What Does Your Future Look Like?
I hired a coach 2011. I did it on a whim, and it turned out to be a very impactful decision. My coach sat in Toronto, Canada. I met with him weekly on the telephone. I didn’t need him in the room to get the coaching. In fact, I sometimes think that having the coach in the room could be distracting. I had no idea what he looked like. I just knew his voice.
One of the tools we used is called the Wheel of Life. It covers several areas of our lives and we give a score according to our satisfaction with that area, with 10 being the highest and 0 the lowest. These areas were spokes on a wheel, and the 0 was the center of the wheel, with 10 being the outer rim. When we were complete, we would draw a line from score to score. Obviously, we weren’t 10’s on everything, so our circle became lopsided—the wheel was no longer round. That gave us insight on areas we may be coached in to help our wheel smooth out and roll.
One day after a coaching session, I sat down and wrote what a score of 10 would look like in my life. I discovered this document the other day. Here is my list and what my life looks like six years later.
6 years ago – My physical environment will look similar to what it is today. It will be comfortable as my current home is. My hope and dream is to live by water–pond, lake, river, ocean–don’t really care. I want my living environment to be calm and peaceful, full of joy and laughter.
Today – When I wrote this I had no idea where I would be living just two years later. My home today is bigger than the home I had then, but it is equally comfortable—and it is on water—I have a small lake in the back yard and an in-ground swimming pool. I live in the country in a neighborhood where the properties are large and wooded. It is calm and peaceful here. Our large home is perfectly designed for us to entertain folks. We have had many gatherings, inviting friends and family to enjoy each other and the peaceful atmosphere of our place. This home is full of joy and laughter.
6 years ago – My spiritual life will have me continually in my “God Spot” where I know how much I am loved and cherished by the creator of the universe, and nothing or no one can harm me. I may go in and out of the “cave” but it will be for learning and reflecting.
Today – The term “God Spot” is a term I made up in one of my coaching sessions when I tried to describe my best place to be—knowing even in my hardest challenges, if I remained in my “God Spot” I would remember in spite of these challenges, that God loved me unconditionally, and nothing could harm me. The “cave” reference is when I am questioning so I may not feel the warmth of the “God Spot”, but sometimes I need to be in a quiet place to reflect and learn. This is still big in my life today.
6 years ago – I want to be a life-long learner. I want to continue learning more to expand my personal horizons, and to continue my ability to affect and impact others.
Today – Just because I am older and retired, doesn’t mean I cannot learn. I am a horrible student in the fact I don’t like homework. I am a creative sort, so I love learning with my style. Since that was written, I have made quilts, continue to write so I get better at it. I have traveled a lot and seen many places and learned a lot of history behind them.
6 years ago – Once I figure this all out, I think I would like to be in a loving and fun committed relationship. The ideal is to find that special someone who I spend the rest of my life with, but I am open to a strong significant relationship without marriage.
Today – I don’t know why this is such a surprise to me. I was really hoping for a strong significant relationship, but what I got was that special person with whom I get to spend the rest of my life. I, in a million years, didn’t think that was really a possibility. I had to put myself out there to date, It was frustrating and challenging, but it did happen, and I am extremely grateful for my wonderful husband of 4 years.
Friends and Family
6 years ago – I will have a balance when it comes to friends and family. It will be relationships that I can rely on for help and support, both ways. No one sided friendships and relationships.
Today – I have had many one-sided relationships in the past. You know those where you have to make all the initiatives to have the friend—you do the phone calling, you make the plans, you are there in their needs, but they don’t do any of these things for you. It is never a perfect 50/50 balance, but I have relationships with those who can also give and take, not just take.
6 years ago – I will be physically fit, no trouble moving or getting up and down, and continue to be medication-free. My nutrition and exercise and fitness will all be very positive.
Today – I was surprised when I saw this one six years later. I am still medication free, with the exception of trying to get rid of dry eyes. I have no health issues, but in the past my nutrition, exercise and fitness were on and off, but mostly non-existent. That really changed over a year ago. I lost 60 lbs, and started moving. My goal is 10,000 active steps. Almost daily I walk my neighborhood of 3 miles. I do this regardless of the weather. I have done this in almost 100 degree weather, and I have done it in freezing weather. I hydrate well before going out, and fortunately, in the summer, I walk into the front door and out of the back door directly into the swimming pool. I am not a great swimmer, but I swim a few laps anyway. My new love is my Apple watch, which is water resistant, so it counts my lap swimming (a great motivation for me)! My nutrition has also changed. I share meals with my husband at restaurants, and I make the “bad stuff’ on rare occasions if we are having guests. The leftovers either go home with them, or into the freezer for the next set of guests. I don’t feel deprived that way, but I don’t let that food linger in the house calling my name!
6 years ago – if my retirement could feel as good financially as I am now, that would be a big ten. It should not take the same salary as I now have. I do not want to worry if I will have enough money to do the things I enjoy doing, and to be debt free.
Today – Money was a real issue when I was a single mom. I had none! By the time I retired, I was earning an excellent paycheck, but the fear of retiring with no paycheck was scary. A couple years before I retired, I put aside a fair portion of my income to see if I could live on less. I realized that I could do so comfortably. I do not get into debt, and I have enjoyed life. Yes, being married has helped this, but I did prepare to do it alone if I had to.
6 years ago – This is the hard one for me. What is a ten? I don’t really know. I am thinking its being a consultant. Inspiring others to greatness. Don’t know where, don’t know how.
Today – I had no plan to retire when I wrote this. I was in a job I loved, but working for a new boss I didn’t love. I knew he didn’t like me from the day he took the role, and I knew I needed to move on. So, the job ended for me at the time I met my husband. I continued looking for a new position, but it just wasn’t happening. My relationship with my future husband was growing. I am now married to him and retired. That has not changed my desire to inspire others to greatness. I work as a Human Resources Consultant and a Life Coach on occasion. I also write this blog. Hopefully, they are all ways to inspire others to be more than they think they can be.
So, why is coaching helpful? As a coaching client, I am able to move forward at a faster pace than I am able to on my on. Yes, I probably could get to all of this on my own, but a coach walked beside me, encouraged me to go out on a limb and do things that I was afraid to try. My coach encouraged every idea I had, and gave me the space to act on it.
We have self-limiting beliefs. “I cannot do this because ___________.” You fill in the blank. We limit ourselves so often. We are afraid to go out on a limb. We know what we need to do next, but something in our head tells us to stop. Coaching can help walk along, encourage, support, and help knock down those self-imposed barriers to whatever it is we want to accomplish.
For those of you who are wondering, what is a coach:
- A coach does not tell people how to get to their goals (that’s a consultant).
- A coach does not try to figure out what happened in the past that has them stuck (that’s a counselor).
- Coaches know their clients have the answers inside of themselves.
- What coaches do is ask the powerful questions that cause the client to think beyond where they are.
- A coach will help you get past your self limiting beliefs. They will encourage you to go the direction your were afraid to go.
- We are our own worst enemies. We have self-limiting beliefs. “I can’t do that because . . . I’m too old, I’m too young, I’m not smart enough, I’m not popular enough, I’m not _____ (you fill in the blank).
- A coach will walk beside you, even if you decide that is not, after all where you want to go.
- The coach does not set the agenda—the client does—it never works to tell someone what or how to do something—it has to be authentic to the person. The coach helps them discover a way to overcome what they thought were overwhelming obstacles.
Because of this great coaching experience, I chose to go through coach training. It was an intensive training program. It was every other weekend for 5 weekends, starting on a Friday at 1:00 pm, and ending on a Sunday at 5:00 pm. I attended these classes in Chicago. It was a nice get-away. There were approximately 20 in the class. We coached and challenged each other at our training sessions practicing what we were learning. I am a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) with The Coaches Training Institute, and received my ACC (Associate Certified Coach) certification with the International Coach Federation (ICF).
What I like about becoming a coach is that I don’t have to know all the answers. I just need to know how to ask the questions so you can find your answers.
What are you wanting to accomplish that leaves you stuck in fear or doubt? What are some of the tools you need to move forward?
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