As coaches, we are a supporter to many people. The provider of a safe place for clients to become self-aware, discover solutions, and celebrate their success. But who supports you?
As an ADHD Life Coach, one of the questions I teach my students to ask their clients and themselves is “what support do you need?”
It often doesn’t occur to those of us with ADHD to consider who or what we need to help us achieve what we want in life. Sometimes this is because we have isolated ourselves from others as a result of our ADHD. The guilt and shame of our own shortfalls has us going it alone. Or, it may not even occur to us that support makes it easier to accomplish a goal. Either way, not anticipating support is often the reason why plans, goals and actions stop dead in their tracks.
As coaches we are a natural support for our clients. Asking questions to help them clarify their underlying challenges. Experimenting with steps, systems, and structures so they can reach their goals. Emphasizing personal ownership, self-responsibility and accountability so they can experience long term change. Support is an essential part of the coaching process. And it’s not always easy.
It’s humbling when clients accept our support and expertise in the coaching process. Remember being a coach is a partnership. One human being to another, vulnerable, imperfect and benefiting from support.
One of the great things about being a coach, if we allow it, is how useful the coaching process is when applied to our own lives. In this case, support.
When we allow, acknowledge and are grateful for the support in our own lives we stay in integrity as a coach. We are authentic. Support, an essential tool in the coaching process helps our clients and ourselves build a thriving life that we love.
So who supports you? Who has your back? Who provides that nonjudgmental safe space where you express your vulnerabilities? Who cares enough to follow up, holds you as creative resource and whole, and celebrates with you when you succeed?
If we are lucky, behind us is at least one person, one trusted supporter. This may be the friend who trades off carpooling so we can schedule an afternoon of appointments with our clients. A spouse or partner who brings you a warm cup of tea knowing you are immersed in writing your next blog. Or the neighbor who asks if you need anything at the market because they are heading there anyway.
While we would be thankful for any of those gestures, remember that support can come in ways we might not have considered. For instance, our supporters may be those people who help us do the things we’re best at. Who respect our passion to pursue our dreams. Whose brilliance and gifts help yours to shine. In other cases, support may come intermittently. Someone who’s there for only a short time during a life challenge. Offering us strength and boosting our spirit at a critical moment. Support is a valuable part of living and succeeding. It is all around whether we notice it or not.
Support may come from the people we allow ourselves to hire. Nannies, assistants, gardeners, healers, therapists, and advisors.
Support may come from a mentor who shares their lived experience and leaves us feeling stronger, wiser and more capable.
Support can be the person we allow to use their own talents and skills in our lives. Our hairstylist, manicurist, yoga instructor, or person packing your groceries in the bag.
Support may be the person sitting next to you at a networking meeting that let us borrow a pen.
Or someone from our past like a teacher whose words still resonate in our minds.
Nature, animals and pets are especially good at support. A gentle breeze or a beautiful sunset can distract us from our worries. A pet’s warm body lets us know we are not alone.
Support is all around for us and our clients. None of us can make it through life without it and being aware of it allows us to accept its gift.
So, take some time today to acknowledge how support shows up in your life. Just as in your role as a coach you invite your clients to explore support in their lives.