Kate Stevens

Kate Stevens, Life Coach

How to make the ‘right’ decision. With 10 FAB coaching questions

3 children and a dog on a lead walking together, taken from behind.

🤔 You’ve got a big decision to make. But how do you make the right decision when it feels high risk or just simply, really important? It can fill you with fear.

Your mind plays havoc with various unhelpful thoughts about the decision; fear kicks in, pressure, rumination too and you dwell on negative thoughts and stories you’ve built up in your head. This adds to the anxiety and nerves you’re feeling. Maybe you’re even avoiding it, pretending it’s not there. Argh!

‘What if I make the wrong decision?’
‘What if it puts me in financial jeopardy?’
‘Is now the ‘right’ time anyway?’

 

You might have a big decision to make right now;

  • Career change – how do I change career and make sure it’s right for me?
  • Which role should I accept?
  • I’m at a crossroads in life and not sure which way to go now
  • Direction – where the heck am I going?!

 

In which case, READ ON! for some fab coaching questions to help you make or at least make progress, with that decision.

 

 

The decision I needed to make

When I started my life coaching business 3 years ago, I dreamed of taking August off, a long summer break and still have clients who wanted to work with me afterwards.

 

A huge risk ⚠️

  • No money in August (self-employed)
  • No new coaching clients or work leads
  • Is this a way to run a new, small business when you’ve given up your stable, secure job?

 

And yet freedom emerges through uncertainty.

 

The pay-off 🌟

  • I could get ‘the break’ I dreamed of
  • My coaching clients might be OK with me taking a longer break/not around, and have new people to work with in September
  • I could feel like I’ve had a proper break and go into September with new energy

 

This year I made the decision to take off August, despite these risks and so far it seems to be going pretty well.

The change❓

I’ve reflected A LOT about this; the change is down to one significant thing – MINDSET 🌠

💫  I’ve changed from being overly worried about the risks and whether it’s the ‘right’ decision, to embracing possibilities and leaning in to uncertainty
💫  I recognise and engage my strengths and characteristics in my decision; my ability to bounce-back, curiosity, bringing an alternative perspective, action and learning
💫  I recognise my life successes and failures as having positively contributed to the ‘now’; whether in my childhood, HR career, being a Mum, Wife, daughter, friend etc
💫  I believe in my abilities and purpose – to help and enable others with what they want to achieve

 

 

What is mindset?

Mindset is the set of beliefs that shape how we personally make sense of the world; how we think, feel and act. Mindset means that what we believe about ourselves will influence our ability for success or failure. It’s interchangeable – your mindset depends on the situation and you can have a Fixed or a Growth Mindset according to Dr Carol Dweck.

Read more here about how to develop a growth mindset in my archive blog post, here.

A professional sports person is likely to have a coach to help influence their ‘inner game’, as well as the obvious outer game of their given sport. The Lionesses’ Head Coach Sarina Weigman, talks pragmatically about her belief in her team’s resources, abilities and strengths. And so people might use a Life Coach to help their inner game and get the results, too.

 

 

Photo of England Women's Head Football Coach, Sarina Weigman in her England kit
Sarina Weigman at the World Cup

 

Mindset is reflective work and is an essential part of life coaching – identifying what’s getting in the way of where you want to be.

From dreaming that I could take August off, to making this happen successfully let’s be clear; my mindset changed over time, with support, challenge and this reflective work.

 

However, the dream has not happened in the way I’d imagined..!

 

💪The reality of making such a decision 💪

Nearly 3 weeks into August as I write this…my decision was good and the right one to make, but the reality is that it hasn’t worked as I imagined.

I haven’t had the break I dreamed of, yet.

And I say this with honesty and realism because I dislike BS life coaching blogs.

 

This is what I notice;

💫 PERFECT DECISIONS/ the belief that it’s the utter and only truth, are not the REALITY – and red flag – you can slip into a fixed mindset if you’re dead-set on achieving the dream in that way

💫 GOOD ENOUGH DECISIONS can be actually BETTER in unimaginable ways, giving wiggle room and space to breathe through any pressure, allowing for a growth mindset and freedom in the uncertainty

 

Which play to some of my strengths – no coincidence.

 

What’s happened is this;

  • I’ve dipped into work more than I planned; I’m OK with that, it’s been successful
  • I’ve taken ‘micro- breaks’ instead of a longer break – a day at the lido in the sun (lush!), spent lovely time with my kids, friends and family (main picture)
    and
  • My actual holiday is about to start! 💪🏼

 

So here’s the thing;

🌟  By making a GOOD ENOUGH decision, instead of the right decision, you can still be pretty pleased with the result and even achieve more than you’d imagined.🌟

 

Things I notice about ‘good enough decisions’, rather than the ‘right’ decision in life coaching sessions;

  • They’re in line with a person’s beliefs, values and purpose
  • They play to a person’s strengths and characteristics
  • Good enough decisions over the ‘right’ or ‘perfectly laid out plans’, are better in unimaginable ways
  • It’s a reframe – a good enough decision that’s thought through and with integrity is in fact, the right decision!

And it’s a privilege to listen to clients talking about what effectively, are their WINS over their FEARS! 😊

 

Some FREE coaching questions to help make a GOOD ENOUGH decision

  1. What is the opportunity here?
  2. What’s possible?
  3. What’s exciting about this?
  4. What’s the challenge here?
  5. How does making this decision fit in with my beliefs and values?
  6. What do I need to know, use or get, to make this decision?
  7. ..And…do I really need to?
  8. What’s the worst that could happen?
  9. What if it works out exactly as I want it to be?
  10. What do I need to do now?

 

My belief is that YOU KNOW THE ANSWERS; they may be buried and you may need some help finding them, but they’re there.

 

I’ll be switching my phone to pretty much OFF, for the final 2 weeks of August. I know my decision to take off August hasn’t quite gone to plan, YET I’m SUPER HAPPY with how it’s worked so far and how I’ve been able to move with it.

 

Good enough decisions, are more than good enough.

 

Let me know if these coaching questions help you make a big decision!

 

 

And if you’d like to find out how I can help you make a good enough decision, book a call with me above. 💚

 

 

Client agreement - ground rules.

1. Bring my whole self to this process; professionally and personally.

You cannot separate your professional and personal ‘lives’.

2. Be present in the moment and connected.

… to the coaching; what you’re thinking, feeling, experiencing. And…to nature if and where we are outdoors. If we’re on headphones, I’ll invite you to be descriptive of your environment too.

3. Bring the agenda to each session and keep your overall objective alive.

You can do this in several ways:

  • Be goal and action orientated – bring what you want to discuss and achieve to the session; OR
  • Talk and see what lands – exploratory and intentional.
 

I will bring the process, tools, ideas, resources and best practice to best support you towards your goal/intention/objective. More in your pre-coaching questionnaire. 

4. Give feedback and be responsive.

Coaching is collaborative. Neither of us should guess where we stand. I ask you to give me feedback and respond – you can rely on me to give and do the same.

I aim to get back to you within 24 hours of you emailing me, even if it’s just to say ‘I received your message’ before I respond properly. If it’s over the weekend or holiday, this may take longer.

5. Do the work in the session and in between sessions.

…so that you get the best value, even when it’s challenging. I might suggest a piece of work based on what you brought to the session. Mainly you will decide your course of action.

Whichever way, I’ll invite you to:

  • Reflect more; through walking, writing and whatever else fires you up, to help you achieve your objective.
  • Explore more; be curious and follow those trails of thought, intentionally
    Practice more; habits? Actions? Keep trying/tweaking.
  • Note what’s coming up that’s important or interesting to you in the session. I may share a few bullet points with you after, via Google Docs.

6. Session duration and timescale.

Generally a session is an hour but happy to shorten or increase session lengths, as and when we both can, that day. Where either of us thinks it appropriate, let’s say in the session. Timescale – let’s keep to the timescale agreed in the contract.

Additional information...

  • Coaching is a relationship designed to facilitate the development of personal or professional goals and develop a plan/strategy for achieving those goals.
  • It is comprehensive; it may involve other areas of your life beyond what you may have originally intended. It is your responsibility to choose and decide how to handle this, or even whether to.
  • It can be challenging; digging deep, creating better habits, becoming more self-aware, changing unhelpful beliefs you hold about yourself to something more helpful. There will be ups and downs. You will gain new insights, learnings and perspectives to help you achieve your goal.
  • You – the Client, are solely responsible for creating and implementing your own physical, mental and emotional well-being, decisions, choices, actions and results arising out of or resulting from the coaching relationship and your coaching calls and interactions with me – the Coach. As such, you agree that the Coach is not and will not be liable or responsible for any actions or inaction, or for any direct or indirect result of any services provided by me – the Coach. 
  • You – the Client, understand that in order to enhance the coaching relationship, you agree to communicate honestly, be open to feedback and assistance and to create the time and energy to participate fully in the program. I will do the same.
  • Coaching is not a substitute for counselling, mental health care or substance abuse treatment.  If you are in any kind of therapy, please tell me.  Tell your practitioner (medical or therapeutic) of you working with me.
  • I ask you to agree to commit to the coaching sessions to facilitate the required change.
  • I will treat you as the expert regarding the subject matter, which is…YOU.
  • I will allow time and space for you to explore your thoughts and think for yourself, no interruptions. There may be long pauses or silence sometimes to elicit more.
  • What goes on in your sessions is confidential. I do not discuss it with anyone. There may be occasion when it is my duty to break confidentiality:
    > If I feel you or I are at risk of harm.
    > Criminal / illegal activity.
    > A safeguarding concern or something else so serious that warrants concern.
  • I may talk to my coach or supervisor about issues arising in our sessions without ever naming or giving away you as the client. This is to ensure I am following professional and ethical guidelines and delivering my best. I subscribe to these by the ICF; https://coachfederation.org/code-of-ethics
  • Qualifications and CPD; I am an accredited coach. This means I have trained, practiced and qualified with Animas Centre for Coaching (Nov 2020). I hold a ‘Diploma in Transformational Coaching’. This is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
    > I have my own coach and group supervision
    > My CPD includes –  Outdoor Intelligence for Online Coaching (Oct 2020) -Positive Psychology (Feb 2021

My accreditations

Birds

My story

I’d been trying to work out ‘what else’ I could do with my career and life.

After 20 years in HR and with the children getting older, I wanted to change careers, but into ‘what?’ And ‘how’ was that even possible? And…’who would take on a mid-40’s apprentice?’!

I took small steps to boost my confidence and mindset; a regular ‘walk and whinge’ with friends to offload, short courses to up-skill, more running, more netball.
I asked my workplace ‘what else’ they needed that I could help with – ‘job crafting’. 

I was trying to make changes but it wasn’t really working. I was still frustrated and now, more miserable. I needed a different approach to find a way forward and release the building pressure I felt.

Hiring an accredited coach with whom I knew I could work with, enabled me to take a good look at myself – at times, uncomfortably.

To be listened to without any interruption, or judgement was empowering and I started to recognise what made me, me – my personality, strengths, what energised me and made me happy. What if these things amounted to a job I would…love…?

I followed my curiosity and dabbled with ideas about potential jobs, tasks and environments that would suit me, with a new, growth mindset.

I started to shift perspective. When I finally realised the ‘what’, I felt an energy and sense of knowing that was powerful. And I laughed, because it had been right in front of me!

Coaching undoubtedly helped me get to know myself, to see my potential and what was possible. I wholeheartedly decided through those sessions, on what and how I wanted things to be.

It had taken me two years of feeling stuck and miserable and a number of hours to be liberated.

This is what I now do with my clients. I help them rediscover themselves so that they can play to their strengths and thrive.

Water