Thursday, July 17, 2014
The following blog post was originally published a few years ago and I decided to re-post it since the topic has been timely for many of my clients lately. Several of them have been working through some big changes and seeking confirmation and affirmation from others about the direction they are headed. Although support and validation from others is important and helps us through change and growth, as the blog points out, the most important validation needs to come from you!
Often times when I begin working with new clients, they are seeking advice and counsel from me, as their coach, on areas where they should focus to grow and develop. That is understandable and reasonable and I am always willing to provide my clients with my thoughts, based on my perspective, experience, and knowledge of them. However, I also find it typically does not matter what I think because it really starts with them, with what they think, and what they believe.
And, I always share that with my clients. I tell them that it really is only and always about what they want to accomplish, what they feel will propel them the farthest in their development and what they believe they can achieve. I can have the highest of aspirations for any one of my clients and I can give them my perspective on the areas that I think will help them advance the farthest the quickest but ultimately, it has to come from them. They have to want to change or focus on behaving differently in the areas that resonate most with them. It’s just like any one of us who want a loved one to stop smoking or start an exercise program because we think it will benefit them. How often does that work? It typically doesn’t because unless it is something that they want for themselves, their behavioral change won’t last.
The other aspect of this is related to what the individual actually believes they can achieve. Again, I can (and do) have the highest aspirations for my clients and believe their potential is unlimited; yet, if they don’t believe that about themselves, they will be stifled by what they do believe. Their potential and what they can achieve will always be limited by what they believe and what they truly want. That is why, even when I share my advice and give my perspective, I always also tell them that their growth and their success is always most influenced by their own perspectives and beliefs – It starts with them!