A coach’s journey invariably starts from self-improvement, a search for Self, and somewhere meanders into “purpose” and working with others to help them find a safe space to explore their best Selves. As one goes through the journey, there are always newer biases to encounter and judgments to deal with. Of one’s own. And this in turn leads to tremendous compassion for the world and for the Self.
This last year I worked with some wonderful people. There were chance discoveries and we know from applied neuroscience that chance discoveries are hugely responsible for a feeling of well-being, as it sparks dopamine. And in all of this, there are some things that have bubbled up for me which I would like to share.
Reaching out is the single biggest action that can change one’s life. An act of huge courage. We can all do with a coaching conversation and even one conversation can change our lives if we are open. It is this one act of #reaching out that opens new thinking in us. I practice it actively. And I am always surprised at where it leads me – usually to a better place.
Reflection is not a one-time action. It is a life-long mindset. It is a way of noticing what is coming up with you in the moment and then checking-in with yourself as to what you resonate with and what you want to give up. Distancing oneself from the situation and seeing how you one can change perspective. In this act, a very very quiet and invisible one, you are giving a pause to your monkey mind, your ‘emotional brain’. It is a life changing habit.
Dr. Paul Brown has taught me – “The quality of our brains is shaped by the quality of our relationships.” And there is a lot of science to that ! Good relationships are essential to a better environment, a better society, better parenting, better friendships and better teams. In this, it is essential to be able to state one’s truth, with authenticity – not necessarily to be right or be seen as doing the socially acceptable thing – but to be who we are and accepted for it.
To find a safe space, one does not always need to go to a coach or counsellor. Each one of us can be creators of safe space. If we can provide safe space to even one person, we are practising coaching as a skill. It is a space where you are not the one in spotlight, where you are listening, where you are letting the other one speak his or her truth without judgement. Repeat, without judgement. Try it with one person. How about starting with your spouse ?
A lot can happen in a conversation. A conversation is not a one way download. It is an exchange. Do you give space to each other in a conversation ? Sometimes I meet people who do not find even one person with whom they can have a conversation, even though they talk to many. A conversation and many ongoing conversations are the very basis of adult relationships. Have we been creating good conversations and therefore solid foundations for relationships over the years ? Do a conversation audit for yourself – think of all the people in your social and professional network and ask yourself if you have engaged with each one in a safe space ?
Thank you Universe for all the old and new relationships this year ; all those I met because they reached out or I; all the authentic conversations and all the reflection that happened to which I was a witness. I look forward to more.