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Coaching doesn’t work!

Counseling doesn’t work! Training doesn’t work!

It is you, my friend, who works. Or not. As a matter of fact….

The great book you just read didn’t make a difference in your life!

The inspiring class you recently took didn’t make a difference in your life! The transformational conference you attended didn’t make a difference in your life!

It is you, my friend, who makes the difference in your own life. Or not.

It’s what you do with the coaching, counseling or training that makes the process work. It’s how you metabolize and relate to the material in the book, class or conference that will make a difference in your life.

Coaching, counseling, books, classes….

these are tools. That’s all they are.

They can’t do anything for you or be anything to you.

Only you can do that.

You might get the job, but then you get to do the work so you can keep it.

You might keep the job, but then you get to do the work so you can get the promotion.

You might decide to buy the business, but then you get to invest sweat equity to make sure it becomes successful and profitable.

Perhaps the most disappointing and unchanging trend I’ve seen in the past 20+ years I’ve coached and trained is that the majority of people are unwilling to do EXACTLY what the really successful people do.

While showing up is half of any battle, the other half is putting your tools and resources to great use.

While you and I might nod our heads in agreement when we read these words, the reality is that most of us will, at some point, expect that our potential will be actualized just because we hired a coach. Or that we’ll work through our family of origin issues just because we went to counseling. Or that we’ll transform our lives merely because we showed up at the conference, took the class or read the book.

We would be wrong.

I have been guilty (okay, more than once) of buying a gym membership, some cute workout clothes and new running shoes and failing to get to the gym. I have been almost as guilty of putting on the aforementioned gear, going to the gym and spending time chatting with my friends, all the while kvetching that ‘working out wasn’t working out for me’. Crazy thing is, I didn’t get in shape or healthier because I didn’t do the work.

Not too long ago I was hired to coach someone who’d attended one of my three-day retreats several years ago. I made the ‘assumption’ that since she’d spent so much time with me, she already knew that my bar is set high, that I practice tough love, and that I would be willing to challenge her if she got too comfortable. None of my assumptions turned out to be true.

After three or so months she let me know that she was disappointed she wasn’t reaching her goals, so she was going to leave coaching. I was disappointed for her, but not surprised. Although I like and respect this woman a lot, it was hard not to see how little effort she was putting into the process.

Indeed, from the start she was un-coachable.

While I trust that my clients know themselves better than I ever will, I know the coaching process better than most. There is absolutely no point in investing your resources if you’re unwilling to change the way you look at things, or you’re overly uncomfortable with self-discovery, or you’re unwilling to do things differently.

Writing a check, alone, does not guarantee success.

The best, most experienced, and effective coach in the world can’t do a damn thing for you if you, yourself, are not inspired to change. Inspiration comes from within you, not from an external motivator, or process or person. It’s Latin origin translates to “God-breathed” or “divinely breathed into“.

When we are inspired to be someone or do something,

that inspiration comes from our very soul and spirit;

it comes from the unique,

yet divine place within us that we identify as “I”.

You don’t even need to feel inspired about anything specific; not about a goal or an outcome or an endpoint. The only ingredient for success is to be inspired to feel differently than you currently do. It’s the feeling you want to change, not ‘the thing’. Maybe you want to feel more confident, successful, happy, or joyous. Maybe feeling abundant, valued or loved are at the top of your list.

It doesn’t matter.

  • What matters is that you find the process that you’re intuitively drawn to. And you do the work.
  • What inspires you to do the work you need to do? How do you ensure your own success? In what ways might you get in the way of the very things that might help you? Please leave your comments below; I promise to personally respond to you!

Of course, I’d be delighted to explore the many ways I can help you and your organization become successful or more successful.

PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS in the comments below.

Remember to like this article and follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and all your other favorite sites. nancy@theleadershipincubator.com


Are you ready to make a change? Are you willing to put aside and work through your obstacles to reach your potential? Then schedule a 15-minute complimentary call with Nancy on our calendar .

Nancy D. Solomon, MA Psych is the CEO and Founder of The Leadership Incubator where she helps leaders identify, address and resolve people problems before they become profit problems so everyone can focus on what they were hired to do– INNOVATE AND DRIVE GROWTH.

Known as The Impact Expert, she is a main stage speaker, expert trainer and veteran coach who helps leaders solve key issues related to leadership development, employee engagement, and advancing women.

Nancy has made a difference for such companies as Microsoft, Target, Acura, Westin, Nordstrom & ADP as well as with many passionate individuals.