What does it mean to be a man in the 21st century? The very clear (and perhaps rigid) roles that existed only a few decades ago are rapidly changing. We may still be expected to be the breadwinners, the solid and supporting rock of the family, however economic uncertainty and social changes mean that things really aren’t as clear as they used to be. This can leave us feeling bewildered, stressed out and unsure of our purpose and identity.
Whilst there has been a huge movement towards the empowerment and liberation of women from the limitations of the past, men now also have to renegotiate and carve out new ways of being.
Finding authenticity and satisfaction in both career and relationships and securing financial stability whilst remaining true to our deepest ambitions are all extremely challenging. In this climate increasing numbers of men are now finding the value of seeking out support through men’s groups and coaching in order to find their own unique way of fulfilling their aspirations and showing up in the world.
Having a Life coach provides the space and opportunity of a solid presence asking us the searching questions that help to clarify our own way forward (for making decisions, committing to goals and being held accountable to them) It can be a very powerful working relationship for moving forward in life.
Coaching is all about finding your own inner resourcefulness and creativity. But since the best way to learn about something is through doing, here is a free goal-oriented, journaling exercise so you can coach yourself and get a taster of how beneficial the process can be:
This is going to be a moment of self-generosity so set aside 30-45 minutes just for you. Find a place where you can be quiet and free of interruptions. Presence of mind is important in coaching so it’s best if you turn off your mobile phone. Take a pen and paper.
Now you are going to reflect on and write down answers to the following questions. Take your time. Don’t rush the answers:
1) Think of a particular issue you are currently working on. Something that feels important to you.
2) What is your goal related to this issue? (What would be an ideal outcome for you?)
3) Concerning your goal what would you like to have after answering these questions? (e.g a first step, a strategy, a solution)
4) What are the benefits of achieving this goal?
5) Imagine your future self having already achieved this goal. Write down what is happening, the kind of things you are seeing, hearing, feeling.
6) Now come back to the present and look at the things that are holding you back from achieving your goal. Are there any fears or limiting beliefs holding you back? If so how will you relate them so that they no longer hold you back?
7) What options do you have that will move you towards achieving your goal?
8) What else could you do?
9) Go through the advantages and disadvantages of each option. What action will you take?
10) On a scale of 1-10 how committed do you feel to taking this action? If it is not a 10, what would make it a 10?
11) What will you commit to doing and when?
12) How will you make sure the action gets done? Can anyone support you in making sure you take this action?
You should now have some more clarity concerning the issue you wanted to work on. Asking yourself questions such as these can be extremely useful in clarifying your situation and working out ways forward.
Since purpose, perseverance and clear strategies are vital elements enabling us to thrive in this complex and changing world, these kinds of questions become even more powerful in the presence of a real coach. It’s a supporting relationship that helps us stay on track concerning being the man we want to be and shaping the life we want to lead.
By Andy Paice
Andy gives Life and Business coaching sessions at Shine on the Green. Please contact reception on 020 7241 2065 to book an appointment.