I get asked this question all the time. “You’re a logical guy. How can you believe in any of this spiritual, power of the mind bs?”
It’s usually accompanied by a bemused expression, as if they’re asking a child whether they really believe in Santa Claus.
My more concerned friends treat me as if I’m a member of some bizarre cult that worships sun gods and believes in fairies. It’s possible that they’re conspiring to stage an intervention behind my back as I write this.
The kinder ones give me the opportunity to explain myself. They listen to me, intently at first, their eyes glazing over after a couple of minutes. They can’t wait for me to get to the end, so they can say they did their part.
At least they tried.
Some actually listen. They’re genuinely curious. They’re interested in self-improvement. They read books and articles. They’ve noticed the changes in me and attribute them to the things I’ve learned through life coaching.
My answer to this question is designed for this group. The ones most likely to derive value from it. The ones that we would describe as “teachable” in the world of coaching.
Being teachable is akin to having an open mind. It means acknowledging that you don’t know what you don’t know. It means accepting that nothing is ever absolute. Even this statement. And that there are exceptions to every rule.
Teachability declines with age. We’re at our most teachable when we’re babies. Our brains are a blank canvas then, with 41 percent more neurons than an adult’s brain and fewer rules to follow.
As we age, we’re taught to do things in a certain way, not because they’re right or necessarily even optimal, but because that’s the way things are done.
We’re instructed to accept things as absolutely true, and we’re fed lessons and beliefs that limit our ability to learn.
Being teachable is a prerequisite for learning anything new. As adults, it often requires us to unlearn some of the things we were taught as children.
With life coaching, there’s a common perception that it’s all smoke and mirrors. Nothing more than an elaborate ruse designed to exploit the weak and vulnerable.
To some people, life coaches are wannabe gurus that preach positivity, blue skies, and butterflies in the pursuit of profits.
But if you’ve already decided that life coaching doesn’t work, then it won’t work.
As with any other area of study, life coaching can only be effective if you’re receptive to its teachings. You’ll get from it what you put in.
The question is therefore less about believing in life coaching and more about being open to learning. It’s about drawing your own conclusions based on your own experiences.
I’m a good example.
I suffered from depression for much of my adult life. From the age of fifteen until my early thirties, I had no self-confidence and struggled with intermittent bouts of despair. I carried emotional baggage from my childhood that overshadowed everything I did.
I tried traditional counseling, new age therapy, and medication. I tried blocking it out and pretending it didn’t exist. I tried faking it until I made it. None of these things worked.
But I’m intellectually curious. I have an open mind and I’m willing to try new things. So, when a family member suggested life coaching, I dived in without hesitation.
And it changed my life.
I learned techniques for resolving negative emotions at their root. I broke through limiting beliefs that had been holding me back. I set new goals and sharpened my focus. I found joy in the little things again and rebuilt my self-confidence.
In the space of a few months of life coaching, I erased emotional baggage that I had accumulated over almost two decades.
So, yes. Of course I believe in the power of coaching.
It worked for me when nothing else did. And I’ve seen it work for hundreds of other people from all walks of life, with all sorts of problems.
And this is not a fluke. There is a method to the madness.
The original question presumes that life coaching is modern day magic. More sorcery than science. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.
Life coaching techniques are evidence-based. They are built on principles from neurolinguistics, quantum physics, and cognitive science. They’ve helped thousands of people around the world improve their lives.
And they’re grounded in an understanding of how the human brain works.
Neuroplasticity means that our brain is developing all the time, continuously forming new neural connections, and establishing new lines of thought, habits, and behaviors.
If we can learn to influence the development of new neural connections, we can rewire our brains and change our lives any time we choose.
This is where life coaching comes into play.
It is designed to manipulate our subconscious mind and influence the development of our neural connections. It helps reconfigure our thinking to better fit who we are today and who we want to become.
For those that are still skeptical: consider that almost everything we know about the human brain today has been discovered in the last twenty years.
Scientists still haven’t figured out what consciousness is, why we sleep or dream, how memories work, or even where our personalities come from.
The reality is that the inner workings of the human brain largely remain a mystery.
So, how can we possibly define the limits of its capabilities? How can any of us say with absolute certainty that life coaching won’t work for us?
The only surefire way to know is to try. And the only surefire way to try is to be teachable.
Approach life coaching with an open mind and the results may surprise you.
Decide that it can’t help you and I guarantee it won’t.