But why is it that some people are able to boldly push past their fears and actually live out their dreams, while other people spend years or even decades floundering about in inaction?
Life coach Pamela Barit Nolan, is the founder of Transform [Bermuda] and a member of the International Coaching Federation [ICF], and according to Ms Barit Nolan, there are five main barriers that could be holding you back from the life you want.
Over the past four years she’s worked with dozens of clients in Bermuda and around the world and noticed that the same hurdles crop up for those on the road to self-improvement.
Through life coaching, she helps clients tap into their passions, conquer deep rooted fears and overcome last minute challenges so they can live more effectively and authentically.
Here are five things that could be preventing you from reaching your full potential:
- 1. Fear of seeking help. Especially on a small island like Bermuda, Ms. Barit Nolan has encountered lots of people who want to take their life and dreams to the next level, but are afraid of getting help from a therapist or life coach because of what others might say or how they might appear. “Bermuda is a small community and I often have to assure people that as a practicing coach, but especially as a member of the International Coaching Federation, we live by a strict code of ethics, which includes confidentiality [just like the lawyers, accountants, bankers, therapists and counsellors on the island],” Ms. Barit Nolan explained. “That should give you, the client, confidence that even if your coach knows one of your relatives or may have crossed paths with your partner or knows where you work that they are committed to and bound by high standards of confidentiality and ethical practices and won’t be sharing anything discussed in your sessions with anyone else.”
- 2. A troubled past. Let’s face it, some people have gone through very serious hardship, pain and trauma in their life. Before they can take a step in the right direction toward their future they have to address their past and do some healing. The healing may have come through therapy or other treatments and have allowed the client to arrive at a place where they are prepared to move forward in their lives. This is when the coach can step in. The client needs to be ready and able to take on the work towards reaching their new goal in life.
- 3. Lack of self-belief. Some people reach a place in their life where they know something is a little off – be it with their life, relationships or career. For Ms. Barit Nolan that moment came for her personally while working in a high-powered job in financial services. “I had been at Wellington Management Company for ten years and was very successful, but deep inside there was this restlessness. I would come to work and it was okay, but I was feeling like it was maybe a six out of ten. There were moments when I got inspired, but there was more “blah” than passion or excitement. When you feel restless like that often times something isn’t completely right and we can start to doubt ourselves. Back then I was sitting at my desk and saying ‘I think I want to change, but who wants to hire me? [this person who has been in the financial services for 20 odd years]’. I couldn’t see what was over the horizon – and that’s actually the best time to think about getting together with a coach because for whatever reasons or whatever assessments we all have of ourselves they are not allowing us to see the way forward and the possibilities.”
- 4. Worrying your entire life will have to be interrupted. Just because you’re on the brink of a transition in your life, doesn’t mean you’ll have to undergo a total life overhaul. Ms. Barit Nolan has worked with people from all walks of life who have been able to make small tweaks to their daily routine to yield major overall benefits, for example more time for hobbies or with their spouse. “You don’t have to wipe out your entire history, leave your job and do something completely different.” she said. “You may just need a small shift to get you back into a place where things are flowing peacefully and joyfully again.”
- 5. Not celebrating the milestones along the way. Too often we reach one of our small targets, but instead of taking time out to pause and appreciate how far we’ve come, we become focused on getting to the next level. Believe it or not this can actually hurt you in the long run. For while you may end up ticking off things from your to-do list but you never feel truly satisfied. “Particularly in the Western world, we have this huge sense that we have to accomplish something and then we arrive at the goal, whatever that might be, and start working on the next goal – whether that’s to become the vice president at accompany or the next CEO,” Ms. Barit Nolan said. “There is this sense of constant accomplishment whether it’s to achieve accolades or economic gains. We are often racing towards the next goal. Coaching can help slow things down a bit, take more time to enjoy the journey and allow us to feel more complete and more whole. The experience can invite us into more self-love – a sense that we are enough and that where we are is just where we are supposed to be.”
If you’re ready to meet with a life coach, visit the International Coach Federation website, www.coachfederation.org for information on Bermuda’s registered coaches.
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