The mainstream approach to coaching, or even psychotherapy, is to focus on identifying problems. This is then followed by developing coping mechanisms, also known as new habits, to deal with those problems. Affirmations and mantras are also examples of such coping mechanisms.
Coping mechanisms fail
I don’t encourage coping mechanisms at all. The moment there is a significant change in your circumstances, your coping mechanism will fail. Instead, I ensure that we gain a more thorough understanding of the challenges being faced. Through understanding, overcoming those challenges then becomes easy.
Consider this example
Imagine that you need to travel from Cape Town to Cairo by road. You could take a luxury sedan, or a capable all-terrain vehicle. And no, flying there is not an option!
Both vehicles will get you there. However, with the luxury sedan, it will be a lot more cumbersome, expensive, and unnecessarily burdensome. A luxury vehicle is not suitable for such terrain.
After the first few breakdowns, I could blame my poor choice of vehicle on the salesman who sold me the car. But that wouldn’t solve my problem. Alternately, I could recognise that my trust in the salesman was misplaced. The salesman being sincere advisors that I consulted with in my life.
By recognising the shortcoming in my decision, I become empowered to either improve my ability to deal with the consequences, or I could change vehicles.
I will guide you towards understanding why that decision was the only decision that was possible at the time. In doing so, you can take the lessons from it and adapt your approach to successfully accomplish your goal.
I don’t ever advise you to abandon your goals or your dreams. Instead, I focus on helping you to realise what it is that you may be doing that hinders your progress towards achieving it.
Recognising what changes we can make to the way we see things is far more powerful than trying to adopt habits and methods to compensate for our bad decisions.
By owning that choice, we own space in life. This allows us to change our course of action without feeling incompetent or foolish about it.
It’s not about judging ourselves harshly for having made poor decisions. It’s about having a more informed perspective about the decisions that we took.
This is the root of empowering and uplifting ourselves towards creating that life that we deserve.