23rd Nov, 21

What is life coaching and mentoring?

Sometime ago I read a fascinating and beautifully written blog on the subject of loneliness…and it got me thinking.   

Given the right or ‘wrong’ circumstances, within each of us is a void. A void we are all aware of, a void that makes us ask ourselves the biggest questions. A void we are predisposed to avoid; and we do that in countless ways. Many of which are positive and many of course are not.

Love, close family and friends, satisfying and rewarding work, culture and quality leisure time. And some of us go further. At the centre of our lives is a culturally constructed belief system or philosophy that offers answers to the questions we have.    

But the void is always waiting and all it takes is that moment we have all experienced, when circumstance strips away some of those protective and positive elements in our lives. The loss of love, ill health, the loss of a job we enjoy, the loss of a lifestyle we enjoy. All of these things lead logically to a questioning of ourselves and very often to behaviours consciously or unconsciously chosen to distract ourselves.

We all know that it is easier to distract ourselves than it is to answer the big questions. And we have all experienced that moment when the distractions we chose lose their shine and our problems are there still waiting for us. As though our problems are the most patient things in our lives and they can just sit and wait until we stop running, hiding or distracting ourselves from them.

Coaching and mentoring functions in two fundamental spaces: our private and our working lives with one primary overriding objective: to help us function as effectively as we can. It is not therapy and it is not for people who are unwell but it is more than the much valued and well-intentioned everyday encouragement we receive from people who care about us.

Life coaching and mentoring opens the door to tools, practices and insights to help us shape our own behaviour. To help us change that behaviour of running away, hiding or distracting ourselves from difficult situations. Coaching and mentoring helps us to find perspective, to accept the discomfort and to make the journey back toward better times and the life we need and want.


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