Can you say, “I’m making the difference I want in my world?”
This post will be somewhat personal for me, so hang on. (Would you rather listen to this post? Click here to access our podcast channel.)
Times like these prompts and gives time for reflection on more significant life issues. My reflection typically turns to how well I am using the energy and time I have, resources for which I am responsible.
- What I Want
- Things Get in the Way
- What’s a Person to Do?
- Here’s What I Did
- Here’s How This Helped
- You Can Do It, Too!
I want to consistently focus my energies to make the most significant difference in my world I can. My greatest rewards are making a lasting difference in the lives of people and the “aha” moments my clients experience as they discover answers for themselves.
But things can get in the way of this happening the way I want. Time is short. Energy is limited. Keeping bread on the table can be demanding. The workplace can be demanding. Things change. The economy goes crazy. The world is complicated and can be confusing. It’s easy to lose sight of the most important, and it’s easy to get discouraged.
Sometimes such limitations, difficulties, and confusion are hard to admit. Interestingly, I heard a friend say from the pulpit recently, “We don’t want to admit our weakness. And this is especially true for me. Men are isolated, well-defended, don’t want to expose their weakness. It’s a product of unhealthy pride.”
I must consistently monitor my resources for focus. My commitment as a Christ-follower informs this. I also want to invest my energies in ways that utilize my uniquenesses – personality, strengths, talents, gifts, experiences, as well as my education and training – toward making the very best contributions possible. Read more about this in Without Regret.
I’m well aware of how messed up our thinking can get when we don’t invite outside input. We all have cognitive biases, cognitive distortions, and stories we tell ourselves that are mostly inaccurate.
I have blind spots, and I need to hear from others who know me well and have experienced my life. Caution: You want to be careful who you enlist to do this. Be sure they are safe, have your best interest in mind, won’t judge you, and won’t try to fix you.
Last month, I asked a friend who is also a client to help me with sharpening my focus. I asked him, “What do you believe needs to be my focus? What do I do well that only I can do?”
Here are his thoughts (and a couple of admonishments to me, which I welcome):
- Coaching with you benefits me in that:
- Sessions with you are restoring.
- They help me create fresh ways of seeing and knowing and finding clarity.
- Help me have resources to add life to others, including family, friends, and others I encounter.
- The people you serve:
- Don’t have trouble setting and meeting their goals.
- Must work on managing success. They already see their dreams becoming a reality.
- Are often lonely in their success and need someone to listen.
- Want to thrive in fulfilling their roles as spouse, business and community leader, parent, employer, church leader, child of aging parents.
- These people want/need what you are providing:
- Someone with whom they can be honest (no holds barred) with no worry of being judged.
- Someone to be honest with them when many are surrounded by only “yes” people.
- A sounding board for their thoughts that avoids the “tangles” that may come with family and friend relationships. Family and friend relationships can have unhelpful “history” and emotional baggage.
- The resource of a trusted advisor.
- When you come to the table, you bring:
- A safe place for me to talk about things important to them.
- Skill to pivot with me as you listen, ask powerful questions, and reflect with me.
- Direct communication of what you think you hear and perceive.
- Skill that draws out insights and thoughts from me.
- An ability to lay aside your biases and shoot straight.
- Yourself as a compassionate, uniquely qualified, wise, and trusted advisor.
- You’re not necessarily a low-cost provider, but you provide a service that is so unique only a few will recognize it.
- Your expertise and the service you offer have become common sense or second nature for you. You may devalue it as a result.
In 2019, I engaged an independent survey to investigate my effectiveness with my clients. The interviewer asked each person three questions: Regarding your experience of coaching with True Course: 1) What did/do you love?; 2) What did/do you hate?; and 3) What would you like to see done differently? The most significant finding from the survey was that clients were very satisfied overall with their experience but did want services in addition to coaching from me, such as mentoring, resourcing, the benefit of my experience, and training.
There were three big “aha” items from this.
- I was pretty clear on a lot of things. Not so clear on a couple of the things that follow.
- What I do matters, and I am making a difference.
- Only a relatively few unique individuals who are trying to manage their success will recognize the importance of the unique service I offer. These are the people with whom I want to work. You might be one. Click here to access “Is Coaching with True Course for Me?”
- My niche is tighter than I thought. I can serve more broadly, but this is my niche “the people I serve” (above) is the best use of my time and energy.
All of this feedback helped me sharpen my focus and be more committed to it than ever. My methods are different.
I challenge you to invite this kind of feedback around your vocation, career, family, and your time and energy use. It’s a little scary, but the focus and peace are worth it.
Contact us today to inquire about Coaching with True Course.