A Coaching Power Tool created by Jamie McConochie
(Inner Strength Coach, UNITED KINGDOM)
For any client of coaching the process of transformation is a journey of self -discovery. With the collaboration of the coach the client is able to discover powerful resources to help them on their journey of transformation. One such resource is having the strength to face the challenges of life. Where that strength comes from can be broadly split into two categories: strength from external sources; or strength from internal sources.
Inner strength vs outer strength is a dynamic quality with both sides interacting with each other and influencing the growth of the client.
Outer strength can be said to consist of all the external factors that can provide help and support. This may include support from friends and family; it would also include the fact of having a coach; and within a more specific coaching context it could be the support structures identified with the coach’s help that are put in place to help the client reach their goals. This outer strength is useful and indeed often essential to create the momentum for change. However, the world of external events is, by its very nature, impermanent and changeable. Consequently sources of outer strength need to be continuously evaluated and modified to meet the changing circumstances of the client. Friends and family cannot be relied upon 100% of the time, and it would be unreasonable to expect that. Similarly the coach is not going to be there forever, as any decent coach should be trying to get the client to a point where the coach is no longer needed. Likewise the support structures we have around us often need to be re-evaluated or even replaced with others.
On the other hand inner strength is something which, if cultivated, can become a reliable resource, permanently available when needed. Everyone has a source of inner strength, but the form it takes is a very individual thing and will vary from person to person. For some, it is their Intuition speaking to them. For others it may be the voice of the Universe guiding them. Some may hear it as the voice of Nature whispering to them through the wind in the trees. For the more religiously inclined it may be the voice of their God talking to them intimately with immeasurable love and understanding.
While the process of discovering and establishing the sources of outer strength may involve the use of several tools employed by the coach and client, inner strength can be cultivated in 5 steps, with each step being individually tailored to the client.
These steps do not necessarily need to be followed in a consecutive order. Some may well occur simultaneously.
The exercise of going within has been practiced throughout all ages and cultures as a means for understanding our inner nature and connecting with the higher self. For some this may take the form of prayer or mediation. But equally it could be any activity that involves quietening the mind and going into a calm, reflective state. A walk through nature may have such an effect, and indeed some forms of Buddhist meditation involve walking very slowly and mindfully.
More recently, research by psychologists on intuition has noted the importance of regularly spending some quiet, reflective moments in order to develop intuitive skills (Katz, 2003; Thibodeau, 2005).
With a little practice, using whatever method most appeals to us, we can develop a strong sense of who we are and where we are going in life. Blogger and coach Leah Shapiro describes on her website how, the more we are able to create a quiet space to listen to our inner voice, the clearer we are able to see our path.
To find out how you or your client could go within you might consider the question:
What enjoyable activity could you do to spend some quiet, reflective moments of the day with yourself?
Enjoy the moment and re-connect with who you are.
In writing for Oprah Winfrey’s blog Deepak Chopra describes beautifully how we can often be faced with a difficult situation and feel obliged to make a yes/no decision, to go or stay, to accept or avoid, when either choice looks bad. But as he points out the real hope in these decisions is to reconnect with the real person hiding inside of us. If we choose to walk away the indecision and lack of direction will simply follow us. If we stay and stick it out things may get worse. So the real solution is to rediscover our true needs, and engage in the things we love most and give us strength and joy, without having to run away from our challenges.
Your best path is one that leads to character, strength, independent will and self-knowledge.
Some questions you might ask are:
- Can you remember the last time you were having so much fun that you were truly living in the moment, completely unaware of your problems and responsibilities?
- What were you doing in this moment?
- If you are having trouble in remembering something, think back to when you were a teenager or a child. What sort of things did you used to love doing? What games did you love playing?
- What can you do today in your life to re-connect with the fun part of yourself, and experience again that child-like joy of enjoying the present moment?