bring them under your control, so you can choose whether or not to keep them or change them. You suddenly feel more in control of your life, as the main character, not just the supporting actor!

The third feeling is motivation. Feeling like you have to do something, is rarely very inspirational. And so we resist it. But feeling like you want to do something…that’s a very different ball game. And that’s the place where we start to feel that change is not only possible, but within reach, and something we’re intrinsically motivated to work towards.

Finally, the feeling of possibility and potential. Coaching is based on positive psychology which activates the brain to think differently, expand ideas, and be more flexible, rather than shutting it down with a one-way system of information or advice. So coaching encourages us to ‘think big’ and maybe see opportunities where we once saw blockers, to have the confidence to try instead of the fear of failing.

  1. The Science

Our brains are information gathering machines. But there’s way too much information and stimulus for your brain to re-interpret and re-learn it all as brand new every time. So your brain loves to find a shortcut, and once it has found one, it likes to stick to it because that makes the world easier and quicker to understand and respond to.

These shortcuts are called neural pathways, essentially our patterns of thought. Once we learn something, we create a neural pathway to keep that learning active as knowledge. The more we use that neural pathway, the stronger and more habitual it becomes.

Most neural pathways we build are useful. For example, once you learn that fire is hot, that knowledge is going to serve you well for the rest of your life and stop you sticking your hands into flames. But some thought patterns we form can be less useful. For example, constantly telling yourself you’re not good enough. That’s not a fact, it’s a thought, but your brain doesn’t know the difference. So repeatedly thinking the same negative thought strengthens that neural pathway, and we start to believe it is the truth.

But the good news is that our brains are also super flexible (it’s called neuroplasticity) and your pathways can be changed. HURRAH. Creating new thought patterns means creating new knowledge and beliefs. And you can be in charge of what those are, so you can make them awesome shortcuts like, I AM BLOODY BRILLIANT, or I AM INSANELY CAPABLE.

Essentially, what you think, you become. Coaching is about helping you think differently and uncover what thought patterns could be holding you back. Then, you can work to change them into better, more empowering thoughts about who you are, where you want to go, and what you want to achieve. Newer, stronger, more positive neural pathways - sorted.

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