The term “life coach,” on it’s own is kind of a silly or ridiculous sounding term or job. It takes a while for a seemingly absurd term like that to roll off your tongue when people ask what you do (and a complicated conversation almost always ensues if you're talking to one who has not been initiated into the coaching world).
Fittingly, almost every idea that has come out of the field of personal development has been seen as ridiculous (though some of them are now completely normal).
Can you imagine 50 years ago telling a Don Draperesque CEO to keep a gratitude journal every day? Now it’s not uncommon for high powered individuals to seek every edge – whether that be hypnosis, Tony Robbins’ seminars, ice-cold showers every morning, or any other number of “ridiculous” things.
Recently, I got to attend Tony Robbin’s Unleash the Power Within Virtual experience, and I was reminded at just how ridiculous this field can be. After all, you’ve got tens of thousands of people dancing for hours a day in front of their computer monitors in between motivational speeches, strategy sessions, and small groups where you share your feelings, fears, and goals with complete strangers who might not even speak the same language.
Growing up I was not the type of person who would ever voluntarily sign up for an experience like that. Heck, I didn’t even want to dance at my school dances because I was too scared of looking “uncool.” I probably wasn’t a good dancer and thus didn’t want to look ridiculous. Sorry to all my high school girlfriends, by the way. My fear robbed us all of a lot of fun experiences.
In my business I work with a lot of “type A,” overachievers who are obsessed with production.
These people are driven by a mission and often a fear of failure.
Sometimes this type goes as far to feel guilty about every second they aren’t being “productive” – generating revenue, knocking items off their to-do lists, or otherwise tangibly making effort at accomplishing their goals.
I was recently on a call with one of these clients who had just crashed after months of constantly grinding and spent a week mostly resting, recuperating, and enjoying things like Netflix. Being a hard working guy, he felt guilty for taking time to breathe after getting some big wins in his new entrepreneurial career.
I asked him a simple question:
“If you did pushups all the time, how strong would you get?”
My mom and I were recently talking about whether or not someone who is trying to lose weight should weigh themselves every day or not.
She took the new popular position that no you shouldn’t. And I get why. True weight loss is pretty slow (maybe dropping 1 or 2 pounds per week if you are doing it healthily and normally). Seeing moderate changes along the way are discouraging for her and others who don’t want to see the slow progress of weight loss. Or worse, people who give themselves cheat days don’t want to see the damage that their 6 beers and basket of fries did to their goals.
I’m quite different. If I have a weight goal, I want to know exactly what is happening. Was my day of eating good or bad? Am I eating something that is making me hold on to weight the days I am eating it? If I sleep less does it affect my weight drop or gain overnight? If I cheated and ate something bad how much did it set me back? And there are numerous other questions that I can only know the answer to if I am gathering data.
For those that don’t watch sports, Adam Vinatieri is a 46 year old kicker in the NFL who is widely regarded as the greatest kicker to ever play the game. Much to my town of Indianapolis’ chagrin, the last two games he has missed a career worst number of kicks. Out of 8 kicks, most of them being routine kicks, he has only made 3. That would be bad for a struggling high school kicker, let alone the best to ever play the game.
Most people think that Vinatieri hit some age wall where he suddenly can’t make a routine chip shot - as if his leg deteriorated to the point of being inaccurate from short distances overnight. As such, many think it’s time for him to retire.
In reality, if you go grab Vinatieri when he is 60, I bet he’ll be able to kick 10 extra points in a row without the kind of problems he is having now. It’s not his age. It’s just a typical slump. Slumps happen to everyone, but when you are a baseball player or a kicker in the NFL, your slumps are obvious, measurable and compounding.
The real question is - why do slumps happen and how on Earth do we make them stop?
What is the role of stress in your life? Do you have too much of it? Do you manage it well? Do you avoid it all together?
Stress, left unmanaged and misunderstood, is both a silent killer of the body and the spirit. Stress, in the proper amounts and combined with the appropriate rest, is also the source of all your mental and physical growth.
Spending time with my 3 month old baby Francis is like getting to a watch a growth machine. A baby’s life is rapid growth and a constant cycle of physical and mental stress and rest leading to extreme amounts of growth from a blob to a functioning human being.
Watching him struggle with basic tasks like raising his head and rolling over and even just moving his arms and legs reminds me that stress isn’t something to be avoided, but something to embrace.
Master stress in your life by doing two things.
Your life coach.
The Andrew Warner Podcast: