Coaching and Life Stages
Maybe butterflies need no help transforming but many people do.
That’s where coaching comes in.
Experts agree that we are all at any given time transitioning from one life stage to another. From icky cocoon to glorious butterfly. Ah yes, the stages of life for both the butterfly and for people. But we don’t always expect the effort or patience it takes to move from one life stage to another. We kind of fixate on the shapes, patterns and pretty colors of being changed like those of the butterfly not the pupa (even the name sounds icky).
Before I beat this metaphor within an inch of its life, let’s turn to the experts. These life stages include infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age – developmental phases with their own biological, psychological, and social characteristics, through which individuals pass over the course of their lives.
Thomas Armstrong, author of The Human Odyssey: Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life argues that each stage of life from birth to childhood to adulthood and even death and dying has its own unique “gift” to contribute to the world.
But often these stages don’t initially feel like a gift. They may feel more like discomfort, anxiety and resistance. What’s often needed is a shift of perspective to turn the reaction to change from “oh no” to Oh-opportunity.
You Might Just Need a Coach
A coach can help you not only navigate these changes but be better prepared for all life’s stages. Here are just 3 ways coaching can help:
1 – Coaching is an objective and confidential space to express your ideas or thoughts or reactions to the challenges of each stage.
2 – Coaches help us reframe a perspective that isn’t working for us. For example, when you head into early adulthood you may experience fear or apprehension or when heading into mid-life you feel a sense of loss. As a result, you may become stuck, feeling unable to make decision, set goals or, well, metamorphosed (a big word for change).
With a little help you could turn that fear into excitement or loss into become contributors to the betterment of society through volunteerism, mentorships, and other forms of philanthropy. All of humanity benefits from their benevolence. Moreover, we all can learn from their example to give more of ourselves to others.
3 – Working with a coach can help you get a head start by determining the stage you’re in now and what you want the next stages to look like. This encourages us to step back and take a BIG PICTURE view of life – from start to finish. When we know where we are going, even if when don’t know how or when we’ll get there, we’re less likely to get hung up on the minutia of life, to get wrapped up in the steps of your projects, goals, and even your whole life, without ever thinking much about where you’re really heading.
The butterfly trusts the cocoon will break when it’s time. We don’t have that going for us. We have to face life stages with support and not get stuck in the ick of the pupa (I couldn’t resist one last butterfly jib).