Three Coaching Myths
February 17, 2020

Coaching is a booming industry. There are now thousands of coaches, with a vast range of niches. It’s a thriving area but when I trained back in 2004 very few people knew about the profession.

One of my first pieces of work as a coach was with a group of headteachers; it was part of an evaluation into the impact of coaching.

These heads had no idea what coaching was. I’m glad to say the response was incredibly positive and since then I’ve extensively coached leaders in education. It’s such a privilege to spend time with my clients and hear about their lives.

My coaching these days is so much simpler than it used to be. Since coming across the Inner Compass my work is more easeful. My clients no longer have so much to do because the compulsion to set goals, build resilience and learn strategies has fallen away.

What’s different about my coaching these days?

Let’s look at three areas that I once thought were vital, but I now see as myths. At one time it seemed really important to engage in these areas with my clients.

What are these myths?

  1. To acquire wellbeing – engage in wellbeing activities.
  2. Resilience is something that needs to be built.
  3. You need to use strategies and tools to have a happier life.

1. To acquire wellbeing engage in wellbeing activities
What do you do for wellbeing? Many people believe wellbeing is attached to activities like yoga, walking, swimming, dance or music. There is an idea that you need to do something to acquire wellbeing.

Another belief is that wellbeing is an outcome or a goal. In other words you’ll allow yourself time for wellbeing once you’ve ticked off your tasks, got a promotion, paid off your debt, finished your marking, etc, etc.

Wellbeing seemed to come about when people understood their goals and reached their outcome. What I see now is the opposite.

Now I see that wellbeing is constant. We don’t need to chase it or set goals or do anything. What’s needed is that the client settles in their minds and sees that they don’t need to fix anything. They just need to realise that they are OK.

Our lives are littered with examples of natural wellbeing, my job as a coach is to point these out to the client.

Wellbeing can be crowded out with the noise of over-thinking, but it can never be obliterated. You don’t need to do anything to get wellbeing, it will naturally emerge when you give it space.

2. Resilience needs to be built
If you believe that resilience is like a muscle and it needs to be built, then the chances are you consider life as a gym. In other words there are certain challenges and experiences you need to encounter to build up that resilience muscle. Each experience or challenge is a bit like one of the machines at the gym. You endure it, you work hard and as a consequence you build resilience.

My understanding now is that you don’t need to work hard at resilience.

Resilience doesn’t need to be developed because resilience is part and parcel of who we are. We’re built to be resilient. When our minds get noisy with thinking then it’s easy to feel a sense of unease and a lack of confidence.

The temptation is to try harder, to get back to work at building confidence or building self-esteem. However, if you look closely at your life, you’ll see thousands of instances when resilience has kicked in without you having to summon it.

Everyone I know has been through challenging situations. In some cases, these situations have seemed almost too much to bear. However, these people have managed to take the next step, to keep going and to find a way to continue engaging and making sense in the world. That is their natural resilience in the system. Resilience is always there and will support your next step.

3. You need to use strategies and tools
For many years I was on a mission to flatten limiting beliefs (both mine and my clients). It seemed to me that we’d all be more successful in the absence of limiting beliefs.

I went on many courses, NLP, meditation, mediation and others that I can’t even remember – all with a mission to zap limiting beliefs. It seemed that I needed to find the right tool or strategy, or the right combination of tools and strategies to make a difference.

Now I see that one of the most overlooked parts of a human is the deeper intelligence that we all have access to. This isn’t the intellect or the need for strategies or tools. This is our deeper, settled intuitive wisdom that is always present. The Inner Compass is always pointing towards this pool of natural wisdom.

Rather than see limiting beliefs as demons that need to be obliterated one at a time, I see that all liming beliefs are different thoughts we imagine to be true.

If a child is frightened by a shadow on the wall and the shadow looks like it’s a wolf, then it’s understandable that the child will be frightened. If you know that the shadow is actually the outline of the armchair caught in the evening sunlight, then the best way to help the child is to point to the fact that it’s being frightened by a shadow. You don’t need to help the child overcome its fear of wolves.

Limiting beliefs are like wolf-shadows. We get frightened by them. However we don’t need to fight them, or stop encountering them, we just need to remember that they aren’t true, they’re just shadows.

When we listen to our Inner Compass and look towards who we truly are, it’s much easier to see through the imaginary fears that hold us back.

Summary
The bottom line to all of this is that we’re trying hard to feel better and in all the trying we end up exhausted. We’ve revved up our minds too much.

There is a simpler and more easeful way of being.

When we settle and allow the natural wellbeing, resilience and intuitive intelligence to shine through then we’re able to find our way with more ease in a world that might at times feel challenging.

When we settle into who we truly are, we experience peace-of-mind and realise that what we’ve been seeking has been present all along.

 

1 Comment

  1. Wendy Davey

    Very powerful Liz. Loved this. It made a lot of sense. I think I will keep coming back to this blog.

    Reply

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About Inner Compass

Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are trainers, coaches and speakers. They work with individuals and groups across the UK. They also help develop coaching cultures (founded on wellbeing) within schools and organisations.

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Discover how the Inner Compass can guide you

How can you uncover your in-built resilience and wellbeing? What's the best way to share a message of wellbeing with others? The Inner Compass can guide you.

i

Explore our articles, podcasts and resources

Our articles, podcasts and resources will help people like you find the language to share the Inner Compass (also known as the Inside-Out understanding) with others.

Find out about courses, events and coaching

We've been sharing the Inside-Out understanding around the world for many years. Find out about Inner Compass courses, events and coaching.

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Do you want to find out more about Inner Compass? Or have questions about the Inside-Out (Three Principles) understanding? Get in touch.

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