Coaching is not an easily understood concept or the process behind it …or the reason and uses of it for that matter either!
Coaching can offer you a new structure having lost the one that’s been in place for years often. Changes to your current situation – be that business management, career path or home and family – means you can be left floundering in too much space and time! Unless you plan to use it effectively and fill it with fun and helpful ‘other things’!.
For example, when the ‘children’ are leaving home for college, uni or self-sufficiency (well, maybe …!) – you can lose the life structure you had, the boundaries and often restrictions on care, bed at 10, school run etc.Life does that! It throws the odd spanner in the works and makes you rethink.
And to be left floundering in a wide, open space of freedom of choice, time and empty nests can be pretty scary! Not just for mum, but dad and siblings too. Managing this new opportunity for you – and your partner, wider family members – means learning to re-adjust to a missing piece, or different boundaries and restrictions you’ve worked around for so long!
It’s scary, isn’t it?
Without structure in our life, we can flounder, we can get lost and confused, overwhelmed with TOO MUCH space, time and choice! Who knew? No doubt many people would love some more time and space to do their thing but when we have it we need to know what we are going to do with it!
When I reached my ’empty next’ stage, I had plans! I had purpose! I was ready, I was excited that not only did my youngest daughter have plans and goals, I did too!
I had done my best and taught her what I could, prepared her to leave the nest even to the day she left home. Free to me again, find me again, not be just mum …
Imagine though thinking your child is off to uni, like I did, your own life is there to create for you – a new hobby, a new job, a new location, holidays as adults not parents etc etc. But then the baby bird doesn’t stay away after all … as happened to someone I know! That threw a spanner in her works but she she simply had to readjust. Rethink and regroup, how to move forward with your plans but tack your sails with prevailing winds!
SO your – and my – objectives, aims or goals have to be somewhat flexible, even with timescales in place which is important for goal-setting rather than dreaming. There are things you can plan for …and others you never give a thought to. (That’s another reason two or more heads are better than one!) But DON’T give up the dream whatever you do! (With a little forethought and ‘planning’ too her child could have saved time, effort, money by continuing with the uni plan… or deciding earlier not to go… we all learn our lessons somehow, someday!)
And that is where coaching helps. It helped me to plan ahead and therefore feel better with less ‘fallout’ when my last child left home and my ’empty next’ stood before me. Is your’s empty – or full of promise as mine was? They go on their adventures – you can go on yours!
Forethought, Insights, Options, Ideas, Perspectives, new ways of seeing and thinking, and feelings identified and managed. This might sound to preconceived for some, but we do it anyway – and hence we are surprised if the expected path doesn’t materialise – because we ‘planned’ for the wrong thing!
Career is birth to death, as children learning who we are, what we can and can’t have, what we are good at and what we need to leave alone or try to develop! This goes on into teens and young adulthood …and well beyond! To the grave in fact! We keep learning, we keep developing and re-learning, trying and growing, changing and moving. Our desires change, out options change, our opportunities come and go, and we look back longingly for the lost ones, and sometimes then miss the ones coming up for us!
Another option is that we can learn to challenge what we believe or are told we can and cannot have! What options and opportunities are ‘out there’ for us. We can decide on them, find them or even create them!
So empty nest, starting out on careers, interviewing, retirement, changing roles or company, moving sector to sector and developing new skills as well as ideas and experience – we never stay the same!
Coaching not only looks at you, too, but the impact on changes you plan for those around you, for all areas of your life and living, and then how to cater for those impacts that again can hold you back or propel you forward!
Living your dream is not as easy as dreaming, making it happen and loving it! It needs work, planning, action and fore-thought. Even then life throws in a few odd spanners or a gift we just didn’t hear or see it coming!
You don’t need to be a control freak to want to know how to manage the future a little, and plans are flexible and we can adapt, tack our sails to prevailing winds, put things back a tad or push on ahead when the going is ideal!
Who knows what lies ahead? No one. But we can try to plan, and if we have to go off course, at least when the time is right we can pull ourselves back on course and build the life we want to live…