The Gift of Simon the Life Coach
Posted on May 27, 2010 by Amy Van Court, One of Thousands of Career Coaches on Noomii.
Your life coach should be so committed to your dreams that they take you to uncomfortable places.
Let’s pretend you just arrived in an alternate universe. You have landed on the set of American Idol. But this time it’s not about singing and performing as an artist. It’s about being an artist in the creating of your life. It’s about unfolding what’s inside you so that you and your life will sing together in harmony. There will be no line between who you are and what you do in your relationships, your career, your health, your decisions, your life. Have you seen on American Idol an “ordinary person” who starts out singing — and over time becomes transformed into a singer, an artist, as if by magic? Who they are becomes what they do, and vice versa. Isn’t it magnificent to witness? Doesn’t it touch you, the way we humans can transform and in the transforming, become what we were all along? This is the essence of coaching.
In this alternate universe, you now have a choice: Who do you want to support you in this journey from who you were to who you are? Who will be your partner: Paula or Simon? This isn’t about judging or competition, winning or coming in second place. This is so much more important; it’s about living the life you were meant to live and finding it by becoming the person you already are. It’s about uncovering your innate talent and wholeness.
In former seasons, Paula would cheer you on, clap her hands, make you feel good. She would say nice things from her heart. She would hesitate to give you any bad news along the way because she didn’t want to go anywhere near the possibility of hurting your feelings. She nurtured. She did not demand. She decided how much she thought you were capable of and didn’t ask for any more.
Simon supports you in a completely different way. The news will not always be good. His comments don’t always feel good. There is little “warm and fuzzy” to Simon. He claps his hands less often. But he does clap — when you’ve done something extraordinary that serves you and your life. And oh, when Simon claps, it means everything. When you stop short of your potential, he doesn’t make it feel okay; he knows you have friends for that. He insists on your full dedication to the life you want. He risks hurting your feelings and not being liked by you — and he does this in service of your dreams. He risks being “the bad guy” if that’s what it takes to get you to give it all you’ve got. He dares you, pushes you to go beyond the places you would ordinarily stop. And he knows you can take it. Through this perspective you learn to see what Simon already knows: you’re healthy, resourceful, creative and whole. You are capable and worthy of more than you can dream.
Did you notice how the singers and the audience would listen to Paula’s feedback; nod their heads and smile. It felt good. And then, as if to say “okay now for the truth” they turned their eyes and attention to Simon. Breath was held. Greatness was at the brink. Simon’s comments didn’t always make the singer feel better; Simon’s authenticity and fierce courage, his calling forth, made the singer try harder, believe in more, and celebrate themselves bigger. And those things, combined with the singer’s desire to be great, is what made the singer unfold the star.
Many times the person who made it to the finals wasn’t someone who looked like a shoo-in at the beginning. Often the person was unnoticed, part of the crowd, “under the radar” at the beginning. What happened along the way to change things? Were there more hours in the day for them to practice? No. Did they work harder and/or want it more? Maybe.
Here’s what I believe happened along the way: the singer craved the truth and used it to unfold the power and possibility within. They found that truth on their own, by looking deep inside and asking the questions that hadn’t been asked before. By discovering places and resources inside them they didn’t know were there. They courageously stepped into their lives — something that’s not always comfortable or convenient. It requires intestinal fortitude and the wisdom to take what serves and leave the rest. It takes rigor. And mostly, it takes compassion and devotion through honesty, even (especially!) when the honesty feels bad.
This is the gift of Simon the Coach. The willingness to be so dedicated to someone else’s dream that one will speak the uncomfortable truth. And when Simon cheers, we all know something extraordinary has happened.
I believe we will all try so much harder and dig so much deeper and go to scary places we wouldn’t otherwise be willing to go, just to hear Simon cheer.