Just ask any one of my three step-daughters how coaching has changed me and they can give you an earful. They’d tell you how the introverted one detached, the extroverted one argued, and the pleaser kept pleasing, but no one was satisfied and at times our relationships were darn right ugly.
I have always been a hungry student of life and the pursuit of God. Everything I learned, I thought was my responsibility to give away! Blessed with the spiritual gifts of pastor and teacher–and what a previous pastor once called “exhorter,” I always told people what to do – because I thought I knew! Audaciously, I told a few people I counseled, “if you just do what I tell you to do, then you will get…”
You can use your imagination to get an idea of how well that approach worked in the lives of my teenage step-daughters!
And so I counseled, mentored, discipled and cajoled people into the changes I thought they needed, but saw very limited breakthrough in their lives.
As a high I/D/C on the DISC assessment, I could be very intimidating to a high S (like my husband). By delving into understanding human behavior I am able to identify and adjust my behaviors and conversational styles to accommodate the one I’m communicating with. My hubby is much happier.
Not just coaching skills, but discovering my desire for significance exposed the reasons for doing some of the things I did in the way I did them. The workshops developed and presented by Tony Stoltzfus from Leadership Metaformation Institute have opened my eyes not only to my own deep desires but also of those I meet. I can now easily see how someone’s longing for self-worth, for example, can drive them to go after it in unhealthy or safe ways. These skills have immeasurably helped my coaching ministry, but even more dramatically in understanding and relating with the people I love.
Yes, of course, I owe a lot of my growth to becoming more “seasoned” with age, going deeper into the revelations of God, and literally becoming the message of “God causing all things to work together for my good…” But,
Mastering the art of coaching has changed the very person I was into one who is a great listener, quick to encourage and slow to give advice. I’m a better wife, step-mom and friend because my whole paradigm to what successful relationships look like has changed. And I owe it to learning and mastering the art of coaching.
Add the life skill of coaching to whatever you’re pursuing. It’s not only for professional coaches. It’s for you!
What’s the longing in your heart? Look inside, if you are willing. Hidden deep beneath the layers of busyness, expectations and even disappointments is your unmet desire that’s longing to be filled.
But by what? By whom? What will satisfy?
When the desire of your heart was that new car, how did it feel a month later? What were your emotions after it’s first scratch? How long did it satisfy? Unmet desire stirs up again and you’re sure that if you could just get that promotion, everything will be great. And so it comes – with more responsibility that causes you to work longer and sleep less. Still unsatisfied, where do you look next?
Where has the Father taken you on your travels to fill your desires? What have you heard? What have you noticed?
Everyday responsibilities and busyness of children and soccer games, getting to work on time, even serving in your ministry, can bring a sense of satisfaction. They temporarily fill you up, giving a false sense of fulfillment, like the latte for breakfast when your body really needed eggs. An hour later you’re starving, a headache begins to settle in, and the chocolate sprinkle donut in the break room is begging to be eaten.
The truth is there is another way to fulfilling the deepest desires of your heart. Here are 4 Steps to explore how to fulfill your desires.
- Make a list of what you think will fulfill you. What are they? Finding your soul mate? Your child making the right college choice? Complete healing for your body? A ten thousand dollar a year increase? Owning your first home? Finally taking your dream trip?
- Next to each item on your list, write down all the possible great outcomes and deep desires you hope to be filled. Go deep. What will each fulfilled desire give you? Write down the words to your feelings.
- Describe the feelings and emotions you will experience if they are NOT fulfilled? Try to identify the deepest desire that’s not being met? What’s behind those desires? What are you really longing be have? Significance? Belonging? Connection? Love? Worth? Peace? Approval?
- Note how many of your deepest desires are dependent on another person. Be realistic. How likely are they to happen if they depend on another. Rate the likelihood on a scale of 1 – 7 with 7 representing “this is absolutely going to happen”. Anything less than “7” is a risky place to put your dreams.
Most of us stop at Step 1 with no idea what the real desire is behind the dream we’re pursuing. Convinced everything will be perfect if we can just get what we want, we go after it without a clue of what we’re longing to fulfill. Empty, we’ve set ourselves up for the cycle to repeat.
What’s the answer? Go to the One who can meet them. Security, acceptance, belonging, love and every one of your deepest desires are met in the sweet relationship of His love for you. He won’t leave you with that empty feeling like the hour after you’ve eaten a chocolate sprinkle donut.
Today is the last day of Summer, but the weather is still warm, actually it’s still hot if you live in Redding, CA. The hot weather fools me and the plants into thinking it’s not the first day of fall, so I don’t have to prepare. The season is about to change – are you ready?
Late last spring, we began to “redecorate” the front yard by taking out the grass lawn and 30-year-old shrubs to replace with drought tolerant plants along with an arrangement of rocks trying to fool people into believing it’s a natural dry creek bed we unearthed under the old lawn. There is a lot of pressure to go drought tolerant if you live in California. Actually California’s new motto is, “Brown is the New Green“! Really? Well, that’s a discussion for another day…
As time would prove, we weren’t ready for the summer season that was quickly upon us. It went from pleasant spring weather to really hot! Really fast! Watering restrictions and mandates were in place because of the 4-year-old drought, so we got as far as creating the trying-to-look-oh-so-natural dry creek bed and laying down lots of black weed barrier. And stopped. And there it sat for almost 4 months because we weren’t ready for the change in season.
Where have you experienced that in your life? A change was coming but you weren’t ready to grab onto it so you had to sit it out, hoping it would cycle back around, like fall bringing the right time to begin replanting my front yard.
It’s time now to get outside and plan my front yard design, select the plant materials, shop for the best prices, arrange for the help we need (I’m not digging 3′ deep holes for new trees) and be ready for the day it actually cools down. It could be any day. But I’m not ready. My mind is still wrapped around summer, and ice cream cones, and hot days that force me to stare into my computer for too many long hours, cranking up the electric bill trying to keep my office cool.
It’s time. I grabbed my Sunset Garden book, made a few lists of desired plants, but I just can’t get motivated because it’s too hot! I know what could happen if I’m not careful – turn quickly cold and I’ll miss the beautiful fall growing season altogether. Then what? I’ll have to wait until spring. Am I doomed to repeat the cycle over again?
What about you? How are you getting ready for the season God has ready for you to step into? Don’t judge the season by today’s temperature. Look ahead. God is planning this next step for you. What clues has He given you? He’s encouraged you to get ready. Sometimes contentment is too captivating, too beguiling, even after the deep longing for the change we’ve so long been desiring.
Stand up. Breathe. Take a look around you. What is He telling you? How will you get started even when it’s still hot outside? What’s your plan?
Every season is a preparation toward living out the reason you were born. Oh, don’t get me wrong, all along the way you’ve been bringing and sharing and giving out of the reason you were born. But this season. This season is the grandest of all. It fulfills all your hopes, dreams, passions, and purposes. My front yard doesn’t do that for me, but helping you get ready to step into your destiny? Yes. That’s my season. That’s my reason. What’s yours?