A Research Paper By Ziad Hamdan, Life Coach, SPAIN
Commitment & Self-Love as Coaching Accelerators
According to Ho’oponopono, the Hawaiian practice of forgiveness & healing, everything in our lives, everything that happens to us, is our responsibility. This means that everything we perceive with our 5 senses is our creation.
If we apply this to coaching, here’s what it means:
For the client:
When you decide to start a coaching journey, you are the creator of 100% of what befalls you. What follows this decision comes from inside of you; there is nothing on the outside that you will not cause to be there.
For the coach:
When I decide to become a coach, I am the creator of 100% of what befalls me. What follows this decision comes from inside of me; there is nothing on the outside that I will not cause to be there.
In other words, when you chose me as a coach, this means that I have also chosen you as a client. We have attracted each other.
The coaching relationship we are establishing will not be complete unless we both commit to this relationship and show ourselves the needed self-love for you to be able to let go of whatever holds you back in the past and allow yourself to thrive. For me, commitment & self-love will allow me to let go of my ego and serve you in the best way possible.
Commitment & Self-Love Definition
What Is Commitment
According to Wikipedia, commitment is a promise or an agreement to do something in the future, it is being bound emotionally & intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons.
I find these definitions interesting, especially the promise concept in the first definition and the emotional & intellectual bound in the second one.
Yes, commitment is a promise. For me, it is, first, a promise to oneself that one is engaged in what he or she is doing or will do in the future. To be able to remain engaged and committed consistently through time and in the long run, it is key to be fully engaged and bound emotionally (in the heart), intellectually (in the mind) and I would add even another dimension, physically (in the body).
I personally believe that commitment is THE sine qua none condition to achieve anything in life, from the smallest, simplest goal to the most complex one. How would we stick to it, and do it if we are not committed? In one of his Sales training, coach Joseph Sidaros said something that stuck in my mind and was an eye-opener for me. Real commitment is not easy to achieve and is not measured by the level of commitment to the easy things we like to do in life. Real commitment comes from being committed to “doing whatever it takes to reach the goal, doing it on a regular basis, and most importantly, doing it whether we like it or not”.
What Is Self-Love
During meditation I had a few years ago, I realized how important love was for me, more precisely, to feel loved. This was a life-changing experience for me. Everything shifted after this meditation. I came to realize that love is the answer for everything in life, that I was a man with a heart, and that my heart needed to love and feel loved to thrive. Now that I knew the importance of love for me, I started to feel dependent on others: if I love them and/ or if I feel loved by them, I can thrive. If not, I can’t. In my attempts to overcome this dependency, I realized that the only way to reduce the dependency on others was to be at the same time the source & the receiver of love. This was my first encounter with the concept of self-love.
Then I started to see that a lot of the stress in my life came from the fact that I was sabotaging myself and/ or I was too harsh on myself, setting unrealistic expectations, and wanting things to be perfect no matter what the circumstances were and putting constant pressure on myself. I also knew that I needed to practice and develop the self-love “muscle” / reflex to be able to thrive.
While I was preparing for this research paper, an article from Eugene Therapy caught my attention. It proposes 5 ways to show self-love:
- Replace criticism and comparison with acceptance and appreciation.
- Communicate with yourself in kind and positive ways.
- Show respect for yourself by setting boundaries and prioritizing your needs.
- Spend quality time with yourself.
- Develop trust in yourself by honoring your commitments.
Beyond the insightful tips on how to love oneself, what I particularly appreciated and wanted to share with you is the link between self-love and commitment (point number 5 above). Being committed and honoring your commitments help you develop trust in yourself and therefore increase the level of your self-love.
Commitment & self-love go hand in hand and, when applied in coaching, they exponentially increase the benefits of the coaching journey both for the client and for the coach.
How Could Commitment & Self-Love Accelerate the Coaching Experience?
Let’s first have a look at this question from the client’s angle: yours.
What does it mean to have the client committed to the coaching journey?
A committed client is a client that has intentionally chosen to embark on the coaching journey & to develop himself/herself. This commitment is renewed before each session and between sessions. After all, the whole purpose of coaching is to empower the client and to make him/her feel he/she is in the driving seat. If the client comes to every coaching session and engages in the journey with this mindset, the experience will be lived to the fullest and the benefits will arise quicker & with more intensity.
According to coach Jari Roomer, we need a strong commitment to our goals if we want to succeed. If we are not fully committed to a goal, we don’t give it all the effort required to succeed, we give up too quickly and work with less determination. As Vince Lombardi says, “Most people fail not because of a lack of desire but because of a lack of commitment”.
It is the same in coaching. Even if you desire to be coached to create the change that you want in your life, if you do not commit to the coaching journey, it is unlikely you will achieve your goal.
A prerequisite for a successful coaching journey is your commitment. When starting a coaching journey, most people feel committed to this experience. After a few weeks, however, as the first obstacles arise and old habits kick in, they might lose motivation and start to disengage from coaching.
Moreover, commitment should go beyond the coaching session. In her book “How to do the work”, Dr. Nicole Lepera (creator of the holistic psychology approach) says that “over my decade of work as a researcher and clinical psychologist, ‘stuck’ was the word most commonly used by my clients to describe the way they felt”, and she continues saying, “What I came to realize is that therapy and singular transformative experiences can take us only so far along the path of healing. To truly actualize change, you have to engage in the work of making new choices every day. In order to achieve mental wellness, you must begin by being an active daily participant in your own healing”.
Therefore, to accelerate the coaching journey, commitment is key during the coaching sessions and between the sessions where the client will be working on all the new learning from each session. And this commitment shall be renewed before each session for real coaching journey acceleration to happen.
The same applies to the coach who shall be committed to the coaching session: committed to withdraw his ego from the session, to accompany the client at the client’s speed and pace, and in every moment of the session & beyond. When the coach is committed to holding a safe space for his/her client to heal & thrive. It is then that the acceleration is real.
For magic to happen, this commitment from both sides of the relationship is usually coupled with a high sense of self-love or at least an intention to strengthen self-love.
For the client, self-love will help him/her let go of limiting beliefs, self-criticism, and negative thoughts. The client will be more open to change, to new perspectives, and push the coaching journey to the next level.
For the coach, self-love will help him/her detach himself/herself from the emotions/thoughts/reactions of the client while guiding the client in every step of the process.
After all, the coach is a facilitator and the catalyst of the transformation of the client and is not responsible for this transformation as per se. Being loving him/herself and being committed to the coaching process, will hold a safe space for the client to heal & thrive. On the other hand, the client has the responsibility for his transformation & by being fully engaged & committed and loving him/herself, he/she will be able to accelerate the coaching journey and exponentially increase the benefits of the coaching.
And So What?
“What we practice grows stronger” is what Dr. Shauna Shapiro wrote in her book “Good morning I love you”. Indeed, as greatly said by the British monk Dr. Shapiro met in Thailand, whatever we practice moment by moment physically alters our brain. If we practice judgment, we are growing judgment. If we practice with frustration, we are growing frustrated.
In the same way, if we practice committing to the coaching journey & loving ourselves we will enable in our experience the needed resources to get the biggest results and in a quicker way.
For the client, this means going intentionally to the coaching session, trusting the process & continuing the work even after the session.
For the coach, this means putting my ego aside, focusing my attention on the client & letting go of the responsibility of the results to the client.
Have a great coaching journey,
Thank you, I love you.
“Good morning I love you”, by Dr. Shauna Shapiro
“The book of Hoponopono, the Hawaiian forgiveness ritual”, by Jean Graciet, Luc Bodin, and Natalie Bodin
“How to do the work”, by Dr. Nicole Lepera
Article “Why You Need A Strong Commitment To Your Goals If You Want To Succeed2 by Jari Roomer