“Most people never stop and think about the sum of their life and how they spend their time,” explains life coach Gwen Paulson. Maybe you aren’t exercising or taking care of yourself, maybe you’re in an unhappy relationship or the wrong job. Working with a coach is a discovery process designed to guide you through a few simple steps that can drastically impact your life and, more importantly, how good you feel living it.
Warning: You May Need Kleenex
“People come to me and they have so much pent-up angst that there’s a lot of crying in the first meeting,” Paulson explains. At first the outpouring of emotion bothered her, but she began to realize how cleansing that release is.
Like a Housecleaner For Your Life
By zeroing in on an issue you may not see, a coach can bring a clarity that may take you years to find on your own. “It starts with little steps and then becomes transformational,” she says. “That’s the beauty of coaching – most of life is not as complex as you think it is when you start breaking it down.” First Paulson guides clients to a keener awareness of any discrepancies in their life. Then she leads them toward a solution. “It doesn’t always go in this linear fashion,” she laughs. “It’s a messy process.”
One Small Shift Can Change Everything
One of Paulson’s clients was a thirty-year-old woman who was still living with her parents and had a boyfriend who mistreated her. “I realized that she was afraid to speak up,” says Paulson. So she encouraged her to speak up more in work meetings to help her understand and appreciate her own competence. Once she made that small shift, it rippled through the rest of her life. Soon she was moving out of her parents’ house and showing her abusive boyfriend the door.
You May Not Be Able To Change The Situation, But You Can Change Your Response
One of Paulson’s more dour clients – you know the type, no smiles and no shortage of complaints – learned that while she may not have power over a painful situation in her life, she can alter how she reacts. “Now she has a smile on her face,” Paulson says. “One of her friends even told me, ‘Through coaching with you, she’s become such a happy person.’”
Guess What? There’s Nothing Wrong With You
Therapy is a medical model based on the idea that there’s something wrong with you. “In coaching, everybody has issues,” says Paulson. “We’re all human beings and there isn’t anybody on the planet who doesn’t have some life issues. There are no labels. There’s nothing wrong with you. The common denominator is we’re all human beings with a lot of the same issues and emotions.”
Have you ever worked with a life coach?