Monday, October 22, 2012

What do you do?

I was in a meeting the other day with a group of other women business owners when one of them admitted to me: "Julie, I STILL don't know what it is that you DO!"  

After ten months of meeting together, perhaps I should have felt embarrassed...  Instead, I appreciated her honesty, and felt grateful for the opportunity to provide clarity.  It left me thinking, though -- Perhaps you wonder the same thing!  What is coaching anyway?  More importantly, why would anyone want to be coached?

Most of us are familiar with coaches of one kind or another.  Our first thought may be of an athletic coach -- someone who can help a player achieve their optimum performance by helping them play to their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.  We imagine an athletic coach as tough and opinionated.  This coach has lots of experience and advice about what works, and expects you to follow it.  Their style of coaching is what some call a "directive" style, or some might use the word "mentoring".  These coaches are experts in a given area and you go to them because you want their expertise and advice.

The coaching that I practice is different from mentoring in some important ways.  The goal is certainly similar - I am committed to helping clients achieve optimal health and part of that involves learning how to play to their strengths and overcome obstacles.  I am an expert in facilitating the process of transformation -- but my process does not involve "telling you what to do".  Folks work with me because they are ready to be the "captain of their own ship" -- but they want support until they get their "sea legs".  YOU are the expert in your own life.  You know your dreams and your values better than I ever could.  My job is to help you become crystal clear about where you want to go, chart your course, and then help you align your actions with that vision in a sustainable way.

The process that I guide my clients through is like the proverbial  "three-legged stool".  In order to support optimal well-being, we go through three important phases together -- each one essential to long-term success:
  1. Inspiration -- Clients become clear and energized about their vision and values.
  2. Action -- Clients take meaningful actions and deepen their learning
  3. Sustainability --  Clients create a context that will support successful self-care   
Just like that stool, the balance doesn't work without all three legs.  Inspiration without action doesn't produce results.  Action without inspiration lacks focus and energy.  Action without a supportive context is hard to sustain.  You get the picture.

So, enough about me.  What does this mean to you -- or someone you love?

First of all, let me clear that no one "needs" coaching.  Health coaching is an opportunity to take your well-being to a new level.  I work with folks at all different levels of health.  Maybe they have a chronic illness.  Perhaps they've had a health "wake-up" call.  Some are already very healthy, but are inspired to see what else is possible.  What all these folks share is a commitment to invest in their well-being, so that they can fulfill their purpose with greater joy and vitality.

Health coaching isn't for everyone.  It involves work and commitment.  Frankly, some folks are just fine with being "fine". And there's nothing wrong with that!

But, maybe you're being nudged to search for something more. Perhaps you're intrigued with the notion of being the "captain of your own ship" -- being proactive about seeking greater well-being instead of just "going with the flow".  If so, maybe health coaching would be a great tool for you. If you want to learn more, you can always email me!

Thanks for your curiosity about what I do.  I'm grateful for this work that I love!

I'd love to hear what it is that YOU love to do!