There was a period of time a month or so ago where my brain had me convinced I was doing it all wrong.
I observed other people coaching and when I matched up our styles, my assessment was I should be teaching and talking more and I should stop asking so many damn questions.
These thoughts felt very factual to me, so armed with this knowledge I proceeded to assault myself before and after (and sometimes during) every coaching session to sniff out proof of inadequacy. Did I find it? Oh, yes. Our brains always find what they are looking for.
Was I aware of any of this? No. I just knew that I wasn’t super jazzed about coaching and I thought it was because I needed to “fix” my coaching style. I was also pretty sure that at any given moment a client was going to email my boss and be like, Hmmmm, this Lynn person, I don’t know…
(Even writing this post now and posting this publicly feels vulnerable to me. My brain is telling me that these words are dangerous and potentially threatening to my livelihood.)
I carried about these I’m not good enough beliefs with me to work and then also to our annual coach’s mastermind for The Life Coach School.
If you ever want to feel simultaneously exhilarated and like shit, attend an event with 400+ of your peers who are talking about their accomplishments and lessons learned. My brain had lots of thoughts about this event.
Here’s a typical conversation from my brain that weekend –
Is she looking at me? She hasn’t made eye contact with me this entire conversation. That means I’m not important enough to look at. She’s talking about Master Coach Training and not looking at me so that means she doesn’t think I’m a good fit for that program. Yeah, she’s probably right. Next year will be better after I fix all the things I’m doing wrong. Yeah, that’s exactly what this means.
Most of Mastermind was a variation on this conversation. At one point I could see it happening but because my beliefs about my coaching felt very true, watching the thoughts was all I could do.
On the second day of Mastermind, Master Coach Jody Moore took the stage to share lessons she had learned from the previous year of Master Coach Training.
She put up a slide that said the following:
ASK MORE QUESTIONS, TEACH LESS, LISTEN & EXPLORE MORE.
I did a double take. Woah. The very thing that I thought was wrong about my style is exactly what she was instructed to do. Ask more questions. Teach less. Listen More.
This was a very humbling moment for my brain. Someone Very Important was refuting my beliefs and I was able to believe her instead of me. Sheepishly it was like, Well Lynn, maybe everything I’ve been telling you isn’t exactly true.
The thought that I’m not a good enough coach could be a lie. Very interesting.
I’ve noticed that in this week’s coaching sessions I’ve been showing up differently. I’ve been leaning into my personal style and having a lot more fun. I’ve been exploring my client’s brain with fascination. Overall I feel lighter.
It was only after reflecting on the differences that I could really see what was happening. Sometimes we learn after the fact and that’s OK. This is something that I will continue to work on. The not good enough bullshit runs deep for all of us, I think.