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Shifting My Inner Beliefs As A Coach

written byLora Riccion 19/11/2015

This Thursday I’m heading into Module III of my Erickson Coaching program and I am very excited about what these four days will bring. Especially since the previous module really helped me to actualize the concept of becoming a coach and how to apply the principles to my workplace. Between the modules, I practice my new coaching skills with two other students (my coaching practicum triad), and this past weekend my fabulous coaching triad provided me with some really useful feedback about my coaching.  

While I was “playing” the coach, it was noted that it seemed quite obvious that I was used to being a “fixer” in my life, and as such it was observed that I was slightly leading my client towards a specific solution. I instantly recognized this in myself and acknowledged that people often came to me both personally and professionally for help. In my mind, I also further rationalized that as a mom I had to “fix” problems all the time so this became my second-nature. It also made me realize that while the tools and science of coaching are crucial, it’s really the application of the tools, or the art of coaching that elevates the entire process to another level. No matter how many great tools we learn, at the end of the day it all really seems to boil down to coach position and how gracefully we can inhabit that space.  

I hadn’t thought about this again until my meditation a couple of days later when I had the insight that perhaps my fixing tendencies were rooted in a belief that was less than positive. Maybe sometimes my desire to fix things was rooted in trying to deflect from the fact that I felt like I fundamentally needed fixing? In fact, I could trace back to times in the past where fixing lead to a co-dependency that I ended up resenting, and that spoke to another element: setting boundaries. Then another insight:  

What if I applied the five Ericksonian principles to myself? Hmmm, then I don’t need fixing! What if I lived in this world as being OK, having all the inner resources I needed for success, my behavior being rooted in positive intention, doing the best I can with what I know now, and recognizing my own growth?

By remaining conscious of these principles, a coach can see the client’s wider potential. In turn, the client leaves behind stagnant beliefs and thoughts and steps into fresh realms of choice.  

What would happen if I opened up myself to my own wider potential and decided to leave behind my own stagnant beliefs? What if I nurtured my positive beliefs by setting boundaries that would enable them to flourish? Imagine… What if?   The more we learn the more we understand: I am continuously surprised by how coaching keeps circling back to me and supporting my own journey towards healing past emotional patterns that no longer serve me in becoming a more mindful person. Circling back to my penchant for fixing, I don’t want to imply that I no longer want to be a helpful person. I think it’s a great quality to have, and something I will continue to value, but I do think it’s useful to examine where the desire to help is rooted. I’m realizing that mine may sometimes be rooted in the desire to feel useful and worthy; an insight that I’ve been exploring for a while but that I’d never previously connected to being a fixer.  

In shifting my belief to being a worthy and useful person, I put myself in a position of no longer having to prove it.  

I can still be a fixer but I will do so as a conscious choice, not unwittingly, and because it’s something I want to do. This new awareness on how I go about helping people will benefit me as a coach and a human being in general.