• Sep 08, 2005
  • Vicky Smith
  • Career advancement

The word ‘incongruous’ came up in my readings this week and it caused me to reflect on how many people are feeling today.  The Oxford Dictionary defines ‘incongruous’ as not corresponding; disagreeing; made up of diverse or discordant elements; at variance; clashing.  At one time or another, or for some people most of the time, life feels incongruous with our desired outcomes.  We can’t always put our finger on the causes but we feel discontented and restless.  If we live too much out of step with our real goals and desires, physical or emotional symptoms start appearing. 

The physical symptoms can be tiredness, lack of energy, lack of appetite or too much appetite, or high blood pressure. The emotional symptoms can be sadness, boredom, irritability, or general dissatisfaction with everything and everyone. This state can escalate to serious conditions like depression or workaholicism if we don’t recognize what’s happening.

 Living incongruently affects our happiness, performance and ability to achieve goals.  It is an emotional block that needs to be understood and dealt with to bring balance back into our lives.  We are at our best when work has a purpose or is producing satisfactory results and relationships are harmonious. 

 According to a January, 2001 article posted on Advance Coaching and Training Inc. website – - the most common emotional blocks are: 

fear of failure fear of success procrastination
relating and building rapport negative self image time management skills
perfectionism assertiveness organizational skills
stagnation in habits anger follow-through
balancing work and home life self-discipline knowing what you want

There are times when we can’t see the forest for the trees when dealing with issues.  At such times, a personal coach can be extremely helpful in working through problems and developing a course of action.  A personal coach works with an individual on a one on one basis over a prolonged period of time – 3 months to a year.  Thus there is time to work through barriers, blockages and regressions. 

The Ivy Business Journal, September/October, 2000 issue, stated, “Executives and HR managers know coaching is the most potent tool for inducing positive personal change ensuring better-than-average odds of success and making the change stick for the long term…… coaching simple speeds up a process of change that would most likely occur anyway if an individual had enough time.  Without a coaching program that forces a client to focus and make time, people sometimes miss the real issues they need to focus on.”

In January, I made the decision to bite the financial bullet and used a personal fitness trainer for losing weight at Goodlife Fitness Club.  My husband was ecstatic because my months of whining might be over. I achieved my weight goal. The main reasons were I had someone who clarified what I needed to do each week, encouraged me to stretch a bit more each time and gave well-deserved praise for my hard work.

Today we are forced to deal with many complex problems that we do not have answers for or the issues have serious ramifications and we are afraid to make decisions.   Working with a personal coach provides objective support to get over life/work hurdles.  We all have the answers to our dilemmas but at times we need some guidance to uncover the best answer.

 One of the areas a personal coach assists with is creating a personal mission statement, which really is a statement of what do we really want out of life?  For most of us defining our goals is difficult to articulate because we can’t put clarity to everything that’s happening in our lives.  A coach guides through this difficult maze by asking questions to uncover what we really want.  After defining those goals, a realistic plan is developed with consistent follow-up to ensure we stay the course.

 The quote, “ insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”, has always stayed with me.  As a personal coach, I have seen many people, make successful, long lasting changing in their lives and break their treadmill of insanity by asking someone for help.