Life coaching has gained popularity as people get to realize the importance of seeking help in specific areas of their life. Life coaching provides guidance, personal empowerment, and improvement in different aspects of life by examining the present situation, discovering what challenges might be, and choosing a course of action that will help reach the desired goal.
In this field, Victor Schueller is not an average coach. He has been recognized as one of the world's top self-development bloggers and has worked as an executive and life coach, helping people learn how to experience well-being and fulfillment through changing the way they talk to each other.
Here’s an interview with Victor that we’d like to share with you. It’s about his story, experiences, and knowledge about life coaching.
How does life coaching work?
Before the age of eight, our minds are essentially “recording devices,” where we pick up on the words, actions, and beliefs of our primary life influences. Most of the time, it’s our parents or teachers. This “recording” that we have imprinted upon our minds now becomes our default operating system. Unless we consciously are made aware of this default operating system, we largely resort to saying and believing things that don't originate in our own minds—instead, they sprang from adult influences in our early lives. This can lead to us behave in ways that we don’t like, habits which are very difficult to quit. Life coaches help clients identify this childhood conditioning and how it affects the individual's life. Life skills coaching can help a client to “re-program” their operating system.
How would you define the importance of life coaching?
I interviewed Bruce Lipton about a year ago, and he talked about coaching. He said to me something like, “Coaching is not only beneficial, it’s necessary!” I would agree with that statement. If you do not have someone in your life who can point out when you are “less than wonderful,” coaching is very beneficial. It's also necessary if you want to make changes in your life. I will tell you that coaches do not have to be official coaches. What I mean by that is a coach doesn’t have to be a coach. Spouses and domestic partners make excellent coaches, because they see you all the time and see you at your most honest and authentic moments and also because they can be frank and honest with you about what you say and do and how it affects them and others. Children are great coaches too. I’ve been called out by my daughters many times. They have provided great coaching moments! If you’re willing to listen to the honest feedback of those closest to you, they can provide you with excellent coaching and learning moments.
What are the most typical reasons that a person might need to work with a life coach?
I can think of a few. People may have a hard time getting along with other people. People may feel that they’re “stuck.” Some people may believe that they’re not living life to their fullest. Some are struggling with addiction issues. Some people have a hard time in their relationships. Others may be contemplating making a major change in their life, and are having a hard time making the transition. Finally, many people seek coaching when they are trying to start a business or have more success.
Most people recovering from addiction feel that they are at their lowest point, how can coaching help them?
Coaching is a great tool to help people discover the true power that is within themselves. One’s feelings of self-worth and self-confidence originate from the thoughts one has. Coaching really helps people hear what they are saying to themselves, and helps them understand how powerful thoughts can be. Discovering how to re-frame one’s thoughts can be extremely beneficial. Some people can go through this process and make these discoveries on their own. If they do, sometimes it takes a long time. For those who cannot make these discoveries on their own, or for people who want to accelerate the process, coaching can be extremely helpful to them.
Can you also work with people who are still using drugs or alcohol?
To be honest it is not an area of coaching that I have been involved with. I don’t think that I would be the ideal coaching fit for someone who is struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol.
If you were to give a coaching advice to someone addicted to drugs and alcohol but is trying to quit, what would it be? Why?
The best advice I could give is to, number one, make sure that medically and professionally you are seeking the help you need and take care of that first. The next thing I would advise is that if you are seeking coaching to help you, find a coach who has experience and expertise in working with clients who struggle with addiction. There are many different areas of coaching, and no doubt there are great coaches who are very qualified to help those struggling with addiction.
How can people change their negative thoughts and actions?
The first step in changing negative thoughts and actions is to realize they exist. The second step is to listen to them. The third step is to analyze and reflect on what those thoughts and actions do and how you feel as a result of doing or thinking them. The fourth step is to decide what you wish to feel. The fifth step is to then come up with a plan to make sure you act and think in a way that leads to the unfolding of the desired feelings. The sixth step is to try out your plan. The seventh step is to see how things went. The eighth step is to reflect on the plan and results, and then modify the plan, and go back to step six and repeat. That's what my process is, anyway.
What can people do to stay disciplined to reach their goals?
I would advise people to take small, manageable steps. Do a little at a time. The small things add up to big things. When I was determined to lose weight I ran a short distance the first day, and then added a little distance to my run every day. Although I introduced exercise into my life, I didn't really change my eating habits right away. After I got acclimated to exercising, I then changed my eating habits. It's just doing the little things and then adding a little to those that can really make a larger difference down the road. Think of it as eating a pie. If you eat the whole pie at one time, it's a daunting and unpleasant task. But, if you eat the pie piece by piece as you are comfortable you'll have a better chance at eating the whole pie (eventually), and it will be a more comfortable process too!
Are there any life coaching myths or beliefs you would want to clarify?
Yes! Coaching is not a magic process. Coaches cannot wave magic wands and make things happen. Coaches are essentially facilitators. They can help you determine what you can do, but they can't do it for you. The amount of effort and determination you put into a coaching relationship (and the plan you put into place) will determine your success with coaching. Coaches can't do the work. You have to.
How do you stay calmer, happier, and healthier?
I’ll try to explain this as concisely as possible. Take time to observe silence. Meditate as often as you can. Be present in the moment. Laugh often. Exercise. Take your vitamins. Don’t take things in life as serious as others make it out to be. Don’t be afraid to learn, but don’t be afraid to be yourself too. I don’t know. That is what I do, at least, and it works pretty well for me.