Last week we dove into one of the 9 domains in life, the spiritual domain, as we explored the spiritual aspects to our potential.
To me spirituality is the recognition that there is much more to life than meets the eye and much more to you than you believe to be true. However you define it, spirituality connects us to that which is greater than ourself.
This week we are continuing on the "more to life than meets the eye" theme. We are covering one of the most powerful coaching skills that is also perhaps one of the least talked about or intentionally developed. This is intuition.
Being an atheist the majority of my young-adult life I used to brush away intuition without a second thought. Until, one day my mentor invited me to reconsider handing off 50% of my own wisdom. What!? Was I really missing that much in life by disavowing my inner knowings? But isn't intuition non-rational and therefore unreasonable?
It turns out intuition is a short cut because we are always picking up on information around us. It turns out, yes I was missing out on way more than 50% of what life had to offer me and I had to offer back. It also turns out that intuition may be non-rational, but it isn't irrational. It often shows us more truth than the confines of logic alone.
As a matter of fact, I'm only where I am today because I followed very key, non-rational intuitions that I had.
If you are on the fence about the role of intuition and the power of human capacity you won't want to miss today's video!
Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind,
by Dr. Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer
I had mentioned a few weeks back that I was interviewed by of my favorite yogis and fellow coach, Paulette Bodeman, author of the Breakaway Girl: Secrets of a Tantric Yogi.
The interview was focussed on the spiritual aspects to potential and is hot off the press!
Furthermore, Paulette is pioneering this "breakaway" into your potential concept. I am very excited about her approach! Do you have a defining moment where you broke away from fear and followed your heart?
Coach Beth Davis said it best, "If you are experiencing resistance, you are still making decisions with your head."
Enjoy today's spiritually empowering perspectives!
Ok, I'm going to give my age away. I'm recalling Cindy Lopper's song called True Colors after writing this week's article. Too funny! Cindy Lopper was 80s I'm thinking.
This week we are exploring how we can default into judging others when they are being reactive. Here is another perspective to consider.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “When the going gets tough, that is when a person’s true colors show.”
In fact, when the going gets tough that is when a person’s level of development shows. In fact, their true colors are what is hidden beneath the reactions, the trigger and the defense mechanisms.
Maya Angelo said, “When we know better we do better.”
Yes, even adults can throw tantrums. Our chronology does not guarantee maturity. There is a difference between growing up and waking up, as Ken Wilber puts it.
As I grew up I began to notice that there were many more olders than elders in the world. So, I sought out elders to learn from.
The ancient Toltecs taught that there are three milestones to a person’s development. We come into the world as a “victim” (or dependent on our guardians). We can then individuate and step into our own truth as “warrior”. Then, if we choose to continue to self-develop, we can move into “master”.
Through an integrative lens we can identify a pivot point on this journey of self-discovery.
In order to get out of victim, one must step into their power through their inner warrior.
Once in warrior there are two milestones that bridge to master.
The first is destructive, if we stay there too long. Yet this milestone is needed to grow us out of victim.
The second is constructive, yet if we stay there too long can keep us from moving to master.
The first is victim-warrior.
The second is warrior-master.
In integrative coaching we help people traverse the milestones of self-mastery by taking them from where they identify they are stuck and into the next milestone. We do this by introducing them to the master already within, their true colors.
The true colors within each of us can inform our own self-development. This is what the Course in Miracles means when it says, “You have taught [yourself] what you are, but you have yet to allow what you are to teach you.”
Development is a personal choice. Not everyone wants to develop. It takes work and dedication. Yet, the rewards are where the miraculous resides!
The next time someone flies off the handle, remember, those are not their true colors. They are doing the best they can with the resources and self-awareness they have access to. Remember, within every person is a master awaiting to awaken.
To be amazed by humanity, invite nothing but excellence in others.
Our wonderful instructor, Dr. Kristen Truman-Allen, conducted her dissertation on Metaphor in Coaching. Metaphor is a powerful tool to activate the brain, anchor in an insight and engage create solutions (especially for those with more linear thinking approaches to life).
Today's resource is an NPR podcast on how the brain process metaphor. Enjoy!
Coaching Resource of the WeeK:
There is a saying, "If life is coming at you, then you are in the wrong lane."
When we push through life being underdeveloped, the harder life is to respond to. Yet, that is when we need our potential the most, in the moments of struggle and strife and stress.
There is a correlation between the more undeveloped someone is with how much of a struggle life feels like and therefore is.
Yep, a "wrong lane" excuse. I was leading an undeveloped life and I had no clue there was another option. I lived in fear and therefore everything was always coming at me in one form or another. Not enough money to make ends meet, feeling anxious all day and major weight gain from stress eating.
In the Enneagram, Riso-Hudson tradition, they introduced Levels of Development. These levels are brilliant at measuring personal growth. They teach that the more disintegrated (think undeveloped) one is, the more predictable a person’s behavior and reactivity levels are.
Once we develop out of our patterned ways of beings, like defense mechanisms for example, we can live a whole-hearted life by responding to life in resourced ways and our ego has less of a hold on us. The result, our potential is accessible and the Essence of True Self can then emerge.
After plopping myself into coaching and doing the inner-work, my outer world began to reflect what was happening within. Being resourced, ready and revived about life I began to dispel the fear, the stress eating and financial stressors. A whole new world was available to me, yet was ironically here all along.
Once we choose to step into our human potential and develop our responsiveness, inner resourcefulness and abilities, then life becomes more like a flowing river to raft down with rocks to navigate, versus attempting to swim in a rapid upstream and getting all banged up.
There is a huge cost to not developing. The cost is our inner-peace. The cost is our ability for responsiveness. The cost is struggle, strife and stress. All of which can impede on our health, wealth and wisdom; body, mind and spirit.
It would seem then that anyone undeveloped could not succeed in life then. Quite the contrary. Defense mechanisms can get anyone quite far up the corporate latter for example. One way this shows up in corporate is known as the “bully boss”. The overall cost though, is true personal fulfillment for the boss and happiness for the employee. Yes, success is still possible, but will include a cost.
The distinction here is that:
There are big costs to success achieved
while operating through defenses.
There are also some costs to developing. We have to be willing to face our ego, to self-reflect and to be willing to try new ways of being. This can feel very uncomfortable, at least in the beginning. Yet, it leads to our ability to hold long-term success with ease, whole-hearted joy and personal fulfillment.
I call the beginning stages of self-development work the weed pulling stage. In the beginning it feels like hard work to self-examine and with honesty. The good news is that the cost here is mostly only a few blows to the ego. Our True Self is thanking us!
Our potential is reached after the weeds have been pulled, we’ve cleared the grounds to plant the seeds we desire to have in our lives and the fruits of our own labor are truly the most beautiful.
In essence, the “costs” of self-development only feel like costs in the beginning, the weed pulling stage. Once the weeds are pulled and the freedom of living weed free is experienced, the freedom we experience takes on a momentum of its own and the possibilities become miraculous.
When they do not occur
Something has gone wrong.”
A Course In Miracles, 1:1:9
Have you ever experienced a boss that was unaware of their negative impact on their employees? Have you ever heard of a company that was harming the environment, yet thriving financially? Have you ever had a friend that was great when things were great, but when the going got tough turned reactive or were always playing the victim?
I am willing to bet most of us have come across or directly experienced these scenarios. All of the above scenarios are a result of people leading undeveloped lives.
Currently, there are many avenues for self-development.
In many wisdom, religious and spiritual traditions there are pathways for someone to face themselves, look at their life and choose to mature into their best self.
Outside of these wisdom traditions, we have family and friendship life. Some families and/or friends set goals together, hold each other accountable and grow together.
Other avenues are sports and even hobbies. Having someone mentor us through our growth to reach a greater goal in a sport or a hobby helps us refine our potential.
We also have books from experts sharing their research, ideas and experiences. Authors sharing their wisdom can help us understand life in new ways and reach new landmarks.
In a perfect world, we would all grow up with all of these avenues for development surrounding us like a rich garden of fruits to choose from. Yet, many of us grow up without any of these… unless we seek them out.
Let’s look at another side now.
Have you ever worked with a boss that was emotionally respectful, inspiring and supportive? Have you ever seen a company that looked at any area they would impact and choose to do good with their services in all areas, not just one? Have you ever experienced a friend that was great when things were great and even stronger in the face of adversity?
I’m willing to bet these experiences are rarer. They are all examples of people who have invested in self-development.
When we self-develop we:
- Become great at communication and emotional intelligence
- Turn hard situations into opportunities for everyone’s benefit
- Extend forgiveness and empathy
- Understand multiple angles of issues at hand
- Respond to challenges through the empowered lens of our values
When we are not self-developed we default to:
- Being reactive and fearful when challenge hits
- Minimizing, pushing against or running away from obstacles
- Making hard situations harder
- Getting stuck in self-deception and judgment zones
- Doing life the hardest way possible and spinning our wheels.
You can see the benefits are night and day.
So why don’t more of us self-develop?
I’m not going to pretend to know the answer to this question, because I believe the answer is different for everyone. What I can say is that “to develop, or not to develop” is but a choice.
When we step into coaching we are choosing to self-develop and actualize our potential. Truly powerful self-development happens in relationship, where someone can mirror us, challenge us, “get” us and help us see farther than we could on our own.
In integrative coaching we take coaching even further. We invite the client into self-awareness. With self-awareness we can catch and eliminate self-deception. This is the birthplace of new wisdom. The lens of integrative intelligence then takes any new wisdom and/or self-understanding and bridges it into all areas of life, leading to true fulfillment. New wisdom then increases capacity to hold and sustain long-term successes. Integrative coaching truly yields heart warming, mind empowering and spirit lifting rewards.
Join us next week for Part Two – The “Costs” of Development
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Tabitha Danloe, CPIC, PCC
Life & Business Coach
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When I was growing up, I looked around at the world and felt I didn’t fit in. I was excruciatingly shy, introverted and as an abstract thinker I did not fit the mold in school. In my shyness I had a lot of time to observe the world and the people all around me.
I didn’t like the world I saw. I didn’t like all the injustice I witnessed. I hated the corporations that were ruining the environment without seeming to bat an eye. I hated that if I cared about the environment I was pegged a hippy tree hugger. And so on…
I just really scratched my head at what I thought was a "horrible" world I had been born into. Think about it, from racism to melting ice-caps to sex-trafficking at Walmart, the world humans created is complicated.
Even if we choose to not talk about it, we all feel the impact of these things in hearts each time the next news flash goes by.
My chronic linear focus on what was "wrong", drew me to an equally linear conclusion.
reached our potential as a human race and
we were now headed downhill.
What I discovered is that my conclusion was sorely short-sited.
I discovered that we are only a fraction towards reaching our human potential. Furthermore, things were so “off” because we haven’t even experienced true success on a larger scale yet.
Most people, and most company teams, operated through linear thinking. This linear thinking was delivering equally linear results. The problem with linear results is they don't yield truly successful outcomes. Let me share an example.
If I say to you, “Hey, guess what!? I achieved my goal and created this stellar million dollar company!” Most people would be like, “Wow, congrats, that is amazing! Good work!” followed by a high-five. And if my goal is linear, like going from zero to a million, and I hit that marker, then I can consider myself a true success, right?! I can even call my company “stellar” because it met my limited criteria.
Ok, let’s look at the broader truth. What if I came to you and said, “Hey guess what?! I created this stellar million dollar company! Our products pollute the ocean and our employees are all unhappy and overworked, but that’s ok because we moved our base across seas and employ children as young as eight years, on the cheap, to keep our costs down.”
To you I ask, have I reached true success?
Is anything a true success if it also initiates negative impact?
I say no. True success doesn't include failure.
Wouldn't true success encompass successful outcomes in all areas an endeavor reaches? For example, "Hey guess what?! I created this amazing million dollar company! Our products are 100% biodegradable, our product line is run on 100% solar, our employee base is like a large supportive family and our turnover is lower than any other company in our sales bracket for over a decade. We have so much left over after all the high end profit sharing that we donate all the excess to support families struck by poverty."
Again, most companies want to be successful in all areas, they just started out with linear goals and gotten themselves limited solutions. Time to pivot.
Understand this. Even the way success is defined in the dictionary points directly to this unintended limitation we've placed on human potential.
1. the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
2. a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.
Can you see the singular focus? Interesting isn't it.
If true success doesn't include failure then the dictionary might read:
1. the successful outcomes created as a result of an accomplishment or purpose.
2. surpassing desired aims and attaining prosperity, for self and others, as a result.
Can you see the movement from the linear into the expanded? It is a huge difference in implication.
Linear thinking creates limitation, intended or not. Linear solutions are prone to unintended consequences because they are, by their very nature, short-sighted solutions.
I have good news though! The problems we face nowadays are not due to a lack of intelligence. We are highly intelligent, but we are not yet integratively intelligent.
I am willing to bet not one company team started out saying, "I want to cause damage to the environment and take more for myself than I want to provide for my staff."
Yet, they may have started out saying, "Let's create a million dollar company!" and then got lost in the excitement, cut corners, and sold out their values for venues.
Not one person would say, “Yes, I want to swim in a disgusting polluted dying ocean!! Wooho!” Not one. Yet, that is very sadly what is happening.
So, we've failed to see through the lens true success. That is ok. We can start now.
So, we've forgot to choose the outcome that made the millions and left positive impacts in multiple areas. That is ok. We can expand our vision and engage our full potential.
So, we've settled for the money goal and ignore, justify, or numb out, the guilt each night. That is ok. We can align with our values whenever we choose and touch people's lives in positive ways as we do so.
Envision a global company that solved more problems than it created economically, socially, politically, relationally, environmentally and fiscally. You can’t tell me we are not intelligent enough to pull this off. Yet, if we don't include aspects of the whole, we can and will miss the true mark of human potential.
So do we have yet to tap into our human potential? Heck yes we do! And I'm excited to be a part of the movement towards integrative thinking and true human potential.
This is the good news!
Integrative coaches are one way humanity is helping humanity shift into more positive and impactful solutions in all areas, not just one or two.
Integrative means to include all aspects. This lens of intelligence helps people see farther, dig deeper, include their core values into their work/life, remove obstacles and minimize limitation. As we do so, people start to truly thrive.
What I challenge our politicians, leaders and companies to say is... "Challenge accepted! Yes, let's create the solutions that only have positive impact in all areas we reach!"
It has been said we are living in pivotal times. So let's pivot!
Are you with me?
Adjective: Having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.
Noun: Latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.
Potential to me is found within a blend of capacity and possibility. As we expand our capacity to respond to life in masterful ways, we increase the amount of possibilities we have access to.
For example: If I’m stuck in a self-deception cycle of “I’m limited” and as a result I am reactive with my co-workers, I’m less likely to get that promotion I wanted because my capacity for being fluent with my team was so low. The possibility is there, but I'm blocked from accessing it.
In essence, our potential correlates to our ability to increase our capacity, opening the door to opportunities and granting access to more and more possibilities. Life gets exciting at this point because we then get to choose which ones we want to step into.
Also, there is an irony in the definition of potential. When we define it, we limit it.
What I mean by this is that by defining potential, we then put a box around and can unintentionally limit it. Yet, ironically we need to define it to head in the direction of it. Head scratching!
In masterfully approaching our potential then it is best to not attach to our goals for our potential as if they were the end all. Then, when we reach the goals of our potential, to redefine them in new ways, or not at all.
The other key is to unfold in the direction of our potential and not away from it. This is where teachers and coaching comes in. They ensure we are unfolding in the correct direction. This sounds like a no brainer, however, it is a common error to completely “go it alone”. (I say completely, because part of our work is on, and of, our own.)
go through the phase of growth
where self-deception is harder to detect.
The tricky thing about self-deception is that we often can’t see we are being clouded by it. This is where a teacher or coach steps in to help counter illusions we face during the growth process.
Coaching is a very key short-cut to our potential.
We can't fix what we don't see.
Coaching was the answer to the question: "How does one help someone move beyond learning success externally to learning success internally?"
Success can be taught, yet, only up to a point. There is a point where one's potential can only be found when they relinquish learning externally and dig deep within for answers... their answers.
The Course in Miracles states: "You have [been] taught what you are. You have yet to allow what you are teach you."
Coaching was born of the recognition that true potential comes from an inner exploration, uprooting limited beliefs, locating the wisdom of the True Self.
The term coaching was also born when people, like Thomas Leonard, learned that other modalities were already in place and not capturing the essence of what was happening in coaching.
Consultants gave specialized advice and information. Therapists guided their patients to emotional healing. Mentors and clergy offered advice on how to approach a trial. Yet, there was nothing yet that truly captured the heart and essence of the process that invoked a person's own wisdom to come forth.
So over a decade ago, the distinction of coaching was born.
In both therapy and consulting there is a set path and destination that the therapist and consultant provide.
In coaching, the client is the one in the driver's seat at all times, "Sir, please take me by Woolsworth on the way to the beach."
This concept, of facilitating wisdom to come forth, is also secretly captured in the ancient text of the Tao Te Ching:
When people barely know he exists.
Of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
They will say, “We did this ourselves.”
― Lao Tzu
Visit the ICF to learn of the milestones made in the formation and stabilization of professional coaching standards: >> CLICK HERE <<
In telephone, there is a line up of ten or more people. One person starts with a phrase and has to whisper it, just once, in their neighbor's ear. That person that received the phrase then has to whisper it to their neighbor. And so on and so forth.
What is fascinating is that by the time the phrase reaches the last person in the line up, it has changed. Like clockwork.
It is a truly funny and yet highly informative game of how human interpretation is fallible and represents how rumors spread.
This is important to note. We have abstract brains, capable of grasping great truths, or getting imprisoned by our own illusions. It is easy for us to get swayed into illusion, unil we become aware and can catch self-deception before it starts. This is the power of coaching and how we help our clients navigate.
Powerful coaching helps clients move from self-deception into self-empowerment, the slippery ground of illusion to the solid footing of truth and from littleness to greater magnitude.
Without further ado, check out today's hilarious video that illustrates how easy it is for our interpretations to shift! Let me know in the comments how you see this occur in your life. Do you?
In Service to Your Life Purpose,
Laurel Elders, PCC
Senior Faculty of IICT
Simon talks about the important differences between ethical decision making and lawful decision making.
We are learning that viewing success through an integrative lens raises the bar on what true success is. If a "success" has a negative outcome, intended or not, then it is not true success. This is the heart of integrative intelligence.
If you are a follower of Conscious Capitalism and enjoy the gaps that integrative intelligence is closing, you will love this.
Two brilliant people in one room. Watch out!
In Service to Your Life Purpose,
Laurel Elders, PCC
Senior Faculty IICT
Coaches nowadays are being hired by companies, individuals, leaders and business owners. The challenging news is that coaching can still be misunderstood by some. Coaching is still establishing itself as a budding profession.
The good news is that now is an excellent time to get into coaching! The challenge is that you may have to educate folks on what actual coaching is.
We also market ourselves differently than other professionals so that we reach more clients and create successful businesses.
Being a professional coach, it is important to know what misunderstandings exist so that we can speak to them professionally, in the event we run into them.
Below I've provided a list of the five most prominent misunderstandings and a response to professionally handle them. Feel free to adapt these responses to your own language as you see fit. Or use them as a springboard to consider your own truth to share around coaching.
#1 - Coaching is a light form of counseling.
Response: I used to think so too and what I learned is that coaching is its own unique discipline with tools and skill-sets very unique from therapy and counseling methods. Would you like to learn more?
#2 - Coaching doesn't go deep.
Response: True coaching doesn't go into trauma. However, for people ready to expand coaching goes as deep as you want to take it. Professionally trained coaches have the tools and skills to meet you exactly where you are at. If an issue is outside of the scope of coaching the coach will let you know.
#3 - Coaching is that ra-ra stuff on TV.
Response: Yes, coaching can be motivational! There is so much more coaching does beyond what the media has portrayed. You can recognize a true coach when you look at what credentials they hold. Would you like to learn more?
#4 - Coaches are replacing therapists.
Response: There is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation on what coaching actually is and is not. Coaches do not diagnosis or treat emotional illness, like a therapist is trained and licensed to do. Actually, coaches work with already healthy and success people and have tools and skills to help them capitalize on their strengths. Coaching is future, goal and action oriented. Therapy goes into the past and focuses on healing.
#5 - I want to work with you, I need all the advice I can get!
Response: Great! The approach of the coach is not to give advice, however, what the coaching will do is set you up to access your own authentic answers and develop your own wisdom. It is self-advice. Shall we schedule a free session so can experience what I mean? It is a truly great process!
What can you do take a misunderstanding and turn it into a learning opportunity?
Your heart sinks. You just realized you forgot to follow through on an important task. Important to you and important to your colleague that is relying on you.
Immediately feelings of embarrassment, dismay and aggravation kick in. Not only that, you feel disheartened to have let someone else down.
Mistakes happen. They are a normal part of being human. No matter how much planning, preventing, structuring we do... they still happen.
Some mistakes may have bigger consequences to ourselves, or an impact on other people, than others.
In our coach training, we teach a truly powerful model called Compassionate Communication. Also known as Nonviolent Communication. One wonderful aspect of this approach is that it applies to such a vast array of human dilemmas and has the ability to restore connection, peace and flow.
Compassionate Communication has been found highly effective in everything from warring communities in the Middle East, to effective parenting, to coaching, to self-esteem.
It is no surprise then that applying this model to mistake-making helps us acknowledge and claim the results of our words (or lack of words) and/or actions (or inactions).
There are four ingredients:
- Observable facts (versus an evaluation or judgment of what happened, or didn't happen).
- Feelings that were stimulated by these facts.
- Needs - The key ingredients needed to foster a successful outcome.
- Requests - What would you like to invite next?
For example, with a mistake, we can own it and say:
- Observation: "When I realized that I forgot to email you something that we agreed upon.."
- Feelings: "I feel so embarrassed and dismayed."
- Needs: "This doesn't meet my own needs for professionalism - to do what I say I will do."
- Request: "Would you be willing to give me a do-over, along with my pledge to slow down, focus, and finish?"
We typically do not look through the lens of these four ingredients. Humans very typically get stuck in the weeds of judgment and emotions. To be of best serve, we can get to the heart of the issue by removing the judgment.
Progress is made when we relinquish avoidance and get real. Connection occurs when we relinquish minimizing and face the true. Healing a hurting relationship transpires when we relinquish attack and instead invite a solution.
Compassionate communication is powerful journey to take with ourselves and definitely with others when we make mistakes. We truly can bring care into anything and everything we do.
To learn more, you may wish to check out the work by Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg calledNonviolent Communication; A Language for Life >> CLICK HERE <<
Last October I was invited to join the panel of speaker evaluators for TedX Tucson and be one of the speaker coaches. Ideas are something I'm passionate about, so I jumped on board!
Their team philosophy was great. There were three things to consider when volunteering for them: 1) If you can't do something, say so. 2) If you say you are going to do something, do it. 3) View all errors, as errors of enthusiasm.
I love this! It is a great reminder that we are all human, mistakes will be made, are not intentional and the meaning we project on errors shapes our experience of them.
If we have an agreement between us that all errors are errors of enthusiasm, and I forget to email you something we agreed upon, then you are more likely to send a fun or friendly reminder that I forgot. Versus, feeling hurt or interpreting that I didn't care.
This week have fun viewing errors are mistakes of enthusiasm! Consider how making this agreement with your clients can help lighten things up. If you are on a team, how can this approach help with ownership and continuity?
In Service to your Life Purpose,
Laurel Elders, PCC
Senior Faculty and Founder of IICT
An elder in some cultures is the wise guide that people in a community can turn to for support and mentoring.
Yet, there is an elder among us all that is ready to serve. This elder is not whom you would think, or even approach, or seek out. This elder is accessible and ready to serve whenever called upon.
This wise elder is found at the apex of coaching. Coaching is the newest elder on the scene. Coaching is introducing people to their own empowerment, their own wisdom and their own potentials. Not by advising or guiding the way for them. But, by introducing them to Themselves. The self waiting to come forward. The wisest part of self, the most aligned part of self, the authentic part of self.
No other other modality, that I'm aware of, can breach limitations at this level.
but you have not let what you are teach you."
~ A Course In Miracles
Every coach has the tools to hold a bigger space for us to meet the elder within. Every coach has the skills to help you see farther, dig deeper and help you ensure you are unfolding in the right direction.
Can you imagine living a world where people are connected to their wisest self sooner than later? Companies that begin with the end in mind? Leaders that care about the health of the whole because they are connected to their values? I can and I am proud to be a part of this profound solution we call coaching.
In coaching, we come home to Our-self, our best self, our brightest self, our most inspiring self. And, we find that home truly is where the heart is. And this is why coaching is the next elder, waiting to support us in ways we never could have imagined on our own, in this next chapter of human evolution.
please share it with other coaches who cherish inspired learning as much as we do!
Through coaching, the veil of limit is removed to uncover the gray areas life offers. Then eventually, if the client is willing, they see the full spectrum of colorful choices they have to choose from.
Black and white thinking is just one paradox we coaches bump up against.
Before we dive in further, let’s look at what a paradox actually is.
Paradox by Google definition:
Noun- A situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.
First, I want to share that I do not believe in paradox as a “thing” that exists in reality. I find it odd that it is classified as a noun.
Here is why...
What we deem a paradox is the way we conceptualize a limit placed on our ability to perceive the whole. When those limits are removed, we see all aspects and illumination sets in. We see this in masterful coaching all the time.
In other words, when we sentient human beings that are limited to only the six senses and by what our scientific tools cannot measure, view two perspectives that seem to oppose, we label it a paradox.
In this context, paradox is a problem of perceptual juxtaposition only.
The idea being, the bigger the picture we can see, the more interconnectivity becomes clarified. In essence, the more we view life integratively the more paradox and limits are dispelled.
How can we move our clients out of paradox? We help then see the whole picture of possibilities.
In all of my years as a coach, there is one paradox that stands out the most. This paradox is the cause of confusion, heart-ache and in more extreme circumstances, abuse of personal power.
This paradox is: Every asset carries a liability.
This seems illogical. How can an asset also have a liability attached? Yet, as one of my mentors many decades ago said, “Different times. Different things.”
Take compassion for instance. If a person has an overload of compassion, many of us would be impressed and may think, “Wow, what a wonderful personal characteristic to embody.” Compassion is indeed an asset.
When I was 15 I was in a horrific car accident, flung from the cabin of a truck going 80 mph. The doctor placed his hand on my shoulder in the ER, looked into my eyes and said with deep compassion, “It is ok. You are going to be ok.” His compassion saved me from complete overwhelm and panic. His compassion was a huge asset to me.
How can there be a downside to compassion?! Paradoxically speaking, there is.
Consider the person that remains in an abusive relationship months or years too many, because the abuser claims that if they "leave the relationship, then they would be leaving them in pain". That is the time when the wonderful characteristic of compassion turned from an asset into a liability. Different times, different things.
Can a liability be an asset?
Seems illogical. Yet, the answer is yes.
Let’s look at anger. Many would say anger is a liability and hurts many people. This is accurate. Anger has hurt many people, destroyed relationships, careers and lives.
However, if that same anger is used to take one’s power back and draw a line in the sand in the face of injustice then that liability has become an asset.
In the case above where too much compassion was enabling abuse to continue, drawing the line in the sand is the asset and it may take the power of anger to light that fire.
The paradox buster here is location. When does the asset or the liability show up?
There is an ancient Toltec teaching of “Victim, Warrior, Master”. If someone is stuck in victim then anything done through victim can’t help but have a liability attached.
Warrior is needed to step out of victim. It takes the person being abused to stop the cycle, rarely the abuser. In warrior, they take a stand for themselves and leaving abuse in the dust.
Yet, if someone is stuck in warrior too long this can turn into a liability, or a pushing against life. Different times, different things.
Here is where location becomes really profound!
Anything done in master is an asset. The master lives through the wisdom of balance. When is compassion too much? When is compassion too little? When is anger too much? When is anger too little? The master responds to life and adjusts accordingly from a higher perspective.
This is the brilliance we offer our clients as integrative coaches.
As a coach, we reflect back when we observe our client living “in balance”, or “out of balance”. We inquire if a motivation is coming from victim, or warrior, or master. We hold space for master to step in and begin answering life’s biggest quandaries.
This level of awareness rests at the heart of true integration. The journey from warrior to master is where alchemy transpires. The quest for excellence is the birthplace of human brilliance.
What is possible when clients are moved out of paradox and into possibility?
How can you use the paradox of asset/liability to become more masterful in your coaching?
When can you help your clients see if they are stuck in victim or warrior for too long?
Last article we looked at how we can harbor an internal setting that keeps us limited. Today we will look at one powerful leap towards raising the bar.
In Hendricks's book the Big Leap he identifies four zones we can operate through:
- Zone of Incompetence: We don't know, or are not good at something.
- Zone of Competence: We are good at something.
- Zone of Excellence: We are really really good at something.
- Zone of Genius: We shine effortlessly and inspire others with our work.
This can be really hard if you are floating happily in Excellence land. It feels good to stay there because you get recognition easily and people love that you are excellent at what you do. Same with Competence land.
Decades ago I had quit an administrative job as a Registrar and Admissions Director. It was where I excelled and I was asked to come back on multiple occasions. It was so tempting, yet I knew it was not my genius work. Coaching was my genius work. Taking abstract concepts and breaking them down into small easy to digest strategies was my genius work. I'm so grateful I said no, or I wouldn't be bringing you fun and empowering resources each week. So much more fun than crushing data points!
So, I'll ask you. Do you know what your Genius work is? Are you living there now? How often do you visit your Genius and allow it to bring you towards new important areas in your life?
Did you know that a goldfish will grow to match the size of its surroundings? Fascinating. If a goldfish is kept in a small bowl, it stays small. If it is transferred into a larger tank, it grows larger.
I find this to be a powerful metaphor for coaching. As we help our clients see farther, think broader, their capacity expands.
The next few weeks I'll be doing a review of some of the key capacity expanding concepts outlined in The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks.
In Hendricks's book he brings up the concept of an internal thermostat.
He outlines that there is an internal setting we all have that kicks in when we've reached the "upper limit" of being comfortable with success. He says we all have a setting and most of us are unconscious about what our setting is.
The first thing to look at is your core fear and success. Not failure. Success.
He outlines the most common and calls these our "barriers".
- I am flawed and don't deserve success.
- Success is a burden.
- If I succeed I'll leave the people I love behind.
- I feel guilty to have success when others are suffering.
Next, identify what behaviors indicate the fear has taken the driver's wheel. For example, do you worry, punish yourself or those around you, get sick or hurt, or deflect?
Last, when we catch the behavior we can flip the script. So, when I catch myself worrying I realize that my fear of being flawed has taken over and I can remind myself... "Welp. We are all flawed. And that is beautiful."
Which fear do you most harbor around success from the list above? What is the truth on the other side of the fear? Is success really a burden? No, you can handle it. Will you really leave behind people you love? Not if you don't want to and by stepping into your potential you invite others to step into theirs. Etc.
What behavior patterns do you succumb to when the fear of success shows up?
What script will you choose when these show up?
What does your life feel like without the fear?
Today is a video on the Myths of Coaching. To those new to coaching, you may find this a fun and engaging overview. For those of you in coaching, feel free to use this video as a resource.
Enjoy your week!
In Service to your Life Purpose,
Laurel Elders, PCC
Founder / Senior Faculty
By Laurel Elders, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty