"Coaching is not about answering your questions; it is where all your answers are questioned."
Many years ago, I had an accidental medical error during my surgery that left my left arm with no sensations, movements or feeling (resulting from severe nerve damage) and the chances of recovery were minimal. Going through this trauma with bouts of deep depression and anxiety was not easy to handle. Trauma had certain long-term PTSD effects too for me, resulting in fibromyalgia, chronic pain, TMS syndrome, severe insomnia, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Now combine that with high achievers’ hidden sufferings like imposter syndrome, perfectionism, and wanting to be in control! There was a feeling of being stuck, going through burnout/exhaustion and a deep yearning to fully and authentically express who I was! A feeling that probably many of you understand.
At this time, I started exploring if I would benefit from coaching. (This decision literally changed my life!) I was, in fact, fortunate to have worked with coaches who were experts in the fields of spirituality, inner transformation, energy healing, and somatic trauma healing. Each coach impacted my life immensely, and I have utmost gratitude for them! To sum it all, the right coaching is life-changing. It’s transformative, deep, and, for me, it has been worth every second and penny. My professional-personal-inner life started transforming for the better.
Having said that, the first question you ask is, Why Should Someone Hire A Coach?
In my experience, people are looking to work with coaches for three reasons:
a) They are hoping to explore their true potential and accomplish/create something in the world and want a coach’s support in helping them accomplish it.
b) They are struggling with something in their lives and want a coach’s support in helping them overcome it.
c) They are not looking to accomplish anything in particular; neither do they feel they are struggling (although there is unrest and uneasiness), but they have just lost the spark in their professional and personal lives. They want a coach’s support in leading a more connected, meaningful, and thriving life.
So, What Is Coaching?
“Coaching is a space where miracles happen. You’ll get out of your head and into your real life; out of your psychology and into a world of limitless possibilities.” — Michael Neill
To put it in simple terms, coaching is a process of understanding and gaining deeper awareness of how we operate by uncovering what’s within, making conscious choices with that new information and healing any mental, emotional and somatic blocks along this journey, so that one’s true potential is fully realized.
And as a side effect, there will be more meaning, connectedness, joy, aliveness, and richer life.
What are the types of coaching?
Instead of types of coaching it will be easier to understand the levels of coaching. At a high level, there are two levels of coaching (may be more but to keep it simple, we can look at two levels)
1. “Life/Life-Categories” coaching — A result/goal-oriented coaching focused on a particular area of your life. For example, career coaching, speaking coaching, relationship coaching, business coaching etc. You work towards a goal and accomplish that in that area or sometimes, as a life coach, in multiple categories/areas of your life. It is more of a cause and effect relationship that is explored.
2. “Transformative” coaching — In this level of coaching, we take a deeper look at who we are, how we work, what life is and how life works, and come to understand that there is a whole new way of being and doing that’s very different from what we are usually conditioned to. It is about navigating life beyond just our psychology from a place of effortlessness and deeper intelligence. It is more experiential than conceptual. It is not just about knowing yourself better, but it is about you being completely “unleashed” (pure joy, pure freedom and pure aliveness) — the best of all, tapping into that creative potential beyond what we have ever imagined. I have seen and met some of the greatest leaders who are truly impactful, compassionate and creative that operate from this place!
A true inside-out transformation is when spirituality, psychology & practicality integrate.
In a metaphorical sentence, “Life categories” coaching is how to move the needle optimally, and “transformative” coaching is understanding and even experiencing what actually moves the needle.
It is not about walking away trying to find a purposeful job or a career; instead, it is about being purposeful no matter what job or career you are in…
It is not about looking for a perfect relationship mate; instead, it is about understanding the relationship you have with yourself…
It is not about wanting to feel better; instead, it is about becoming better at feeling…
It is not about doing things you love; instead, it is about loving everything you do…
It is not about finding joy; instead, it is about understanding what’s blocking your innate joyful true nature..
In fact, it is not about replacing your thoughts, beliefs, emotions, mindset, and feelings with positive ones; instead, it is about mastering the inner game…
What is Transformative Executive coaching?
I am guilty of coining that word as I was writing this article. My clients come from high achieving executive and leadership backgrounds. I come from a similar background, and it is easy to relate to their inner struggles, stories, dreams, and vision. Whether my clients are hungry for more, looking to explore their potential or going through a struggle within, or looking to find clarity, peace, and spark within, I work with them on the transformative level. Therefore, the name is more suggestive of the type of clients I work with.
Do you really need to work with a coach?
Not necessarily, but having said that, I want to tell the following few lines and leave the choice to you. Coaching is a way of getting more out of you than you would by yourself. Sometimes transformative coaching is not very intuitive due to years of conditioning and belief structures. It can be overwhelming and time-consuming, and working with a coach makes the journey much more manageable. A coach is a catalyst for your transformation. The answer lies WITHIN you! The coach only questions every assumption of yours to unearth that real hidden YOU!
My journey as a transformative coach
When I started out as a coach, I feared whether I could make a difference in the lives of the people I work with. For me, coaching came out of a passion and probably a deep calling. It was a shift, a curiosity if my methodologies just worked on myself, or do others benefit from it too? Today when I see their lives shift, I close my eyes, and tears of gratitude flow.
As Sydney Banks, a Scottish Philosopher, says, “We have the most wonderful job in the world. We find people in various stages of sleep. And then we get to tap them on the shoulder and be with them as they wake up to the full magnificence of life.”