One of the cornerstones of my career coaching is the belief that people are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.
I received my coaching certification through Co-Active Training Institute (CTI); the industry's most rigorous professional coach training and certification program. One of the cornerstones of the CTI model is that people are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. Meaning: they've got this, can handle whatever comes their way, and don't need protection or handholding. They will be okay.
Letting go of control
The belief that we, career coaches, must believe in our clients' abilities as people resonated with me. It changed my thinking about some of my other relationships as well.
Before career coaching and coach training, I tended to protect (or over-protect) the people I really cared about. Honestly, I think I believed no one would do it better, so I would just do it all. I learned the hard and then harder way that this wasn't true at all.
Through my certification training, I learned that to provide an impactful coaching experience, I had to let go of that instinct and instead offer a wholly open and uninvested space for my clients – and to trust them and their ability to be out in the world as they were meant to be.
This is just one of the ways that coaching has taught me to let go. Before coaching, I had 20+ years of experience in executive leadership and various roles; my perspective – or 'recommendation' was what was valued. Being a great coach means forgetting that instinct while with my clients. It's a different way of being in the world and provides a unique type of value.
Letting go of the narrative
I always believed that if I wanted something badly, I needed to set a goal, work hard, and go for it. I had to be invested.
In sports, that meant practicing daily with my teammates; in academics, it meant studying until it felt like I 'got it. There was a narrative – that I was invested in: the story that I told myself. I knew I could make it happen if I wanted something badly enough. It was a relatively simple formula: understand what you want, be willing to work hard, check, and be done!
Of course, there are many times when this strategy is super helpful. In the case of getting better at a sport or acing a test, that formula probably makes sense. I wonder now, though, if I had given myself the space and allowed myself to let go of my narrative if I would have come to different conclusions.
Letting go for my clients
Letting go as a career coach is about believing that I don't know what is best for my clients – that the answers that they need are within them. I have to give them the time and space to see it for themselves. The next thing you decide you want something, consider:
Why do I want that? What will that do for me? Why is that important to me?
The answers that you come up with may surprise you.
Book a complimentary career coaching session and start letting go today
I'd love to help create a long-term plan through career coaching– helping you let go of what you thought you wanted to make space for what you may need. Book a free session today.