The journey of a coach is an everlasting one, that starts with the passion to help others and continues beyond mastery. It is a journey of constant learning, personal exploration, and authentic dedication. It is also a journey that can sometimes get very lonely and is often filled with doubts.
Countless times I have doubted myself. If I am a good coach, if I am on the right path, if my coaching methods truly work, if I will survive financially, if I have chosen the right brand or marketing strategy for my services, or if my relationships will survive my constant transformations as a practicing coach.
Did you ever feel this way?
The Origin of My Loneliness
Being an MCC coach myself, I know how lonely a coach journey can get sometimes. To put it in a metaphor, I became a spectator who enjoys watching the bigger picture and marvel, while observing patterns and similarities in people and in life itself. A spectator who loves figuring out what truly matters to people and help them realize it, it gives me a rush of fulfillment and a strong sense of purpose.
Do you resonate?
Unfortunately, it was extremely difficult for me to engage life, without being this kind of spectator.
“You are too intense!”
“Stop talking bumper stickers”
“hmm…I don’t have the mind power to talk about this right now”
These were my wife’s frustrated words on multiple occasions, words that forced me to reflect.
Of course, it took me a while to accept that this is my problem and not my wife’s projection. I understood that the depth of the spectator can be overwhelming to the majority of people. You cannot throw pearls of wisdom at people and not expect them to dodge. (Oops! I did it again, talking bumper stickers. I trust that you will not tell my wife!)
Jokes aside, I didn’t want to overwhelm anyone, so I had to limit the way that “the spectator” expressed himself. I learned to share with people only what they are ready to receive, realizing later that this is what true RESPECT!
Oversharing with people is like driving on the highway while putting your highlights in the face of other drivers – not only that’s disrespectful, it is just plain dangerous.
Learning this lesson, made me more approachable and a much better coach. In fact, I have then managed to develop the necessary skills to obtain my MCC credential! Reaching such level is extremely gratifying but, to be honest, it is also extremely lonely.
Having to stop myself from fully expressing and sharing what I can see is painful. Imagine watching your favourite show completely alone and not having the chance to talk about it with someone. NOT FUN! just ask Van Gogh, he could see the world in a different way than the people around him, although he tried expressing what he saw through his art it was not enough, which led him to a complete isolation, and this is exactly how I felt!
To be able to navigate this pattern, not only I had to utilise my coaching skills, I also had to draw upon all of my other skill sets. Before coaching, my background included 30 years’ experience of practicing/teaching fitness, martial arts, meditation and holistic wellness. I had to create a hybrid method that combines the eastern philosophies of interconnectedness and holistic approach with the western pragmatic approach in observing and changing the human behavior. (A topic for another time)
Navigating Loneliness to the Shores of Companionship
Express yourself, not your wisdom.
No one like to be told what is good and what is bad, what is right and what is wrong, and definitely no one wants to be told about the ultimate truth. In my experience people are more drawn in stories they can resonate with, they also would like to experience and figure out their own ultimate truth, thank you very much!
My dear colleague, I have learned that the best gift I could give to myself and to others is to simply share my stories and authentically express how it felt to live each one of them. Trusting that people are more than capable of finding their own meaning and value in my stories.
All for one, not one for all (Distribute the pressure).
I stopped trying to find the one person that can fully get me and get all that I wanted to express – no one can tolerate such intensity. Instead, I have chosen to express myself to all the people I can possibly reach. This way, each person will find their own meaning and value in what I am sharing and will reach out when they are ready. Generating more of the enlivening profound conversation that I need and love.
Visit the fountain of youth at least ones a year (Retreats with like-minded people).
I started organizing full immersion retreats 3 to 4 times a year for coaches, people who are interested in coaching, leaders, fitness and martial arts enthusiasts. All of which are themes and skills that I am passionate about and have long experience in. The results were amazingly rewarding – these retreats have become my fountain of youth that I immerse myself in for a short period of time, re-emerging from it regenerated, fulfilled and having the companionship of like-minded people.
If you have resonated with my story and feel the need to enjoy the companionship of like-minded coaches, consider joining one of my coming retreats that I have specially designed for coaches like me.
May you enjoy your everlasting journey with passion, constant learning, personal exploration, and COMPANIONSHIP!