The 3 Types of Experiences
After 12 years of coaching, I can easily and comfortably say that coaching creates magic. Clients transform and become stronger leaders, more patient and loving parents and attentive partners. They go from being stressed, overwhelmed and agitated to becoming calm, confident and joyful. It happens pretty much every time.
Having said that, the magic is not a one-way street. As a coach, magic sometimes happens for me too when, in the middle of a coaching call with a client who is struggling, I come up with a concept that hits a home run.
Here’s an example:
Earlier this week, one of my clients was describing a big change in her life that she wasn’t quite sure how to process. After working for a law firm for three stressful and abusive years, she finally decided to quit. Now, she couldn’t believe how it had taken her so long to move on and she wondered why she stood for all that abuse.
“What was the point of the last three years of my life?” she asked. “I gave my heart and soul to a company that did nothing but treat me poorly. I just wasted the past three years of my life.”
Imagine feeling like you wasted three whole years of your precious time. Imagine walking away from such an intense experience feeling smaller now than when you started.
Her sentiment did not sit well with me. I knew, based on both my personal experience and the experience that I’ve had with hundreds of clients, that her perspective was keeping her trapped and feeling like a victim. I needed to find a way to help her see things a little bit differently and move past her discouragement.
That’s when a totally new concept popped into my head. This is what I told her…
“Every single thing you experience in life can fall into at least one of these three categories:
The first one is joy/pleasure. A joyful experience is one that instantly makes us feel happy and at peace – one that delivers pleasure, fun, engagement and/or satisfaction. We often consider this type of experience to be the most ideal.
The second type of experience is a learning experience. This is the type of experience that teaches us something valuable about anything, including ourselves. This can unfold from a negative encounter or an adversity. These types of experiences leave us wiser and clearer about where we are going and what we want.
The third type of experience, which may apply to your situation, is a gateway experience. This is an experience that doesn’t appear to offer anything at all at face value, but that leads to greatness.
You say that you gained nothing from your last job, but that’s not necessarily true.
Did you know that before I started Frame of Mind Coaching, I worked for another coaching company? It wasn’t a good fit for me at all. My personality, my perspective and my values clashed with theirs and I was miserable. An entrepreneur at heart, I did not do well working for someone else. I had too many ideas of my own.
So you know what I did? I started my own coaching company!
Working for that other coaching company gave me three things:
1 – The CLARITY to know that coaching was a field I was drawn to (joy);
2 – The CONTRAST that allowed me to figure out how I would rather do things (learning); and
3 – The CONTROL that led me to pursue my own vision in the coaching industry (gateway).
If you are open to it, you will see that your last job probably provided you with those three benefits as well. At some point, you were excited to work there (joy); you probably learned a LOT about what you want and don’t want in your future career (learning); and the experience you acquired will most likely be very valuable in helping you get to the next place (gateway).”
Just like that, my client was able to see what doors her last job might open for her.
I would bet that you, too, have endured seemingly frustrating and even adverse experiences only to have them become the catalyst for a positive change in your life.
Nothing that you go through is ever pointless. It just takes a trained eye to see where an undesirable experience might take you.
You may find you need some help milking situations for all they’re worth. The Frame of Mind coaches can help you there! Click here to start the process by assessing your current situation and the mindset that you bring with it. After that, set up some time to chat with us – I promise that it will be an experience you won’t forget!