Image courtesy of Elan Sun Star.
One of the most challenging phases of becoming a coach is the chrysalis phase. Not everyone who gets coach training experiences this uncomfortable transition, but some go through a difficult period where nothing feels right.
The concepts they are learning in class may seem nonsensical or so simplistic they wonder why we even discuss them. They may worry that they will never “get it.” Or they may be used to knowing the answers in another profession and are surprised that the “answers” in coaching seem upside down.
Psychology and neuroscience have various names for this kind of experience. Your brain for instance, has a negativity bias that tends to say, “New, different…bad.” And if stress levels are high, this bias rises a notch toward threat reactivity, which tells you something is very wrong and triggers your Fight, Flight, or Freeze response. In psychology, this sense that something is off is referred to as cognitive dissonance.
In coaching, we call it, the Caterpillar Soup stage. Caterpillars literally dissolve into a soupy goo on their way to becoming beautiful butterflies. Learning to coach can be confusing and disorienting for a while, because your ego, that part of you that protects you from harm, gets in your way.
Another part of your mind is potentially a brilliant coach, but your ego blocks it until it feels safe.
You experience your Inner Coach when you allow yourself to feel empathy, playfulness, curiosity, intuition, and positivity. When your ego realizes there is no real threat, it can get comfortable with its discomfort.
Thank your ego for trying to protect you, but have the courage to stay with the process and allow your Inner Coach to come out and play. When you do so, the real you will discover that somehow you always knew how to coach. You just forget whenever you listen to your ego. 😊
Do you have the courage to Become a Coach? Consider joining the next Certified Competent Coach course.