Have you ever found yourself in this position? You hate your job, and you're considering a change, but haven't really got much idea where to start? Or, you have a pretty good idea but need some help to figure out how and to find the courage to begin?
So, who do you turn to when you find yourself in such a predicament? If you're like most people, you'll talk to your partner, your mum, a good friend or some other trusted confidante. The problem with these conversations, which really do come from a place of love and good intentions, is that they'll most likely stop your dreams, of escape, dead in their tracks!
And here's why...
1. They think they know better than you
They're older, or wiser, or they know someone who tried to do something similar and failed miserably. Or, they know that no one wants to buy what you want to offer, or what a tough market it is in that industry, or that no one's going to hire you to do that thing you want to do. Better yet, they'll remind you what a waste of all of your education, training and climbing the ladder has been if you're just going to throw it all away. The thing is, they're so bound by their own fears of trying something new, that they're desperately trying to protect you from failure. What they don't recognise is that they're also protecting you from success, happiness and fulfilment!
What your coach will do: your coach will help you explore the possibilities, find ways to identify your target market and competition, and discover people that are already successfully doing what you want to do, so that you can "model" them - learn from their expertise, experiences and mistakes, and apply their success strategies to your own situation. Your coach will also help you to get deep underneath your initial idea, to help you clarify your values, beliefs and motivations so you can really understand WHY you want the change and be sure that you're not throwing away your career on a whim or because of a temporary upset. Finally, your coach will provide your cheer section, supporting your progress and helping you overcome any obstacles or setbacks.
2. Their box is too small
We all live in a box of some size. It's based upon what's been spoon-fed to us, throughout our lives, by parents, teachers, peers, bosses, other authority figures, and the media, as well as our own life experiences. The problem is that your brain has to deal with such a vast amount of information, that it needs some kind of framework to make it all manageable. Therefore, once our box has been "built" around us, our brains simply filter out anything that doesn't fit within our accepted rules and beliefs. You CEASE TO NOTICE things that don't match your life blueprint, thereby missing out on the fantastic wealth of data available. And, the more "normal" your life has been, the smaller your box. So, when you go to Aunt Susan with your incredible, life-changing plan, she's going to dismiss it before you've even laid it out for her. Perhaps not out loud, but her brain has already switched off to the fact that your idea is even remotely viable. Because it lies outside of her box. Beyond her version of how the world works.
What your coach will do: on the total opposite end of the spectrum, coaches are extensively trained to operate outside of the box and are expert in the complexities of the mind and the way reality is distorted to "fit" each new experience into our box, by any means necessary. Your coach believes you can do anything, but they're not your fairy godmother. They'll help you to see the big picture, tear down the walls of your box, realise where you've completely distorted the truth in order to make sense of it, created links between events and outcomes where none exist and see your plan for exactly what it is - good, bad or something else. They'll also help you to understand if your idea is actually your goal, or if your goal is really just some bi-product of the plan, so that you can consider other possibilities, also outside of your box, that may provide a similar or even better outcome.
3. They have a vested interest
This is such an important factor, for you to bear in mind, when using loved ones as a sounding board. There are numerous reasons why your loved ones wouldn't want to see you take an unorthodox career path, and here are just a few...
They don't want to see you fail and get hurt.
They think you're wasting your life on a whim.
They're afraid for your/your family's financial stability.
They're worried about your reputation.
They're worried about their reputation.
It makes them feel like a failure to see you pursuing a different kind of life.
They think you'll change.
They worry you'll not want to know them when you're successful.
What your coach will do: unlike your loved ones, your coach's only interest is your success. In whatever path you choose to pursue. They know that failure is an essential step toward success. They've already helped you examine your goals, in depth, so they know that it's not a whim and will help you to create a calculated success strategy. They'll help you to explore the potential impact on your finances, and discover the counter measures you can put in place to prevent any short-term cash-flow issues from becoming catastrophic. They know your reputation is simply a perception, and easily recoverable should it take a knock. Their own reputation is staked on supporting your success and that is their only goal. They already feel like a winner for pursuing their dreams, and will help you to be a winner too. They know you'll change, but will help you make sure that it's for the better!
So what do you think? Still want to take advice about your career (or your life) from your loved ones?
And, what about the impact on your relationship? Will you become defensive or argumentative because your loved one can't see things from your perspective? Or resentful because they've talked you out of your dreams?
I'm Jo, the GET A LIFE coach, and I'm a huge advocate of coaching. Not just because I'm a coach, but because I've seen the lightbulb moment happen, in my clients, so many times, and have coached them to incredible success. Also, I'm never without a coach myself. So I genuinely believe, that the single, best strategy for successfully making change, or improving performance, in your life, is to seek out the help of a professional coach, even just for a few sessions, who can coach you to really shed your blinkers and see how wonderful life (and you) can be, once you break out of your box.
Want to know more? Then join my free webinar, this Tuesday 11th November, at 8.30pm, and find out how coaching can lead you to career freedom.