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A Great Coach Can Change Your Life. Here's How to Be One to Yourself—No Matter What You're Going Through

A Great Coach Can Change Your Life. Here's How to Be One to Yourself—No Matter What You're Going Through

By Wendy Perrotti & Dana Hilmer
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Remember that boost you got from a great coach when you were young? A gentle nudge to shift your attitude or see the bigger, brighter picture? These coaching moments likely opened new paths, even if it didn’t seem so at the time. If you were lucky to have this, you likely remember it, still.

When we grow older, many of us lose that sounding voice. But this doesn’t mean we can’t continue to grow and learn. Seeking the counsel of a coach in your adult years can prove to be transformative. But even still, you can implement some of these you-got-this practices yourself.

Where do we begin? First by seeing the blocks.

Why change is hard.

The truth is, most people don’t change —even when they really want to. It’s one of the reasons personality assessments like the Meyers Briggs are statistically significant. Test someone at age 20, 40, and 80, and an “ENTJ” is likely to remain an “ENTJ.”

This doesn’t mean we don’t continue to learn. You learn throughout your life, in fact, you’ve probably already learned a few new things today.

So, what gives? If we all continue to learn, why do so few people actually change?

Take the phone in your hand as an example. The first time you held a smartphone, you probably had to ask someone to show you how to make a call. Whether you love or loathe technology, the reason you’re now capable of not just making a call, but also of texting, checking your Instagram, and reading The Sunday Paper on your phone is that you USE it every day. You have learned and you now consistently use the features on your phone that matter to you.

Had you taken the info from that first lesson and never used it again, it wouldn’t have amounted to much at all.

The magic of practice.

To move from the eureka moment of “AHA, I get it!” to “I know it so well that I no longer think about it,” takes practice. Your brain requires repetition, radical repetition. And this is the reason that most people don’t change: they don’t know how to put the kind of information required for personal growth into practice. So, the overthinker stays stuck in her head; the perfectionist continues to beat herself up; the dieter starts over every January; the person desiring intimacy never finds it. Sound familiar?

Add to that, the endless supply of self-help books, internet memes, and inspirational quotes make it harder because they hand out eureka moments like candy, tricking you into thinking that because you can relate to the concept, you own the knowledge.

The answer is inside of you.

Here’s the exciting news:

You CAN turn inspiration into transformation and you CAN change your life. It’s simple, but it’s not easy. You’ll need to commit to a few practices that will shift the lens you use to see yourself and the world around you. A great coach helps with this—and you can be this, and do this, for yourself.

As wild as it sounds, absolutely every change you want to make—from expanding your bank account to finding love and inner peace–all begin with a shift in perspective.

Here are five things you can start practicing today:

#1: Create a Compass Point to navigate your choices.

Ask yourself the question “How do I want to FEEL about myself and about my life on my very last day?” The answer to this question is what we, at Camp Reinvention™, call your Compass Point.

Once you have landed on it, we challenge you to use it as a filter by asking yourself questions like:

  • “What can I do at this moment that will bring me closer to my Compass Point?”
  • “Does this choice (big or small) bring me closer to or further from my Compass Point?”

When you commit to this practice you will make choices that consistently move you toward the life you most want to experience. Simple and life-changing. And it’s a practice.

#2: Let go of “should."

We’re all so busy “should-ing” on ourselves, no wonder we often find ourselves not loving who we are and living the life we desire. “Should” can be a trap and it can show up in many ways, like when you…

  • Believe you “should” behave in a certain way. (AKA the good-girl syndrome.)
  • Make commitments because you think you “should”. (If you don’t feel like you have time for what you say matters most, take a good look at this one.)
  • Harbor regret over the way things “should” have turned out (It’s tough to move forward when rolling around in this place.)
  • Spend your life trying to BE who you think you “should” be. (Wouldn’t it be so much better to step fully into being the perfectly imperfect person that you already are?!)

When you notice the word “should” creeping into your vocabulary, see it as a signal to take action on something that moves you closer to your Compass Point.

#3: Lean into your wisdom rather than your experience.

We learn by experience. Your experience tells you that if you put your hand on a hot stove, you’ll get burned. Your life however is much more complex than that. In fact, in most of your experiences, one small shift could have created an entirely different outcome.

When we rely on past experience to make decisions about the present, we’re taking what is and squeezing it into the box of what was.

Here’s a better approach: Take that same experience and infuse it with your Compass Point. Now you see new possibilities and can realize completely new outcomes.

This is wisdom.

#4: Seek an outside perspective—when possible.

You can’t always see the outside of the can from the inside of the can. No one is able to recognize all of their own patterns and sticking points. That’s why it can be life-changing to look outside yourself for guidance, a fresh perspective, support, and accountability.

When seeking this, remember to:

  • Seek insights rather than advice.
  • Look for someone who asks questions… and listens.
  • Keep an open and curious mind.
  • Ask for accountability. It’s amazing how much we accomplish when held accountable to someone else.
  • Filter everything you learn through your Compass Point and trust that no one knows you better than you.

#5: Make the practice your own.

When you get insights and prescribed practices from other people, it’s all very well-meaning but it’s not going to change YOUR life unless it works for YOU. You are your own guru. Be selective. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to anything. Choose what resonates for YOU. Experiment with it and make it your own.

You CAN be the outlier, you CAN be the person that grows and intentionally changes the outcomes in your life. And when you do, remember this: When you grow you won’t “ungrow”. Nothing in nature ever does.

Wendy Perrotti and Dana Hilmer are the Co-Creators of Camp Reinvention™. a robust program and community committed to helping women at a midlife crossroads get clarity on what they want, make it happen, and enjoy their life a lot more. As master-level coaches, they have helped thousands of women successfully reinvent their lives. Learn more at

Question from the Editor: How can you start to be the "outlier" in your life today? We'd love to know in the comments below!

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