Everyone’s first impression of coaching probably stems from what people understand of sports.
But in reality, not even in sports does the coach tell how a player should play the sport that THE athlete (client) is good at.
The coach is merely calling out things seen, raising awareness from an outside perspective for the athlete, to improve their overall game; outside as in the inside.
The littlest things when done right makes all the difference between legend & rookie; accumulated over years of experience, training, practice and dedication, that’s how an athlete attains a level of greatness.
Here’s what most people think about life coaching…
❌ Coaching is about telling people what to do, or giving advice.
❌ A coach doesn’t have to work on his/her own life.
❌ For people who have problems, not for successful people.
❌ Coaching is primarily about helping clients achieve goals.
❌ Coaching is same as mentoring.
❌ Coaching creates a dependency on the coach.
❌ Coaching takes a long time.
All these are so far from the truth.
That’s not to say there aren’t coaches out there that are doing these things in their line of work.
I can’t speak for those coaches and certainly, there isn’t a single industry in the world where there aren’t outliers that ruin it for the actual ones that care & provide a great service.
✅ Coaching is the art of guiding clients in a space of self-discovery. We are facilitating deeper insight, providing feedback through the use of powerful open-ended questions, and in the process uncovering the way forward. In a proper coaching relationship, the client holds all the answers, a coach’s expertise is to draw it out.
✅ If a coach is serious about their work, they have a strong WHY and also a strong desire to swallow their own medicine too. The scam artists out there posing as coaches will not walk the walk and if you dig deep enough, you’ll know to steer away.
✅ Everyone has problems. Even coaches and successful people. Just like athletes, if they were to play the game, coach themselves and do it all themselves, the distance and height they can go in their career would not match that of an athlete with a great coach. That difference of having an outside perspective, is where a coach really shines.
✅ Yes, having goals, direction and a specific transformation is what coaching can do, but not solely. Coaching is also about helping clients understand themselves, who they are, identify the things keeping them stuck that come in the form of limiting beliefs, thoughts & patterns that keeps them where they are, and by drawing attention & uncovering together possible solutions, to move past them.
✅ A mentoring relationship is one where the mentor has a plethora of experience, a lifestyle they’ve created for themselves, and a clear path to how they got to where they are at for which a mentee wants to replicate. As a coaching relationship is entirely client-focused, the discovery has nothing to do with a coach’s direct experience in life; though it may come up from time to time as a basis of discussion.
✅ Coaching is definitely not about creating dependencies & reliance on a coach forever. Can someone choose to keep a coach the rest of their life? Sure, but the prime basis of a coaching relationship is to help a person understand who they are now, where they want to go, & provide them the tools to face the future (whatever that is). A coach doesn’t tell people which next step to take, only opens the avenue for their clients to see the way forward.
✅ Like mentioned above, a coach is creating self-sufficiency. A gifted coach that’s put in the time to hone their skills & craft, will empower their clients to maximize their own brain to figure the way forward themselves. If a coach does not empower, the resistance a client faces stems from both the client’s frustration to think for themselves & a coach’s inability to create self-sufficiency. Dependency is a zero-sum game and can create longer than necessary coaching relationships.
The sad part is, a single bad coach can ruin it for the ones that are taking this incredibly seriously; and by serious, I mean not just for the lives of their clients but in their own lives.
And by no means is this post going to be comprehensive of the coaching industry and the misconceptions out there.
If you have any objections or questions you have about the coaching industry I haven’t addressed, I’d love to answer them all.
You’re more than welcome to slide into my DMs and we can talk from there.
What an amazing sermon by my Pastor on 'Alignment' yesterday.
For the last little while, the word to best define what I do in the realm of coaching and in the lives of people I serve has eluded me.
Alignment is exactly the word I was looking for.
How many of us live misaligned with our identity, purpose, calling, personality, character, and on & on?
Who you are matters.
What your purpose is, matters.
What your calling is, matters.
All of it matters.
Any of those areas being out of alignment throws off the overall distance you can travel, thwarts your overall effectiveness, and minimizes the drive you have for life.
How much more does this apply to a father?
A misalignment of priorities can invade our lives so pervasively.
Eventually, relationships collapse, bonds are frayed, resentment grows, divide widens, and worse & worse things get.
The alignment analogy is perfect here, because if you drive around on a flat tire long enough, other tires fail to compensate and eventually, you’ll be scratching the floor with the bottom of your vehicle; the conclusion is fatal & irreparable.
Take some time to yourself, clue into the areas in life that are out of alignment & make the necessary adjustments now.
Let’s discover together what that looks like for you.
Do you remember when you first learned to swing? I don’t mean the dance, I mean the ones at a playground.
I remember my first time, when my dad was telling me to swing my legs without anyone pushing me.
Even at a young age, I felt like nothing was happening, it definitely wasn’t fun and in frustration would just give up.
Looking back now, it’s incredibly applicable to life.
So many times, we want to be in the midst of major swings in life, launching a new venture or making major changes, it needs to be perfect & polished, and when it doesn’t happen, we give up.
In my own life, I’ve seen this in various forms, starting a new business, or getting into meditation, my own fitness, and the list goes on.
The thing is, we’re only getting started and the swings are eventually going to come but even in the midst of tucking & extending our legs, things are happening.
Wherever you’re at in your story of life, whether you’re a business owner, career person, or parent, just know that where you’re currently at isn’t where you’re going to be forever.
When you zoom out of the present place you’re at, you’ll realize that there’s many more pages to the chapter book that is your life.
It’s building up to an epic climax, of a comeback story, that’s unfolding in your own unique way.
Keep pumping those legs and, over time, you’ll see you’re on the ride of your life.
If your mind is constantly at odds with who you are regardless of what you do, I’d say it’s time to spend time with it again.
One of the best things I did for myself when I started this personal development journey was to be intentional again, make that time and learn to live with it again.
I’ve found that my mind is just trying to self-protect, in its comfort zone, watching out for its owner.
This isn’t wrong but it can also be managed.
Easing it outside of its comfort zone while reasoning with it, enables us to try more and experience fully all this life has to offer.
But it requires us to be intentional.
Recently, my family were checking out a little town market, and people had stalls set up selling a variety of goods from household items, knick knacks and even toys.
My son got excited about some toys but couldn’t drum up the courage to ask what the price was.
You see, he’s a little shy and his mind was probably telling him that strangers are not to be talked with, which caused him to be overwhelmed.
As we got to talking, we addressed some concerns, and after some time, it seemed to click for him finally.
We went and tried again, to his amazement, it was quite simple to just ask.
In stepping outside of what his mind thought was comfortable, he was able to ask for the price, learn of a deal to get multiple for a cheaper price, and walked away with a smile.
We must do the same with our minds whenever we’re faced with opportunities to step outside what we know to be “safe” and comfortable.
Because it’s only when we do that, do we get the best deals in life or know what deals to avoid.
If you’re ever looking for another person’s perspective, feedback and guidance in stepping outside of your comfort zone, I’d love to be your ally. Shoot me a message and we can have a conversation about it.
"The need for meaning and purpose is No. 1," Professor Rozanski adds. "It's the deepest driver of well-being there is."
A strong life purpose was defined as, “a self-organizing life aim that stimulates goals.”
This isn’t just some person’s opinion or assumption but rather based on a study done in 2006 that lasted 4 years (hit me up & I can send you the study).
They found that people without a strong life purpose were more than twice as likely to die compared with those who had one.
Even more interesting, the association between a low level of purpose in life & death remained true despite how rich or poor participants were, even regardless of gender, race, or education level!
And on top of this, the association is so strong that having a life purpose appears to be more important for decreasing risk of death than drinking, smoking or exercising regularly!
Read that again and let it sink in.
Well, duh, right? When we know ourselves inside and out, maximize the potential within and give the best of ourselves with great purpose, it gives us something to live for greater than ourselves selfishly.
And the mere fact that whatever status of rich & poor, whatever color, gender or education level, one’s purpose supersedes them all.
If you’re reading this and are on the outside looking in, wondering when your life is going to make sense, it’s time to dig deeper; don’t scroll on through, lean in.
I also want to make myself available to you because this is an area God has walked me through specifically and enabled me to walk others through in my coaching practice.
Don’t let doubt sink in and make you miss this opportunity. Take hold of it now and reach out.
See you on the other side.
My name is Theophilus Zhuang and I'm a transformational coach who loves speaking about legacy and life purpose. My belief is that life is best lived from the inside and in maximal alignment to for utmost fulfillment. Here you'll find my musings.