Start as you mean to go on
Like the good boy scout… Be Prepared!
In this article
Starting a coaching or therapy journey can be an amazing and life changing experience but you need to go in with your eyes open. It is perfectly natural to feel caution and even anxiety when looking for somebody to work with or even just picking up that first book, however using strategy can make the whole process much smoother as you can have an idea of what to expect. As the saying goes – what you can measure you can manage!
Why should you prepare?
Although in an ideal world, starting a journey of coaching or therapy would be as simple as immediately finding the right books or courses or therapist to work with and then the journey flows effortlessly…often it can be a more complex.
It is highly recommended to do your full research on where it is you want to get to, why you want to get there and most importantly what you are prepared to commit to on your journey.
Each person will have very different backgrounds so therefore it is impossible to estimate how long or quick it can take to get ‘there’ wherever ‘there’ is. Go through the 10 steps below and make notes!
The 10 step checklist
- Do you believe it can be done?
Self belief is by far the most essential step of the entire process. The mind is very powerful in the fact that it moves towards what it believes to be the truth. By this I do not mean what you ‘say’ but what you believe. If you say ‘I can do this’ but you believe ‘I am going to fail’ then your deeper beliefs will take the forefront and self sabotage will take place.
So ask yourself…do you believe you can get there?
- Be prepared to COMMIT!
This is absolutely essential and brings up the phrase that you cannot jump a hole in two leaps. You will only get strong results when going into a journey of self reflection, learning a new skill or starting therapy if you commit. There is no way around this!
- Expect challenges along the way!
Going into self reflection or coaching / therapy can be like the weather… sometimes it will be sunny, sometimes it will rain… yes we can try to predict what may happen but that is all that it can ever be as the weather can change as it chooses. Challenges will come, that is a fact, but the key to this is not to fear it but to learn how to adapt!
- Be prepared to face discomfort or pain
Depending on what it is you are working on will depend upon the emotional challenged you face. If for example you are comfortable in life and have not had many challenges in the past then it may be a straight forward case of learning new skills to adapt to your life. However, if you have had many emotional challenges in the past which are supressed inside your mind then as they come to the surface it can sometimes feel very painful, again depending the level of discomfort will be in relation to many factors.
- Do your research
When starting your journey is is essential to gain as much information as you can. Never just take one or two peoples word for it as who is to say that they have all the facts? However, if you are in a state of anxiety at present, it may feel much easier to go with the first option, though it is highly recommended to take a little extra time to at least find your feet.
- Know your addictions and distractions
Addictions are painkillers! By that I mean ‘EMOTIONAL PAIN KILLERS’ – when the mind feels emotional pain such as anxiety, depression, guilt, overwhelm or many others it will try to seek refuge if it is not sure how to cope. If your journey starts to feel uncomfortable then it may attempt to reach for those cigarettes, alcoholic drink, or social media or even cleaning your house for the fifteenth time today. Be aware of your mind thinking you cannot cope.
- Do you have support if you need it?
No person is an island and very often we will need someone there for us when we feel overwhelmed. Ideally you will have people around you, friends, family, co-workers or a good coach/ therapist, but if you do not have supportive people around you and you feel you would need it. Take some time to find a good ‘trusted’ support network who will be there for you and be honest with you. Be cautious on this as sometime well meaning people can also be the ones who are looking for drama. The last thing you need is somebody to add more drama.
- Be aware of your environment
Are you in a place where you can start your journey at the moment? Do you have the time? Do you have the head-space? Are you around supportive people? Do you have many dependants wanting your time? Do you have the physical health to deal with potential stress? Do you have people around you that are critical or judgemental?
Ask yourself as many questions as you can in this area as you don’t want to have to start your journey with an uphill battle of your environment holding you back.
- Beware of the doubters
Coaching and therapy has had a great deal of stigma over the years. It had been judged that it is only for the weak minded or the ones who are so broken that they need to get rescued by a ‘shrink’! Though in reality nothing could be further from the truth, anybody going to get help to understand their mind is taking a huge step that many people fear.
However it can still be scary if you have very influential people around you claiming that it is something to be ashamed of or pitied for needing help. Anybody who is a doubter or judges you for stepping up is afraid themselves and degrading therapy so they can avoid their own issues.
- If you work with a coach or therapist – do your research
Let me say that again DO YOUR RESEARCH! As therapy is very often an unregulated industry it can leaver its doors open anybody and everybody. For this i have made a separate post Hot to Find The Right Therapist For You to give you some vital things to look out for when and if you choose to work with somebody. There is no doubt that the right person with the right skills can help insurmountably, but beware that the wrong person with poor skills can make things 10 times worse. If this scares you to read…good…I got my point across! Choose wisely!
Be prepared to adapt
As a plane is flying through the sky, given that the earth is round the plane will have to continually adapt to the lay of the land…. ‘continually’! So is the same with your journey, always keep your eyes open and your ears alert for new information that can help you on your journey more efficiently. Never blindly accept one persons point of view or one strategy as although that may have worked for one person…remember everybody is unique!
On your journey keep asking yourself…
1. Am I moving forward and if not…why?
2. Am I putting full effort into my journey?
3. (If you are working with somebody) Do they know what they are doing?
4. What else could I study to grow?
5. Am I holding back / being held back by somebody else?
6. List your own questions…..
Taking a journey of self discovery, unlocking painful memories or discovering new skills and bringing abundance into your life can be a life changing experience that can bring you true fulfilment! Though that said it is essential to go into this with your eyes OPEN and be prepared to do the research.
Take some time out each day and make a plan of what you really want to get from your journey. As if you do not know where your heading…how do you expect to get there?
How much time do you have? What resources do you have? What finance do you have? What support do you have?
Remember…ask around…do not just take one or two peoples word for it on the results of courses or coaching / therapy. Online marketing now has become an art form and sometimes although it may sound great… the results may or may not reflect that. As a suggestion I always suggest to clients and students to be ‘healthily sceptical’.
I wish you all the best on your journey!