I’ve often asked myself about the role of coaches and mentors in my life. I have gone through phases where I take a break and work on my own. I am a disciplined person and have the do-it-yourself wiring along with high self-reliance. What I have found though is that you only get so far on your own. You only see things in a certain way. As I look back on the variety of different coaches and mentors whom I have worked with, it is clear that with their guidance, I was able to achieve a higher level of success than I would have on my own.
I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts this morning and the host, Jonathan Fields, shared his own resistance to working with a mentor or teacher. (Why you need a teacher (even if you’re sure you don’t) He talks about how he also is disciplined and learns well on his own but recently discovered that to achieve a higher level of accomplishment, knowledge, and expertise, he would be able to do that much more effectively by working with a mentor or teacher. And, he shares the science behind it that backs it up.
The science differentiates deliberate practice – dedicated, ongoing practice – with directed practice – working with a teacher to improve your skills at a higher level. While both are important, you can deliberately practice an art, craft, or skill yet still not achieve an extraordinary level of skill, knowledge or expertise. However, a teacher or mentor can see what needs to be changed in order to bridge the gap to the next level, to help you refine your practice, and to guide you to a higher level of expertise and achievement.
It’s funny because while we understand athletes, musicians, and performers need coaches, we don’t include ourselves in that mix. Why are we any different? We may not be training for the Olympics, but we are training for a life that we have the power to make extraordinary. I don’t know about you, but when I get to the end of my life, I want to know that I didn’t leave anything on the table; I want to know that I went all out, gave it my all, left nothing undone or unsaid. I know, despite my best intentions and strong work ethic, that the best way for me to do that is to surround myself with the best teachers, mentors, and guides in the areas in which I want to improve.
I feel it is an honor to work with someone whose work I admire, to be able to learn from them and implement new skills, strategies, and practices into my life to help me continue to improve in my chosen field and craft.
If you pride yourself on being a do-it-yourself-er, take inventory of your achievements. Now consider what would be possible for you if you had a mentor or teacher to help you see and achieve a whole new level of knowledge, skill, expertise, and achievement.
Every investment I’ve made in a coach or mentor over the course of my life has been worth it. The work has often been challenging, as making changes always is, but as with anything of great value, it has always been worthwhile.
If you’ve never considered working with a mentor or coach because you think you’re fine or you don’t need it, I encourage you to explore this possibility – how would your life be different if you were consistently achieving the goals you created? How would you be different?
I’ve said it before, and it bears repeating – you are not here to live a watered-down version of your life. You are not here to suppress your dreams, settle, or convince yourself that it’s not that bad (believe me, I’ve been there!)
You are here to rise above your circumstances, your limiting beliefs, and the old stories that no longer serve you. You are here to live out the fullest expression of you – doing work that excites and energizes you, pursuing interests that matter to you, and investing in relationships and activities that feed your mind, body, and soul.
If you’ve never worked with a coach and aren’t sure if it’s for you, I invite you to jump on a call with me. During our call, you will clarify what it is you truly want your life and work to look like, remove the blocks that have been holding you back, and create a progress plan to help you start moving toward the incredible life you are meant to live.
It’s time to reach those dreams that give you butterflies in your stomach, fill you with nervous excitement, and tug at your heart. They aren’t going anywhere. They are waiting for you to come get them. I would be honored to play a role in your journey to owning them.
To investing in you,
P.S. Here’s the podcast. It’s worth a listen! Why you need a teacher (even if you’re sure you don’t)