“On Whom Do I Depend?”
I think that creating healthy dependence is one of the things that makes life coaching a great experience. Life coaching helps us exercise a kind of healthy dependence that strengthens independence. Healthy dependence is the power behind that old axiom, “There is strength in numbers.”
Whenever I make a plan for action or set a goal in my life it’s good to know who is going to help me get to my destination. I ask: Who’s got my back? Who will help me? Who encourages me? Who can help me be accountable? Who cares about my success?
Who supports you? Who encourages you? Who will help you stay on track and meet the goals you set? Sometimes in life you might naturally gravitate to those people, but others times it can helpful to stop and think about with whom you will share your goals and plans. Surrounding yourself with a team of dependable people can make any goal in life, personal or professional, easier to meet and more enjoyable in the process.
Think about a few things:
1) With whom do I not need to confide and share my goals? Too often we have chosen poorly and shared our goals with the wrong people. Do you have a person in your life who has consistently discouraged you from your goals, even if they did so with the best intentions? You can’t change that person, but you can change yourself and your decisions. Evaluate the opportunities you have for creating a “team” of friends who will commit to helping you succeed. There is a difference between a friend who challenges and stretches me, and a friend who criticizes and discourages me. Often, the most well-intentioned friends hurt us the most simply by not communicating well. If they can’t tell the difference between challenging in a healthy way and hurtfully criticizing, I sure can, and I need to choose wisely when it comes to sharing.
2) How do I need to be supported? Most of us have been on the receiving end of unhealthy accountability. Unhealthy accountability is the friend or coworker who decides to hold us accountable when we haven’t asked them to do that for us. It’s also when we haven’t processed how we wish to be held accountable. We aren’t talking about being accountable to a boss or a supervisor at work, that’s a different thing. When I make healthy accountability with a peer or a friend to help me meet a goal, I need to do these simple things: 1) I need to chose a person who genuinely cares about me, 2) I need to share honestly and openly with my friend about my goal and the steps I am planning to achieve it, and 3) I need to decide how I want to be held accountable, as in what questions I want my friend to ask me and how often.
3) This is exactly what a life coach does! Sometimes we might already have these friends surrounding us and we know exactly how to fall into a rhythm of healthy sharing and dependence to meet goals in life. Often we don’t. A life coach is a dependable friend who listens, challenges, reflects and encourages, as you reflect, set goals and plan the steps to meet those goals.
Who’s on my team? On whom can I depend for help and support? I need a teammate or two or three to make the most of my time and energy applied to setting and meeting my goals in life. I may call on you sometime to “be on my team.” Please be gentle with me if I do. And if I can ever jump on your team to help out, you only have to ask!