THE INHERENT PRIVILEGE OF COACHING

In 2017, the global wellness economy grew at twice the pace of global economic growth. If we go back further to look at the trend from 2013 - 2017, that rate increases to five times the pace of global economic growth. Basically, demand for things that meet our well-being needs have surged dramatically. Why?

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Abraham Maslow was a 20th century psychologist who helped pioneer the humanistic psychology field, an orientation that sees humans as holistic beings, capable of and driven to achieve growth. Many know him as the creator of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This theory describes how humans are motivated through a system of relatively hierarchical needs, peaking with experiences of self-actualization (check out this article by Saul McLeod for an in depth explanation).

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People in developed societies have the ability and desire to care about the needs at the top today. This is new, and we're only just beginning to address these motivations. But it matters because the world is far from fair, humane, or equal. There is so much work to be done. And it is my belief that through meeting the higher level needs of developed society, the people with the most opportunity in the world will be put in the best position to create change where it matters: change that collectively lifts humanity up.

“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do."

MAHATMA GANDHI

   the VISION

I envision living in a world where everyone is centered.

I envision a world inhabited by people who see and love themselves exactly as they are, because that’s where the real strength lies. Within that truth can a person’s real foundation be found, and upon that foundation is the capacity for real change built.

I envision a world in which people can always reach a place of serenity within themselves. Serenity is defined as the state or quality of being calm. To this I would add the states of peace, balance, and stability. I envision a world in which everyone can readily access these states, even and especially in times of emotional turmoil.

I envision a world in which people are connected to their core Self, and from this connection grows the limitless capacity to connect with others. I envision a world inhabited by people who care for themselves so that they can care for each other. I envision a world helmed by leaders who strive to lift humanity up.  

Everyone is centered.

Everyone is centered.

Everyone is centered.

   the MISSION

Empowering people to thrive

Through my coaching and writing, it's my goal to empower young adults to create sustainable and effective change so that they can thrive.

THRIVING occurs when we stop living just to survive and start living in our optimal state of well-being. We often say that people are thriving if we perceive them to be "living their best life", enjoying great success, or frequently happy. But really, these are symptoms of a life that's characterized by holistic well-being and growth. 

 

If we imagine ranking ourselves on a life satisfaction dial, thriving is moving ourselves from 0 – we lack mental or physical illness, but we’re on autopilot and suffering poorly – to 10 – we are mentally and physically healthy and are suffering well. Our days are lived with purpose and vitality.

A global spiritual leader and peace activitist, Thich Nhat Hanh writes that "the art of happiness is also the art of suffering well."

Suffering well means that we recognize the inevitability of pain, sadness, and other negative emotions in our lives, and know how to navigate them so that they actually contribute to our ability to thrive.

YOUNG ADULTS are generally in their late teens to early thirties, and are at the beginning stages of forging their lives independent from the people and systems that characterized their childhood.

In the past decade, emerging adulthood has been recognized in developed countries as a distinct subset within the young adult life stage, characterized as an age of:

1

Identity Exploration

2

Instability

3

Self-focus

4

Feeling in-between

5

Possibilities

Many of these features that are now a distinct part of the young adult's experience can be mapped onto Maslow's top human need of "self-actualization" - the desire to achieve fulfillment and maximize our potential. It's at this level that I hope to help people connect with their vision, achieve their goals, and thrive long after our coaching relationship ends. 

   the PROCESS

How and why coaching works

"The strongest human instinct is to impart information. The second strongest is to resist it."

KENNETH GRAHAME

SCOTTISH NOVELIST

THE COACH APPROACH

The Coach Approach can be directly contrasted with the Expert Approach.

 

Experts are in a seat of authority and power, and they tell you what to do based on the specialized knowledge they bring to the issue at hand. Think of a doctor, a consultant, or a financial advisor: they're mostly approaching clients as experts in their specific fields. The Expert Approach is cool - its what our healthcare system has traditionally been grounded upon, - but the Coach Approach emerged in response to what the Expert Approach cannot do.  

In contrast, Coaches are in a seat of collaborative partnership…and they’re sitting on the passenger side. Coaches spend more time listening and check any expertise they may hold at the door. Coaches help clients uncover and untangle the information that they already have, and in doing so don’t move people to action by telling, but by eliciting autonomous motivation. The Coach Approach cultivates a relationship that is characterized by nonjudgment, empathy, respect for autonomy, accountability, authenticity, and genuine compassion.

 

The Expert Approach cannot reliably help people take action sustainably over the long-term. The Coach Approach can.

CULTIVATING A TOOLKIT

The Coach Approach works because it’s built around the individual; coaches see their clients as dynamic, unique, and holistic human beings.

 

This means that even when people engage a coach for similar reasons, they won’t necessarily arrive at the same conclusions. It also means that not every solution will work for every individual, every time. Throughout the coaching process, I help clients cultivate a toolkit of ideas that work for them. It’s important to recognize that everybody’s toolkit looks different, and that the tools in our toolkit are not guaranteed to work every time.

"The strongest human instinct is to impart information. The second strongest is to resist it."

KENNETH GRAHAME

SCOTTISH NOVELIST

They are merely resources available to us if and when we need help. You’ve probably developed your own toolkit over the years. For example, mine includes tactics as simple as drinking a glass of water when I’m feeling anxious; giving myself a hug at the end of a tough workout; and talking to myself in third person.

 

I actually really dislike simple lists like that because they don’t come with the context of the person employing them. That list tells you nothing about the situations in which I may choose to turn to each tool and why, nor does it tell you about all of the times that the tools haven’t worked for me.

Human beings are dynamic, unique, and holistic.

 

If we could each learn how to thrive by following the plethora of self-care tips and goal-achievement “must-dos” out there, there wouldn’t be a need for coaches. But depression rates have skyrocketed, especially in youth populations, and a 2010 well-being assessment conducted in the US showed that 80% of adults were not mentally thriving.

 

I help people develop their own internal compass so that they can build a toolkit of tips and habits and strategies that work for them. A toolkit that’s as dynamic, unique, and holistic as they are.

THE SCIENCE: POSITIVE PS

The Coach Approach works because it’s built around the individual; coaches see their clients as dynamic, unique, and holistic human beings.

 

This means that even when people engage a coach for similar reasons, they won’t necessarily arrive at the same conclusions. It also means that not every solution will work for every individual, every time. Throughout the coaching process, I help clients cultivate a toolkit of ideas that work for them. It’s important to recognize that everybody’s toolkit looks different, and that the tools in our toolkit are not guaranteed to work every time.