It wasn’t so long ago that I smiled at a Facebook post that said, “If all else fails, do what your coach told you to do in the first place!”
Fellow coaches, I ask you rhetorically how many times have you heard the words from a client’s mouth, “I did that thing you told me to do and you’ll never guess what – it worked!”
Another one I hear during my initial interviews with prospective clients is, “I’ve been on lots of courses. I KNOW what I should be doing and I still don’t do it. Why is that, do you think?”
Do any of those resonate with you? Do you ever find yourself not following through on the things you know you SHOULD be doing? If so, you’re not alone.
Let’s examine those scenarios. If you just DON’T KNOW what to do, that’s fine – I can put my mentor’s hat on, discuss and explore the options, then probably advise you, based on my 37 years of business experience and having set up over twenty businesses. When you DO know what you should be doing, but you STILL don’t do it, however, then it could be a result of many different issues. With my coach’s hat on, here are a few possible explanations:
Selective action-taking: Most of us humans tend to focus on the ‘stuff’ we like doing most and delegate, avoid or put off altogether the ‘stuff’ we don’t want to do. If that’s you, then I suggest developing a new habit of doing the unpalatable stuff when you know it needs to be done. At least you’ll have the good things to look forward to.
- Complacency: You think you know best, or you fall back on the theory that ‘We’ve always done things this way and it’s always worked for us in the past.’ If this is you, then I’d urge you to remember that we live in a world where EVERYTHING is changing rapidly, really rapidly. The things you did in the past that got you to where you are today may have worked yesterday but may no longer still be current today. I’d recommend instilling a practice of what the Japanese culture call ‘Kaizen’ or constant quality assurance and improvement. In other words, make it part of your company’s culture to constantly ask yourself, your customers and each other, ‘How could we do this better?’ (Then do it!)
- Fear or discomfort: We humans don’t usually like to do things that make us feel uncomfortable – at least that’s our default setting. The funny thing is that the more you feel that fear and act anyway, the more you challenge yourself to push through those boundaries, the easier it becomes. As you accomplish each small, ‘new’ step outside the safety of the cave, you open your mind up to the possibility that you can actually survive the experience!
- Lack of self-belief: If we’ve never done something before or we’ve tried it and failed miserably, we often allow ourselves to think that we’re just ‘not good enough’, or that we’re ‘not worthy’ of the results. To not even try is to guarantee your continuing failure. To give it a go and succeed is unexpectedly awesome, but to give it a go and fail again is just ‘feedback’. If you adopt that approach of reviewing, adjusting and re-attempting, you will not only experience significantly better results, but you will also empower yourself with every brave endeavour. If you keep trying and keep improving, especially when you model the traits of someone you admire, someone who has done what you wish to do, then you will, with persistence, become the person who is capable of doing ‘that thing’.
- Disorganisation, poor prioritisation or bungled time-management: If that’s you, then you need better systems. It IS possible to become more disciplined. Learn to work not just on doing things right, but on doing the right things. Your past behaviour doesn’t have to still be your present behaviour – you CAN move; you’re not a tree.
- Laziness or lack of commitment to the stated outcome: If this one is ringing your alarm bells, then I’d suggest that unless you are simply a complete sloth, the issue is probably one of not really being motivated or inspired enough by the result that you said you wanted. The late Jim Rohn, one of my coaching gurus stated that, “The things that are easy TO do, are also easy NOT to.” If doing ‘that thing’ would take you a step closer to achieving your ultimate goal, i.e. improving your life or your family’s lives in some way, and you’re STILL NOT doing it, then you probably don’t care enough about the result of the outcome. The people who are most driven to succeed are not always doing it because they’re just ruthless; they’re doing whatever it takes because they care about the result, or more specifically, they care about what achieving the result will actually mean to them.
Or it could be this big one…
7.Values or Beliefs conflict: If what you need to do just doesn’t feel right, then you’re probably coming up against one of your values or beliefs. To elaborate, I’ll reference the most clichéd example, because it probably does occur the most, and that’s your relationship with money. If you hold a belief that ‘money is the root of all evil’ or that to be rich, you have to be ruthless, then you will most likely sub-consciously wish to avoid at all costs thinking of yourself as either evil or ruthless, so you will energetically repel money. You’ll either not get it in the first place or you’ll find ways of getting rid of it as soon as you’ve got it. Is that an empowering way to go through life? Will holding that belief help you in business? Most people don’t even think about what their values are, so they don’t know WHY things don’t feel right, they just don’t.
One of the first things I do with new clients is to ask them to assess what their true values are and I have an exercise that helps them with that. We actually live by our values more than most of us realise – they’re a sort of blueprint or code of conduct and they tend to be imprinted at a very early age. Even criminals have values. That’s how they can justify their actions in a way that can shock you. When people ‘push your buttons’ and elicit an emotional response from you, it’s often because they are acting in contradiction of one of your core values.
So now you know why coaches help you figure things out. We use our questioning techniques to help you understand what’s really driving you, to know what’s really important to you and why.
If you’ve read this far, congratulations – you can start to turn those ‘Why’s’ into ‘Why not’s’. Ask yourself better questions and provide better answers; take action towards your goals and you WILL get better results.
If you need any help with moving forwards, then please give me a call on 0419 860 382 or contact me via this site to set up a chat over a coffee.