Over the last two years I’ve been coached by Neil Thubron. Neil has made an enormous impact on how I look at life: what I expect from it and, interestingly, what I need to contribute to be fulfilled. The latter was not even on my radar back in 2016.
Neil also helped me to establish my own personal ‘mission statement’, something I relate to every day and which helps me to focus on whatever I need to achieve. I talked about this in last week’s blog. Mine is:
‘To be the best person I can be and to help those around me to be the best people they can be, every day.’
Yesterday, I was telling a friend about finding out I don’t have prostate cancer after a six week wait for full diagnosis. He wanted to know how I got through that period of uncertainty – how I carried on with life, work and kept things normal for the kids whilst harbouring a huge worry.
I thought about it. Looking back, I think the strong foundation and sense of self gained from the coaching with Neil provided me with some key tools and habits which saw me through. Here are just five:
My personal mission statement gives me something to focus my days around, but also gives me something to go back to when I come up against a challenge. It steers me when I’m making decisions about where to invest myself and how I am in relationships. In the past I was sometimes guilty of not helping a colleague enough because what I was focused on was too important to me at the time. Now I try to make every connection an important one, and try to finish each conversation with clarity and an outcome.
Clearer sense of self
Coaching has essentially given me a roadmap for how I want to live: a kind of ‘personal life plan’. This covers what I want to achieve professionally, personally, and for my family. This is applied to everything, from when and where we go on holiday, to what kind of financial future we want to create for our family. This brings me enormous clarity on who I am as a person and what I should and shouldn’t be doing. Decision-making is now so much crisper.
Getting comfortable with uncertainty
I came from a starting point of already feeling comfortable with change to some extent, so coaching has allowed me to recognise this strong point and work to improve it. I don’t worry about the things I can’t control, preferring to expel the ‘what-if’s in favour of focusing on what I can influence. I also invest valuable time in scenario planning, to ensure that I have options when faced with difficult issues – or, at the very least, free thinking space to decide what to do.
I decide how I want to feel about things
We all have the free will and power to decide how we choose to respond to any given criteria. My choice is always to be positive and look for the best in any given situation. This means I am open-minded and willing to absorb new options and ideas which could improve the situation. The moment some other people become negative, they close down their options. In effect, they have already thrown in the towel.
Confidence to shoot for big goals
Early in 2017, Neil suggested I consider becoming an endurance running coach for XNRG. I was very flattered, but more than a little shocked. Whilst I have completed some solid endurance events, I have never been an ‘elite’ athlete and regularly finish towards the back of the field. Neil encouraged me to look at this a different way. I have completed some great races, I travel a lot each week so routine and training require additional effort and discipline, and, as part of my daily job, I coach people – often with some success. Neil helped me to find from within the self-belief to step way outside my comfort zone and to do something which really is helping me to achieve my own personal mission.
Reading through the above points, it strikes me that the common thread is that, through the self-belief I found from being coached, I decided how I wanted to live my life and took action. I made changes to achieve those goals. This story may resonate with you. If it does, consider talking to some perspective coaches. Yes, there is a cost – but in my opinion, if you achieve a fraction of your true potential then this cost will have been a very sound investment!
I wish you success in your journey to being the best you can be!
I’d love to hear from you if you think having a coach could be your next step – email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.