How one sentence can change your life

Image by 165106 from Pixabay

Whether we recognise it or not, we all need and use mentors and coaches that we can look up to who have travelled that path we are on now.  We might not recognise someone in that role “officially” but every time we have a conversation with someone, and we ask questions, or for advice, the other person is mentoring or coaching. You probably have many people who have inspired you, or you’ve learned from, or someone who has had an impact on you.

For anyone who has delved into the world of personal development, you can often look for more “official” role models.  It could be a colleague or work based mentoring scheme, or through the world of personal development and life coaching.  There are hundreds of them out there ready to help.  But how do you know which one to approach?  It’s going to cost you money and you want to make sure you get value for that.  You need to feel comfortable with them as going through the process can leave you feeling quite vulnerable.

I spent time with one person and all she said every time I asked a question or for advice was, “what would you tell someone else if they asked that question?”  That’s not helpful if you’re searching for those answers yourself.  Someone else’s story is different to your so it doesn’t necessarily translate.  If I knew what to tell someone else, I wouldn’t be asking the question myself, would I?  Thankfully, I wasn’t paying for this particular pearl of wisdom, and I’ve not been back since to that particular person.

We can often feel guilty for investing in our own growth and so far, I’ve not spent real money on it, but I am curious about it.  I saw something recently on LinkedIn which sounded really fun.  It was a group for women for fun and fascinating conversations in and around London, with events hosted at some truly stunning locations.  I was really tempted, it sounded like fun and a good opportunity for networking and to experience different things.  But something held me back.  The cost actually wasn’t that extravagant: £20 per month or £220 for the year for which you get exclusive access to the podcast, the online community and networking and so on.  Obviously there was a cost of attending an event on top of that, but factor in the glitz and glamour of attending an intimate supper in one of London’s most gorgeous venues, drinks nights, or bespoke evenings like wine tastings, book clubs, walks and talks.  It all sounded like a fun thing to do, to experience.  What was really holding me back was two things:

  1. Would I fit in with this group of people?  My lifestyle is so very different at the moment.  Would I look and sound like an idiot around these, presumably very cultured and clever people?
  2. Could I justify the expense?  It’s not much, but without being able to see exactly what I’d be getting for my money, I don’t know whether it would be worth the investment, and what I’d truly get out of it.

But surely if I don’t try, how will I ever know?  It’s a bit like mentoring and coaching, until you try with someone, you’ll never know if it’ll work for you or not.

Now, I’ve also had some great work based coaches.  Two stand out.  One I’d never met before and knew nothing about, who was very much senior to me, who was willing to meet with me over a coffee and chat about my future.  She carefully explored how I thought my career was going, and I do remember one particular piece of advice she gave me “when you go for an interview, wear some sexy undies, it’ll make you feel really special, and you’ll hold yourself completely differently”.  I’ve never actually put that to the test, but I can see her point.  The second coach I’ve had experience with was someone I know of, not necessarily very well, but we have mixed in work circles before.  She knew more about my situation and pushed a bit harder at the “what do you really want?” thoughts. This really helped me galvanise my own plans. She never told me what I should do, she asked how various things made me feel, and asked me to explore my feelings around the various options that were open to me.  It was a very soft and gentle approach but had some hard hitting lessons behind it.

So, I’m currently flitting between what should be my next self-development step with coaching or mentoring. Again, I need to look at where I want to be in life and what things do I want to experience.  Should I invest at least one £20 monthly fee in this London club and dip my toe in the water to see if it’s the right fit?  I know only I can answer that question. 

When you start to investigate life coaches, you’ll see they charge £thousand’s for their efforts.  I recognise that’s due to their expertise and knowledge in this area, but can it really be value for money?  Obviously, they would claim it is and all the intangible results you’ll benefit from along the way.

But they might just have that one sentence that could make a world of difference.


2 thoughts on “How one sentence can change your life

  1. Maybe rephrase the question. What might you gain for that £20? New contacts, new experiences or whatever. Can you try it once, then not go again if it’s not for you? What have you got to lose if you do go? Maybe just a few hours of your time


  2. Several comments. (1) I am very wary of anything that starts off my asking for money. Too many have at best mixed motives. (2) I don’t like the idea of “looking up to” someone who advises – advice is a two way process between people who trust each other and bounce ideas off each other. Also (3) my late mother had some wise words on this subject – “Never give advice to someone if you think they will take it”. i.e. make suggestions only if the recipient will take what you say on board and use it to help reach their own solution. The $20 scheme sounds far to much like attempting to provide answers, and for a fee. Suspicious on both counts.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s