I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day and he was telling me “I could never work with a life coach”. I was a bit confused, yet curious, and asked what he meant by that. He said “I don’t know, going for a coach, all this change thing, is…kind of radical! My life is not perfect, sure, there are some things to improve, but I don’t want to “change” it”. That got me thinking and I needed to be my best “external observer self” for a while to understand what he was referring to.
I was wondering how he came to the conclusion that change had to be a big thing, something that meant changing everything around you. Then I started to have a closer look at the conversations in the self-improvement groups I am part of, the content of the targeted ads I receive, and the most popular posts on professional networks. They all had the same kind of messages: “I went from homeless to a 6 figures business in a few months”, “How I went from a cheated wife to a bestseller author”, “ I was doing X movies as a student and this is how I turned my life around” etc. Huge transformations from heavy and dark stories.
Now I know that this kind of headline is meant to be inspirational and to place the writer in a position of an expert when it comes to overcoming challenges, but when they start to make it look like personal growth and change are only about that, does it leave room for “every day’s change”? Change that is not driven by trauma but by a will to make our lives a tiny bit better, a tiny bit happier, a tiny bit brighter?
Think about it: would you be impressed and want to work with me if I told you how I overcame my fear of goldfishes or how I went from having 5 credit card debts to 4, for instance? Probably not. And still, that would be some life improvements, wouldn’t it? Don’t forget that those claims, even genuine, in this context, are personal branding messages. In a word: marketing.
Now, back to real life. I would like to make it clear to everybody who is considering a change in his life, with or without the help of a life coach: there is no change too tiny not to do it. None of them. As long as you want it and it serves you, there is no change too small in your life. Maybe your life is busy all the time, and all you want is a more mindful lunch break since this is the only meal when the kids are not around: go for it. Maybe you are worried about your meat intake but you love your steak, and what seems ok for you now, is having 2 dinners a week with no meat. Maybe at a point you switch to 4, maybe 2 is all you can do, and that’s fine! There is room for any type of change.
I will go further to say: there is no big change mentioned above that didn’t start with a baby step. And in this game, there is no baby step too “baby”, any change per se is always better than no improvement or improvement attempt. Forget about everybody else’s personal achievements, or what you have to do-or what you think you have to. And start with that: what is it that you could easily change today, something that would serve you and that would make your life a tiny bit better, a tiny bit happier, a tiny bit brighter? Look at you, life coaching yourself!