A Coaching Power Tool created by Elizabeth Wheeler
(Management Coaching, UNITED STATES)
Do you live your life as a character in a play? Are you always looking to someone else to tell you what to say, how to say it, where to stand, and how to dress? Many people live their lives following someone else’s script and pretending to be someone they are not.
They are often very good at the roles they play because they don’t even realize they are in Character
The traits of someone in Character are:
being a people pleaser, caring about what others think, performing for accolades and attention, being someone you’re not in order to survive a situation or get the upper hand, being afraid of what others will think, dressing the part, doing what you “should” according to someone else’s beliefs, blaming those around you for the way you are, being passive about your life, having a victim mentality, being closed off or superficial, and avoiding being vulnerable.
What would it feel like to be who you are and live in your own Identity? How would you act? Where would you spend your time? Who would you hang out with? What kind of work would you do? How would you dress? Living in Identity is living your life based on who you are and not on a script someone has written for you. The traits of someone in
doing what YOU know is right because it’s in accordance with your values, being aware of your underlying beliefs and challenging them, knowing what motivates you and using it to take action, being alright with (and even strategic about) being counter-culture in the places you bump up against it, defining yourself on your terms and not someone else’s, taking ownership of choices, knowing you’re where you’re meant to be, being empowered and courageous, and being open and vulnerable.
It’s important to come to a place of living in Identity so the world can experience the real you and benefit from all you have to offer. We are each created with different talents, gifts, strengths and limitations. If you take on the role of someone else then you hide your uniqueness away from the world. It is very common when you first start coaching to imitate the coaches who are teaching you. This isn’t a bad practice for a time. It is helpful to have a framework and example to follow. However, your coaching will only strengthen and grow when you stop imitating someone else and develop your own style.
The coach you imitated can only take you so far. You must trust yourself, your intuition and your curiosity to go with the client on their journey.
The coaching process is effective in moving a client from living in Character to living in Identity. It is possible to start with a client at the beginning of the coaching process but often issues of Character and Identity don’t show up until well into the coaching process of a separate issue. Take the time to check in with your client to see if it’s ok to take a deeper look. Your client may not even realize they’re living in Character.
The first step to helping a client shift from living in Character to living in Identity is for the client to become self-aware that their external and internal lives are misaligned. When a person acts in a way that is inconsistent with their core values or underlying beliefs, there is usually discomfort experienced. When this discomfort is discovered and explored it usually brings to light either a core value that has been neglected or an underlying belief that needs to be challenged. Some powerful questions to help the client gain self-awareness about this mismatch are: