A Coaching Model Created by K.Mariam Jafri
(Parenting Coach, INDIA)
Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom – Aristotle
Most of us want to make a positive difference in the world. We want to contribute to the best of our abilities to the community we live in. We want to show up as an understanding partner, a loving parent, a loyal friend, and a competent and reliable professional. We invest in relationships with our time and emotions, and in return we expect these relationships to nurture us and hold us in good and bad times. But how often do we look at our position in this complex universe of relationships; that we are right in the center of? What if we are not feeling our best selves, we cannot possibly be patient with our family and be efficient at work. Our relationship with ourselves is paramount and one that cannot be compromised.
Do we embrace ourselves with our flaws and strengths, or are we our worst critics? Are we aware of the values defining our decisive moments and do we tune in to understand our innermost emotions when we feel them? Who am I now and who do I want to be? Which values of mine do I hold dearly and which of these don’t serve me anymore? What is my life’s vision?
The answers to all these questions have to be sought via an inner dialogue which can only be facilitated through self-connection. Unless we are truly connected to our physical, mental, and emotional beings, we cannot live freely. A lot of our worries would wither away if we understood ourselves as well as we strive to understand those who we love.
Psychologist Kristine Klussman, Connection Researcher, Author, and Speaker has extensively written about self-connection in her blog. “When you live a self-connected life, you value your time and use it wisely…furthering the causes and priorities you care most about. You make time for meaningful activities and avoid the meaningless. You are clear on what matters to you, with a strong internal compass that alerts you to when you’re getting off track. You feel fulfilled both in the moment and in the big picture – because you know you are tending to your deepest needs”. While ‘self-awareness’ is the ability to see yourself clearly and objectively through reflection and introspection, ‘self- connection’ entails recognizing your reactions and feelings so you can respond to your needs and take good care of yourself. Self-connection is more intentional, it needs tuning in to your own emotional, spiritual, and physical needs, and honoring them in your daily actions.
My coaching model is based on self-connection for a reason. As I started my journey at ICA, I was overwhelmed with how unaware and disconnected I had been with my inner self. The discoveries and re-surfacing of deeply held beliefs were emotionally exhausting. As much as it challenged me, I enjoyed every lesson and every mantra of life coaching. I realized why self-awareness was such a crucial element of the ICA curriculum; I couldn’t coach others unless I knew who I was. I couldn’t blame someone else’s trail without lighting my own. I came to understand how truly impactful self-connection could be and hence decided to turn it into my coaching model.
Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The power that connection holds in our lives was confirmed when the main concern about connection emerged as the fear of disconnection; the fear that something we have done or failed to do, something about who we are or where we come from, has made us unlovable and unworthy of connection. Brene Brown
Compassion, kindness, and empathy begin with the self. If we don’t extend it for ourselves, we can’t offer it to others. It’s the same with the connection. If we aren’t connected to our authentic self, not aligned with our values and who we really are, our relationships with the world will be meaningless and superficial.
Self-connection is a process that involves shedding layers that do not serve us in our lives and don’t reflect who we really are. Yet, it also involves a tremendous act of building up – recognizing who we want to be and passionately going about fulfilling our unique destiny – whatever that may be. It’s a matter of recognizing our personal power, yet being open and vulnerable to our experiences.