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Do. The. Work.

Because no one is going to do it for you!

Last week, I spoke to someone who contacted me about potentially receiving coaching from me, and after a short conversation, I said no, thank you – I’m not interested in working with you. 

They were shocked.

Surely a coach would want to make money and take on a new client! 

Here is the thing: That person wanted a quick fix. They wanted someone to “kick their butt” and hold them accountable. 

Whether we are talking about becoming more productive, becoming a better leader, or becoming less of a victim to your unconscious biases, we are talking about transformation. And true transformation takes work. 

And the energy for the work needed for transformation must come from you, not from your coach, from your parents, from your partner, from your boss. The energy for transformation must come from you. 

As a coach, I do not take responsibility to “fix” your problem. I will absolutely help you focus on what is driving your symptoms but I will not scold you for doing or not doing something! You are an adult – behave like one and do the work. I will not help you create a plan you will not follow! 

My clients are incredible high performers. They do not ask me to kick their butt because they usually kick their own butt! They do not ask me to promise them results because they know that this would be irresponsible of me. Instead, they ask that I help them understand what they need to do next in order to succeed. They ask that I be a partner, sometimes a guide in their process of exploration. They are self-aware humans who understand that by exploring their own patterns of behavior, they will face difficult truths about themselves and from there, and only from there, they will be able to create the solutions that work for them. 

You might read an article or have a conversation that gives you an insight and you think to yourself “Oh, I’m going to start doing this” or “Oh, that is so relevant to me – I want to stop doing that!”. Wonderful! You realize that change is needed. That’s a fantastic first step because you created some awareness, but that’s all it is: A first step. 

Unless you spend time paying attention to the pattern you want to change in your life, unless you spend time understanding the fear, confusion or self-doubt that lies beneath it, and unless you spend time repeating a new behavior and rewarding yourself for small accomplishments towards change, you will always default to your old ways. 

Reread this sentence please! I know it’s a long one: 

Unless you spend time paying attention to the pattern you want to change in your life, unless you spend time understanding the fear, confusion or self-doubt that lies beneath it, and unless you spend time repeating a new behavior and rewarding yourself for small accomplishments towards change, you will always default to your old ways. 

IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE, YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK. 

When I talk about patterns here, I am referring to a range of automated, unconscious habits you have built over time. Here are a few examples: a physical behavior such as not speaking up, a belief that you hold about yourself or the world, an emotional response you have to certain triggers, or a mental habit such as making rash decisions. 

It takes work to identify those patterns, and it takes even more work to appreciate them for what they often are: coping mechanisms that allow you to survive. (Yes, I did write “appreciate them”). 

One of my teachers (Lion Goodman) says that our patterns should have expiration dates, but they don’t! I love that idea. You were once in a situation that required you to adopt a certain strategy to survive – this could be staying quiet so as not to attract attention on yourself as a child, or perhaps you had to do everything perfectly so as not to be criticized. Whatever it is, your brain now thinks that this is the way to act EVERY time you find yourself in that situation so that you can continue to survive. 

Here is another sentence to read again: It takes work to identify those patterns, and it takes even more work to appreciate them for what they often are: coping mechanisms that allow you to survive. It also takes work to create new wiring in your brain to behave differently. 

So, why did I say no to that person? Because they were not prepared to do the work. 

Look around at what is happening in the world. Change is happening because people are putting in the work. They are creating awareness by going to protests, calling out the old patterns of behavior from institutions such as governments or the police and demanding that new ways be adopted. It’s incredible to witness. 

I witness that change in my clients too, and for the same reasons: They are prepared to do the work. Now, no one does the work on their own! Neo had Morpheus, Dorothy had Glinda the Good Witch, and Luke Skywalker had Yoda. 

Choose your guide, and get cracking!

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