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The Coaching Diaries - When to get a coach

“Honestly,” I say, “I don’t think this is for you just now.”

Ben’s fine. He has goals for 2019 that are challenging, but he knows how he gets there – focus, small steps, head down, just do it. He’s not really looking for help with any of it.

We talk about what’s on the list and settle on a book he wants to write, his low-level avoidance of actually starting, the background fear of failure – not of not succeeding, but of not trying. It’s all great stuff, but there’s not the hunger which makes the big shifts magical.

The magic is important. The goals that make you hungry and fearful and excited just to think of them. Tangible or intangible, external milestones or longed-for internal shifts. Coaching involves work, investment, commitment. It’s uncomfortable and exciting and challenging. It’s a call to come show yourself and the world what you can do – even, perhaps especially, when you’re not yet convinced that you can.

We look at the fear, try an exercise to get Ben out of his smart, dominant, analytical brain – the natural space for so many of us – and into his body, his physical, emotional reactions. That’s a challenge - it’s hard to click into, hard to maintain, but we manage it enough to see that fear isn’t his problem here.

“Maybe I need to reset the goal,” he says. “If I haven’t done this, maybe the realistic answer is that it isn’t exciting enough.” He commits to an hour a day for the next few weeks, to check it out.

A few days later I get an email saying he’s made a decision. “I still want to write a book … but that’s not the book I want to write.” He needs more fun to stay enthused, he says, more passion.

That’s the key.

When there’s something you want so much that it makes you ache. When the possibility of getting there makes your heart beat faster, your stomach tighten, just to think of it. They don't have to be big, dramatic, externally 'impressive' goals, they just need to matter to you. Really matter.

That’s when there’s magic.

That’s when to think about finding a coach.


Produced with full client permission, names changed.

Most professionals work too much and live too little. I help people to reset, reenergise and take action, so they reach the goals and fulfilment they really want, personally and professionally.

For a free one-off coaching session as part of this project, or for ongoing coaching to reach your goals, please get in contact at, or using the contact button below.

Photo credit: Tobias Bjørkli

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