I’ve always had this conflicted relationship with the term “coach.” Life coaching has become a very popular way to express talents for listening, motivating, helping people find positive pathways through life and a sense of fulfillment. It allows for lots of different styles of coaching, one of which could be a good match for you.
For me, though, coaching is a bit too active in its connotation. I get pictures of athletic coaches in my head, with their structures to mold the individual to the team’s objective, rather than in service of the individual’s passions as such. Now, if the person is on that team, they may want to channel their passion into the group’s goals, but this definition gives all the power to the coach to act on behalf of the team and not the individual.
I do see life coaching as taking some of the motivational energy of athletic coaching and using it in service of the individual’s goals. I get that. But there’s still this sense of “forcing” the person into some structure created by the coach that is designed to give the coaching client a structure and discipline they are seen as lacking (and the person being coached may agree that this is what’s blocking them from reaching their goals).
I just don’t see this intervention-and-advice-giving approach to be particularly empowering, though. I feel like I’d always be leaning on my coach to continue motivating me because the structure belongs to him/her, not to me. I want to create my own path as I go, not walk or run someone else’s. I want a machete to clear the jungle of my life circumstances, not just a walking stick to walk a path laid by someone else.
I take a more Taoist approach to being a muse or mentor (still working on a good label, or maybe I don’t need one!). I like to focus on questions about what the person I’m interacting with really wants for themselves. I find this an important step, largely because folks tend to internalize the negative input from others and lose sight of what they really do want because others may not approve. My second step or process is one of reinforcement of the person’s own passions or desires, with suggestions on just the how part of what they may want to be or achieve (I focus a lot on what you want to be rather than do, necessarily).
Yeah, being leads to doing rather naturally. And remember when you were a child; what did the adults ask you? “What do you want to be when you grow up?” So, let’s ask questions about what we want to be and see how that changes what we do.