In this case I’m speaking about “obsessive thinking” and not “circular thinking”. This happens to all of us, probably more often than we care to admit. It happened to me recently. A project for my Toastmasters qualification involved interviewing a fellow club member on camera. The person I interviewed is the vice-president of the recently formed South African Secular Society. After receiving some information from him and reading their website I was struck by what I consider to be a lack of clarity on the main purpose of this society. On the one hand they promote the separation of state and religion. On the other hand they propose a science-based or Naturalistic Worldview. I think the first objective could be of interest to a wide diversity of people while the second objective is far more exclusive, especially as they add that this society supports atheism, agnosticism, non-theism and humanism. I thought about this contradictions of objectives until I was thinking in circles. The result was a very poorly phrased question during the interview to find out whether this society has a main objective, i.e. either secularisation of society or promoting non-belief. After completing the interview and receiving feedback from an evaluator my mind suddenly became clear on what I had perceived as divergent main objectives of this society.
I thought about this contradictions of objectives until I was thinking in circles.
My point is that after speaking my problem out load and receiving feedback I became clear on what I wanted to know. Interacting with other people brings clarity of thought.
Interacting with other people brings clarity of thought.
At about the same time one of the members of a Coaching Culture Club expressed a problem in her life. She is a business owner: hard working and successful. She sells, delivers, installs and trains. She does everything and she does it all herself. She is ready to grow her business. She want to get a partner in her business. Her thinking is that she needs someone who can replicate what she does; with two people doing exactly the same she doubles her business. She has tried partnerships before and each time it failed. Unfortunately, a partner is not a clone. A partner bring a different skill-set and mind-set. Each partner has different strengths and weaknesses and a successful partnership uses these differences to the advantage of the business. Her thinking was going in circles and she could envisage only a clone of herself being of benefit to her business. Having spoken about it and received feedback in the setting of a Coaching Culture Club, she gained clarity on her needs and the potential that a partner brings.
There is great benefit in having good friends, a mentor, a coach or a group of people.
As human beings our thinking does not function particularly well when we do it alone. We think our thoughts are very profound, but we can confirm this only by sharing our thoughts with others. There is great benefit in having good friends, a mentor, a coach or a group of people you meet with regularly in a coaching setting such as Coaching Culture clubs. We should have easy and ready access to people we can speak our thoughts out to so as to clarify our thinking and avoid us thinking in circles.
What were your first achievements? Rolling over, sitting up, crawling, your first word, standing, walking, speaking. When you watch a baby you realise the effort all the ‘firsts’ take to accomplish. At age two we realise we are not an extension of our mother and we assert ourselves. At age three we discover that there are reasons for everything and our thirst for knowledge begins. Then the first day of “big” school arrives with great excitement. Every child in the right learning environment flourishes in their eagerness to learn. After twelve-odd years we may take a “gap year”. Mostly this too means learning new things, discovering the world and its workings, new cultures, networking, earning money, accomplishing the ‘impossible’ sometimes. Should we study further, we focus on knowledge and skills required for a career. And we learn to party (or whatever the term was in your era – we learned to jol)!
Often we look forward to our first job, pay-cheque, no responsibilities so that we can really good at partying. Sometimes we fool ourselves into believing that this is the ultimate achievement in life – twenty-something years of effort in order to ‘cruise’ and achieve nothing more.
Twenty-one years of effort and we achieve adulthood.
Those were not our dreams when we were children. Children dream of being ‘super-heroes’, owning an aeroplane, building a castle, changing the world.
We may bury those dreams, but they do not die. Ignoring them eats away at us subconsciously: we feel “less than”, “not good enough”, “insignificant”. We think these feelings arise in comparison to other people, but I think these feelings arise in comparison to what we set out to be when we arrived on this earth and have set aside, chosen to ignore.
Your buried childhood dreams eat at your self-image.
There is hope: rediscover your dreams and translate them into a vision with a plan for the future. “Not so easy to get out of my rut”, you say.
There is help. The role of the Life Coach is to walk the path with you as you rediscover your mission in life, to ask the questions that will allow you to translate your dreams into present and future goals, to hold you accountable as you plan the steps to bring these goals into the real world, to remind you that you can achieve.
But, it takes effort.
Just as it took twenty-one years of effort in many areas of your life to become an adult with the basic skills in place, so it will take effort to build the foundations for a life’s mission and its fulfilment.
Life coaching can turn childhood dreams into a life’s mission.
Effort is always rewarded and putting effort into the questions that a life coaching partnership presents will be richly rewarded in terms of self-image, achievement satisfaction and even financial rewards. A well structured life coaching programme means that you have the advantage of looking ahead to an outcome. But it is the amount of effort put into every step of the journey that delivers the rewards.
Effort delivers reward.
My message is that a life coaching intervention is always beneficial, but the richness of the rewards that it will deliver is dependant on the effort the coachee (person being coached) puts in. It’s a home truth that will always apply.