Even after acquiring over a multitude of certifications and degrees (don’t really know for what joy I got them all) I still wandered around aimlessly in my late twenties, hopping from one job to another. Not because they did not want me there but because I found them all to be boring and limiting beyond a point of time. Although I enjoyed the good food my coworkers would bring for me, that wasn’t a burning desire enough for me to stay. I was obviously an out-performer at all my jobs but that wasn’t enough anymore (I wish I could say the same about my personal life but, hell NO! I am lazier than a sloth).
Anyway, there was a really important missing piece of the puzzle that I was, which made me feel incomplete and stuck like a TV remote that mysteriously ended up in the buttcrack between the sofa cushions. This job hopping business of mine began taking a toll on me, emotionally and I began viewing myself in an unresourceful manner. I knew I had it in me but lacked the intelligence and perseverance to break my limiting beliefs consistently, and to program my mind to come up with strategies that would help me live a meaningful life. So in the year of 2019, I decided that enough was enough and using my strong beliefs in the powers of the universe, I tuned my invisible antenna into sending information bundles out into the universe, requesting for a divine intervention. And it did occur, through a series of actions like the domino effect – I met the man who had the monumental misfortune of becoming my NLP trainer and life coach, Mr. Mohammad Rafi.
It was during my first encounter with him at a workshop that turned my life around. Over an intense discussion of god-knows-what, Rafi asked me, ”So Manisha, what are you going to do with all this knowledge locked up in you? Don’t you want to be something more?” Those words hit me hard and I spent that night lying wide awake in my room and asking myself the one question we all dread to ask, “Who am I and who do I want to be?”. I realized that the moment I left the workshop, I would only have his teachings with me but then what? What would I do further? Would I hop onto something else again? Could I stay in this realm and find my true purpose? Would I be able to go on that quest all alone and never give up? Would it not make life much easier if there was a person like Rafi to guide me and show me the mirror everytime I derail? If there is a possibility that someone can help me become better than who I was, then why not? I had never thought that I needed a coach in my life. I mean, who does? We all have great teachers in our lives who have taught us innumerable lessons that we probably still follow to this day. But a coach is different. A coach is unique. Not everyone who you learn from becomes your coach and I knew I had found mine. I knew that the person I had picked out to be my coach was not going to get onto the playing field with me as a player but was going to give me a wider perspective of the game and help me with multiple strategies that would ensure my victory and help me to keep playing more such games (in the words of Nikhil Damle who is someone really important at a really important organization but first, my dear friend!).
So the next day, I walked up to Rafi and held my hand out and said, “I may not be memorable, but I want you to help me leave my mark in this world. Will you coach me, Rafi?”. I have absolutely no idea why he did what he did next. He took my hand and shook it and smiled at me. We had sealed the deal. Little did he know then that I would be taking him for a roller coaster ride!
Although my subconscious helped me in identifying the right professional help to propel myself like a shooting star, for the first time ever in my life, it was only after actually taking up coaching sessions with Rafi that I realized why it was and has been the best decision of my life so far! Having a coach in my life has helped me profusely not just in my professional life but also in my personal life. I must say that I have turned into a soaring eagle now from being a sloth, and the clarity of my vision forward has been enhanced multifold. And it was this profound experience that inspired me to share it with the world and let you all know, that you could soar up high too with the right coach by your side. So without much further ado, let me cut to the chase and tell you the eight reasons you need a coach in your life!!
During my first coaching session, Rafi asked me for my top 3 goals in life. I hesitantly told him my goals and said to him that my self-worth was not sufficient enough to realize my goals. He realized I lacked a strong belief in myself and immediately asked me, ”So Manisha, what is the percentage of self-worth that you have now and how much did you have before?”. It took me a minute to understand the sarcasm in it and I realized that one could either have self-worth or none. There was no in between. There was no quantification method to assess how much self-worth one had. His provocative sense of humor was sufficient for me to understand that it was his belief in me even at the lowest projection of myself to show me that he had faith in me and believed in my potential even when I did not. He had shown me the mirror and helped me see myself for who I really was even when I was blinded by my own limiting beliefs. Knowing my coach well, he wasn’t someone who would waste his time trying to light wet logwood on fire and that was the last time I told anyone or even myself that I lacked “sufficient” self-worth.
This is one of the most important of the eight reasons you need a coach in your life. Be it learning sales skill from scratch or designing a digital brochure or learning to handle a database or even video making and editing, my coach has made sure that there is no deficit in the number of domains he exposes me to on a daily basis. And the reward I get for being a dutiful student is the opportunity to learn tonnes of new things from him that other people would normally not have access to.
I can sometimes want the moon and the stars at one go. Rather than showing me my place or telling me it is an unachievable goal, my coach lays down the pros and cons for me in a realistic manner and allows me to choose my strategies of pursuing what is practically achievable for me at that time. Be it wanting to shed 10 kilos in a month or wanting to become a deep-sea diver, my whims have been handled with immense care and affection and the first baby steps that I need to take towards these are outlined for me with precision. He has even prepared me for failure and fortified me to learn from it and move on to the next step. For a person like me who could not handle failure, I have come a long way now in becoming a more pliant and malleable dreamer with realistic goals and strategies. My coach has helped me set goals and build strategies based on my strengths and helped me convert my weaknesses also into my strengths.
Every time I sulk and take a step back, my coach, Rafi, has paused and taken a step back too and let me catch up with him, all the while reminding me to never give up. Be it a personal crisis or professional setback, he has extended his helping hand to ensure that I do not drown or feel alone. At times when it would get difficult for him to offer his time for me, he has ensured that I have always had his best prodigies looking out for me and walking with me. Being a true-born coach that he is, never once has he shifted the limelight on himself whenever I achieved a milestone. And never once has he left my side when I refused to move forward.
A catalyst in any chemical reaction does not take part in the reaction but only hastens the process. Likewise, a coach does not live your life for you or direct it according to his or her whims. A true coach studies the playing field for you and gives you the best possible fool-proof strategies for you to win, cheers you on every time you score a goal, tells you it is okay when you fall and helps you stand up again. But never once does the coach try to steal your game and play with or against you. By doing so, the coach helps you keep your momentum consistently and progress in life. Having a coach also helps you stay focused on your forward progression and your goals at hand.
In life success never comes easily. The moment you decide to move towards your goal, there are going to be a million curveballs thrown at you, especially when you least expect it. Whenever I received negative feedback in my worklife or went through a rough patch in my personal life, Rafi has always used humor to encourage me to just move on as humor is something that shifts my thoughts to a great extent! For instance, I recently was suffering from bouts of insomnia at night and when I confided in my coach about this, his first response was, “You know what, let’s rebrand you now. You will become Vellore’s first female night ghurka. What do you say? Or if that is too fancy for you, then come over to my home and babysit my infant son so my wife and I can get to sleep peacefully!”. That was it. After rolling with laughter, I have been sleeping like a baby since then. He made sure I did not succumb to stagnation and taught me how to be aware and to deflect the curve balls aimed at me. I remember vividly, in the month of January this year, I went through what was the most excruciatingly painful phase of my life and I had brought myself to a standstill, giving up and not wanting to fight further. As my coach, he immediately sprung into action and began working on getting me to bounce back again through various channels until I finally bounced back and propelled myself high into the sky! And even as I soar now, he ensures that my wings have the plan of action to handle my flight no matter irrespective of the directions of the wind. If he has done this, then he has also taught me the art of waiting – Patience. He has shown me through his own example that sometimes in life it is okay to not do anything and just wait for the winds to blow in our direction. Until then, just rest and prep yourself for the upcoming flight.
This is another biggest one of the eight reasons you need a coach. As Rafi began coaching me, I began unconsciously modelling him in several aspects. One of the commendable traits I observed and began modeling him on was his grace in accepting something he did not know, with humility, and treating everyone as equals and allowing his fellow beings to take credit they deserve and being genuinely proud of the achievements of others. I have learnt how to keep my state and reframed my core values of life in such a way that my life has become a lot more meaningful and resourceful. My coach has always given me objective feedback and kept me grounded at all times. I unconsciously strive each day to become a better version of myself so that my coach’s efforts on me are not futile. Even if this has not helped Rafi in anyway, it has surely helped me blossom into someone who is much better than who I am now.
As I mentioned earlier, life throws curveballs at you when you least expect them. You might have your goals and plans charted out and be all set to travel towards them but then the unexpected happens and your plan goes for a toss. Then what do you do? Do you give up wanting to be extraordinary and choose the ordinary? It happened to me too. Looking back now to the first coaching session, I had a few goals that I was so sure I would pursue until I had to undergo a major transition in my life and the goals I had earlier did not seem to make sense anymore. At a point when I thought it was the end of my dream to be extraordinary, my coach helped me redesign my life, without judgements or complaints. He taught me the art of going with the flow and now I have a brand new set of goals, much better and more resourceful.
I did not write this to merely promote Rafi as a coach but this is a genuine narration of my experience with him as my coach. It is with gratitude to him that I begin my days although I go on to bug him with trivial information for the rest of the day! Having a coach has made me resilient, stronger, more focused and productive. It has made me a better person and made me cherish each moment of my life. My coach is also a dear friend to me who never forgets to show me the lighter side of any situation, all the while teaching me a valuable lesson. I will tell you again, you don’t need a coach but if there is a coach who can help you become much better than who you are now and get to a much better place in life, then why not?
Manisha Manoharan hails from Vellore in Tamil Nadu. She is an Internationally Certified Behavioral Trainer and NLP Master Practitioner who is passionate about transforming the lives of young-adults so that we can create better human beings. She enjoys good food, music and humour.