Many a brilliant client loves to know why they are the way they are.
It’s part of what makes them incredible artists or entrepreneurs.
It is also why they get lost and trapped up their own assholes when it comes to addressing simple problems in life.
I say this with love.
‘Why’ is useful when you’re feeling so powerless and out of control that you have difficulty functioning as an adult. At that stage, you are not coachable. At that stage, you need therapy, and I would refer you accordingly.
Then, once you’ve done the work necessary to cultivate some self-understanding and impulse control, and can take responsibility for yourself without shame or blame, you and I can get to work.
At that point, ‘why’ is just brain candy. Most of the time, it’s a distraction.
In coaching, it’s all about the WHAT.
What do you want?
The why, unless you’re a complete sociopath, really doesn’t matter. And if you are, chances are you don’t need or want my help. You could probably get elected president. Once it has been ascertained that you are not a malignant narcissist, you’re probably not someone who needs to constantly be checking your own motives in order to proceed.
Once I am convinced that your intentions are good and we can work together, I take you on as a client. I trust that decision; I don’t keep revisiting it. What allows the coach/client relationship to work is trust. If you don’t have a fundamental sense that you can trust me after talking to me, do us both a favor: don’t hire me. Choosing to hire a coach is a good example of a decision that shouldn’t be constantly re-examined.
Coaching will help you really fly if you have the courage to stop questioning your own motives. At a certain point, that type of questioning just becomes another form of resistance.
If you have the courage to commit to something and go for it, then you can see resistance for what it is, and manage your mind and attention accordingly. That doesn’t mean you won’t get it wrong sometimes. So what? That’s how you figure things out. In the words of one of my favorite coaches Monica Shah, ‘A decision is making a choice so that the universe can give you more information.’
Save the ‘why’s for the construction of your work. ‘Why’ in that context is a perfectly good and vital question. It will help uncover the message or meaning you’re creating.
But you won’t get very far in life or your career if you keep questioning why you want to create what you want to create to begin with. That will be revealed.
Let the wanting be enough.