Photo by Grafixart_photo Samir BELHAMRA from Pexels

Most of us are unaware that we live unconsciously. We think, feel, and behave automatically. It makes sense that we don’t know we are living unconscious and automatic lives. We are usually unaware of what is unconscious.

We experience this involuntary life with a degree of dissatisfaction and pain. To manage the discomfort, we try to control ourselves and the conditions and circumstances of our lives. The dream of control brings hope. We fail to control anything and experience disappointment. The familiar sense of malcontent returns. We give up or try harder, continuing to experience life in this repeating pattern.

Pain inspires change. Fear stops progress.

Pain inspires change. When the discomfort becomes too great, some seek help from a personal development coach. This works for many people (including me). Reflection, clarity, intention, and accountability can add up to a shift that changes how we view ourselves and the circumstances of our lives.

Fear can stop progress on the journey to a transformed life. A degree of courage is required to meet the fear that change can activate. With perseverance and some degree of success, our perception of what is possible can permanently expand. A shift in what we believe we are capable of can boost confidence and reduce fear. Disempowering self-doubt is replaced with empowering confidence.

If the coaching only works when the client places their faith in the wisdom and expertise of the life coach, the client will only get results while actively involved in the coaching relationship. Often, the benefit of granting authority to a coach lasts only as long as the coaching session.

A helpful coaching relationship should increase self-trust which can permanently improve the client’s life. Authority over decisions and actions belongs to the coaching client. Coaches who recognize the unparalleled expertise of the client regarding their own lives, know that mere strategies and advice only undermine the client’s long-term success. As coaches develop their skill, they learn to help by facilitating conversations that yield the self-trust that comes from insight and empowerment.

A typical paradigm for helping coaching clients could be described in the following manner.

  • The coaching client identifies their dissatisfaction, discomfort, and pain.
  • The coach helps the client envision the life they want.
  • The coach facilitates an exploration of the motivation and potential benefits of living that life.
  • The coach and client explore the historical and projected obstacles to having that life.
  • Coaching objectives are identified and quantified.
  • A plan for achievement of objectives is collaboratively created.
  • Obstacles and breakdowns are identified and mediated as they occur.
  • The coach provides structure and accountability to keep the client focused and motivated.

This model has been very successful for some clients. But even when the coach assumes that the client is whole, complete, and capable, the client often unconsciously holds an opposing view. Deep down in the dark recesses of their mind, many clients fear they are deficient or broken. They see themselves as imposters. All the work of coaching is layered over a false premise held by the only authority that matters – what the client believes they are capable of.

In this case, personal development becomes a matter of managing a problem (the brokenness of the client).

If you secretly believe that there is something wrong with you, your personal development journey is based on self-improvement.

But what if there was nothing to fix or improve?

What if you could shift your paradigm from self-management to self-discovery?

As powerful as the traditional coaching model is, imagine how effective it could be if you could get past the idea that you need to be improved!

The following describes my approach to personal development coaching:

  • I ask the client to temporarily let go of trying to change anything about themselves.
  • The initial coaching process is guided by one primary objective: Help the client to get to know themselves deeply enough to answer four important questions.
    • Who am I and who am I not?
    • What makes me think, feel, choose, and act as I do?
    • How can I change the thoughts, feelings, choices, and actions that aren’t working for me?
    • How can I start living the life I want?
  • Answering these questions will engender the confidence and self-trust required to transform a life.
  • Informed by this newfound clarity, I support the client using a traditional coaching approach.
  • I help the client remember who they are as they develop self-trust, overcoming or resolving obstacles and setbacks on their journey to success.

Some of us are capable of adopting the strategies and formulas of others to have a better life. We certainly can benefit from what others can teach us. But following someone else’s path and ignoring our own limits what is possible for each of us.

By getting to know your authentic Self, you can tap into your true power and purpose.

What if you could invest as much energy into self-discovery as you have into your efforts to manage yourself and the world around you?

The result would be a life directed by your authentic Self and fueled by the untapped resources and energy of purpose and possibility. This would mean the difference between living with the restraints and limitations of survival versus a life of freedom, personal power, and choice.

Schedule a free 30-minute discovery conversation to start your journey.


Schedule a free 30-minute discovery conversation.




The Self-Led Project is a personal development group program. New groups start in January. The program is designed to help you learn about who you really are and who you really aren’t. As you get to know yourself, you will reclaim power and gain access to choice. This program is for those who are ready to do the work to have the lives they want. Work with a cohort of up to 12 people for 3 months at a time. For more information, go to www.SelfLedProject.com. Or set up a free 30 minute discovery session at www.BillsCalendar.com

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