How do you reach the summit?
Client A makes contact and says she is look for some help and guidance.
She is successful in her area of expertise and, to the outside world, looks like she has a perfect life. However, for a while she has not felt herself: she has felt trapped, lacking purpose, devoid of energy and generally feeling down.
We have a brief chat on the phone, so I can establish whether Life Coaching is right for her, as opposed to another talking therapy, such as Counselling.
It becomes clear Client A is stuck in a rut, one of life’s potholes, predominantly with her working situation, rather than she is depressed or feeling she cannot go on. Once I am clear about this distinction, I suggest I send the initial assessment questionnaire and once I have this back, we can meet and take it from there.
Once I analyse the responses Client A has made, it is clear to me she is not just unhappy with her working situation, rather she is lacking balance and purpose in all of the main areas of her life, such as work, home life, interests and time with friends.
I start by asking Client A to tell me all about herself and how she came to be in her current position. I am immediately struck by how positive and dynamic she is, she has just lost direction in life, mainly due to her all-consuming current work role.
I ask Client A where her real passion in life lies and does she feel she is fulfilling this currently? Equally, I ask her what she would do, both in her work and private life, if she absolutely knew she could not fail?
Over a period of time, we explore these responses and look at other contributing factors, such as her time management, particularly in her home life, as generally people are more balanced in their work management than they are at home.
Once we have a full map of the issues and other factors, I begin to gently probe to establish where Client A really feels her life’s purpose lies and what is preventing her from pursuing this?
Of course it initially sounds not only daunting, but also unattainable. However, as I point out, to reach the summit of a mountain, you have to focus on where you want to ultimately wish to go, but the only way to then reach this point is to focus on the next step, not the whole journey in one go or you will end up flat in your face! A journey of a thousand miles does begin with the first step and is then completed by many more steps in between!
We undertake a series of exercises, over a number of sessions, to break each challenge and aspiration down into manageable steps. I guide Client A with each step and set her tasks to complete in between each meeting.
Of course life is not all straight lines, so there will be setbacks, but the beauty of having a supportive confidant is you are never alone. Gradually, challenges are overcome, small victories become larger ones, your confidence grows and goals are attained. The impossible becomes possible. The summit becomes attainable.