Everyday Epiphanies: ‘Foundation in Life Coaching’ from The Coaching Academy

Ever since I was a child, I’ve believed that inspiration is everywhere. When a new thought comes into view — if it makes you think differently about the world, or about yourself — it is magical and spiritual, regardless of what awoke it.

In this blog series, it’s my pleasure to share with you moments of inspiration from all sorts of origins: books, music, film, art… anywhere! Last month, I went to a free two day workshop from The Coaching Academy, called ‘Foundation in Life Coaching’; I’ve been interested in this line of work for a while, and so thought I’d dip my toe in the water to see if I liked it. I certainly walked away with plenty of food for thought…

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Epiphany: You know what you don’t want

Often, when faced with the question “What do you want?”, we freeze up, confused. It takes a lot of soul searching, and a great deal of emotional intelligence, to truly identify your path — a lot of the time we’re all just taking steps and then learning if they feel right. Personally, “To be happy” is always number one on my list of ambitions but, bloody hell, what exactly do I mean by that and how do I make it happen?!

Yet, it’s a lot easier to articulate the things we don’t want in life. We can reflect on past experiences, observe others, assess where we are right now in our journeys, and set out a blueprint for a more satisfying day-to-day, based on the things that are clearly undesirable to us.

With me so far? Good. Because it gets a little trickier from here. Once you know what you’re looking to avoid or do less of in life, you’ll want to flip that into a positive. If you know you don’t want to stay in the job you have now, tell yourself: “I am going to get a new job.” If you don’t want to spend so much time rushing around, consider: “I am going to make more time for myself.” The theory is, when you focus on the undesirable action, you’ll actually end up doing more of it (“I won’t eat so many biscuits”, “I’ll stop putting off painting the living room” etc). 

Take a moment to notice the language you’re using too — “I should…” becomes a drag, “I could…” empowers you with choice.

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Epiphany: Everything in life must be created twice

I was really touched by this notion; I found it comforting. It was explained to us as such: we are driven by our predominant thoughts (hence the need to avoid obsessing over the things we don’t want); who we think about, we become. First, we create mentally, so we can begin to see the idea form in our mind’s eye. Then, we take responsibility for making it come to fruition. The first iteration, shaped by our imagination, provides the opportunity to create an ideal outcome to work towards. The second iteration, shaped more by reality and external forces, allows us to chase down our dreams. It’s during the second phase of creation that Life Coaching can offer a helping hand; assisting in achieving your goals and ambitions.

So why do I find this comforting? I guess with my design background, I like the idea of iterative development — that is, prototyping and learning through trial and error. I manifest an idea, visualise it coming into play, so that when I inevitably encounter obstacles, I’ve already mentally overcome similar situations before they’ve occurred. As this is the approach I take to designing my life, it’s encouraging to hear this sentiment echoed back in some way. Hopefully it motivates you too.

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Epiphany: Your growth will come in absolute alignment with your belief in yourself

This point was made almost in passing by one of the Life Coaching trainers, but it sort of blew me away. It’s simple, but profound; the more we believe in ourselves, the more we will achieve.

I, for one, know there have been occasions where I wanted to reach for something, but doubted my ability to do so. What happens? I either stop myself from taking the risk — for fear of failure, embarrassment or worse — or went for it half-heartedly and didn’t live up to my potential. 

As I sit here writing this, I can see my 18 month old niece emptying toys out her toy chest; when she can’t reach any further in, she’ll step a little higher onto a stool, or other prop, to support her mission. I’m wincing because I fear she’ll fall, but she doesn’t. Kids have this amazing ‘no fear’ approach to life; they believe they can, and so they do. We could all be a little more like that, if you ask me.

Read about Lauren’s other Everyday Epiphanies on Sexuality, The Second Life Podcast, Lauren Hill, and the founder of clothing brand Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard’s book Let my People go Surfing

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Having travelled to fifty countries across the world, Lauren is hooked on culture, environmentalism and the power of people working together. In her spare time she loves reading, cooking and crafting; she’s hoping to launch a jewellery collection soon. Find her on Instagram