A Coaching Power Tool By Julia Viladomiu, Motherhood Coach, NEW ZEALAND
The Key to a Major Transformation Me vs. Real Me
A power tool targets an emotion, feeling, or mindset. It takes you from a negative perspective, fear, uncertainty, and fraud… to a more positive one. One that enlightens the way ahead and shifts the mindset of an individual.
What I am presenting here can be seen as, somehow, generic and unapproachable, but in my experience, those shifts in perspective are the most significant ones.
One of the most common topics that I have gotten faced, probably because my niche kind of targets it, is the non-clarity, the feeling of being stuck, the unknown, and the uncertainty not related to one topic in particular, a job issue, a conflict, something concrete going on in the client’s life…. But rather more deep, profound… the uncertainty about how to continue in general and where to start from.
The client that manifests this kind of in-depth uneasiness and self-doubt are already quite advanced on the path of personal growth, and precisely because those individuals are already committed to breaking through and questioning themselves where what and how they want to be, asking them the right questions in regards of Who they are, so they can step towards it, is an essential step on the journey.
Creating a space where these thoughts can be expressed, developed, and transformed is essential for those individuals seeking answers.
That simple tool is the key to a major transformation, like any other tool, because it changes dramatically the way that one approaches a particular situation, a moment, or life. To give back confidence and reassurance, not reassurance from the outside but from the inner voice.
Me vs. Real Me Definition
The person identifies with certain beliefs that become part of their personality, of WHO they are. WHAT they do and WHY they do it. This is who I am, that is why I do what I do.
That perspective most of the time limits the world of possibilities of any individual. Limiting ourselves to our beliefs and our identity sometimes plays in disadvantage to what and who we could become. Making us feel stuck in parameters where we can be the essential change to the situation. Nothing in our environment, nothing in our social circles, nothing in our systems… but on us, a change from within in the individual.
Everyone is affected somehow by their beliefs, and sometimes those are the source of feeling stuck and fear. That, Jorge Bucay expressed beautifully in one of his little tales;
An elephant grew attached to a little stake on the ground he became bigger and stronger but he stopped trying to get free pretty quickly, he believed he could not break free from a little stake because his mind set that as a fact in infancy. When he grew stronger and powerful he could just have blown away the little piece of wood, but did not because his mindset that as impossible.
As a result of that, the elephant, and the people limited by their beliefs, do not live fully. They are submitted to their own limitations and fears, and not being aware of them is the biggest blockage on our paths to living a fulfilled life.
Recently, I have gone through a personal growth process myself that has involved connecting with a few of those limiting beliefs that had become part of who I was; I was clumsy, I was not sporty, I was very insecure and with low self-esteem… all those things have been put under pressure and the vigilant awareness has been kicking in every time they have been poking out their heads in my thoughts. I have fought ME against the NEW image of ME. Seeing myself now like something that I already was, but I was undermining constantly from within.
I do truly believe that great awareness of what it is that is keeping our possibilities capped from within can help us develop our new identity from positives instead of negatives, shifting those threats of personality that were enabling us into possibilities of action.
When the true transformation and awareness kick in when a client or a person realizes that the image of themselves is not the actual reality, when the individual realizes how much is in their power to change, there, then is where the real magic happens. The NEW IDENTITY takes place and what lays ahead is a world of possibilities, not just in regards to whatever the person has been fighting to change in themselves, but also because: After realizing I have the power to change aspects of my personality, what else can I do in regards to everything else?
It is such an empowering moment that you almost want to unravel, get naked, and take all the layers of who you are down.
Some Powerful Questions
Let’s get some important questions layered down to get through in moments of deep transformation:
- What is the story you are telling yourself?
- What story would you rather be telling yourself?
- Who would you become if you would embrace that story?
- How can we make that story become your new reality?
- In what grade the story that you would be liking to tell yourself, is already your reality?
Those questions can be made in different forms and shapes, Byron Katie used three very powerful questions when approaching specific conflicts with oneself or others that can also be very helpful on an identity shift:
- Is this true? (referring to the client’s statement about themselves)
- Is that really true?
- How would your life look like if that statement would not exist?
This shift in perspectives is not something that is normally brought up in the session as per ‘the theme” that the client wants to talk about. It reveals itself with the judgment and self-doubt that the client expresses while exploring other issues. It is the job of the coach to find those pearls of information and dig into them to make such awareness surface.
This is exactly what happened in our session with a young woman.
The client was expressing a feeling of being overwhelmed by job commitments. By exploring the issue a little bit she realized that all those commitments were actually not her job to do, that she was just helping her colleagues and saying “yes” to requests that now she questioned if she should have accepted.
With that realization on board and expressing that she had no time for herself, she revealed a feeling of guilt, to take time for herself when she could be doing things for others. That awareness opened a world of possibilities to work towards the inner belief that she dismantled: taking care of myself is selfish. And also saying “no” to others is not being a good colleague.
With that realization and awareness, she started then working and taking little actions that would help her be one step ahead in her work life to avoid those feelings of anxiety caused by not prioritizing her own job and putting others in front.
The overall session went beautifully with a few “aha” moments. As a takeaway, the client committed to herself to start prioritizing her needs on a personal level and gifting herself moments to take care of herself without guilt.
Let’s not be naïve though, any process of reinvention and self-awareness of beliefs is not a beautiful process till you reach the end of it. It is a path of breaking down aspects of your life that you have thought to be set in stone. Carving them down and breaking them apart can be a wound-opener moment. So in those situations and as coaches, we need to be aware of shifts in energy and where those wounds come from and are able to step back and refer our clients to therapy if they get stuck in the story and the “why’s” instead of looking ahead.
Positive Future Outcomes
If the process is taken with the vision ahead, though, the coach can become a great companion on the walk towards enlightening on what the true possibilities of the individual are. The consequences of flipping the perspective and reinventing the parts of oneself that do not let us advance in a particular direction can just open new paths, new perspectives, and new challenges that can become new possibilities of exploration for our clients and for the coaches to keep questioning.
As I mentioned above, realizing the power that the individual has to change aspects of their behavior that they were identifying with their personality it is a very powerful tool to help our minds work around the fact that we can do whatever we want, and become whatever we decide. It is never too late, it is never impossible. It just takes will and, of course… a good coach.
Bucay, J. and Scheifl, A. (2013). Déjame que te cuente … selección de textos. Stuttgart Reclam.
Tolle, E. (2004). The power of NOW: a guide to spiritual enlightenment. Vancouver, B.C.: Namaste Pub. ; Novato, Calif.
Tolle, E. (2016). A New Earth: Awakening to your Life’s Purpose. London, UK Penguin Books.
Katie, B. and Mitchell, S. (2002). Loving What Is. Harmony.