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Coaching to Make Meaning

Inventors bring lots of new things to our lives. They are creative and resourceful with a strong sense of social interest. They want to invent things that will improve the quality of our experience; things to make life easier, more efficient, and more fun.

In a sense, we are all inventors. We all seek to make meaning from the experiences we have in our lives. And we are quite creative about it. We are constantly inventing stories about what has happened in the past, how we either are, or are not, responsible for what happened. We invent rationales for doing certain things in certain ways, and we invent our futures based on the meaning we make of the past.

This is not a bad thing. In many ways our inventions serve us well. We all seek two primary social needs: to find belonging with others and to feel valued. Making meaning of our relationships and experiences is an essential part of feeling relevant and making peace with our circumstances.

But, it is important to recognize that we are inventing. The truth we think we seek about life is actually more about meaning, and we assign meaning ourselves. No one can do this for us; however, having another’s perspective can be very helpful. Coaches are great at this.

For example, if you’re still holding on to a version of your life in which you play the role of victim, a coach can help you re-invent that story in a different way. After all, not all inventions are viable. There is no shame in junking an unsuccessful attempt. Inventors do it all the time. Look at Thomas Edison. His eventual achievement was inventing not just an incandescent electric light, but also an entire system that contained 7 different elements necessary to make the incandescent light practical, safe, and economical. He supposedly had over 100 attempts and worked for one and a half years, before he was finally successful in creating the incandescent lamp that changed the world.
So why not shed a little light on your own story, your personal invention? A coach would ask you some clarifying questions:
• How is your current invention working for you?
• Does it encourage you to see yourself as powerful, as important, as the author of your own destiny? Or does your invention portray you as a minor character, playing only an insignificant role in the story of your life?
• Who are some characters in your invention that need to be written out?
• What new script is required for your cast of characters?

A coach will help you take responsibility for inventing the life you want to live. There are so many options. Give up the fear that you will make a wrong decision. A coach can help you decide what you want and determine some small steps to get you heading in the direction of your desired results.

One reason the coaching industry is growing is that people are well intentioned. They commit easily to doing the things that will make a difference in their lives, and they fully want to follow through. But then life gets in the way, and they get distracted from their goals. A coach is not just a good inventor, but is also skilled in understanding commitment.

What would it be like to have a trusted professional who will hold you accountable to begin living the life you’ve re-invented?

Tell me a fact and I’ll listen,
Tell me a truth and I’ll learn.
But tell me a story,
And it will live in my heart forever.

–Native American Wisdom

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