What is Life Coaching?
Life Coaching is for people who are currently facing challenges in their life, career, family life, relationship, etc. and are seeking support in their journey. Life coaching is also for people who are not actively facing challenges, but that feel like something is missing in their life, career, family life, relationships, etc. The answer to navigating through difficulties with ease and to the question: “what’s missing?” is Authenticity.
What is Authenticity?
The definition of Authenticity most suited to life coaching is Merriam-Webster’s fifth definition: “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.” If you feel slightly confused reading that definition or even mild panic, you’re not alone. Many of us are baffled when we are asked to ponder “what IS being true to my own personality, spirit, or character? What does it look like? What do I actually like? What do I actually want to do?” I define Authenticity as when what you feel physically and emotionally, matches what you think, and matches how you act.
Why is Authenticity Important?
We are bombarded on a daily, often hourly basis, by advertising, our culture and other people telling us how we SHOULD act, what our personality SHOULD be, what we SHOULD like, what SHOULD make us happy… We expend tremendous amounts of energy, time and money following those should’s, trying with all of our might to attain them. Ironically, the vast majority of the time, even when we attain them, we don’t feel any better. The reason? Because those things are not Authentic to us. Therefore, Authenticity is intrinsically tied to happiness. Discovering what is Authentic to you and living in your Authenticity brings true happiness.
What Can We Learn from Horses about Authenticity?
EVERYTHING. Horses live in their Authenticity. They know what they like, what they want and follow those things. Horses value Authenticity over all other attributes. So, when playing with a horse, if you are not being Authentic in that moment, a horse will tell you. They will never lie to you about how they’re feeling, and how you make them feel. A horse will give you honest feedback in each moment as you begin to mold your internal world with the help of a life coach. You will be able to see the difference you are making inside manifest in the world outside in how a horse responds to you. It’s a magnificent experience that dramatically increases the already potent power of life coaching.
Playfully Discover the Authentic You in 7 Steps
Discovering and living in your Authenticity isn’t an easy journey. It is often uncomfortable, ESPECIALLY at the beginning when all of the feelings (emotional and physical) that we’ve been suppressing are allowed to come forward. But it is a journey well worth the effort and tears because it is the journey that will lead you to your true self and happiness. These are the 7 steps I help clients to implement in Life Coaching and Equine Assisted Life Coaching. They will help guide you on your journey through your Authentic self.
- Identify what you’re feeling, both emotionally and physically.
- Ask yourself WHY you’re feeling that way. Allow whatever surfaces to surface in a safe place.
- Identify what you’re thinking.
- Notice when what you think doesn’t match how you feel. When that happens, notice how you feel emotionally and physically when you’re thinking the thought. Does the thought feel good or feel icky? Question what you’re thinking and alter your thinking to feel good. I highly suggest The Work by Byron Katie for this. She has many free resources on her website.
- Identify how you act.
- Notice when how you want to act doesn’t match how you feel and what you think AND/OR notice when you act in a way that doesn’t match what you feel and what you think. Question why you want to act the way you do. Take small steps to change the way you act, each small step taking you closer to aligning with how you think and feel.
I would love to hear about your journey to Authenticity. Please feel free to contact me with your questions and tales of your adventure! If you would like the help of a life coach and/or horses on your journey, please contact me OR sign up for a 20 minute free coaching consultation on the Home page.