Every single one of us is constantly living out a series of patterns that we’ve put together.
At the source of this pattern is a secret hope, and uncovering that secret hope is often the key to moving ourselves forward.
In the beginning
When you aren’t moving forward, there’s usually a belief at play that is holding you in check.
Like any belief, there are pros and cons to this belief.
Beliefs aren’t bad or good.
They’re either empowering us to create what we want, or not.
Let’s start with this belief as an example:
Nothing is actually going to change
(A pretty common, fundamental, belief)
From that belief, we take a set of actions.
Here are some examples of those actions:
- Do whatever is necessary to survive everything that is happening right now.
- Avoid making big leaps. Nothing is going to change, so better to just keep ourselves
- Avoid getting to excited about the future, since it won’t actually be any different anyhow. Keep my attention on the here and now.
- Find ways to get some hedonistic pleasure in my spare time. Since this is as good as it gets, I might as well live it up.
- When I notice I am getting excited, diminish that enthusiasm. This is smart, since it lessens the disappointment I will inevitably feel when things don’t change.
- And finally, the more I focus on the here and now, the further out that vision of the future gets pushed, thereby proving the validity of my original belief.
"I think there's a problem with coaching"
This is usually the point where the client decides that coaching doesn’t seem to be working.
They thought that they’d hire me as their coach, and everything would shift.
But instead, the same thing seems to be happening.
"Why am I paying all this much money? If things are just going to be the same, why not just save that money and spend it on a new outfit/TV/vacation/etc."
But the truth is that this is exactly where we should be.
Our hope is that coaching is going to be the silver bullet that makes everything better.
In reality, we show up the exact same way in coaching that we do everywhere else in life.
(At least, after you get over the initial motivation and euphoria of committing to a coach).
The difference is that in a committed coaching relationship, we distinguish the pattern, instead of continuing to operate over top of it.
I want you to get here.
The secret hope
This is the point our secret hope now shows up.
Inside this pattern — inside this belief that is preventing you from moving forward — there is a secret hope.
A hope that often goes unvoiced. Unspoken.
What is that hope?
What is it that you are hoping will magically happen if you stay inside this pattern long enough?
Here are some examples:
- I’ll win the lottery (or magically create money some other way)
- Someone will come and rescue me
- I’ll wake up and /feel/ motivated to take this on
- Suddenly I’ll stop feeling hopeles
- I'll get everything done and there will be nothing left to do
Whatever that secret hope is, you are waiting for it to happen.
In fact, my client hired me, secretly hoping that I would provide this.
The end of hope
(I mostly wrote this article so I could use that heading).
My job is to distinguish the pattern, distinguish the secret hope behind the pattern, and let you sit with the truth of the matter:
There is no hope.
That secret hope is a mirage.
It’s holding us in place.
It’s okay to hang on to it. You don’t necessarily need to do anything with it.
And if it’s really compelling, maybe you'll stick with it for a while longer.
But the work of coaching is moving beyond hope.
The real work begins when we're willing to give up the hope, and do the work.