Embracing All Your Support

supportA very common question I ask every client at some point in the coaching process is: “Who’s on your team?”

Sometimes when I ask this question I can feel a momentary panic, as if the client is afraid they have no one on their side. This is never the case, whether they know it consciously or not. So during our coaching process, we keep adding to the ‘team’.

For me, I think of my ‘team’ as a functioning system that has 4 main branches – 2 in the outer portion and 2 in the inner. Let’s go through each of them and see what they consist of:

Outer branch #1: Friends & Family. One of the most important things for me when I’m going through something challenging is having support with processing. I have a VERY active mind. When it starts going, it can be quite the feat to get it to slow down. One way to do this is to reach out to friends and family who can help me process. They can support me in getting a bit of perspective on what is going on. This is different than simply complaining or venting (although I must admit, there may be a bit of that at times). What these supportive processing helpers do is they listen and they ask questions. Sometimes what they say doesn’t ring true for me and that’s ok – it just give me more information about where I am.

Outer branch #2: The Professionals. There is all kinds of support available when it comes to the Professional branch. For me, going through my own coaching process years ago served as my foundation. I learned so much about myself in that process that after a while, I was able to stand strongly in who I was. Although my foundation is firmly in place, there are still times I need the Professional support. These days, I have numerous coaches I can call on, and I use the services of amazing holistic acupuncturist, Katie Briggs, who I see regularly – something that keeps the energy moving and keeps me grounded. There are other modalities out there depending on what works for you and what you most need.

Now that we have some clarity on the external support, let’s turn inward. No matter how well your outer system is working, it won’t be strong enough unless your inner support system is in place.

Inner Branch #1: The Tools. These are those things you do that you know help you come back to center. These take time to uncover. For me, some of the tools I use are things like walks, coaching exercises that I use for myself and with clients, breathing exercises, journal writing, being in nature, asking myself powerful questions. And of course, I created the Mood Ladies for just this purpose. When YOU need support, what inner tools do you have at your disposal? And what works for you to bring you back to YOU?

Inner Branch #2: YOU. And that question brings us to the heart of the matter. YOU, the inner expert, are the best support there is in challenging times. When we are in the midst of the challenge, it can feel confusing. And You know the answer.  Connecting with that true you inside is essentially your strongest support branch. Those other branches, when firmly in place, can help you get back to YOU more quickly. But it’s the Inner Expert that ultimately supports you.

Using those inner and outer branches is a beautiful dance of reaching out AND reaching in to get the support you need in challenging times. My invitation to you is to take a look at your own support system. What branches are in place? What branches might need some strengthening? Are there branches that you have that I don’t? Or one you see that you don’t have that you’d like to develop? Wherever you are, it’s fine. A well-functioning support system might take some time to put in place. Start with recognizing where you are right now and where you’d like to be. No matter how big the gap is here, know that support is at your fingertips. Which branch would you like to start with?

 

This post is an updated and condensed version of a previously written article. Click here for the full version.

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