I was sad. A couple of people I cared about were going through a tough emotional time.
I felt powerless to help them shift their unproductive thinking patterns.
I wanted to spend some time alone, so I booked a night at a hotel by myself.
I pulled all the stops in terms of self-care: treadmill, cold plunge, breathwork. I put on “a higher self” meditation audio to top it off.
And then something happened that changed me.
Like in a vision, I saw the “stuck” people I was so concerned about.
But they were different.
I saw them laughing and happy. Loving and wise.
I saw their higher selves.
Tears started streaming down my face.
Until that moment, I kept seeing those people as stuck, helpless, a lost cause.
But my image of them was not the truth.
Behind their stuckness, there was a higher self that was brilliant.
After that insightful meditation, I started talking to those people like they were their higher selves.
Both their behavior and our relationship transformed.
What I had seen in my vision was something Mavis Karn expressed beautifully:
“You are already a completely whole, perfect person… The only thing that can keep you from enjoying all that you already are is a thought. One thought, your thought. Not someone else’s thought. Your thought.”
I shared some of this message in a speech at an International Coaching Federation (ICF) event last week.
ICF’s core principle is that the coaching client is inherently creative, resourceful and whole.
I thought I would be preaching to the choir.
But there was some resistance among the audience.
“If I believe I am already whole, won’t I stay content and not do anything?”
That is a common fear but could not be further from the truth.
Depressed people do nothing.
Happy people cannot contain their creativity. Just like it is hard to ask a child (who is still expressing their true happy, and creative nature) to stay still.
Here is the post I wrote after my session at ICF, fired up by the interesting discussion and debate:
My job as a coach is not to “develop” people.
I do not need to “fix” them.
I do not have to help them get from here to there.
My clients are already whole.
They are already perfect, even though I know this is a word triggering to many.
All I need to do is help them remove the layers of unhelpful thinking covering their brilliance.
Remove thoughts that have them believe that they are not enough or that they are missing something.
Once we have removed the unhelpful layers.
Once they have recognised their innate worthiness, wholeness and wellbeing.
Then they go out to the world to play and create.
I do not need to push people to achieve or fulfil their potential.
All I need to do is help them remove the barriers to their innate creativity.
And once those barriers are gone…
They are unstoppable.