behaviour

How Your Personal Life and Professional Life are Connected

As a personal and business life coach who shares his time in New Zealand and North America, I work with a lot of clients who are looking for either professional or personal growth. Whether they’re in search of a more rewarding career, life path, or something else, they believe that in order to achieve their dreams, they need a little support.

Many of these clients seek me out for specific needs, such as: “As a manager in my firm, I’m hoping to gain more confidence in my abilities in order to be a more effective leader,” or “I feel my personal life is at a standstill and I’m not sure how to get it back in motion.”

While I certainly tailor my life coaching sessions to each individual client, one thing I like to stress to people who come to me for support and guidance is that the skills and tools you acquire from your personal coach can be used in all aspects of your life. And in fact, following that same vein, the problems or obstacles you face in one area of your life likely affect – or will affect – other areas.

With that in mind, it’s important to realize that although you may seek out a life or business coach for one specific issue, the lessons you take from your time with your coach can be used throughout your day, from the office to home, to help you achieve a balanced and happy existence.

Examples of how habits and thinking affect all aspects of your life

Let’s say I have a client who comes to me – as a business/professional coach – to help him with his lack of confidence in the workplace. This lack of confidence has held him back professionally, and financially, for far too long. It’s time he does something about it, so he comes to me for help. Knowing that my client’s initial purpose is to reap rewards in his professional life, I make sure to stay focused on that endgame. It’s important that my client know I’m on the same page that he’s on; it’s important we create goals, or milestones, that are easily measured and fall inline with his initial purpose.

But as my relationship with this client strengthens, and as he begins to see his life from a different perspective, my goal is to help him to see that his lack of confidence isn’t just compartmentalized into his professional life. There are likely many examples – from his personal life – where he either allowed his lack of confidence to dictate his fate, or, he demonstrated an unhealthy display of overconfidence, in order to compensate for his insecurities at work. For example, he might be in a relationship in which he’s far more controlling and authoritative than he should be. This commonly happens when a person feels they don’t have control or a voice over one aspect of their life – they make up for this somewhere else.

The point of this example is to demonstrate the interconnection between every aspect of our lives. While we certainly do our best to leave “work at work” and “home at home,” our lives aren’t made up of walls and doors. We live in fluidity. The leaky faucet this morning will affect our meeting this afternoon. Our boss’s bad mood on Friday will bring us a hint of anxiety on Sunday night as we prepare for a new work week. Rather than ignore and fight this interconnectivity, we need to accept it. By accepting it, we’ll gain a clearer perspective of how the stresses, behaviors, and habits we have in one area of our life affect – or are nurtured by – other areas.

Think of your life like a tree

Looking at a tree, you’ll notice that there are countless branches that spring out from its trunk. Some branches are small, some are large. These branches are like the many hats we wear in our lives. Father, Son. Daughter, Wife. Co-worker. Friend. Mentor. Neighbor. While at first glance it appears that none of these branches touch, they do share one commonality – the trunk. In other words – you. You are that commonality among the many hats in your life. And just like issues running through that trunk will eventually affect every branch of the tree, issues in your life will eventually affect all aspects of your world.

A life coach

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I tailor my coaching sessions to the specific needs of my clients. Each individual has different obstacles to overcome, and goals they’d like to achieve. However,  my personal goal is to help my clients realize how the struggles they face in one area of their life affect other areas as well. Conversely, the triumphs they experience in one area can certainly bleed over to other areas as well. Sometimes all it takes is a little coaching.

Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/15216811@N06/
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