Self work is one of the best investments. I’ve experienced this firsthand a few times in life, but usually the self work that I’ve done has been in groups. Retreats, weekend workshops, even online courses were sources of self work for me.
I’ve never actually had a 1:1 working experience with someone who could guide and keep me accountable. That is, until this past fall happened.
Coaching is a beautiful experience. It’s tenuous at first because it’s always a little bit suspicious to give someone money to help accelerate yourself. In September, when I started looking for a coach, things were looking pretty good for me. I decided to get a coach not because I needed someone. Instead, I got a coach because I wanted to see what 1:1 support looked like, and because I wanted to accelerate and grow my sense of self that I had been cultivating.
Still, I was skeptical.
I realized the myth behind those questions as soon as I started talking with potential coaches that I could work with. I realized that in the experience of coaching, I was my own coach - and a good coach for me was simply a mirror, helping to uncover blind spots and areas of myself that I wasn’t present to.
Many of the coaches I spoke to were awesome. And when I landed on the one that I resonated with, it all clicked.
My coaching experience was not one where I needed something all the time from my coach. Most of the time, my coach would be a sounding board, listening to what was happening in my life, and most importantly, asking great questions. It was in these sessions where I had some incredible breakthroughs.
“That’s a pretty expensive-sounding board, Saalik,” you might be tempted to say. To some extent, that’s true. Yet, the reflection I got from my coach was crystal clear, not tinted with any bias, desire, or thought — subconsciously or otherwise. My coach was able to, with swift and true intuition, know what I was feeling, and ask me questions for me to become present to it.
It was an invaluable experience. While I can’t point to any one materialistic or physical thing and say “that is exactly what I got out of coaching,” the reprecussions are felt strongly. I’m more confident, trusting of myself, willing to take risks, and I can feel myself vibrating at a high frequency in the inspired moments of life.
I’ve been writing about the learnings from my coaching experience, but they’re not ready to be surfaced just yet. As they grow and evolve, you’ll hear about them.
Working 1:1 with someone of integrity, character, and knowledge — whether it be for a specific skill or for a mindset — is one of the most valuable ways to spend time and money. It shortcuts much of the pain that we would have otherwise endure to learn these lessons ourselves.
I would do it again in a heartbeat.
© Saalik Lokhandwala, 2021