May 17, 2022 - Let’s Start With Discovering Who We Really Are

Life Coaching: Let’s Start With Discovering Who We Really Are

Feeling that something is missing in our life?

Feeling that we should be in a different “place” by now?

Feeling that we’ve reached a “plateau”?

Feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, unsatisfied, with our life (personal and/or professional)?

I think most of us feel like this from time to time. Sometimes these feelings go away on their own after a little while, sometimes we manage to “twist” something in our life that makes these feelings disappear or pushes them away… But sometimes we just have no idea what we can do to make these feelings go away, and even less where to start!

So, what can we do to make these feelings go away? Being concerned by the answer to this question is understandable: we may be worried that we’ll have to make some major changes in our life (completely different career, completely change our eating or exercising habits, start from “scratch” again, etc.). But we should keep in mind that small changes can also bring a big improvement to our life! – Check this article I recently came across for some ideas!

But before even looking at what can we do to make these feelings go away, I suggest we start by getting to know ourselves a little bit more! And by that, I mean: who we really are, deep down and right now. Not who we think we are based on our circumstances or the opinions of others, not who we were some time ago, not who we think we would like to be… Simply self-reflecting on who we are… Which, in itself, can be an uncomfortable and overwhelming step to take… However, who says we have to go “all in” at once, potentially spending a lot of time trying to do something we may not be familiar with… Instead, why not go “step by steps”, working on better knowing and understanding ourselves “layer by layer”? After all, it took us a long time to get to where we are now, so why rush now and try to do it all at once?

Now, let’s look at self-reflection.

We may think: meditation, journaling, answering “profound” questions about the meaning of our life, counselling, going on retreats… These are all good self-reflecting means, of course… but why not start with something maybe more “down to earth”? Think of:

  • Going back in time, as far as we want and are comfortable with, to our childhood, education, career and personal life:
    • What were we dreaming of for ourselves, for our life? Are these dreams still there, in the back of our mind? Have they changed?
    • What challenges did we face (yes, even the “small” ones!)? How did we deal with them? What did we learn?
    • In what situations did we feel excited? What gave us that feeling of excitement?
    • When did we feel “stretched” to the outer limit of our comfort zone, but without constantly feeling on “alert”? Did we enjoy that “stretching”? Why?
  • Assessing our strengths, based on past experiences, tests (there are plenty available on the net, including some free versions), feedback from others…
  • Identifying our values, also based on past experiences, tests or feedback from others…

Now that we’ve done some self-reflection, let’s take some time to “digest” what we’ve discovered about ourselves:

  • Are we comfortable with who we’re discovering we really are?
  • Do we “own” who we are?
  • Are we discovering some contradictions with how we act?

While going through this exercise, let’s also remember that we’re humans, that we change with time and experience, and so do our perceptions of our past, our strengths and our values….

Once we have a better “feel” of who we really are (even if more work is still to be done), we can start looking at what it is we really want our life to look like… to be addressed in another article!

Now, what does this have to do with life coaching? Well:

  • How do we maximize our personal and professional potential if we don’t know who we really are?
  • How do we clarify what it is we want our life to be like if we don’t know who we really are?
  • How do we tap into our inner resources if we don’t know who we really are?
  • How do we close the gap between who we are now and who we really want to be if we don’t know who we really are?

Also, let’s not forget that in life coaching, it’s the client (the coachee) who’s the expert, not the life coach! And that only some of the “work” is carried out during the life coaching sessions… but most of the “work” is about the coachee taking action, including further reflection, between sessions!