A Coaching Power Tool created by Cheri Tibbs-Voellmann
(Executive & Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
You don’t get what you want, you get what you are Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You
Real commitment happens when we are willing to expect ourselves to take action. Wanting can feel like action, but it lacks real commitment. There is a place in coaching for both “wanting” and “expecting”; however, it is in the expecting, that one believes they can make something happen.
In the quote above, it mentions that we get what we are. This idea can be expanded into;”We are who we expect ourselves to be.” Expecting comes with an element of self-trust and self-care. When we expect ourselves to do something, we are fully committed to our choices. Wanting can leave us in a position of wishing without action and commitment
The Constructive side of “Want”
Wanting, at times, can serve a client well in the coaching process. Wanting is a great beginning. It is often our first clue, or intuitive feeling, that we desire something new or different. It can be the catalyst and fuel that gets us started on an exploration of the possibilities that may enable us to reach the goal or change we desire. The feeling of wanting, combined with action, is also a great motivator to keep us going down the path toward those goals.
- Deep down, what do you really want?
- What about your goal makes you really want it?
- What are you feeling inspired to do at this time?
- How does this goal align with your values?
When “Want” becomes a block.
Though want can be a great spark for action, it can pivot into being a block to forward movement. Below are examples of when wanting creates a wall that can bring ones goals to a stop.
Lack of clarity on goal or desire. Often we can feel we want something different, but we haven’t become clear on what exactly that change or goal looks like. Therefore, we don’t take action, because we aren’t sure of our direction or what the next actions should be.
How to recognize: Client expresses a need for a change or feels a calling for action in some area of life, but are having a hard time coming up with action plans.
Example: Client unhappy with current job, wanting a job they would enjoy or have more fulfillment. Unable to come up with an action plan, possibly because they are unsure of what career path they would like to take. They just know they want something different.
Creating Shift to empowerment: In this case, the client may just need clarity on their direction. Exploration in to the client’s values, strengths and passions may be a great place to start. This enables the client to build their direction upon a solid foundation.
- What is your heart telling you?
- What would you say are your greatest strengths?
- What is your favorite thing to do, and why?
- What is important for you to contribute to the world?
- If there were no limitations and you could do anything, what would it be?
What is wanted is impossible or unreasonable. It’s great to dream big; however, if those dreams become impossible or unreasonable, it can be a cause of inaction and considerable frustration. This can be a bit of a balancing act as we want to encourage our clients to grow in their belief of self and expand perceived limitations, yet, a client must match that with their reality.
How to recognize: A client may be very clear on what they want, but cannot come up with a plan of action that makes it possible. This may be combined with not wanting to adjust their desire to what they can do and what is probable. A client may even feel that talking about it and considering it is action, yet never takes any really constructive action because they can’t find a way.
Example: A client wants to become a player in the NBA but has not been able to reach the required skill level.
Creating a shift to empowerment: It can be difficult when reality and our dreams don’t align. As a coach, we can certainly explore with our client if there is a way to get them aligned; however, our clients may find themselves in a place of needing to face a hard reality. In this case, it’s important to remain judgment free and be with our clients where they are at. It’s not our opinion that makes a goal reasonable and possible. It’s our clients. In order for our clients to move forward, there needs to be a way forward. If taking it step by step doing what a client can, with normal growth, will not create a path toward the goal, it will need to be further explored with the client.