The timing of this post is intentional. Many of us would do well to give ourselves at least a small portion of what we give to others. When we take care of ourselves, we are caring for something that is very important to our friends and loved ones: our happiness. Self-improvement always ripples outward to benefit everyone in our midst. Coaching of various types can be a great way to make progress.
I’m a life coach, and there are other disciplines that could be considered coaching. Music and dance instructors, personal trainers, art teachers, therapists, financial planners, and business coaches are some. Working with any mentor helps us to be more receptive to constructive feedback, which can be challenging at first. While most people really are trying to be helpful when they make critical comments, coaches are better versed at getting the point across in a sensitive manner. We’re also more likely to know what we’re talking about! Working with someone whose intention is to help us overcome specific issues and improve specific skills can quickly demonstrate how much better life is with a growth mindset. Everyone can improve at something; the question is, how much?
What it’s really about is living a bigger life. It’s like each of us is a balloon, expanding and floating higher, and more of the world is visible as we rise. (The coach is the one blowing all the hot air!) We never know just how much we can do until we’ve mastered something. It is then that we understand we still have capacity left. Every now and then we have to stop and say, “I’ve reached all the goals that I never thought were possible. Now what?”
When I started running, I was in terrible shape. I had to lie on the floor after my first jaunt (1/3 mile) because I was seeing black spots. My lungs were burning. My husband “ran” with me, and tried to help by suggesting that I pull my shoulders back so my lungs could open more. I swore at him. What I suggested he do is probably not biologically possible. He ran with me for a few months. Then he told me that I was uncoachable. I was so stubborn that I was holding myself back and hurting my own performance. He started doing team sports at four years old, and one of the first things he learned as an athlete was to be receptive to advice. I never had that experience, and it was tough for my ego. I ran hundreds of long, lonely miles and read stacks of running manuals. After a couple of years, I finally started to understand how a sports coach could be helpful – and more so, after I had to work with a physical therapist instead.
If I ever write my memoirs, I shall entitle them, “I Should Have Listened.”
I coach running, because I have the very rare perspective of a novice who became an athlete in middle age after overcoming chronic illness. Most sports trainers are the sort who have been fit and active their entire lives. I’m more like… Teddy Roosevelt. Chronic fatigue is my nemesis. I’m determined to stamp it out wherever I find it.
Clutter clearing is my main focus. It seems that clutter can easily get to a point at which an individual can’t handle it alone. We don’t usually realize where it came from, and we don’t know how to Get Organized. I come to the work with the perspective of a chronically disorganized person. I never understood that I had attention deficit problems until I was an adult. I was already doing clutter work by that point. In some ways, working with clients has given me perspective into my own issues. As with my running, I have strong compassion for this effort. It’s not so much “being organized” as finally having some clarity and peace of mind.
The way I do most of my coaching is through a platform called Coach.me. I do chat-based coaching, which means my clients and I can send each other messages without a time constraint. Sometimes we are online simultaneously, and we can have an in-depth conversation. Other times, we can send each other messages late at night, or early in the morning, and the other can respond whenever it’s convenient. I like the flexibility. It takes the stress out of so many aspects that could derail a coaching relationship:
· Finding someone compatible in your geographical area
· Commuting to my office
· Scheduling appointments
· Getting to appointments on time
· Finding childcare
· Fitting in a solid hour
· Getting a cold
· Making eye contact
· Having to wear pants
· Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera
Anyone can work with me for any length of time. Even the shyest person never has to meet in person, talk to a video camera, or speak on the phone. We can attach photos, which is really helpful in my clutter work, because I can look at a room or wall or closet and read it at a glance. We can postpone or resume at any time, if it feels like it might be best to take a few weeks or months off. Of course, all of these things are true about the Coach.me platform in general. There are many areas of personal coaching beyond where I put my focus. I’d love to see more people working with a coach of some stripe, even if they never feel the need to work with me.
The cost is $14.99 a week. The first week is free, a gift I am happy to offer. That’s true for all Coach.me coaches. With focus, a lot can be accomplished in a short time period, although there’s no need to rush.
Thank you for reading this. The link to my coaching profile is always available on my About page. For convenience, here it is:
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.