One of the most powerful feelings in life is the feeling of inspiration.
We’ve all experienced it, to different degrees. Going to a jubilant Broadway musical and wishing you could jump right on stage and sing along with the cast. Watching a friend knit yet another drop-dead gorgeous sweater and deciding to start knitting lessons as soon as possible. Listening to a passionate religious leader, who fills us with the desire to attend church every Sunday.
On the other end of the spectrum of emotions sit the feelings of hopelessness and discouragement. We’ll never lose the weight we gained during menopause. We’ll be stuck in a tedious job until we die. We’ll always play second fiddle to a smarter, prettier, more successful sister. And on and on.
Sometimes, we get lost in the second set of emotions and can’t seem to find our way out. We may turn to a well-intentioned friend, relative or business associate, and, if we’re lucky, we’ll get advice that helps us change direction.
Too often, though, those closest to us are the ones who can guide us least. Our most intimate friends and relatives will try to protect us from taking risks, because they don’t want us to get hurt, or they project expectations on us because they know our old (negative) patterns.
Enter the “professional coach,”
… someone who can help us clarify what we want, make better decisions, and learn to appreciate all of the twists and turns that we face every single day. Contrary to popular belief, professional coaches aren’t gurus, advice-givers, or cheerleaders. And although they talk to us over the phone or in- person, like therapists, they definitely aren’t therapists or psychiatrists. What they strive to do is uncover our greatest wisdom and to get it into motion.
Coaches have varied backgrounds and life experiences, but the most capable among them say that their main value is their expertise in coaching itself, which is a practice with a defined set of skills and processes. They are trained to be superb listeners, nonjudgmental, and intensely curious. They’ll ask powerful questions that cut through the same old story lines we’ve been telling ourselves for years, lines like ‘I’ll never find a job I love,’ or ‘I’m destined to be overweight forever.’
Coaches help us identify our deepest dreams, biggest fears, and greatest strengths, as well as where we’re stuck. They challenge us with new ideas and action plans and support our desire to make real and positive change in our lives. Coaches are advocates, sounding boards and skilled co-strategists.
Coaches are continually asking FOF to write about them. Health & wellness coaches, relationship & dating coaches, empowerment coaches, job coaches. FOFs are among their best clients, they tell us, because we seek the expert resources that will help us deal with our changing bodies, careers, lifestyles and relationships.
With that in mind, we’ve created this new section, called Coach!, which will introduce FOFs to some of the industry’s top professionals. Every one of them wants to help us take charge of our own health and happiness during this crucial period of our lives. So get informed, get in touch (all our coaches offer complimentary phone sessions), and get moving, forward that is!