I wish I had a Coach when I was a youth growing up! It has only been in the last 6 years that I was introduced to coaching, and now I cannot imagine my life without one!
We all have fears and worries. These get in our way of being the best that we can be, reaching our true potential and achieving success. I wonder how my life could have been different. I love my life now, but maybe I could have loved it sooner.
Let’s explore how coaching could have positively impacted my struggles quicker.
How am I Defining Youth?
I am defining youth as a transitional stage of life. Young people transitioning in education, training, jobs, careers and between childhood into adulthood. Since there is so many variations to what that might translate to in specific ages ranges, I am going to leave that to your own biological, cultural, and societal interpretations.
How do I define Youth Coaching?
Youth Coaching is a part of my Wellness Coaching service. It supports youth clients in working out what they want, why they want it, what is stopping them and then setting goals and creating a plan for action.
Through this supportive relationship, it empowers youth to achieve meaning and balance for general wellbeing in any and all eight dimensions of wellness: Financial, Spiritual, Intellectual, Emotional, Physical, Social, Occupational and Environmental.
How do I Think Youth Coaching Could Have Helped Me Faster?
This crucial stage needs care, guidance, and empathy. It is important to have a plan, but it is even more important to have skills to be resilient and be ready for anything. Being organized is also going to enable youth to be more prepared and is an asset for any position in the community.
My values were shaped by my family and peers. However, I never asked myself if they were consensual. I may have had my own concerns and priorities, but I also had a need to belong, as much as I had a need for independence. Without a Coach it was easy to just become a follower.
If I had a Coach, I could have created my unique self sooner. I could have learned how to express myself and have my own identity. I would have been asked questions like: Do you feel that your influences have competing values? Maybe your parents are divorced, and the values of each household are different. Maybe the values of your family are not aligned with the values of peers your age. A Coach is someone that will allow you to express yourself and empower you to decide.
I started setting goals for myself when I got into my career. When I learned this through work, I decided hey! I can also do this for my personal life too. However, without a Coach, I do not know how many years I would write my list but not achieve them. There were no action plans to achieve them. I did not think about how I was going to be successful. I did not work through potential barriers. Also, I focused on my weaknesses, instead of my strengths.
If I had a Coach, I could have ensured I was using my strengths at every opportunity. Taking a strengths-based approach to my goals would have built up my confidence. It would have helped me to discover my true potential and promoted success if all areas of my life.
I would say my first struggle was with my appearance. I have naturally curly hair and although I learned as an adult how to manage it and now consider it one of my best assets, it was something that I was bullied for as a youth. We did not even use the word bully in my day, but I got teased. There is one specific time I recall having the pencil sharpener shavings put into my hair by a boy in my class from behind. I did not know about it right away and so the other kids were laughing until I finally realized what had happened. It was difficult for me to get them out of my curls. I would say that this led to insecurity, unhappiness, and low self-esteem in school with my peers.
My next struggle was then with boys. I remember putting a condom on a banana in sex education at school, but that was the extent of safe sex approaches. When it was time that I became sexually active, it became trial and error. Let us face it, as a youth, we are not always comfortable talking to our parents about sex. Thank goodness, I did not get any sexually transmitted diseases, or early pregnancies! However, I think I was lucky, and it could have been different for me and was sometimes different for others.
The last example I will give is on turning 18 years old, entering university, and being introduced to alcohol. I had an idea of what I wanted to be when I graduated high school, but I really did not know how to be successful in university to achieve that goal. Plus, in high school I did not have to try to hard and I was used to being a social butterfly. I ended up finding my way and getting a good education, but I did not end up in any of the professions that I initially chose for myself. I will admit it was not an easy road and it could have helped to have someone supporting me along the way.
I could continue to talk more about my struggles, but it is not about me. If I had a Coach, I would have still been faced with these challenges, but they would have been resolved quicker. A Coach would have helped me see an easier road to reach my goals, have better well-being and overall improved my quality of life. I would have had less stress and depression and more hope. It would have improved my self esteem, giving me a different perspective on some of these struggles and increased my self awareness. I would have had better relationships with my family and friends while finding happiness within. I would have had clarity on my goals and created a balanced life sooner. I may have found love sooner by being my best self. I would have worked through my negative thoughts and overcome some fears. I would have eliminated some bad habits and be truer to my values. I would have made better decisions and not have such things to criticize. I could go on and on about the positive influences that it would have meant for me and can mean for you or a youth in your life.
As the good sayings go though, don’t look back, we need to look ahead to the future. I want to help youth to realize the miracles that are ahead of them and that a Coach along your side can be a game changer!
Are you or your loved one in a transitional stage of life? Could you or someone you know use a supporting relationship that is not a parent? Do you want to love life, have success, and move more rapidly through the struggles that come your way? If so, I am here to help!