I was recently asked what is my coaching philosophy and I was reminded of a beautiful metaphor that one of my clients had brought up.
She had some big insights about her own wisdom and said to me – “Neha, coaching connects me back to the gold that I know I always had but it had gathered dust over the years. Our work together is empowering me to take that dust off and connect back with that gold.”
This has been a very powerful metaphor in my work as a coach, leader, parent, and human. I truly believe we all have that gold inside us, a part of us that we call the inner leader – the wise, assertive, thoughtful, compassionate (including fiercely compassionate when needed!) part of ourselves. The part of us that knows how to ask for what we need and to give what is most appropriate. The part of us that `knows how to dream but also get things done. The part of us that knows when to say yes and when to say no.
Yet, that gold often gathers dust. It gathers dust when we let fear make decisions for us that can keep us small and out of integrity with what we truly want. It gathers dust from years of social and cultural conditioning of who we are and what we “should” do. It gathers dust when we let our inner critic drive the car for too long and only drive in our own neighborhood when we long for that cross-country road trip.
And that’s the most beautiful part about coaching and partnering with humans who are seeing slivers of that gold and want to show up in their life where their own inner leader(s) are the ones driving the car. Inner leaders who know when they can trust themselves and take imperfect action instead of waiting to have all the answers before taking charge of a situation. Inner leaders who know when there is a gap in their own abilities and the gold needs some finessing and seek support.
My work as a coach often starts with connecting my clients to their own inner knowing, power, and brilliance not so that they can have power over others but so that they can bring out the best in themselves and those around them. It means holding up a mirror when the voice of fear gets too loud and exploring tools to learn from our inner critic and continue doing the work that we are meant to do – whether it’s providing honest feedback at work or pursuing that long lost hobby that we have convinced ourselves we have no time for.
When we do this work on the inside, the work outside comes more easily. We make decisions based on our values and aspirations. We know when to work toward a promotion and when that promotion isn’t right for us. We know when to inspire our kids to work harder for a test and when it is our own insecurity coming in the way of letting them play more.
If you are curious about your own inner leader, I have a few spots for a complimentary 60 min session so you can access the gold that is longing to be seen. Please hit reply and ask for more details!
Pic Credit: Ilham Ramadhan