Adapting to the breakneck speed of change in the world can feel overwhelming. For me it has been utterly paralyzing at times. I’ve wasted excruciatingly long periods feeling “stuck”.
But I’ve learned there are two key ingredients for finding fulfillment: A) Clearly understanding my purpose, and B) Setting goals that align with that core purpose. Easy, right?!
Of course not. It’s even trickier when you have low self-esteem and stew in negative thinking.
Does this sound familiar…“I know I want to change, but I’m avoidant, distracted, and don’t know which goals to go after”?
Over the years I tried A LOT of self-improvement methods, and though there are benefits to each one, I found coaching was the most effective and comprehensive methodology for my personal progress.
I’ve now made it my mission to be the coach I once needed to help others make sustainable change and reach big goals.
About fifteen years earlier I started at zero, discovering photojournalism late in college. After a couple of internships I moved to NYC to freelance and made The New York Times my main client within a few years.
Fundamentally though, my interest was not about photography, or about informing the public. It was about understanding people.
Learning what drives them and plagues them. Unmasking them and revealing who they truly are in the context of their surroundings. And in the process of seeing them I could better see myself.
Now, having studied coaching at NYU and gained practical experience with clients, I leverage my past career as a photojournalist to help people “unmask” themselves.
The most rewarding part of my job is when I see my clients grow and get results.
For example, when Lara finally recognized her incredible value as a leader and left a company that had treated her badly for years, and landed a new job with a drastically better salary.
And when Carlo overcame the need for external validation keeping him feeling indecisive about his job, and embraced his new path as a successful visual artist.
Then there’s the moment Robert confronted a deep rooted fear of failure and started the company of his dreams.
Each of my clients has unique challenges and learning styles.
Coaching is actually designed to support just that — individuals in their natural process.
Here are a few tenets that I fell in love with, which I believe can benefit everyone:
I’m not an expert in your life…You are!
I remember back in journalism school how emphatically they taught striving for objectivity. To tell an accurate story it’s important to first listen and observe, because it isn’t about the journalist- it’s about the subject! Coaching has a somewhat similar approach. The process is client-centered, so my presence is completely focused on my client’s point of view, not on my judgments and opinions. I may understand human brain functions, but as a coach I believe you are the master of your experience and are fully capable of making the most of it. Tips and tricks are fun, but coaching isn’t about advice. Our minds comprise countless variables that make us who we are. So what works for someone else is unlikely to work for you. Learning through experience and discovering the answers for yourself is proven to be much more sustainable
Whether you consider yourself a creative person or not, coaching is about collaboration, an inherently a creative exchange.
It’s about two minds agreeing to go spelunking into the unknown together. Throughout the process you are challenged to use your imagination to envision your best self. To dream! To question your reality. To believe in seemingly impossible alternatives. The coaching questions presented are open-ended, without a right or wrong answer. Brainstorming is also central to the process, allowing you to test out ideas in a safe environment. As we strategize about how to make your goals into a new reality your brain will release reward chemicals like you’ve discovered buried treasure.
Neuroscience has shown us that it is more effective to create new neural networks rather than focusing on why old habits don’t work.
By evolutionary design, if we brood over negativity we become excellent at thinking negatively. Our brains want to be efficient, so they assume our constant negative thinking is the path we want to take! Fortunately, by recognizing our patterns we gain the opportunity to travel a different path. Coaching helps you focus on a better future, and then helps you figure out how to get there.