Pandora’s Jar

Every once in a while when I am coaching a client I get to witness a moment when they realize possibility. An almost audible “click” as thoughts crystallize and the top comes off the box.

Most people who come to me for coaching are looking for some way out of their box. That box, which keeps them from change or risk or hope, is usually constructed out of fear.

Usually there is a density to fear that prevents people from seeing possibility, potential or any way forward. It clouds the path, minimizes the value of the goal and maximizes the potential danger. Fear can seep in and color all rational thinking. What I’ve discovered, personally and professionally, is that many of us need help to see past the fear. Friends, spouses, partners can help but sometimes you really need a coach.

My coaching – poking with questions and nudging with insights and reframing the words to clarify meaning – sometimes works as a lever under the lid of a client’s box. I’m always upfront with clients that I can’t and don’t actually apply any pressure to their lever, but I’m happy to stand next to them and hand them the tool.

When it works it’s a beautiful thing.

I selfishly enjoy these moments like I accomplished something when the client has actually done all the work. It’s why I coach. Its addictive. When someone finally gets the lid off that jar they keep themselves in (it was a jar not a box btw) they discover, like Pandora, that what’s inside that box is hope.

All in all a good day.