Turning Impossibilities into Possibilities - What is Coaching?

In 2020, I completed a coaching course at the André Retief Coaching Institute, and I am now a certified coach. “What is a coach though?” you may be asking. “Do you stand on the side of the athletics track, Jess, cheering the athletes on?”

No. The type of coach that I am talking about is somebody who sits down with a person – a Coachee – and helps them solve problems or reach goals in the form of a guided conversation. There are many different types of coaches – business, life, success, goal-orientated, personal development, drug addiction, eating disorder, academic, career etc – and so similar to the medical industry, you could go to a general coach or a specialist.

I am a Life Coach and I enjoy working with high school students as well as young adults.

Coaches are forward thinkers, and they will help you reach the next level in your life. So instead of focusing on the past and how you got to your current point, they will focus on what you can do in order to grow your future. So, imagine you would really like to get 80% for all your subjects but in the past, you have only achieved 60% … A coach will not focus on the 60%. They will focus on the 80% - your potential – and what you can do in order to achieve that. This might involve looking back at your actions in the past and any limiting beliefs you might hold (e.g. that you are not smart), but this is done with the intention of changing your patterns and moving forward.

Coaches do not tell you what to do. They may offer a suggestion, if you ask for one, but the main role of a coach is to help you listen to yourself. All the answers are inside of you, and a coach can help you uncover them.

So as a Coach, I cannot say, “In order for you to get 80%, you need to study for 2 hours every day. Here’s your time table.” This may not work for you. I CAN say, “What do you think you need to do in order to get 80%? What have you done in your past that has worked? What hasn’t worked? How do you feel about schedules? What do you think is holding you back?”

In my opinion, the scariest thing about investing in a coach is that you are not necessarily getting something tangible (physical) out of it. When Amanda spends R500 on the new video game, she feels content because she can see the amount of happiness and fun the game will give her over the next few months. But when she has to pay R500 for a coaching session, she feels uncomfortable because she will not be walking away with anything physical in her hands.

But the thing with coaching, is that you are not walking away empty-handed. You are walking away with a new perspective and some actionable steps, and this can change all areas of your life.

So, imagine Amanda goes for her coaching session. She is feeling unsure about it, but nonetheless she shares a goal with the coach. She is currently studying a BCom in Accounting, and she would like to learn how to manage her time better. She has seven tests coming up over the next three weeks, and she is completely stressed.

For the next hour, the coach asks Amanda a number of questions, and eventually Amanda has an epiphany. She doesn’t want to study a BCom in Accounting. She wants to be a game designer.

For the rest of the coaching session, the coach helps her brainstorm different ways in which she could do this. How do you switch degrees? How much will it cost? What will her parents think? This is all very overwhelming, but the coach helps her to break everything up into chunks.

After the first session, Amanda has two actionable steps (that she came up with herself).

1. Look for a degree in game design.

2. Share her thoughts with her parents.

Her coach keeps her accountable, (Amanda asked her to do this), and a week later she comes for her second session. In the second session, she reports that she did speak to her parents about it, (they were surprisingly supportive) and she found a degree, but it is a lot more expensive.

For the next hour, the coach and Amanda discuss the ‘expensive’ factor and the potential ways she could afford the degree. Could her parents fund her? Is there anyone else? What about a student loan? A part time job? A bursary?

3 months later, after a number of coaching sessions, Amanda is now studying a degree in game design. She is happier than she has ever been, and she is getting top marks. 10 years later, she is working at a prestigious gaming studio. 20 years later she has her own studio and is making a tonne of money.

All of this was due to her initial choice – to spend R500 on a coaching session. Imagine if she had spent her R500 on the video game, and stayed with her BCom degree?

I think that you are capable of absolutely anything and you can completely achieve the life of your dreams. As a coach, I believe in the possibility of the future, and I believe in you.

If you would like to book a session with me, please send me an email and we can set one up.