This is NOT how I thought life would feel.
Is this as good as it gets?
Why does everything feel so hard?
I’m just spinning my wheels.
If you have found yourself thinking/asking any of these questions, you’re not alone. I’m not here to say that life isn’t hard. It is. But for the past 25 years I’ve spent my professional life being curious about our thoughts and behaviors and how they impact the quality of our lives. How do our thoughts influence decisions we make about work? Our friends? Our goals? Our health? Our finances?
When we learn to become aware of our thoughts and actions we can start a journey to a more intentional life. This is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about coaching. Coaching allows us to do just that. We can take a deep dive into your current life satisfaction, identify areas where change is desired, understand current barriers to change and then work together step by step to make the change happen. That’s rewarding!
Life satisfaction encompasses different areas. For some, work takes up a big chunk of their waking hours and may be the main culprit in life dissatisfaction or even burnout. Here’s what Gallup had to say about our thoughts regarding work:
Gallup, in its recently released State of the Global Workplace: 2022 report, found that, along with dissatisfaction, workers are experiencing staggering rates of disengagement and unhappiness. Sixty percent of people reported being emotionally detached at work and 19% as being miserable. In the US specifically, 50% of workers reported feelings “stressed at their jobs on a daily basis, 41% as being worried, 22% as sad, and 18% as angry.
Half of workers report feeling stressed at their jobs on a daily basis. That’s a lot of stress. Here’s what we know about stress and why this statistic is important.
“Stress, a physical response to feeling challenged or threatened, induces or worsens medical conditions, including depression, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Source: Everyday Health
Stress is not just found in the workplace. We stress over finances, relationships, health and current events. We stress over the idea that we are not doing life “good enough”. We stress over not “living our passion”. We are rarely short of things to stress about. Does this resonate with you and can coaching really help with this?
99% of individuals and companies who hire a coach are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the experience.
80% of coaching clients say they have improved their self esteem of self confidence due to coaching
73% of coaching clients say that coaching helps them improve their relationships, communication skills, interpersonal skills, work performance, work/life balance and wellness.
Source: Luisa Zhou – The Ultimate List of Life Coaching Statistics in 2022 (Updated May 5, 2022)
Research conducted by the International Coach Federation has revealed a number of ways coaching clients have found coaching to be valuable to their lives (ICF 1998, ICF 2009).
- Improvements in self-confidence and self-esteem.
- More harmonious relationships, better communication and heightened interpersonal skills.
- Increased work performance and smarter business management.
- Greater career opportunities.
- Improved goal-setting and higher rates of project completion.
- Increased personal organization and better time management.
- Better work/life balance, more fun and more free time.
- Improvements in health, fitness and wellness, more energy and lowered stress levels.
- Success in stopping a bad habit.
- Improvements in quality of life.
- More income.
There is a lot of data to support the benefits of coaching and perhaps you are thinking that there’s room for increased satisfaction in your life. Here’s an idea of what time together with a coach can look like.
Priorities and Goals
Your coach will help you set priorities and goals, and guide you in your most important priorities first. When you have your list of priorities and goals organized, you and your coach will set realistic and attainable steps to meet the goals.
A huge factor in success has to do with accountability. Have you ever found yourself sticking to something longer or more consistently when you had someone by your side? A coach is that person and increases your likelihood of following through and achieving your goals.
Your coach will help you tap into motivation, identify barriers to motivation , and work through any limiting beliefs or patterns that aren’t working for you. Then they’ll work with you to keep you motivated and achieve your goals.
Everyone has habits and thinking strategies that just aren’t working for them. Coaching helps you break free of these habits by showing you new perspectives, reframing thoughts, pointing out blind spots, and creating space for new ways of thinking..
If you are still with me, I’m hoping by now you have a better idea of coaching and how it can impact your life. Your life satisfaction matters and choosing the right coach is an important part of this process. When you are ready to do the work- you want to make sure that you have the correct coach at your side…but how will you know?
The foundation of a good coaching relationship is trust and authenticity. This allows for vulnerability. Coachees who open themselves to being vulnerable also can experience growth in self-compassion (Moore, et al., 2016). Researcher Kristin Neff (2019) defines this as a combination of self-kindness, mindfulness, and a sense of common humanity (Neff, 2019).
In addition to authenticity, coaches also need to have passion, confidence and a voice that comes from understanding their own life journey.
Some of the most effective coaches have experience overcoming obstacles and achieving results themselves.
I am no different. My life has been filled with challenges that made my legs weak, my stomach sick and required me to have a new way of thinking. Whether it was the end of a marriage, the death of a parent, or the trauma of a cancer diagnosis. These realities were not welcome but they came anyway. Acceptance allowed me to slowly build resilience. The very things that brought me to my knees also brought me to a wiser, stronger, and more courageous way of living.
no magic pill | no magic wand
For the past 25 years I have been an advocate for others. Whether it was in a Children’s Hospital, the District Attorney in Crimes Against Women and Children, hospice care or as a licensed clinical social worker in private practice. I have had the honor of hearing stories, and seeing the human spirit…from beginning to end. It is the moments…our moments.. that create our life stories.
Take a deep breath. How do you feel at this moment? How about the moments that made up your last week, month, year? Is there room for your moments to feel better? If there’s room, consider creating some space.
Nicola J. Bone is a therapist and coach who works for Tennessee Counseling