edited: Tuesday, October 23, 2007
By Trent Blanchard
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Become a Fan
Many years ago, I found myself at one of the lowest points of my life. I had just been downsized from my job in Corporate America and was forced to look at who I was- or from my point of view at the time- who I wasn’t. I no longer had the title of Human Resource Manager to define myself and had no ties to the well-known company I had identified myself with for many years. I felt as though I had nothing to contribute. I felt lost and useless!
Fortunately, since being laid off, I was able to collect unemployment insurance for about a year. I decided to take full advantage of this time to figure out what I was supposed to do with my life- to find my purpose. I employed a career counselor who assisted me in the process of taking inventory of my talents and re-discover the things I was passionate about, which became a strong indicator of what I might consider doing next. I wasn’t exactly in a position to spend such money, but knew I needed someone to help me think out-of-the-box and look at my life in a new perspective. This was the beginning of a beautiful, yet at times, painful journey of self-discovery-which has forever changed my life and the lives of many others.
While taking inventory, I realized the various jobs I held over my professional career all involved some aspect of career counseling- mainly assisting employees in setting clear, specific goals and objectives, and then working closely with them through any obstacles that surfaced. I loved doing this and realized it was a true talent! The only problem was that my main responsibility first and foremost was to the company- so I couldn’t be the complete advocate for the employees’ best interests that I wanted to be. This strongly weighed on my heart!
I then realized I didn’t have to work for a company to do this work, as I could do it on my own with people going through transition or crisis. I decided to enroll in various programs of study, including Divinity school, to further educate myself and gather the powerful tools and techniques needed to be of better service to others as they walk the very journey I was in the midst of walking. I was becoming a “Life Coach.”
Through my Divinity studies in particular, I realized this new “life coaching” career would involve much more than just career counseling. I knew I had to incorporate into my practice my spirituality, my passion for life and my belief in following the dreams of the heart. It is my belief that if you dream it, you can be it! My new profession was evolving into something sacred – it being equal part career counselor, psychological counselor and spiritual motivator.
Many ask how the life coaching process works? For me, it begins with a consultation that offers the opportunity to explain my philosophy and discuss the benefits of having a life coach. This equips prospective clients with the information needed to make the decision to set forth on this sacred journey- or not. If they want to proceed, a contract with themselves is signed and so begins the courageous process of excavating their buried dreams and incorporating parts of them into their lives.
We start the journey together through simple conversation. We discuss the things that aren’t working in their lives and brainstorm ways they might be corrected. We begin to set goals and objectives that are SMART- Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely, so there is higher probability they will be successfully completed! Homework, which I also call “lifework”, is assigned that is specific to what I intuitively feel the client needs, which is to be completed before our next session.
During our weekly meeting, we talk about the past week, discuss the status of their assigned lifework and then identify the obstacles that came up. We together do internal investigating work to discover the origin of the obstacle- which are also known as issues, situations or events that get in the way of what we want. We find these always have a core, irrational negative belief attached. We then work with the issue by applying love and understanding to the root issue and spend time updating, correcting or discarding the self-defeating core belief. This stage of the process is crucial, because if skipped, the client will continue manifesting obstacles in various forms, causing one to never achieve what you are dreaming of.
I also ask my clients to honestly and openly share the feelings that surface while we work together. It is imperative they share all of their feelings with me- positive or negative- so they can experience what it feels like to be loved, supported and accepted by another person without condition. This assists the process of updating any old irrational belief that says otherwise! They will learn they can be whatever they are- sad or happy, mad or joyful, angry or loving, vulnerable or strong and be loved- unconditionally! This, quite possibly could be the first time they have experienced true unconditional love in their lives. I am honored to be the person to show them this!
Finally, and perhaps most important in this sacred relationship, is reminding people of Truth-the fact they are Perfect, Divine and Whole beings, regardless of their actions! This is where the spiritual motivator part comes in! I firmly believe we are Divine, Perfect Whole beings- having been created in GODS image. The very fact we are human walking the earth means we are worthy of everything in life. We aren’t often told this fact, but I hold this Truth in my consciousness even if my client isn’t ready to believe it just yet, and continue holding it until they can know it for themselves. Once they truly understand there is nothing they can say or do, or not say or not do that will ever take this Truth away, their lives miraculously change. To witness this awareness in another person is an awesome experience.
So, when asked what life coaching is, I answer a “sacred relationship” that is based on unconditional love, acceptance and support. Are you truly ready to experience unconditional love for perhaps the first time in your life? It is a courageous journey of self-discovery, that when fully embraced, brings fulfillment and happiness beyond measure. Are you ready to try living differently? Are you ready to make your dreams become real? I pray the answer is “YES.”