Thursday, 28 August 2008


I recently received an email from someone with just one word in the subject line - "Overwhelmed". The email was from someone who was not a client but someone who had, in the past, approached me about my coaching services but never followed through. Part of the feedback I received from this person is that I didn't give them advice on a medical issue - something which would have been negligent for me to do.

I have to confess that I find it hard to resist a cry for help. Some I receive are clearly bogus and are efficiently dealt with by my spam filter. However, I will nearly always investigate genuine appeals and will respond if I consider it appropriate to do so or indeed if I want to. I can't actually positively respond to every plea I get for help.

So when I saw "Overwhelmed" I immediately responded and invited the person to call me. A couple of days later I received a reply saying that they only check their emails every couple of days and so had only just received my email. The person also gave me a bit more background to their current situation. It made me feel a little sad and also frustrated because it was clear that this person had not moved on. They had not made any significant progress in their life and one of the reasons they gave for this was their inability to make decisions because of the way they were currently feeling. I think you know how this story will end.

Let me emphasise that I don't have all the answers but what I do know, from experience, that through coaching I can help individuals. I can be instrumental in empowering individuals to make positive changes in their lives that will move them forward to achieving their goals. There is only one pre-requisite. The individual must be ready and willing to make positive changes in their lives. They must want their life to improve.

My role can be likened to that of a guide. I can shine the light in the right direction but the client must be willing to step forward into their light. And that last statement was not a miss-print. I did mean to say "their light" because each one of us has our own unique path to follow. I can work with individuals to empower them to see their path and give them the courage and tools that can help them along that path but I can't walk their path for them. And quite frankly, if I perceive that a potential client is just going through the motions and is not willing to do the work necessary to transform their lives then I will not accept them as a client. It would be an exercise in futility. As James Allen said:

"Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound."

People first have to want to change. Sometimes people's circumstances can seem horrendous but as horrendous as they may appear to an outsider the person who is living the situation is getting some form of payback from their situation. The key is in finding out what the payback is and then either demonstrating that it is based in fallacy or that there are positive ways in which the individual can reap the same 'reward'.

If you are in a situation that you are unhappy about and have been struggling to make changes in your life then consider what will happen if you remain as you are for the next five years. That may seem like a long time but you'll be amazed at how fast time does fly by. Say you keep a journal; will you be singing the same sad song five years down the line? What will the impact be on your family, social life, finances, health, etc. if you do not make positive changes now to improve your life?

And if you do make positive changes in your life how will your life be different? What new and exciting things will you have to look forward to each day? How will your family relationships improve? How will you spend the extra money that you generate? What would it mean to the quality of your life to have better health and vitality?

Finally, remember that it is important to have a support system - mentors, coaches, friends, etc. that will help to keep you inspired and motivated. So be proactive in building your Personal Success Team and take action to improve your circumstances.

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