Let’s just start by saying that we’re all awesome mums. Being responsible for tiny (and growing humans) is the biggest, most important job in the world. And that’s what we do every day – yeay! But I also believe that if you’re well, healthy, and happy, you can be an even better mum than what you’re already are. And I think coaching is one of those hidden gems that most of us wouldn’t even look into, ever, but something that can have huge benefits. I’m not a coach myself, so I have nothing to gain by telling you about coaching, but I can see first-hand how working with a life coach can help, so allow me to share the love.
These are some of the benefits that you can expect from working with a life coach.
Increase your self-awareness
Surely, that’s the starting point for pretty much everything you do in life, right? It has to be. If you don’t know who you are, all the quirks and intricacies about you, how you work, what makes you tick, what drains you etc. how can you interact with others in the best possible way? And if you think you already know yourself because you’ve literally been with yourself 24/7 since the day you were born, well, think again. Because the tricky bit is that we change. Life is made of phases, and as people, places, interactions, relationships, and realities around us change, we change too. And while this happens, we may not even realise it. You’re not the same person you were 10 years ago, right?
And as we change, and we get busier and busier with life, if we’re not careful we lose touch with who we are a little. We have to check in, or we lose track. How emotionally self-aware would you consider yourself to be, for example? Are you always able to read and understand your own emotions and work out how they impact the people around you? Your children? I know I’m not always. And developing my self-awareness has massively helped with the way I handle myself at home, that’s for sure!
Build long-lasting habits through action and accountability
How many times have you tried (maybe every January?) to go on a diet, exercise, or read, or meditate more? Or do whatever it is that you’d like to do more of? How many times have you started and stopped? And then started again? And stopped again?
My hand is up.
Change is hard. Creating new habits is not as easy as it may seem. Having experimented on myself for a while now, I’ve come to understand and accept that I need external accountability. Not everyone does, mind you, but that’s how I roll. (And we go back to that self-awareness bit I just talked about). I’m very good at keeping my word and sticking to deadlines when they’re ‘external’. If I have to do something, or if I’ve committed to something, I’ll do it. But I can’t for the life of me create (or stick to) my own personal deadlines!
Well, if you’re anything like me, a coach can really help. And I’ve seen this first hand – I’ve been the one frantically trying to fill in a questionnaire or exercise half an hour before my scheduled coaching call. And you can guess – without the pressure of that ‘looming deadline’, I wouldn’t even have done it. But I never regretted taking the time to do it. So with someone holding you accountable for something that you want to be doing, you’re more likely to get it done. And keep doing it too.
Challenge your own assumptions and beliefs
I always considered myself as someone who’s efficient, organised, gets stuff done, and doesn’t procrastinate. Well, it turns out I’m not like that at all! In fact, I can be a professional procrastinator when I want to. And I can also be very, very bad at my time management, when, for whatever reason, I don’t want to do something!
Now, let’s make that clear. I did not like it when I found that out. I did not like having to admit that most mornings, I’m the one who causes us to rush the school run. I’m the one who starts the steps of getting myself, my 3 children, and their things ready for school, too late. I didn’t like finding that out. Not one bit. Easier to ‘blame it on the children’, right?
But going back to my self-awareness point at the very beginning, once my assumptions and beliefs about myself were challenged during the How To Lead A Gentle Life coaching course I took a couple of months ago, my thinking and understanding of the situation changed. Once I got over my bruised ego (alas, I am a Procrastinator after all), I could do something about it. Now I try and manage my mornings differently. (It doesn’t always work, but I’m getting there). And simply because I allowed myself to be challenged. To question a deeply-rooted belief I had about myself. And I’m so much better for it – I feel like a better mum for it, because now I have the knowledge and tools to manage things differently, I do. And the results are a lot better than they were!
Achieve more balance in your life
I’m yet to meet anyone who doesn’t strive for more balance in their lives. Whether it’s work-life balance, feeling more balanced when it comes to their emotions, the pace of their days, or the relationships they have, everyone strives for balance. And if you already have it, oh you want to keep it and protect it like mad.
I know I want balance. And for me, balance just slips away when stress, busyness, pressure, and rush start creeping in from everywhere. When our everyday life becomes a bit ‘mental’, as I call it, with all of the above, balance is the first thing that goes. Working with a couple of coaches over the last year or so, I’ve come to realise that slowing down, mindfulness, and taking control of the things that kept creeping in to disturb that balance, were the things I needed to create more of. And protect.
Now that I know all that, I am empowered to change things. And that’s because I’ve given myself the time to reflect and work on it. I’m empowered to create more emotional and physical balance for myself and my family. And I can’t think of much more that I value in our lives together right now. I feel blessed for having the understanding and power to act on something so beneficial for our family as a whole.
Get a fresh perspective on something important
A coach can ask you intentional and deliberate questions that you may not have considered before. And sometimes when you open up to your partner, a relative, or your friends, they are so much in your corner, that they may not be in a position to ask you the questions that would help you look at things from a different angle or perspective. A coach can do that for you. They’re trained to pick up on your language, on what you say and how you say it. They can ask you the right questions to perhaps make you consider things in a way you hadn’t done before. And you never know, that might be just what you needed to get yourself ‘unstuck’. Or simply motivated to try something different or new.
Increase your self-confidence
Surely the more confident you are in your abilities as a parent, the better you’ll feel and act? Self-confidence is something I’ve recently chosen to work on, and I can see a helpful shift in my mindset through the strategies I’ve been using. I feel like I’m taking regular, positive action and moving forward. I’m getting stronger, and the people around me certainly benefit from that.
Achieve goals that matter to you
In 2016, when I was still working 9-5, I was feeling rushed and unsettled all the time. I knew I wanted to become more present for my children. Both emotionally and physically. More mindful of the motivations and emotions behind their behaviours. It’s easy to lose clarity if your mind (and life) is full of busyness, rush, and noise.
And a coach’s speciality is pretty much this. Providing you with strategies and exercises that can help you clarify goals and identify steps to achieve them. Sure, you first have to work out what it is that you want or need. But once you have, they can provide you with the tools and the accountability you need to take consistent action and move forward. One foot in front of the other. By building on what’s already good in your life, with a focus on positive thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.
What do you think? Have you ever worked with a coach? If so, how did they help? And if not, would you consider it after reading this?