If you’re faced with a tricky situation, it can feel like there’s nothing you can do to fix or improve it. In fact, during coaching people will quite often think (or even say) “there’s nothing I can do about this”.
Are you one of these people? If so, this usually means that you’ve reached the point where you’re struggling to find a way forward. It could also mean that you’re feeling powerless in the situation you’ve found yourself in. Both of these reactions are understandable responses to a stressful scenario.
How does coaching help?
Coaching helps by getting you to think of all the things that you could do when you’re feeling powerless, without worrying about how realistic or appealing the options are. It’s a creative and gentle approach to the problem at hand.
However, you may sometimes find yourself going through all the options, justifying why none of them would work for you, and still thinking that there’s nothing you can do. So, what can happen next? Do you expect that coaching will be used to try to talk you out of this mentally, so you cross your arms and look as if to say, “go on, persuade me otherwise”?
Well, here’s the thing… that’s not what coaching is for. The purpose of coaching is to help you handle difficult scenarios and real conversations without feeling overwhelmed or blindsided, rather than to persuade you to act a certain way or magic up the motivation for you.
Handling difficult situations
Instead, it’s a case of saying: “Okay, so for now, you’ve chosen that doing nothing is the best course of action. What could the consequences of that be?”. This will help you to think about any potential downsides of your choice. Then you will come to a point where you’ll ask yourself: “What would need to change for me to decide to make a different choice?”.
Coaching can therefore help you to start to plan around different scenarios, so that if these situations happen in the future, you’ll know what you want to do quickly, rather than being phased by it. You’ll be able to reach a decision under difficult circumstances.
Does doing nothing count as a choice?
You’ll notice that we keep using the words ‘choice’ or ‘chosen’. Well, that’s because everyone is entitled to decide to do nothing. However, if you choose to do nothing, then you need to do that in the knowledge that doing nothing is still a choice.
Once you know that you’re making a conscious choice and that you’re not the victim of a situation, you start to take back some power and accountability for the situation.
Coaches sometimes get frustrated that the person they’re coaching doesn’t leave the session with clear actions or decisions in mind, but most of the work the person does is actually in the reflecting they do after a session.
As part of coaching, we may challenge your self-limiting beliefs, but it’s not up to us to tell you to change them. Instead, we will engage in a conversation that will challenge you to establish how often you try and tackle these beliefs head-on, in order to help you.
We’re all adults and we’re all responsible for making our choices, even if that choice is to do nothing.
Do you believe you could benefit from coaching? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.