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On Change

Coaching Tip: On Change

You cannot change anyone. Read that again. Then swallow it. Hard. Because there's a brick wall behind that door and if you open it, it will only increase your anxiety and drain your energy trying to break through it. Even if you are a coach... you are a guide, a teacher, a catalyst. Not someone with a time machine or the ability to control someone else's choices. The reason why you can't change anyone is because you can't go back in time and alter someone's history, the shit they went through, the fears that were engraved. You can't go back and erase how someone was raised and the choices they made. You can teach someone coping skills and process with them but only if they are seeking it. 

But here's what you can do. Ask them what they need and provide the safest space you can without losing yourself, and spend that energy on changing you. Because let's face it. You're just as fucked up as they are. And if you're dead set on changing this person, maybe it has more to do with you than them.

When was the last time your happiness was dependent on someone else changing?

Accept people for who they are and where they're at. If they don't appreciate it now, they will later. It's what will separate you from everyone else pressuring them to do shit they don't want to do or are not ready for.

Finally, if you honestly don't know how much of you "changing" someone is about them and how much of it is about you, here's a hint.

The more resistant they are, the more you're making it about you.

- John Kim
The Angry Therapist

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