How Coaching Can Help Align Your Decisions With What You Value Most
Brenda Lockwood | February 2022
Have you ever been trucking along in your life only to arrive at a time or a place and think, I wish I had done that differently? Maybe you’ve made a decision without thinking about what you truly wanted the outcome to be or tried something because you thought it would be a good idea and then ended up realizing it was a mistake.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. I’ve been there, too!
The latest neuroscience research finds that our subconscious minds control 95% of our lives. That’s right: 95% of our brain activity lies beyond our conscious awareness. From habits, behavior patterns and automatic body functions to emotional responses, personality, beliefs and values, cognitive biases, creativity and long-term memory, the subconscious influences the decisions we make and the actions we take in our lives.
It’s a beautiful thing, really. The fact that most of what we do and say happens without us even having to think about it can help life move efficiently. Imagine if you had to think about each specific action you needed to take to brush your teeth in the morning. How long would it take you to do this simple task if you had to stop and think through every step necessary to get the toothpaste from its tube onto your teeth?
The subconscious mind is a beautiful thing, until it isn’t. Relying on your subconscious to make the decision to brush your teeth in the morning isn’t likely to have a big impact on important decisions you’re making in your life. But, what about decisions that will have an impact on your life if you don’t spend some time thinking about them first?
I tend to be one of those people who often leaps before she looks. I like to make decisions based on what feels right in the moment. If you know me, you know that I am enthusiastic and optimistic and live life as it comes. Living life as it comes usually means, at least for me, that the subconscious mind drives my actions. Much of the time this approach to life works for me; however, there are times when it doesn’t.
Ten years ago, I woke up one day and quit my job. I was feeling frustrated in the work I was doing and decided it was time to step out on my own as an independent consultant in the human services field. I had the connections I needed to procure projects that would keep a steady revenue stream coming my way. I’d be just fine, I thought, and off on my own I went.
The next two years were filled with a lot of work, a lot of uncertainty, and a lot of headaches. While I managed to stay busy with projects, I hadn’t considered that working as an independent contractor would require more time and attention to details. I was passionate about the consulting I was doing, but I wasn’t interested in administrative details, like learning how to use software to manage invoicing and payments. It didn’t take long before I felt more frustrated than I did when I was working as a team member in an organization.
Finding myself in a situation where I really did not want to be left me feeling embarrassed and vulnerable. I decided to talk to a coach who worked with small business owners, and they helped me unpack the excitement and enthusiasm I had for wanting to work as an independent consultant in the first place. We worked on aligning my values with what I actually had the capacity and competence to do. Basically, my coach helped slow me down and connect to all the wisdom that resides in my subconscious mind – that 95% of my brain which was always available to me and which I hadn’t taken the time to consult.
Since that time as an independent consultant, I’ve gone back to working within an organization, where I find value in being part of a team. I completed a coach training program and have learned more about how the human brain functions when making decisions. I now spend much of my time at Butler Institute for Families, coaching others on how to slow down and align their decisions with their values and strengths. Basically, I help others connect to that 95% of their brain that is waiting to share its wisdom with them!
I love the feeling when I get to witness the people I coach have “aha” moments those moments that come when their values align with what it is they really want in their lives. I always say to myself – I get it! And, I really do. If you’re interested in joining me in our coaching program and want to learn about what Butler offers, visit our page for more info.