Life is a journey, a puzzle, a study, and these days, a true challenge. Being faced with problems and the need to solve them has always been a facilitator of human evolution and progress. We actually need to be confronted with problems in order to thrive, to feel that we lead a meaningful life. Release of stress hormones stimulate our ability to solve a problem, we sharpen our minds, our bodies get into action mode, and once the problem is solved, we feel satisfied, rewarded, by our innate hormonal reward system.
However, if we are facing problems which we cannot solve and which we perceive as existential, and fundamental, we experience unhealthy stress. We feel stuck, we start to sabotage ourselves, we cannot sleep, thinking in endless circles how to solve the problem. The more we are in this downward spiral, the less able we are to think clearly and to find a solution to the problem.
Coaching can provide support in challenging times, and it does not matter whether the challenges are imposed by external factors or are the result of an inner process. Coaching is about encouragment, about self-efficiency, about perspective. What is the problem, which resources are there to solve it, and what could be the first step. Sometimes, accepting that hanging in there is all that can be done at the moment and trusting that the problem can be solved over time is that first step.
Life coaching is about finding answers and solutions to questions and problems concerning your life. It is not about optimisation and growth at any price, as a possible outcome of a coaching session could also be to accept the current status quo, to shift the perception and to try and see the positive aspects of a maybe not ideal situation. Usually, it is with hindsight that we embrace the learnings we had because of difficult circumstances. In a coacing session, we can think about the future, we can imagine that the problem is solved and what the next steps will be. However, I also encourage my clients to be honest to themselves and realistic about the possible development, and to accept what cannot be changed, achieved or reversed.
My approach to coaching is based on two important insights: we are responsible for ourselves, and we need to be honest to ourselves. Often, we quite know what we want in life, we see it clearly in front of us: a healthier lifestyle, a less stressful job, more fulfilling relationships, moving into a nurturing environment, seeking adventure. If we take ourselves and those whishes seriously - the next step is to think about WHAT would it take? Do we have the willpower, the comittment, the energy, the skills to make those wishes come true? Right now, we might not be free to put these plans into action, but we may always think and dream about the future.