If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know that I’m a HUGE fan of working with a life coach.
Over the past 4 or so years, I’ve worked off and on with Tammy Faulds of Inner Travel Coaching. It’s been a transformative experience that helped me tune into my core values, get clear on what’s important to me, and even guided me to make a big decision in my life: leaving my corporate job to pursue self employment full-time.
For today’s post, I thought I’d share some of the biggest benefits of coaching – the key lessons I take with me every day. There are so many nuggets of wisdom Tammy shared, but these five really stand out. I hope they’re helpful for you, too!
#1. Tears are Healing.
This is a lesson that has stuck with me over the years, and has given me so much comfort. Tammy always says that “tears are healing”. In other words, when we cry, we are releasing emotions and healing ourselves.
It feels so good to not only think of it as being “okay” to cry, but to see crying as a GOOD, positive thing that is helping our mental state.
This concept is one of the greatest gifts Tammy gave me, and I’ll carry it with me in the future.
#2. Give Yourself Permission.
Tammy also introduced me to the concept of permission slips from Brené Brown.
As I talk about in my post How to Stop Being Hard on Yourself, permission slips aren’t only for school field trips. When I first learned this concept, I have to admit I was skeptical. Writing a permission slip? To yourself? Huh?
It involves writing ourselves notes that give ourselves permission to feel, act, and be a certain way. In this short video, Brené gives an example of her permission slips going into an interview with Oprah. Here are a few of them:
- You have permission to be excited when you meet Oprah.
- You have permission to be giddy.
- And you have permission to be completely uncool.
This is powerful for a few reasons.
First, it encourages you to be deliberately vulnerable. Since you’re acting as the authority and preemptively giving yourself permission, you’ll be more likely to stay true to yourself.
And second, because you’ve given yourself permission to act or feel a certain way, you’re less likely to be hard on yourself about it if and when it happens.
By doing this work ahead of time, you’re setting yourself up for greater self compassion and empathy.
The next time you’re going into a potentially uncomfortable or stressful situation, write yourself a mental permission slip. What do you give yourself permission to feel, act or be?
#3. Use Visualization to Build Your Future.
Before working with Tammy, I did some journalling but it was normally pretty free-flowing and just reflected my current thoughts. It wasn’t intentional or aspirational. And while there is most definitely a place for that type of writing, it wasn’t doing much towards helping me create a more positive future.
Tammy introduced me to a tool called the “Bhavana”. In her words: “It’s a visualization tool that basically details what you see yourself becoming. This is ‘next level’ when it comes to building your future… It demands you to dig deep and ask for what it is you REALLY want. You see, the mind is a tool of perception – the more clearly you see something, the closer you are to it. And the clearer you are on the vision, the more likely you are to take the steps.”
What I love about this exercise is that it truly brings your dreams to life. Instead of “I want to make lots of money with my business”, you’re envisioning the details of how much money you want to earn, why you want to earn it, and what it will unlock for you.
If it’s a house you’re dreaming of, you’re getting clear on how the house looks and how it feels.
Writing a Bhavana gets you laser-focused on what you want and allows you to be more specific and deliberate about what you’re looking to manifest.
Super powerful and something I intend to do for my goals.
#4. Stop Comforting People with “At Least…”
Part of my work with Tammy involved her group coaching program, The Daring Way. In it, we talked about supporting each other and holding space. One of the greatest learnings I had was to not minimize others’ struggles by saying “at least…”
“You’re struggling with work? At least you have a job.”
“You had a fight with a family member? At least you can figure out a way to resolve things.”
Sounds harmless enough right?
As the recipient though, it can feel like our concerns are being minimized and shoved under the rug.
Instead, listen. Don’t try to fill the gaps with “helpful” thoughts and suggestions. Hold space for the person to share, and don’t rush to resolve things.
This is definitely something I’m still working on, but it’s a good concept to be mindful of.
#5. Replace “What If?” with “Oh Well.”
In the past, I would definitely find myself dwelling on things that didn’t work out, regretting my decisions, and dreaming about some way to do things over again. I would spend time drowning in “what ifs”, asking myself what I could do differently and how it would impact the outcome.
Working with Tammy taught me to replace the “what ifs” with “oh wells”. We can’t change the past. And dwelling on it won’t put us in a better position. We’re better off to say “oh well”, take the learning, and move forward.
This is something I think many of us could benefit from doing.
Those are my top 5 learnings from working with Tammy. If you’ve had a life coach in the past, what were some of the best things they taught you? I’d love to hear them! Sound off in the Comments section below.