On the surface, this sense of contribution is why professional coaching can be quite appealing. It feels pretty good when you are helping people figure out how to move forward and regain a sense of hope about their future. You are clearly making a difference when you help others improve their lives, careers, and businesses in a meaningful way.
Remember, though, that those results are based on what your coaching clients want to achieve. Their goals determine the focus of what gets improved or changed. So, before you dive into coaching, ask yourself: What kind of difference do I really want to make? That’s not a rhetorical question. It goes to the heart of aligning with your core values, and THAT is vital to the ultimate success of your coaching practice.
Who Do You Want to “Be?”
Alignment with your core values is a derivative of iPEC’s Law of Being - something that will be at the forefront of helping your clients initiate positive change in their lives. The Law of Being states that who you are “being” determines your thoughts, your emotions, your actions, and your results. These ultimately pave the way for new expressions of who you will be in the future - and the cycle continues.
So, will you enjoy “being” a coach? Will it be fun and fulfilling? One way to know is to ask yourself this question: What would it feel like to be coaching others in a specific area that is highly aligned with my values and interests? Imagine spending your days engaged in rich conversations with clients about the specific areas of their lives you are most passionate and where you would like to make the most significant difference.
Could that alignment with your core values be the source of energy and enthusiasm you will need to succeed? Most highly successful coaches use this approach of pursuing their interests to guide their upward progress. Not only do they work in the area they most enjoy, they engage with clients who share that interest. As a result, clients value their expertise and guidance all the more. They are truly appreciated.
Your Aptitude is not Your Passion:
Compare this sense of fulfillment to the huge dilemma that many people face: Knowing that their passion lies outside of their career. The only thing worse than having this realization is the inability to find a way to unite passion with skill set. There is a very good reason this happens to so many people: They mistake their aptitude in a field for being passionate about it.
In our society, particularly in school, we are encouraged to pursue a career in which we are skilled. We then get training or education on the subject, and go about receiving positive feedback for our accomplishments in that arena. If we’re not careful, we mistake that positive feedback as reinforcement that we are living out our passion. As a result, too many people spend their adult lives on a path that was set when they took an aptitude test as a teenager. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s often true.