It’s a question that’s remained largely outside of my conscious awareness, lurking in the shadows of my shame, for years. What’s the question?
Am I enough?
Am I enough for my clients? Do I know enough? Am I smart enough? Do I have enough experience? Am I a good enough coach? Do I know what my client needs from me? Can I be that? Deliver that? Bring that?
These questions get triggered when I feel like I’m failing my client. When they are struggling and our sessions don’t seem to help. When I don’t know the questions to ask, the words to say, the feelings to express to help them feel better, move forward, see a new perspective, find their way.
Am I enough?
Recently, I had the gift of a powerful (personal / confidential) experience that helped me realize, really for the first time, “Yes, I am enough.”
I am enough. I know all I need to know. I am all I need to be. I can trust myself to be enough for my client. I can trust my client to be enough for themselves. And I can trust that everything needed for the client to heal is in the field between the client and their story and their data and me.
Does that mean that somehow I now believe that my clients won’t struggle or that I won’t have feelings of sadness, or worry or care when they struggle? No. I do and will feel all of those things.
And I know, deep in my bones, that they are enough for what faces them, and I am enough to be with them through it.
Since I’ve started believing that I am enough (it’s still early), I sense that my clients have started believing that they are enough. When I stopped feeling that I needed to be helping them more. That I needed to be adding more value, that I needed to be more sure, more certain, they’ve started feeling their own resourcefulness. Stepping into the knowing that they are enough.
This is what I know.
You are enough. Right now. Exactly as you are. And yes, I’m talking to you.
If you came to this work to help others, I’m talking to you. If the care you extend your clients is sometimes greater than the care you give yourself, I’m talking to you. If the primary reason that you relentlessly learn more, read more, educate yourself more is to help your clients more, I’m talking to you.
You are enough as you are. Right now. You have everything you need to change the lives of the people in your life, and in so doing, change your own.
You don’t need to know more. You don’t need to do more. You don’t need more education or more certifications or more experience. Whether you’ve been coaching for one month, one year, or ten years. You don’t need to change in any way.
You are enough right now to secure a connection with your client that is generative to their development. You are enough to be with your client in ways no one else in their life is. You are enough to create a trusted space that allows your client’s organic method of healing to reveal itself. And for you to facilitate that healing.
We are all enough. We are each enough. Just like the tiny acorn that will one day become a glorious, expansive tree, we all have inside of us more than we can comprehend. We need only accept that – trusting in our enoughness.
So does this mean that we stop developing ourselves? That we stop leaning in with our clients? That we are now baked, done? Of course not. Does it mean that we’ll work with every client forever? That coaching relationships don’t run their course? Don’t end? Or that we should be a good fit for every client? Of course not. Does it mean that our clients don’t or shouldn’t need us, if they are enough? That if they are enough, it means they don’t need anything? Uh uh.
Enoughness doesn’t mean all needs are met. It just means that we have the resources, the capacity, to meet the challenges that face us.
We are designed to do this life together. We are meant to help each other. While we are all and each enough, we still grow by coming together to connect and learn. And that’s the blessing of doing the work we do. And when we bring our full selves to the work, our clients can access even more of themselves. And we access more of ourselves when we know we are enough.
Being enough for our clients and ourselves means that in any given coaching session, we can rest in our enoughness.
We can know with all that we are, that we are OK and that our clients are OK. That we don’t need to work hard, to “add value,” to prove ourselves. We can trust that everything the client needs to generate their own path forward is existent in the field between us.
And when we rest in the trust that we are enough, the client is enough, and that the awareness needed to create a shift for the client will rise, it does. It can. It might be during the session, between sessions or years later.
That’s when the magic happens. Your client transforms from the acorn to the tree because they could see, feel, experience their enoughness. And that inner knowing of enoughness created the space for growth.
Thank you for reading my musings. I think in many ways, everything I write, I write for myself. And perhaps if that’s so, some of what’s in me, might be in you, too?
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President | Learning in Action
Alison Whitmire is the President of Learning in Action, a company committed to her passion of making the non-conscious conscious and revealing what’s otherwise hidden to us. Alison holds certifications from two different accredited coach training programs and is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, and has worked for three Fortune 500 corporations. She has also Chaired for Vistage International, runs CEO roundtables, coaches CEOs, holds a 200 RYT yoga teacher certificate and has been a TEDx organizer and TEDx speaker. She facilitates courses on team and individual EQ across the United States and Canada.
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