Whenever someone asks me what outcomes they can expect from coaching, I smile.
In return, I usually ask, “What is the outcome that you desire the most right now?”
The answer is, oftentimes, “Well, actually, I guess I’m not quite sure.”
Sometimes, the response I hear is, “I’m almost afraid to admit it to myself,” or, “If I say it out loud, I’m afraid I’ll lose it, or sound like a fool, or be laughed at.”
Sometimes, prospective coaching clients tell me, “I change my mind so much, and so often, that I’ve totally lost sight of what I want the most, and why.”
Coaching oftentimes begins from this uncomfortable place.
From the turmoil.
From the feeling of our desires and goals being tied up in knots.
Coaching usually starts from here, from this vulnerable-but-honest place.
Because when we get really honest with ourselves about where we’re struggling the most, and why, we also discover the essential vulnerability that we all require for expressing the honest truth of what we most want to make real in the world, and why.
I’ll say that again for those in the back:
When we get honest about our fears, worries, struggles, self-limiting beliefs and avoidance, we discover the essential vulnerability that we require for expressing the honest truth of what we most want to make real in the world, and why.
We cannot, and will never, “sugar-coat” our way into living our authentic truth.
We cannot, and will never, “politely suggest” our way into claiming our innermost callings.
We cannot, and will never, “dance around” the soulful yearning to live our truth, out loud, in the world.
We have to get really clear about the roots of what is holding us back.
We have to make strides to understand and make peace with the shame and insecurities that we have been carrying for far too long.
We have to own the story that we have been living, so we can start to tell the story anew.
We have to take step after concerted step towards what we want the most, with patience and grace and confidence… because no one else can walk our paths, for us.
This is Your ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ Story
Despite how attractive or assuring it can seem to find a “formula” or a “perspective approach” to our goals, the truth is, making manifest something that is a part of your heart, soul, and truth is not formulaic or prescriptive.
There is no drive-thru line to satiate the hunger of a soul.
Finding your voice, serving the world with light and love, or living with greater alignment to your purpose does not come with a How-To manual or an instruction booklet.
We do not learn to live in alignment with our truth by following someone else’s road map.
We do not find, claim, and live our own callings by navigating anyone else’s instructions.
We do so by discovering our own instruction manual.
That manual is coded within us.
It is a blend of our innermost beliefs and values; our storied experiences, our hurts, and our dreams.
The manual that we carry within us is invisible, which is why it is so incredibly helpful to figure it out with a trusted partner, and peers, in safe spaces.
My work as a coach revolves around helping you get untangled from the complicated, stressful, anxiety-inducing knots that your hopes, dreams, fears, and everyday life feel tied up in.
We discuss it all, out loud, and then gradually write down the contents of what you are carrying. That way, you can see it and witness it and remember that is as much a part of you as your own skin and bones.
Just because the map you carry within you is invisible does not mean it is any less real than any other part of you.
And, you deserve so much more than to surrender your autonomy, your free will, your choice, your calling, and your destiny before someone else’s directions, instructions, or commands.
You deserve a bespoke, personal, 1:1 approach that honors the full human being that you are.
You deserve so much more than to fork over your hard-earned dollars, your precious time, your energy, your attention span, and your caring in exchange for “cure-all” snake oil.
There is no secret map to follow; no dotted line to journey over that will eventually lead you to where “X marks the spot” and buried treasure resides beneath.
This is what I mean when I call the journey of claiming your calling a “Choose Your Own Adventure” story.
You are map.
Your calling is the treasure that you carry.
The journey to making your callings real in the world is the gift that we all get to live.
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Remember, my friend:
There is no perfect prescription, guaranteed recipe, or how-to guide to living your truth.
You are the map.
To bring ourselves into the sweet, vulnerable, beautiful place of truth and self-honesty where discomfort, indeed, may reside, is also the very place from which the qualities of a live well-lived, and well-loved, and whole, is born.
This the place from which we claim our callings.
P.S. — Here are some brand new and completely free writing prompt sets that I’ve created and shared in recent weeks with you. Check them out if you’re interested in claiming your calling, but my coaching isn’t right for you, or the time or investment isn’t quite a fit today:
— 6 Journaling Prompts to Help You Answer the Question, “What’s Calling to You?”. Some prompts to help drill further into defining that ever-elusive question of “what’s calling” to you.
— 6 Prompts to Uncover (or Rediscover) Your Self-Storied Life. More personal reflection over outward storytelling, this prompt set mirrors a process I use to reveal the core qualities I’ve been valuing/prioritizing lately in my own life, for greater illumination and awareness.
— 7 Prompts to Redefine the Meaning of Leadership For Yourself. Another prompt set to help you better “story” and define your personal beliefs about what leadership is and means, outside of the shared and oftentimes limiting definitions usually used in our society.
— The 3-Day Story Reset. This is a micro-journaling program that delivers 6, fill-the-blank prompts, every day, for 3 days, to help folks uncover the story they’ve been living lately, contrast it to the story they would rather be telling, and helps folks easily start to word that story in the right direction