What the Bleep Is Transformation Anyway? - Legally Bold

What the Bleep Is Transformation Anyway?

There are a lot of things that I love about the online coaching industry. I love that coaching has become accessible to lots of people around the world.  I’m moved by the way a client’s perception of herself and her circumstances changes for the better. I’m honored that I get to create a space where people feel safe, seen, and heard, and I’m excited to see the transformations people create in their lives.  

But what I don’t love about coaching is the language we use to describe the profession and these experiential shifts. I mean what the h-e-double hockey sticks is transformation anyway?

If you’ve watched any sitcom in the past several years, I’m sure you’ve got questions about coaching too. On TV the coaching industry is made out to be a big joke. Any character that holds themselves out to be a coach is usually the stoner brother/sister/auntie/cousin who has no money, no clue, and seems to have only chosen the profession to avoid getting a “real job.” Their clients appear to be equally as flighty and kooky.

These caricatures discount the real work and life-changing shifts that people experience through coaching.  But I can’t really blame these shows for their depictions of the industry.  It’s our messaging that is part of the problem.  The truth is we need better words and better definitions to describe what coaching is and what it does.

Why don’t we have better words? Because describing a process that is meant to be felt, not just thought about, is somewhat tricky. Sometimes there are truly no words, and other times there are ones that only scratch the surface of the full experience.

So I thought I might do something about this messaging problem by uncovering some practical definitions for some of the widely spread, though not clearly defined coaching terms.  First up, is the word transformation.

Transformation Defined

Although transformation is another one of those terms that appear to lack practicality, it is actually a formulaic process that you can learn and implement. Here are the steps.

Step 1: Desire and Decide

Transformation starts with a desire to change something in your life. Transformative desires are the stuff of New Year’s Eve resolutions.  They are the big goals that, if accomplished, will change your life for the better going forward. Transformation begins when you identify the secret desires of your heart and decide to go about achieving them.

Step  2: Learn

When you want to change anything in your life, from your finances to your love life, the best place to start is to learn about the process. In the learning stage of transformation, you read, digest, and listen to everything you think might help you get to where you want to go next. Learning will spark ideas about how to apply the concepts you discover in your own life. Education also helps you determine what you will do to achieve your goal and sets the foundation for the next step  – experiencing it.

Step 3 – Experience

Now that you’ve read the books and listened to the podcasts, the next step in the transformation process is putting your knowledge into action. There is something about the human experience that requires physical action to learn something truly. You have to experience it in your body to know what works and what doesn’t. That means downloading that budgeting app, clearing the clutter, and tracking your expenses  if you want to change your finances. Or buying that domain, creating a website, and selling your products if you’re going to be an entrepreneur.

To experience something, there has to be repeated action. You must do the thing, and you will learn and understanding even more.

Step 4 – Become

Step 4 seems very simple, but it’s actually the most challenging part. Becoming, or engulfing your education and experience as part of your being, is what transformation is all about.

To become a person who has truly acquired this new attribute requires commitment. In Steve Pressfield speak, this part of transformation means that you have gone pro. You have decided to do whatever you have to do in your quest to meet your goal.

“Turning pro is free, but it demands sacrifice. The passage is often accompanied by an interior odyssey whose trials are survived only at great cost, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. We pass through a membrane when we turn pro. It hurts. It’s messy and it’s scary. We tread in blood when we turn pro.” – Steve Pressfield

Who knew deciding to try the Whole 30 diet would mean all that? Treading in blood, really?  Yes, really because the transformation is not about the diet. It’s about what keeps you from becoming a person with a healthy lifestyle style from this point forward. The diet is just one tool to get there. You’ve experienced a transformation when you realize that you’ve crossed that line in the sand, and there’s no turning back. You are a pro.  You have transformed yourself from the person you were before to the person you are after.

Coaching and Transformation

A coach helps to facilitate transformation because she helps walk you through the steps listed above. A coach works with you to determine your true desires.  Then she works with you to access the tools to learn, experience and become pro.  Transformation is hard work and having a coach helps you to stay focus and accountable. A coach also holds the space for you to achieve your goal even when you think you won’t make it.

So that’s it.  That’s transformation and coaching defined.  Got questions? Have thoughts? Let me know in the comments in below.