In coaching, we believe that we all have our own answers within and we are the experts of our own life. Coaching rests on the premise that each person is whole, complete and does not need fixing or advice to reach their full potential.
If we are whole and complete, and if we have our own answers, then this naturally begs the question, “If I have all of my own answers, then why do I feel lost? If I am whole and complete, then why do I feel so fragmented today?”
Coaching provides powerful answers to these questions. These are the five teachings found in coaching:
The Course in Miracles teaches that our true-self carries wisdom's that are born from our wholeness. Yet, the fears of the ego block that wisdom and so we look to others for solutions. Furthermore it teaches that the ego is loud, judgmental and quick to cause panic. The true self will never panic, or yell. It's answers lead only to peace and empowerment.
A skilled coach helps us step into the true-self and shed the false. Being coached is a powerful and transformative process, rooting us deeper into our potential through our own wisdom.
Coaching unlocks new possibilities showing us that we do indeed have our own answers, we did all along, even when it didn't seem like it. We are indeed whole and complete, we have been our entire lives, even when it didn't feel like it.
This is why coaching feels magical, yet is also so practical. Coaching illuminates new possibilities, yet is grounding. Coaching captures the essence of potential.
When I was around 4 years old I had a phobia. I was really panicked about swimming and water.
My extreme fear of water landed me in swimming lessons. This was an attempt to lessen my fright and eventually learn how to swim.
I remember the day of my first lesson very clearly.
The swim instructor was very outgoing and friendly. There were a lot of kids splashing around, which felt intimidating. I refused to get off that first step. Anxiety pumped through my veins. I was perfectly intent on staying securely on the pool’s edge.
My instructor came over and asked me to come with her. I eventually agreed and grabbed onto her for dear life as she peeled me off of the pool’s edge.
She walked with me on her hip, bouncing us gently, into deeper and deeper waters. She reassured me every step of the way, “You are safe. You are ok. It’s ok, you can trust me. See, you are ok.”
I clung to her petrified. Then slowly gave in and began to trust that everything was actually ok and I was safe.
The game changed.
She grabbed me tight. She pulled me under the water without any warning.
Seconds felt like an eternity.. I wanted out, I couldn't breath, the rug had been pulled, anxiety turned into panic. I was horrified, stuck and helpless. I held my breath in the sheer terror, I squirmed trying to free myself to breath again.
Finally, she let me up.
I think I screamed. Probably for my mother’s arms. The nightmare was over. Or was it?
I look back and realize this woman had the fully fledged intention of showing me I could survive going under water. However, what was accomplished was the opposite. My fear and panic were now anchored in for life.
Without knowing it, my perception of the world shifted that day too.
“Adults are not trustworthy.”
“Just when I feel safe, the rug gets pulled.”
“Life is chaotic and unpredictable.”
“I’m not safe especially when someone tells me I am.”
These perceptions become the filters we see the world through. These perceptions often live beneath our awareness, until we unearth them.
“Adults are not trustworthy.” Not only does not serve me, it is not true. This unconscious belief wrecked havoc throughout my teenage years until I became aware of it and could heal it.
We take these with us, consciously or not, to keep us safe. The limit of them is that they eventually keep us small, keep us from blooming fully and keep us looping in predictable patterns.
Thinking back to a fearful experience you remember (one that is not overwhelming to recall), what beliefs did you take away from that moment?
Are these beliefs true today? Do you they serve you? What is the truth?
This is not only a process of pulling out the weeds in our unconscious beliefs. It is about planting new seeds. The truth does set us free.
Human potential is a journey…
On the first stretch of this journey, we can be shown the way. This guidance can be found in books, mentoring, advising, counseling, or anytime we need to look to others for the answers that will guide us to a new understanding.
Yet, there is a time in our life when the answers provided to us may become the very box of our limitation. In this moment, we realize we are at a crossroads; to continue the way we've been shown or to pave the remainder of our life through our own wisdom.
To truly reach our human potential, one must journey beyond the walls of external provision and begin to journey among the answers embedded within.
The second stretch of this journey is accessed from going within to explore the depths of the wisdom embedded within the heart of knowing.
To support our client’s second journey and masterfully coach we must show up as a completely neutral vessel to hold a potentiated space for our client’s unfolding.
As a coach, we are the lantern to the client's true Essence, to the seeds of potential embedded within aching to be born. We are the Sherpa's journeying with our clients to their unique personal apex.
What is their truth? What is their wisdom? What jewels are buried within their heart? What gifts are hidden within?
In masterful coaching we must sit in the unknowing
to be of service to the client’s knowing.
Laurel Elders, PCC, CEC is the founder and CEO of the ICF Accredited, Institute for Integrative Coach Training (IICT), headquartered in Tucson, AZ. Laurel began her career as a coach in 2005 after noticing that we are living in pivotal times and that coaching is powerfully tapping into the next phase of human potential in ways never before experienced.
IICT is invested in bringing the highest levels of coaching, training and mentoring into a world that needs people's gifts, talents, purpose and heart, now more than ever. IICT coaches are successful torch holders for positive impact, locally and globally, in service to the generations ahead.
Learn more about becoming a Certified Professional Integrative Coach (CPIC) Program www.integrativecoachtraining.com/training.htm
I invite you to consider a buoy. It floats atop the water, despite storms it remains in its spot. It is a boundary of safety to communities of ships, surfers and swimmers.
Buoys are tethered, anchored and grounded. If they weren't they would float away being tossed aside and turned around wherever the current was going that day.
It is one thing to float above, but without a tether to ground the buoy, it loses all purpose.
To ponder: Are you feeling ungrounded and is life throwing you about? Are you tethered, but to false beliefs? To what are you tethered?
As human beings when we tether to the ego out of fear, we become limited in our capacity and life feels overwhelming.
However, when we tether to a greater purpose, through our own inner wisdom we can rise above and thrive. When life feels enriched by meaning we can go to bed with a happy heart even if times are stressful.
The next question is: What is your medicine in this lifetime?
I learned that some Native American traditions believe that everyone and everything has a medicine to it. This medicine benefits those around it, or needing it.
Becoming a coach, I learned that each human being has gifts within. This is our medicine for the world. When we live in our gifts we help others. Each gift is unique. Each gift can serve a greater purpose.
Sadly, many people do not realize their gifts, life calling, or their medicine because the ego harbors fearful messages like, “Stay safe!” “Don’t follow your heart.” “It is dangerous out there." "You have to fend for yourself after you fail.” "You are all alone." These will absolutely keep anyone small.
Fortunately, your heart has the answers to dispel all of the fears your ego can conjure up.
~ Are you listening to the heart or the ego?
~ Do you know what your medicine is in this lifetime?
~ Are you following your calling?
I double-dog dare you to follow your calling, give your gifts to the people who need them, and amplify what life has in store for you!
By Laurel Elders, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty