I can already hear the skeptics, “life coach at 24, don’t you need to have a life first?”, you aren’t the first to say that and I am sure not the last. In an industry where the average coach is between 46-56, and two thirds women, I am definitely in the minority.
In response to the skeptics, you would be amazed how far you can get with an intense passion and clarity of purpose coupled with the right training. Not only am I a young coach, I am a pretty badass coach and if you don’t believe me…ask my clients or anyone I’ve met recently, including other coaches.
I am actually 26 now and coach a few different focuses, including life, leadership and business. I have gained a tremendous amount of insight between working, training and my own journey.
Here are the BIG 3 lessons I learn over and over again. I warn you now, they’re meaty.
1. Start cultivating your self-awareness NOW!
Self-awareness is essential to change; after all you can’t change what you can’t see.
The biggest obstacle you will ever face is probably … yourself! We all have a knack for getting in our own way, and I am no different.
One reason coaching is so effective is that a coach shines light on what you can’t see. This rapidly increases your self-awareness, making it easier to make more informed and impactful decisions.
The more you learn about yourself, the easier it is to see what’s most important to you and the faster you can get out of your own way.
No matter what type of coaching I do, it always starts with getting crystal clear. Most people know what they want on the surface, however the key is to keep digging.
What is important about what you want? What will you gain by having it? How does it line up with your values? How does it connect to other aspects of your life?
The more self-aware you become, the easier it is to pinpoint exactly what you really want. This is what makes your goals more meaningful, desirable, and compelling to work toward, especially when times get tough.
A great place to start creating self-awareness is by learning your personal values. Personal values are one of the most underrated and overlooked tools out there. Once you know your unique values you can use them as a powerful tool to gain tremendous clarity.
2. The right time NEVER comes.
Once I _____________ then I will_______________! Sound familiar?
For many people change doesn’t happen until the thought of continuing the same way is so painful that they simply have to do things differently!
The right time is now!
It is all too common to hear people talk about their dreams and their passions followed up by “I am just waiting for the right time/ person/money/ opportunity…”
Here comes the newsflash… the right time NEVER COMES!
We have no way of knowing how much time we REALLY have on this planet. That makes yours extremely valuable, so invest it wisely.
If you’re waiting for the right time, you are most likely scared and that’s OK. Although it’s a commonly held belief, fear doesn’t usually generate real change in a person, it just makes them shrink. The reality is, the more important, or closer to the heart, what you want is, the scarier it can feel. That’s because there’s more at stake.
And that doesn’t change at any age. With time it’s easy for anyone to just get more comfortable being uncomfortable. Go out and take risks! Make mistakes. Then get back up and do it again. You can’t afford to wait.
By the way, if you’re scared it’s probably a great indicator that you’re on to something BIG. Take the leap!
Looking back at some of the most impactful decisions of my life, I can honestly say they scared the shit out of me. When I would finally make my move, it was usually followed by PANIC! I would start questioning everyone and everything until things started settling down.
The funny thing is, the panic still happens, except now I know what to look for. With practice, I have come to understand that it’s just the way I work; it’s my process. This knowledge, which only comes with the experience of trying, is reassuring and helps me recover faster….back to that self-awareness thing.
3. Self-care is NOT Selfish!
Over and over again I see people putting all of their time and energy into their business, family, or their friends and I call it the ‘I’m not a priority syndrome’.
If we look at one of life’s greatest teachers, the airplane emergency handbook, the instructions direct you to put YOUR mask on first before helping others.
OK, maybe not life’s greatest teacher but still an excellent metaphor.
Without taking care of ourselves first, we can’t really take care of anyone else. You can try, you will most likely end up out of oxygen (burnt out) and that isn’t very sustainable.
Self-care is essential for both maximizing and sustaining your output. It’s more than just eating right and exercising, its taking care of your social, intellectual and emotional needs too.
What’s more, people always pay more attention to what you do than what you say. So when you practice self-care, you are doing everyone around you a favor.
Lead by example, even if that means taking a few days off, getting a massage, or buying yourself something nice.
When life gets the best of us, it’s easy to overlook self-care. A great way to check in with yourself is to ask:
“What messages am I sending to myself… by doing the things I am doing?”
Are they messages of love or are you subconsciously telling yourself that you are not a priority?
Think about it!
Think of yourself like a car (you pick what kind), regular maintenance extends the life and power of that beauty. Throwing some accessories in every once and while never hurt anyone, plus it can make it more fun for you and your passengers. So go ahead, treat yourself… don’t cheat yourself.
Rey Castellanos is founder of Leap Trust Thrive where he helps people grow into the Badass leaders they’ve always wanted to be. He is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) and sits on the Board of International Coach Federation, Sacramento Chapter. –Say hi on Twitter@LeapTrustThrive