Exploring the Power of Coaching (Nikki Senior)

When I embarked on my journey as a coach, I encountered a challenge: explaining to loved ones the essence of my newfound passion. “What exactly is life coaching?” they would ask! To be honest, I struggled to articulate it initially, despite having experienced the transformative power of coaching firsthand.

Recognising that many people haven’t yet discovered this service, my intention with this article is to provide you with a clear understanding of what coaching entails and what sort of impact it can have on your life.

Coaching can seem abstract to those who haven’t experienced it. And there’s a good reason for that—it means something different to each and every person. Imagine, for a moment, that you are in the vast filing room of a law firm. Files upon files surround you, containing all the experiences and interactions that have shaped your life. Can you visualise the files that hold the negative or daunting moments you’ve encountered? How many are there?  

During our early years, until around the age of eight, our subconscious mind operates as a filing system. It learns what works and what doesn’t, what brings pain and what brings healing, and what causes positive or negative emotions. These memories are then filed away for future reference. This process is fundamental to our development as human beings, enabling us to navigate our surroundings and stay safe in the world.  

Our younger selves interpret situations and experiences, categorising them as either positive or negative. If an experience feels unpleasant or dangerous, our subconscious mind files it under “negative experiences” for future use. It also records our responses to these situations, storing what it deems effective or ineffective, thereby establishing patterns and ways of being that remain with us into adulthood.  

Similarly, our young minds act as sponges, absorbing the words repeatedly spoken by those around us. As they say, repetition is the key to learning! Take a moment to think about your childhood and the people who influenced you most—did you often hear a particular saying repeated to you, or in your presence? Perhaps certain behaviours communicated beliefs or stories to you instead.   In my case, the beliefs I absorbed and interpreted from the actions of the adults in my life included:   “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” “You must work hard to earn money.” “What will people say if they see (insert undesirable trait here)?”   Can you guess the patterns that formed in my life? (In case you can’t, I tend to overcompensate, worry too much about other people’s opinions, and feel compelled to work tirelessly to achieve financial stability).  

While these sayings and behaviours are often well-intentioned, it is the meaning we attach to them that truly matters. You may have heard similar expressions to me, but for one reason or another they may not have taken root in your subconscious mind in the way others may have.   You don’t have to have experienced a traumatic childhood to have these belief systems and patterns. Even if you’ve lived the most privileged life; it’s all about perspective. As children, we don’t always have the full perspective of worldly knowledge to back up our interpretation of an experience, and so this ‘knowledge’ and these ‘techniques’ often don’t serve us in our later years.  

Here’s the bad news: some people go through their entire lives oblivious to the root causes of their negative generational patterns and their seemingly “unlucky” circumstances (yes, those who always think “it always happens to me”). But here’s the great news: we possess the ability to change these belief systems and behavioural patterns, and it is not as daunting as it may seem. However, it requires commitment, accountability, and genuine effort. The process may be easier for some than others—some individuals bury deep-seated traumas, while others find it challenging to let go of deeply ingrained beliefs that shape their perception of reality.   And this is where coaching steps in.   A coach will help you uncover the core beliefs that underlie every action you take, providing you with with the tools and guidance to remove them, and replace them with more empowering and productive beliefs and patterns. The impact of this transformation is astonishing. Not only do you experience greater overall happiness in the specific areas of your life you address, but it also has a ripple effect that extends to all other aspects of your life, and can even touch the lives of those around you.  

For some, coaching revolves around improving mental performance and confidence. For others, it’s about finding ways to be happier, or more successful. And the real clincher… What you think you need to work on isn’t always the thing you actually need to work on! Yet, as you delve into your mental files and rectify the paperwork, you will begin to witness an entirely new world unfolding before you. And let me assure you, it is an exquisitely beautiful world indeed!  

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