When I tell people I’m an Adversity Coach (AKA Life Coach), I often get the comment about how they don’t want to delve into the past and sometimes the past is worth leaving in the past. The thing is, I don’t delve into the past. A Coach is NOT a therapist or a counselor. There are some major differences between the two.
First and foremost, we are not doctors nor dd we go to school and get any type of training in order to help people overcome certain past issues. We may have to dip into a circumstance here or there in order to understand why you are where you are but we don’t help you overcome it. We focus on the positive. We focus on today moving forward. We focus on helping you make your life as best as you want it.
Second, a counselor or therapist, etc…, are typically the leaders. They lead the conversations and “meetings” with specific questions. Whereas coaches, are guides. We help you go the route you want to go and we don’t ever tell you which way to go. We help and guide, even if you’re stuck, but we never “tell” you.
Thirdly, we help you set goals and typically achieve them rather quickly. We help keep you on track and keep you accountable, even outside of our session together, we stay in contact via email, phone, etc… A counselor or therapist, etc…does not set out clear and concise goals and typically their sessions are over longer periods of time.
To be a counselor or therapist, you need to be certified and educated. As a coach, there are no requirements. A coach can be anyone who claims they are a coach and starts to advertise.
HOWEVER, I STRONGLY recommend to hire a coach who has some form of certification. I for one, considered myself to be quite knowledgeable on how to overcome adversities considering everything I’ve bene through in life, however, once I took a certification course, I realized how much I needed to learn before I could truly help someone and call myself a life coach.
What makes you, you? Do you really know. Do you know what’s at your core? If you had the task of sitting down and writing a list with a minimum of 20 things that truly made you who you are, could you do it? Do you truly know the reasons why you are special? Why are you different from everyone else? Do you truly believe that all of those things that make you different are the amazing things that make you, you and not the reasons you need to be embarrassed? Why would you be embarrassed about anything that makes you, you?
Embrace every scar, every wound, every mark. Each one tells a story. Each one has helped you become who you are. Every fear you have, makes you special. All of the pride you have, make you unique. Every memory you have, good or bad, is worth having as it separates you from anyone else. Every encounter and experience…special..it’s you. Every thought you have, amazing or terrible, be proud. Sometimes you will do or say things that may offend, hurt, embarrass, or devastate someone else…that’s ok because it’s all part of helping you create you. Sometimes you will do or say things that hurt, sadden or wound yourself and that’s also ok…it’s you.
Wrap your arms around you. Smile. Forgive yourself. Work on being the greatest you. Sometimes you will fail and other times you will excel, either way it’s ok because it’s you.Love yourself…faults and all…each thing makes you special and beautiful. From inside to out, you are perfect. Believe.
Sit down and write your list. A list of what makes you, you. Leave nothing off…even the things you are secretly proud of and no one knows. Keep that list in a safe place. When you need reminding, read it. Add to it. Live it. Love you! You are your own Hero!
We’ve all heard of the bucket list; the list you make when you are getting older in life, many make this list as they approach their mid-lives, of all of the things you want to do, accomplish or see in life “before you die.” Once the bucket list idea was introduced, almost everyone has one now, even teenagers. As I coach so many people who are ill, I have come to find they too have that bucket list. Some say, their bucket list is more urgent than most because of their illness and they simply don’t know how much time they have left.
HOWEVER, I say, we are making the wrong kind of lists. Or at the very least, we need to add another list which is way more important than the bucket list. I encourage to have both. The list to help you through those “bad” times, those times where you simply don’t feel you can fight any longer. You may not be in the fight of your life now, but what about tomorrow? What about a sudden accident, or illness, or something so traumatic happens and you slip in to a deep depression? What is going to help you then? During those dark moments when giving up seems so much easier? When giving in seems like the only option? The bucket list you have created, now only makes all of this worse as it is a constant reminder of the things you are not doing, can no longer do, or perhaps will never accomplish. It’s a reminder that your life is different now.
I coach everyone to make this list:
- Make a list of all of the reasons you have to fight….things and people and put an explanation beside them.
- Ask all of the people who are on your list of reasons to fight, to write a letter (or list) of all of the reasons they want you to fight. *Do not read them as they come in. These letters/lists are for when you need them. When you need that fight inside you again to overcome and be triumph, you will reach in to your box of letters, choose one and read it.
- What do you do that truly makes you happy? (watching a movie, going to the beach, taking a walk with your kids or spouse, riding a bike, vacation, etc…) How can you incorporate it into your daily life now? (I have coached people who were grieving the loss of a loved one and one of the most common things they said they missed most was the “ritual” in which they shared, that this was the one true thing that made them happy. For some it was breakfast every Tuesday at their favorite spot, others was walking hand in hand down the beach every Sunday morning. Yet, once they passed, they stopped doing this. I encourage them to continue doing exactly the same ritual and during that time, “talk” to them through memories and smiles and thoughts. If it helps, bring a picture of them with you, you can keep it in your pocket even, but it’s a symbol of them being with you. Allow that time to be your time together..if you need a time every day, dedicate that time and that time only. The rest of the day is spent doing things that allow yourself to be truly happy and start living again…this also gives you something new to “talk” about during your time with your loved one.) Find a way; YOUR way!
- What is your purpose in life? Forget about your past preconceived notions of what you wanted or thought was going to happen; think of you now and life as a whole…pretend you are up high looking down at you and your life…what is your bigger purpose?
- What is your favorite quote? (Don’t have one? Find one!) Tape it to your bathroom mirror so every morning you read it and every night before bed you read it. Tape it to the sun visor of your car so when you get in and out each time, you are reading it. Set it as a reminder on your phone 2-4 times throughout the day so it periodically goes off. (You’ll be surprised how often it goes off during those moments when you need it most.)
- What is YOUR song? (Don’t have one? Find one!) It doesn’t matter if it’s “popular” or on the top of the charts, it doesn’t matter the beat; what matters is that it touches you; it moves you; it makes you feel alive again and empowers you to keep going. Set it as your ring tone or your text notification sound. Set it as your alarm so every morning you are waking up to it.
- What is your favorite place? This could be a coffee shop, ice cream shop, mall, this could be a chair in your house that simply makes you feel safe, loved and cozy. If you don’t have one, create one. Find a chair and fill it full of the things that give you comfort and pure happiness. While in your place, there is one rule….at NO point can you think, speak or listen to negativity.
- What are your positive trigger words? These words are words that instantly make you smile and feel better.
- What are your negative trigger words? These are the words that instantly make you feel sad or bring back sad memories for you.
During the times where you need that fight, you need that reason, this list will be your savior. You will have the letters already waiting for you to open and read from your loved ones, you will have your song and quote ready to lift you up, you will have your go to place, you will know which words are triggers so you just have to focus on changing the negative ones, you will have things to do that make you happy. This list will allow you to dream again and to start truly living.
Make a bucket list? Yes! BUT…make a “Life Saver” list too!
Living your life for a different purpose gives you a different life to live. When we focus on what could have been, what could have changed, the dreams we once had but can no longer fulfill, then our life’s purpose changes and the life we live is a negative depressing one. But when we stop surrounding ourselves with the things that remind us of things that once were, dreams we once had, and replace it with things that make us dream again, we start to live life’s purpose again. Your life’s purpose can change. Let’s not live the life you thought you were going to live or the life you wanted to live, start living the life that you have, that you’ve been given. When you shift your focus and realize the “hand that you’ve been dealt” is far better than the life you have ever dreamed of, your purpose changes. Sit down and truly think about life’s purpose, YOUR purpose, and start living according to that and instantly see a difference. You will truly go from powerless to powerful.
Life is all about Paths. Which path you choose determines which life you live. Sometimes we get on one path and veer on to another path quickly and sometimes we stay on that path for a long while. But we choose which path based on what we are going through and how we are feeling about it. But always keep in mind that you always have two paths to choose from no matter what it is you are going through. Take a Health Adversity, you truly only have 2 paths to choose from. The first is the EASY path. This path is the choice of giving in. IT’s feeling sick and allowing the doctors and outside factors determine not only your life’s worth but your lifespan. If you choose this path then you know what you will feel, you know what you will go through, there is no real fight as you have given in. You know the outcome and it’s usually not a good one. Relationships are not vital and the only thing you focus on, is the illness itself and the grief it’s causing in your life. This is a dark path and your life is filled with complete darkness and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. However, Path 2 can also be chosen, But it is the most difficult path you will ever go down. You do not know what you will feel. You do not know the outcome. Relationships are vital as they will carry you when you need to be carried and lifted when you are down. You have no idea when the outcome will be and it is hard to see the light at the end but you know it’s there. You will feel things you never thought possible. You will endure the biggest and hardest battle you ever could imagine; the fight for your life. BUT you will win. On this path you have hope, you still smile, you still laugh. You still live.
Think of all of the reasons why you have to fight; write them down! They will come in handy when you need them. When you think of giving up, ask yourself why you have fought so hard and for so long to start with?
Which ever path you choose, you can not waver. You can not decide to choose path 2 today, path 1 tomorrow and path 2 again next week. Once you waiver, you must start at the beginning of the path again so any progress you have made is now gone. Choose a path, stay on it and never lose sight of that glimmer of light at the end; it’s always there.
Just remember this: If you are headed down a path and that path is clear, you are probably on someone else’s path!
Crazy how perspective works. Understanding that nothing is truth, nothing is reality but all is simply perspective. Depending on what you’re feeling, where you are in life, what you are fighting or what you have just overcome, what you’re thoughts are and where you stand in terms of fulfilling your dreams that depends on your reality, your what is, because your perspective changes. You and I can go through the exact same thing, every circumstance the same, all the people the same, but how we go through it, how we view it, depends on our perspective of ourselves at the time. The same is true just for yourself. You can go through one thing today and the exact same next month but depending on the circumstances, depending on your feelings, depending on how your day to day is going depends on how you view the situation and ultimately how you get through it. Reality only exits in your head. The only TRUE reality is your perspective.
Life and death are the same thread, viewed differently from opposite sides. When we are children we go through life learning. In awe of everything. Everything we feel or see or hear is inspiring. We keep testing the waters to see what life is really made of. We have no idea what death is. As a teenager, we think we are invisible and unable to die. We still don’t fully understand it or can comprehend it. We make decisions based on who we are trying to become. In our early 20s we are trying to establish ourselves. We are working hard and working on settling down. We are dreaming and working towards fulfilling those dreams. Death is not in our view. As me approach middle age we start to look back at life and wonder if we fulfilled the dreams we set forth. Looking back to see f we became the person we wanted to be. Death is on the radar, and typically scary. As we get older, we no longer look back but we start living our life preparing for death. Making sure we leave our legacy, making sure people we love know it. Death is what we are living towards. The reason: Life and death are the same thread, viewed differently from opposite sides.
If you look at what you’re going through today..if you change your perspective can you change your life?
Who ever said being weak isn’t a good thing, clearly never fought the fight of their life. However, it’s being tired that we must NEVER feel. When you’re battling, fighting, enduring and learning life’s lessons through adversity it is OK to be weak. I am not ashamed to say I have my weak moments. Moments when I cry in my husbands arms because I don’t want to be sick anymore. At least 3 times a week I cry myself to sleep because of the leg pain; weak. Moments where I need the strength of my family and friends to carry me. BUT it’s tired that we can’t feel. I am NOT tired of fighting. I am NOT tired of hugging my kids. I am NOT tired of loving my husband. I am NOT tired of smiling and laughing. I am NOT tired of living. The moment you get tired, you loose; your mind gives up. It’s OK to be weak but don’t ever get tired. Don’t get tired of fighting your fight. Don’t get tired of living your life. Be weak! Not tired!