Uniqueness according to dictionary is a state or quality of being “one of a kind”. Hermann Hesse has said it really beautifully
We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.
In my perspective, it is imperative to recognize everyone for who they are, otherwise we won’t be able to support or help others. Equally imperative is for everybody to recognize and accept the uniqueness of themselves. We are biologically and psychologically unique, as science has proved. Our psychological uniqueness is related to our personal story and experiences, just as to the interpretation we give to those experiences. The notions of uniqueness and dissimilarity are totally connected with each other and they demonstrate the solidarity of our life journey, even though we are all connected with another without realizing it. So, there is no use into comparing ourselves with others. We all possess lovable attributes, characteristics, talents, skills and we add value to the lives of other people.
As coaches, we can support our clients in their quest of those unique elements of themselves that are the source of their power. We can support them by acknowledging and appreciating their uniqueness and posing questions that will shift the perception of themselves. We can ask:
“How can you obtain more understanding about your uniqueness?”
“When you totally accept yourself, what possibilities are opening in front of you?”
“How will you feel when you will realize the uniqueness of your being?”
“If nobody was judging you, who would you be?”
The purpose of transformational process, as well as the coaching purpose, is to connect with the essence of our self and fulfil the fullest of our potential moving through everyday life. We need to transcend the images, the beliefs and the stories we are telling to ourselves. We need to experience a shift in our perspective of who we are. We need to connect with our inner self which is the source of our personal power, an anchor, the treasure within us, the alchemist within.
As coaches, we can support our clients in this awakening process, which in my perspective is the inner purpose for all human beings. We can provide a safe, listening space in which the external pressure of life cannot enter. In a space like this the client will be able to acquire access easily to their inner wisdom and quite down their mind in order to facilitate a different mode of thinking. By providing such a space and the necessary time of silence, the coach gives “permission” to the client to explore other possibilities and free themselves of all that have been imposed upon them throughout their lives. We can stand by them at the moment of transformation when they connect with their emergent self. We can use techniques and exercises in order to facilitate their progress. We can hold them accountable for the steps they say they will take, if they want us to. We can celebrate with them every win, no matter how small it is. We can share ourself with them. We can see their truth and by acknowledging it to mirror it back to them. We can ask:
“What are you doing with your life?”
“What are the opportunities and possibilities here?”
“Where do you get your personal power?”
“Are you ready to own who you are?”
“What needs to happen for you to decide to change?”
“What action are you going to take now?”
Insights and flow
Coaching is a process which helps us to discover our own answers, to uncover what we already know, to infuse actions with meaning, to recover our primary principles and to be our best self in order to experience our ideal life. Coaching is helping us to tap into the knowledge we already have obtained and to develop insights about our possibilities, choices, decisions and actions. When we have got to know our authentic self, we have clarified our intentions, we have accepted whatever is, we have loved, trusted and be connected with ourself and others, we have embraced our uniqueness, we have proceeded with our plan, then the time has come to pay attention to our insights and ideas and put them in practice. That moment we will be in a flow state, which is a state of consciousness where we both feel our best and perform our best. Dr. Ned Hallowell has said:
Flow is the doorway to more that most of us seek.
As coaches, we can put our client in touch with their knowledge, with their insights about the dynamic of the situation, with their ideas about the different options, with their thoughts about how they will proceed to the next necessary steps. We can support them by offering them a space of silence and quiet so as to feel safe and protected to accept the unknown and let themselves be in the flow. We can share with them the 4 stages of flow: struggle stage, release stage, flow stage, recovery stage, and the 17 conditions that can trigger the flow cycle to occur, so as to know how this is working and how they will achieve the best results. We can ask:
“Do you recall a situation in the recent past where you felt the same?”
“Are there specific situations where this behavior of yours has proved to be the appropriate one?”
“What is a new idea?”
“What are the pro’s and con’s?”
Opportunities and transfer of learning
Winston S. Churchill had said:
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
More often than not opportunities come by at the most unexpected times, when we are focused on something else or when we feel frustrated and irritated. So, we usually miss most of them that cross our path. But we can change this if we choose to be aware and mindful in our everyday life. Every opportunity has a lesson to teach us and new knowledge to offer us. By recognizing the opportunities life brings to our threshold and deciding to act upon them, we acquire more skills and we accelerate our development and growth and then we become able to transfer the learning. Transfer of learning is
the influence of one skill has on the learning and performing of another.
Having a basic understanding of how one skill can affect other skills is a fundamental aspect to personal development. In other words, whatever it is that we were doing before or experienced in the past, it is going to influence the learning of new skills as well as their performance.
As coaches, we can help our client to become more vigilant and ready to seize the opportunities their life offers them. By being quiet and giving them time to think we support them in evaluating and prioritizing their opportunities, options and actions. Through questions we help them to explore beyond their current thinking to new expanded ways of thinking and we have the potential to create new learning for them. We invite or allow them to consider their steps forward, the support mechanisms they have in their disposal, as well as their resources and potential barriers. We can support them in the transferring of learning and in using their old skills in new situations. We can ask:
“What has worked for you?”
“What is the best thing you can have in this situation?”
“How are you going to use this new learning?”
New self, gratitude and fulfillment
Slowly, step by step, we come and transform ourself and our life and now we have a sense of direction. We are in a state where there is internal and external connection with ourself and others, where we are listening from a field of future possibilities, a field of potentiality and creativity. We connect to some kind of source energy, we are listening from the future we want to emerge, we let go of the small part of ourself and surrender to our source. We have found meaning, satisfaction, purpose and fulfilment. There has been a breakdown of our false identity, our true self has been revealed, layer by layer. We feel gratitude, which is more than just say “thank you”. Gratitude has to do with our appreciation for everything that happens in our life and it is a choice we can make. As it is said, gratitude is the key for happiness.
As coaches, we must be in a state like this, in a place of transformation ourselves, in order to help our client. Our emotional intelligence and our depth of experience are very helpful for our client. We should acknowledge our client’s change, because we might be the only one that will do it, we should mirror their truth, as we see it, back to them. We can help them to recognize all the things for which are grateful for and they have forgotten because of the stress of the mundaine everyday life. We can celebrate with our client for their wins and successes. We can ask:
“How do you feel now?”
“How are you going to celebrate it?”
“What are you going to do in order to maintain this desired situation?”
Finding our center is one of the most important skills we can possess because helps us to survive the hurricane of life and, as we all know, in the center, the eye, of a hurricane is the safest place to be standing.