There is an abundance of self-help material available today, which can be used as a positive first step toward changing our lives. However, information alone is only half of the self-healing equation. The information we read needs to be utilized and incorporated into our daily lives, and this often requires the help of a mentor or coach.
We can intellectually gain a great deal of knowledge through studying on our own. However, we are rarely able to motivate ourselves during emotionally vulnerable times, or when unconscious beliefs are unknowingly driving our behavior.
Therefore, the benefits of having an advisor to encourage and help us apply specific material to our unique personal situations are life changing. I know that getting help changed my life in miraculous ways, and I would never have reached many of my goals without specific assistance.
So, whether we call it mentoring, training or coaching, it is important to have some type of personalized instruction in order to help us accelerate our success. If we were lost on the highway, we would hopefully stop and ask for directions. Well, the same applies to self-improvement, in that if we are lost and need assistance maneuvering through certain life situations, it is good to stop and ask for directions as well.
As mentioned in my book, The Right Relationship Starts with You, I needed assistance in the area of relationships, as I had a past history of disastrous romantic liaisons. However, by making changes within myself, with the help of a coach, I now enjoy a thriving marriage.
Jack Canfield, best known as the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, advocates the importance of coaching as well, as explained in another of his books, The Success Principles:
“Of all the things successful people do to accelerate their trip down the path to success, participating in some kind of coaching program is at the top of the list. A coach will help you clarify your vision and goals, support you through your fears, keep you focused, confront your unconscious behaviors and old patterns, expect you to do your best, help you live by your values, show you how to earn more while working less, and keep you focused on your core genius.”
Think of any sporting team and imagine if they didn’t have a coach to steer their talent, push them to be the best they can be, or give them direction. They may have the skills, intelligence, and understanding of the game, but without anyone to guide them, their abilities would not be utilized to the highest level.
Asking for help is a struggle for many of us because we assume it means we are defective, or our ego warns against such seemingly weak behavior. However, we think nothing of hiring a financial planner to help us with our money dilemmas, or an interior designer to help improve our homes. Unfortunately, we often neglect to hire someone to help us strategize a life plan, or assist with matters of our mind and heart.
Looking for a mentor is worth the effort. You’ll want to select someone who has the right amount of experience, wisdom and expertise in the area you are struggling with or wish to enhance. Be patient and discerning with your choice in an advisor, but avoid using the process of looking as a way of procrastinating. Seek out help in the same way you would for a struggling loved one.
Getting help is invaluable in the self-growth process, as it provides personal accountability, motivation, and support. Our friends can help us, but having an impartial person to speak with is extremely beneficial as well. Besides, we may love the people in our life very much, but not feel inclined to reveal our most personal thoughts and feelings to them, as we would with an objective professional.
Be courageous enough to ask for help when you need it.