"It is very common for people to be aware of what they should do or need to do, but struggle with doing it."
Ultimately, life coaching is about learning and developing. Whether you are developing yourself and your identity, learning new behaviors, developing new perspectives, or developing behaviors to reach a goal, engaging in growth requires you are aware and take the necessary steps to move forward.
It is very common for people to be aware of what they should do or need to do, but struggle with doing it. In this case, there is often a lack of knowledge about what specifically to do every day or in the moment to make a change in the given direction, a lack of skills necessary to make those specific changes, or a lack of motivation. A life coach can help with these hurdles. Even though a life coach can give a client tools and help with skill development and increasing motivation, growth relies on the client making the choices to take the steps to move forward. Noone will be successful with taking steps if he or she isn’t recognizing and accepting the challenges in the way and using strategies to overcome them. Learning requires much.
Even though I am a life coach, I am obviously a person. I am highly driven by my perceptions and feelings (feelings are really the motivators of behavior; logic functions as a motivator only as much as the thoughts or outcomes are associated with value. Feelings are what give value). I am fortunate to have many “tools in my toolbox” to help me with life. However, if I refuse to see my own patterns, know my own traps, or ignore the flashing lights in front of me that should be signaling me to do something different, none of my “action” tools are going to help me. In other words, denying reality is not going to help me—or you—to move forward. Denying reality will leave you running in circles, thinking you might be making progress. Denying reality can feel really good in the short-term, but you’ll stay stuck where you are. Chances are, if you are trying to move forward, there’s a reason you don’t want to be where you are.
Sometimes, the most difficult aspect of learning is accepting the hard truths, the ones that are painful, disappointing, or uncomfortable. For example, if you stay at the job where you are now (quite comfortably), there is no room to move up in the company and you will never be doing something you love (both which you value). Recognizing this and accepting it might bring a host of implications and uncomfortable feelings: uncertainty about what you would do if you stopped working in your current position; anxiety or apprehension about your employability, losing benefits, or a potential decrease in salary; disappointment because you really enjoy your current colleagues; and overwhelmed because it might mean relocating, which you really don’t want to do. In this scenario, in the short-term, it can be easier to ignore the fact that you don’t enjoy what you’re doing and there’s no potential for upward movement. In the long-term, denying those aspects are going to keep you stuck in a position that is ultimately not satisfying until something else happens to motivate you to change. Accepting reality and taking action—which can mean confronting uncomfortable feelings and disappointment—is the only thing that is going to move you closer to where you want to be. Depending, this can take much emotional strength and determination.
Taking the plunge into aspects of reality that are loaded with uncomfortable feelings is anything but desirable. Not to mention, once you take that plunge, you need to be able to adjust your perspective and problem solve so you have hope and a plan to change those aspects you don’t want to move forward with you. Much of this entire process requires emotional intelligence, coping, mindfulness, decision making, perspective taking, problem solving, and self-discipline. You need to balance being cognizant of the past (likely why you do not want to continue as you have been, which is motivating), living in the present (being conscious of and intentional with choices, coping with feelings, focusing on the positives, using your tools), and occasionally reminding yourself how you want your future to be (which should be motivating). Clearly, learning is not easy. But, it can be very worth it.