The things we do for fun, might be very revealing to some. Recently, I've been dreaming of going on a river cruise in Europe, but in my dreams, I'm doing something quite unexpected.
I'm writing, proof-reading and editing a manuscript. In my dream, a handsome single man approaches me, and ... has to ask why I'm working while I'm on an exotic river cruise in Europe! If you don't know me, you might be surprised at my response. But if you do know me ...
Writing is my pleasure. It releases all kinds of positive feelings and neurotransmitters. That makes it extremely good for my health.
A dear friend loves walking, and so that would have the same effect; just as many other physical pursuits would release those feel-good hormones and transmitters (some are both, some are not). Reading, yoga, hugging, socialising .... whatever floats your boat, does it!
Another thing I like to do each morning, is to read my horoscopes (Cancer sun, Sagittarius ascendant). Today, one of my astrology sites said that fun produces oxytocin (Astrotwins, Ophir and Tali Edut), and they suggested trading fear for curiosity.
I'll admit, I usually read and forget most of my horoscopes. But, I do get the occasional sparkly star that I can use in my day (and write about it, too)!
The concept of trading fear for curiosity is not new. It's a pretty old psychology technique, that works really well in a coaching scenario.
It works in cognitive behaviour therapy too, but it's great in coaching, because it helps the coachee to imagine possibilities.
Let's just see what happens ...!
Another one of my horoscopes comes from Oscar Cainer (who ably took over when his Uncle Jonothan passed away). Oscar said to explore the potential in everyday tasks.
I like that too. Both suggestions are about curiosity, and that's a fine way to describe what coaching relies on, and how it differs from psychotherapy.
In coaching, the coach elicits resources that the coachee already has at their disposal, that they may be ignoring or just not aware of. Coaching isn't about one person healing another; it's about helping that person to empower themselves.
Let's try to imagine an example...
I met a couple of ladies recently. One looked close to tears, and the other was pretty sure of herself. The reason for the difference? The first was feeling trapped by a situation beyond her control, and felt vocationally lost because of it. The second lady had made choices based on what she could do, with what she had, and she consequently felt confident.
Really, they were the same in the exact same ways! But, by taking action, the second lady felt empowered. She said that people told her she should be a life coach, because she had all the advice (though, that's not what a coach tends to do in a coaching session).
Action can be empowering!
The first lady was still making choices and taking action, but was searching for more. She's the person who is ready for coaching, because she's curious.
Coaching allows a person to have safe space, to explore life as it is and how they want it to be, and then to consider the possibility in taking one small step. Often, that small step is in an everyday task, because that makes it easier to do, and easier to maintain changed behaviour. The coach provides accountability for when those small steps are taken, and encouragement to take them. Your coach cheers you on, and celebrates your wins with you.
A lot of people, who are waiting to see a psychologist, can engage in coaching during that wait (which is often months). The reason that the coaching will help, is simple.
Coaching helps you to feel less powerless.
Afterall, that's what "empowered" means! "Less", "more", it's a glass-half-empty/full perspective.
You don't have to be a sports star, to have a coach. Famous stars of film and television have grown out of coaching, but more "regular" people do too.
It doesn't have to be hard work, either. Instead of exploring the potential in everday tasks, why not explore it in something you do fairly often, that you enjoy?
Look for the fun, in the behaviours that you want to change, and then have fun changing them!