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The Top Three Things I Learned From My Clients

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

I have been formally coaching for over 3 years now and throughout the years I have been amazed by my clients’ journeys and wisdom. Yes, I am paid to coach them but what I have been taught in return is beyond dividends.

What does this have to do with you? Well, I thought the nuggets I came across might help you too. Here are the top three lessons my clients taught me:

1. Put Yourself Out There. I recall this lesson very well when I heard it because it resonated through my body. I remember I shuddered. My client was telling me his 2017 goals and one of them was to put himself out there daily. I shuddered when he said this because I too was thinking I wanted to put myself out there more and his words affirmed my intention. Hearing my client say this, though, got me to actively act on my intention. I thought if my client can do it, by golly I could do it. It was then (December 2016) that I wrote my first blog post and I have continued since. I also started to do talks, webinars, and podcasts and even took the plunge to do Facebook Lives.

This said how can you put yourself out there? It is of no service to you to hide and play small. You will never get everybody’s approval anyway so why try? Once you have worked out that you do not need the approval of people or a community that consciously or unconsciously wants to see you down, what steps can you take to be more seen and heard, however small at first? How can you take up more space? It’s not narcissistic - as some people fear - it is sharing more of who you are to create a greater, positive impact.

2. Everything is a Relationship. I was talking to a client about a problem of hers about 6 months back. She has acquired a problematic behaviour/habit that is hard to shake but has diminished significantly. Some people would say it is an addiction or an addictive type behaviour, I see it as the latter or an unproductive habit. We were exploring her unproductive habit when she likened her struggle with it to a “bad relationship.” I have heard people use the term with other challenges before but when she said it and further described it, I felt it was super powerful and true. She did not see her habit or addictive behaviour as negative, at one point she saw it as an extension of her. She identified with it and therefore likened it to a relationship, as you would identify with any other relationship.

In this light, what do you have a bad relationship with? It could be a habit, yourself or others. Alternately, what do you have a good relationship with? What do you want to continue to do? What helps you be happy and healthy?

3. Contribution is Key. I knew I valued contribution and feel I am fairly consistent at it, however, I was somewhat surprised to learn how important it is for all my clients. It was one of the recurring values shared among clients and there is a definite correlation between a lack of fulfillment and a lack of contribution. Once clients started to contribute (there have been amazing projects and contributions so far…I wish I could tell you them), their joy and confidence grew.

If you like giving back too, what is one thing you can contribute to today or this week? It does not have to be typical like a volunteer position, it can be an open sourced coding project that helps someone or simply offering someone your seat.

Speaking of contribution and putting yourself out there, one of my former clients (the same client who wanted to put himself out there) wrote a helpful blog post on non-negotiables. With his permission, ​I share it with you. He talks about accomplishing things by making certain goals non-negotiable, something we talked about in one of our sessions. Speaking of relationships, I am glad to say we still keep in touch.

Did you learn from my clients too? If so, what tip can you take away and apply?


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