“Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.” Norman Vincent Peale
Everyone has obstacles. EVERYONE HAS OBSTACLES!
Sorry for shouting. It’s just that on this path we call life, we tend to forget a couple of really important things along the way. The first of these being the fact that we aren’t alone in our vulnerability and tendency towards screwing things up.
The other thing we forget? That by turning to each other for support, we leverage our skills together towards removing the obstacles we face. Two heads are definitely a lot better than one at turning mountains into mole hills.
Support can come from a lot of different sources. It can come from family and friends, from employers or even from groups of people who share a common experience. But the best kind of support is the kind that comes from within. Being helped is great, but being aided to help yourself is even better.
You know, that teach a man to fish kind of thing…
Coaching is a perfect example of such help.
ADHD coaching is quickly becoming one of the most popular “non-medical” ways for managing the challenges of ADHD, and can be a powerful way of helping people reach their goals. Its power is rooted in the strength of the coaching relationship and the never-wandering focus on the goals you design for yourself.
When working on the challenges of ADHD, a coach won’t to tell you what to do but will help you figure it out for yourself. After all, you are the expert on your own life and no one else. At the same time, being helped through coaching is likely to be different from any other kind of help you’ve had in the past. So it may help to know a few key things to expect before jumping into it.
1. Coaching is based on a strong partnership.
We’re not talking about the same kind of partnership that you see in the doctor-patient, therapist-client, or any other kind of “helping relationship”. Those relationships tend to be based on one person being the expert and the other being the recipient of that person’s expertise.
Coaching is based on a strong connection and rapport between two people, whose aim is solely to help move the other person forward. A coach doesn’t necessarily know more than the client, but he or she does know how to ask all the right questions to help that person unlock their strengths and remove limitations.
The real power of this kind of relationship is based on a strong alliance between the two people, which stems from good rapport. If there is no rapport – don’t hire that coach. Trust me when I say that a good coach won’t agree to work with you if you don’t seem to connect.
2. Coaching is goal-oriented. On YOUR goals.
Some people come to coaching because their spouse gives them an ultimatum, or their bosses gives them one last chance to salvage their position with the company and offers coaching as the “fix”. Coaching is not a fix. It’s a method.
No matter the catalyst, regardless of the instigator, once you get in to coaching you will quickly figure one thing out – it’s all about you baby. Nothing is more important than what you think, what you want, and where you want to be.
3. As much as coaching supports you, it will equally challenge you.
Just as a sports coach inspires his player to be confident in their abilities, he also motivates and challenges his players to get even better at their game. Your ADHD coach is no different, but in this case, your game is your life.
Coaching isn’t just sappy “pep talks”. A coach asks the right questions to get you thinking, and then asks more right questions to get you acting. Thinking + acting = changing. Seems like an over-simplified formula, but when was the last time you sat and thought about an ongoing challenge from a different perspective? An ongoing challenge is usually ongoing because the thinking behind it has been unbending and rigid. Change the way you think about something and you are likely to change the thing itself.
4. Coaching is so transparent it’s practically see-through.
There are no tactics, magic tricks or head-shrinking psychological tools to mess with your head. A coach is present, authentic and completely up front about what it is he or she is thinking or curious about. He’ll say “Hey client – I’m wondering something about you right now and want to know if I’m right – can I share it with you?” A coach knows he may be right and he may be wrong, but he won’t know unless he asks.
He not only welcomes, but expects you tell him when he’s got something wrong. Not many professions allow the client to take such a lead, but coaching not only allows it but depends on it. Why is this? Because coaching is all about you.
5. Like I said, it’s all about you baby.
When is the last time you sat down and talked to someone for an hour straight about your goals? Or the last time you had someone else’s undivided attention and interest in what was on your mind? Has anyone ever asked how best they can support you in reaching your goals?
If you said “no” or “never”, I would not be surprised at all. Relationships aren’t built to focus only on one person’s experiences or goals, and the ones that do don’t tend to last very long.
Yet this is the concentrated focus required to make a life transformation possible. Before you deem the method as being egocentric or self-involved, let me invite you to think about it objectively, as if removed from the process.
When a company designs and launches a new product or endorses a new operational procedure, there are likely to be a few, if not several, meetings dedicated solely to those aims. In that same token, wouldn’t it make sense that there should be a few “meetings” dedicated solely towards your aims if you are in the position of redesigning your life? It’s not selfish, its good business sense. Your life is the most important business you will ever run.
Coaching is a safe place where it’s completely okay for it to be all about you.
I could talk forever about it, but I won’t because words can never portray the magnitude of a person experience. If you are thinking about trying coaching, the most important thing you need to know is that there is nothing sophisticated or mysterious about it. But the way it helps you explore and leverage your strengths, unlock your limitations, and catapults your towards achieving your goals can be simply magical.