Stephen Woolston
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It’s okay to be okay—the sea change that’s happening in coaching

When I first trained as a coach, it was in a corporate programme. The emphasis was on goals, action and motivation. The bigger the goal and the action required to achieve it, the better. The goals were mostly material and the process seemed predicated on the idea that however you were, it was’t okay. It couldn’t be. Not yet. Not until you’d achieved your goal.

Then, of course, you still couldn’t be okay, because now you needed an even bigger goal.

It started to look like an endless game of having to get somewhere else other than here and you had to perceive lack in your life to be motivated to play it. The gurus talked about creating massive pain to get you motivated.

Then people started to realise that very paradigm was making people miserable. I chose not to become a coach. Not to do that. There seems to have been a sea change in coaching in recent years, though. It was probably always there, but it’s more to the fore these days.

It’s not that people don’t have goals any more, because they do. It’s not that there is no action or motivation, because there is. Still want what you want and totally go for it. Just don’t kid yourself you need to feel pain to do it. Don’t kid yourself you need it before you can feel happy or well. Know that it’s okay to be okay right now!

A lot of great coaches are teaching people how to be okay again; how to be happy even though you maybe don’t yet have everything you want; how to be happy even if things don’t always go great at work; how to really want and go after things, but not feel the pain of neediness while you’re still working on it; how to be driven by joy rather than pain; how to get active because you’re connected with your essence, not flagellated by deadlines.

This sea change isn’t new, of course, it’s been developing a while. I just really think it’s arrived now. And, personally, I think it’s what we really need to flourish.

Wishing you health and happiness,