I have noticed that most people associate the act of seeking out a coach, mentor, therapist, or counselor with times of being in crisis. The idea of seeing someone doesn’t even occur to most until there is an experience of pain and discomfort, a struggle to find their way through a challenge or catastrophe. I notice this when parents question whether or not to place their children in therapy or counseling, worrying that this may somehow be a negative experience in their life. Or when couples wait until they are no longer speaking or not having sex to begin counseling. While times of crisis are absolutely important times to seek out help, I have always viewed the helping field in a very different way.
Making the choice to work with a coach, mentor, therapist, or counselor (let’s refer to this as seeing someone), is making the choice to empower yourself in a way that alters your life moving forward. It is a gift of opportunity that allows you to heal, learn, and grow in ways that you are unable to do so on your own. When you can give yourself, or your loved ones, this opportunity PRIOR to a crisis, you are giving yourself/them the gift of preparation, a readiness to deal with whatever comes your way. Having tools and support prior to challenges and crisis allows you to navigate your way through life in a more empowered and effective way.
As I have gone through my life, I have ventured in and out working with therapist, counselors, mentors, and coaches. Each one has provided me with knowledge and tools, and each one has allowed me to understand myself in a different and deeper way. I have worked with someone in times of crisis, as well as times when all is good in my world, and each has provided a very different experience.
When working with someone while in crisis, the focus is usually on the issue at hand and therefore my thinking, perception, and openness have been less open. We often times get so caught up in the stress and pain of a problem that we are unable to see past through it. Our view becomes limited and therefore our ability to learn and to grow becomes compromised as well. Working with someone through a crisis is absolutely beneficial and there are times in my life that would have gone very differently had I not had the support and guidance of a mentor.
When working with someone while life is just flowing along, the work I have done has been much broader. It is during these times that my ability to explore within myself is much greater, and I am able to see the big picture in a clearer way. Being able to work on personal development while not in pain and/or stress was an opportunity for me to learn tools and practice implementing them in a safe and non-pressure way. And it is through having this experience that I have felt better equipped and more empowered to handle life’s challenges as they come my way.