Ask the Coach — Week 5

This is the column where, each week, I’ll be answering one website visitor’s question in hopes of supporting all visitors through shared (and likely, relevant) challenges, triumphs, and struggles.

Dear Kerri,

I have been working for what feels like forever on my personal growth and emotional healing. I’ve read libraries worth of books, attended more seminars than I can even recall, and have been working with a therapist for years. While I feel like I’ve certainly made progress, I am nowhere near where I want to be. I keep thinking the next book or seminar will hold the answer. How can I either get out of my own way to let the healing come or what piece am I missing that will help me “see the light”?

Swirling in Seattle

Dear Swirling,

Oh if only there was a magic solution somewhere out there! Based on what you shared in your question, it sounds as if the missing piece just might be you.

It’s easy to get caught up in reading lots of self-help books and attending endless seminars seeking the answer. When we spend so much time looking outside of ourselves for understanding, compassion, and guidance, we can certainly find it, however, it’ll be very temporary. The key is what you do to incorporate into your life all you’ve learned in the books and at the seminars. Permanent change always comes from within.

Yup, I know. Probably not the answer you wanted to hear. Most people don’t like that answer because it means committed and consistent work on their parts. There is no quick fix. However, there are easy and manageable ways to get going.

To start, I encourage you to purge any books that no longer serve you. Chances are they are simply acting as reminders of perceived “failure” or a waste of money.  Do a quick sort into two piles – keep and donate. It’s ok if the first go around you have a small donate pile. Just go through the keep pile again and get rid of any book that you aren’t excited about and feel good about keeping.

Now that you have this physical (and mental) space cleared, do some free writing in your journal about what aspects of your life you long to improve. Ask yourself, “If my ________________ (fill in with the part of your life you’ve identified) was just as I dream it to be, what would that look like?”

Next, brainstorm some ideas on action you can take to begin to move toward this ideal scenario. If you find it challenging to come up with steps that feel manageable, consider asking some trusted friends or working with a coach.

When you partner with a good and qualified life coach, you get the invaluable benefit of unbiased support from someone who’s only interest is your success. A coach can help you see things in a new way, work with you to identify those action steps, and offer accountability.

Ready for the great news? It’s in taking small, simple baby steps that you’ll quickly feel much more empowered, and you’ll realize that the benefit you anticipate feeling at your end result is actually found in the journey. How cool is that? You get to feel that fulfillment and joy much sooner than you had realized!

My best to you,

To have your question considered for Ask the Coach, simply send an email keeping the following guidelines in mind:

  • Be specific. Make sure your question is clearly stated to prevent any misinterpretation. That way, you’ll be sure to have your specific need addressed.
  • Keep it under 150 words. Any emails longer than the specified limit will be ineligible for selection.
  • You only need to send your question once. While only one of the emails sent in a specific week will be answered, I’ll be keeping eligible emails for possible use in future columns. Be sure to keep checking back each week, not only to see if yours was selected, but to also check out the one that was. Chances are each week’s question can pertain to your life in some way!
  • Only emails selected for publication will be answered. Due to the volume received, I am only able to answer the weekly selected question.
  • By submitting a question, you are authorizing its use on this website.
  • Submissions may be edited and/or shortened for content and length purposes.

To read the archive of Ask the Coach, click here. To submit your question, go ahead and send an email

1 reply
  1. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    That was a great question…I find though that I get something from almost every book I’ve read…even if it is just one sentence out of the whole book..
    In the past I would stop when it came to the part that started asking me questions….which is probably why I did not get everything the book may have intended for me to understand….
    And now it is time for me to pick up my pad and start writing again…

Comments are closed.