Coaching: from quicksand to change

on BLOG, Career Coaching, Coaching, transformation 29 gen, 2013

Col coaching: dalle sabbie mobili al cambiamento

How many times have we found as in quicksand? We were aware of the situation, we wanted to get out, friends and relatives invited us to do it, but we were burying more and more. Maybe we were also “auto-psychoanalyzed" in depth, looking for reasons, background and… alibis. But in fact we were keeping burying.

But why do we get stuck? Why sometimes understanding isn’t enough? Why so often doesn’t the decision lead to a consequent action? Generally, for fear of losing the little good – sometimes just a habit or an illusion of positivity – in the current situation. And why?

Because change by definition is linked to instability and to the unknown.

This is precisely the career coaching arena!
A friend of mine, a doctor, told me that, even after a disease, patients rarely change their lifestyle, although they know well the effects on their health of smoking, alcohol, junk food and of a sedentary and stressful lifestyle.

I sadly remember a friend that, after the lung removal due to a cancer, continued to smoke in the bathroom, on the sly. You can imagine how it ended. Or I think about the husband of a friend of mine, that despite the worsening of cardiac disease, continues to work 14 hours a day.

The doctor showed some statistics which confirm that, after a few months from a bad disease, most patients return to old bad habits. It is not madness or self-harm: it is because the risk is not enough, the thought of the “scalpel” has a short effect, the fear (of death, in this case) is sometimes so desperate that one avoids it, inhibiting any change.

Some enlightened physicians, however, have recently confirmed what coaches believe since ever: instead of trying in vain to motivate patients through fear of death or painting the harmful consequences of certain bad behaviours, they have obtained excellent results describing the POSITIVES of a new life AFTER their lifestyle change. Long walks with their dog, climbing stairs without problems, running on Sunday with their partner, being able to play with their children or grandchildren, having sex, live longer, reading more books ...

The light is more useful than the dark.

The image of a pleasure is stronger than fear.

Chasing a pleasure is better than avoiding a pain.
The positive effects of a change are a much stronger and more lasting driver than terror: for this reason, career coaches look for motivational drivers, which then become the foundation and the compass of their coachees’ change. Rather than focusing on colour, size and number of the quicksand grains (that is: disappointment, loneliness, illness, oppressive work, history, episodes, etc..), it’s worth to think about how it would be nice to find a loyal partner, or to live once healed, or to wake up happy with a satisfying job or to live in a different and better environment.

Here you are the "coaching homework": sit comfortably in an armchair in silence, alone. Think for a minute on your blockage and then imagine your life "after", i.e. once it will have been eliminated. Imagine your life as if it was a movie: sensations, emotions, colours, smells ... Got it? Now memorize the pleasure of this vision and plan the first steps in the direction of change. And when you feel tired or discouraged, think back to this vision: it is your own amulet.






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