By David Joel Miller.
The more successful you are the more likely you will have a coach.
Have you ever noticed that the top contenders have the top coaches on their side? You don’t find very many Olympic athletes who will go it alone. Top business executives look for executive coaches to help them take their game to a higher level. So why are people whose lives are not working so resistant to getting help?
In my counseling practice, I hear repeatedly that, I don’t need to see a counselor, I am not crazy. People who have serious substance use disorders will tell me they do not need rehab, they can quit on their own.
Couples do not have the time and do not think they need to spend the time on marriage counseling. Later on, they will spend ten times as much money and time on the divorce but till then they are all convinced they can do it alone. They do not see how counseling could help.
Why is it that a coach or in the emotional realm a counselor can so be helpful? Many of my clients are smart, and some are financially stable. What they can’t do is see their own situation accurately. How do counselors help people if you have already tried everything there is and your life is still not working? Here are some ways that counselors or life coaches can help even before your life comes apart.
You can’t see your own swing.
You may be making the same mistakes over and over. If you do not see the areas of your life that could be improved on you may not work on making those changes that could take your life to a whole other level of happiness until something breaks or crashes and burns.
Humans tend to do the same thing over and over. We develop habits because it saves time and keeps us from having to figure out how to get out of bed each morning. Many of these habits just are. Your parents did it that way. You did it that way once and have been doing it that way ever since.
You may not question those entrenched behaviors. You may not recognize ways you can improve what you have been doing. A professional can help you look for improvement opportunities.
You can’t see what is behind you no matter how you turn.
Sometimes we have things from our past that we think we are over but they keep cropping up. Finds may see this but they will be reluctant to tell you. If you hear bad news too soon, you may think that other person is jealous. Bad news from a friend can damage the friendship. A counselor has an obligation to tell you.
Sometimes there are patterns in your life. When you tell your life story to someone else that person can see how when you get to a certain situation you give up or make a bad choice. You may be picking bad partners or you may be applying for the wrong kinds of jobs. Getting a second opinion can help you make decisions and plan your future course.
A counselor or coach can give you the straight scoop. You pay them for their ability to give you another point of view. You can take their opinion into consideration or not.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
Identifying those gaps in your life blueprint can help you develop the happy life skills you need. Your parents may have been great, perfect even. But if you are like most students in the school of life you did not get a hundred percent on any of life’s tests. Say you only got an 80%, a coach can point out the places you need to develop.
What if your parents were less than perfect? Whole lot of people came from dysfunctional homes. You may not have learned some life skills because your parents or other caregiver did not know these skills either. Identify the gaps in your life knowledge and work on those gaps.
It can feel uncomfortable to give yourself praise.
Just as we are often blind to our errors we can also fail to identify our strengths. You go farther in any endeavor if you can make the best use possible of your strengths. A good coach can often see that you have a talent for a function you have never considered. More than one famous athlete was switched from a position at which they were average to a new position by a coach who saw they had an unrecognized talent. Making that switch took their game and their life to a much higher level.
It helps to know what is ahead.
You are living this life. You probably have limited knowledge about what will happen in your life and when. Not that every life is predictably the same, but most of us have some common experiences.
I see people who graduate from high school and then go looking for work. The only thing they know about the world of work is the kind of part-time jobs a high school student could get and that is where they start their search.
As you move through life at different points that life will change. You start your career and your family. Your children grow up and your career goes where it goes. Then what? Is your career stuck? Do you know how to keep developing it? What will happen when the kids leave the house?
When you retire your life will change. What will happen when you retire? Some people have a great time. Others find that they don’t have the money to do those things they always wanted to do. They may not be healthy enough to do things in their retirement.
Counselors and coaches study a thing called lifespan development, what most people can expect to have happen, as they follow their life path. We also talk with a lot of people we hear their life stories, common themes emerge. We don’t tell you those other people’s secrets but a counselor can tell you the patterns of life we see.
Getting some Intel on things that may happen to you, what is normal and what is not, may help you have a better life.
Would seeing a counselor or life coach help you in navigating your life? No, you don’t have to be sick to go to see a counselor. You just need to be willing to spend the time that is needed to work on how you are going to live that life.
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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books