Life Coach at Large: Living in the ‘now’

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Coach, Emma Ranson Bellamy helps a hapless single get his floundering career and personal life back on track with a few home truths and some basic planning.

Rory came to life coaching via a friend who suggested it might be a way of getting his career back on track which after a promising start had begun to flounder. Spurred on by the positive effects previous sessions had on re-invigorating his career and financial opportunities he decided to focus his next goal on improving aspects of his personal life.

His professional life appeared to mirror what was going on in his personal one. Most of his friends are married (Rory is always the bestman and never the groom) are on their second and third child and drive estate cars or 4x4’s. Rory on the other hand lives in the same bachelor pad he bought in the 1980’s drives a clapped out old beetle and has not had a serious girlfriend, ever.

It must be said that Rory is nice looking in a rather dishevelled kind of way but you just know by looking at him that he is single. He is very charming and good company. He is tallish with a medium build.

I started by asking him to look at his values elicitation which he had done in a previous session. I asked him if he felt there were any values that might be in tension. He ran through them: honesty, determination, connectedness, truth, independence, balance, respect and loyalty, came the answer.

And then came the light bulb moment when he realised that connectedness and independence were in tension with one another.

I asked him to remind me what those two values meant to him. He explained that connectedness was to do with feeling connected to special people. He expressed little difference in the way he felt for his close friends and family. He would happily lay down his life for any of them. He also felt that he made connections with other people quite quickly and easily made friends. Independence meant that he also liked his own company and needed time to be alone to read and to play with his much loved computer games which he has never been able to wean himself off.

But when he is out with his friends he wants to be at home doing the things he likes and when he is at home he wonders what his friends are doing without him. Basically he is never happy, even though fundamentally both of these areas are very important to him.

We talked about his social life. Because he is such a nice guy he gets invited to a lot of parties and events and because he is so amenable he rarely says no and is often invited back. And as for issuing his own invitations well his friends just put down his lack of organisation to him just being Rory. While he was busy therefore doing the things that everyone else had organised he failed to indulge himself in the pursuits he enjoyed and therefore came to resent the time he had with his friends.

I asked him to consider how he could become more connected in his independence and be more independent in his connectedness.

His reply was planning. He worked out a timetable of times when he would stay at home and do the things he wanted to do. He would also think about his aspirations like visiting art exhibitions and taking flying lessons. He would then organise the people he specifically wanted to share those experiences with and put them in their diaries. By doing this he gained control of the reins of his social life which meant he could do exactly what he wanted to do when he wanted and with whom he wanted to do it with.

I asked him what he thought the future held for him in terms of relationships. He thought that he could see his future containing someone special. I asked how he thought he was going to meet Miss Right. He thought for a while and replied that he would meet her via a friends introduction. I asked him how it felt to know that one of his friends knew the name of his future wife. He looked at me with amazement and a huge smile came across his face which made him look very handsome. “What are you going to do about that?” I asked.

“I am going to get in touch with all my friends and tell them I am fed up with being single and see what happens. Watch this space!” he said.

Rory’s dilemma and issues are very common. He had two values in tension which meant he was being constantly pulled from one extreme to the other being never satisfied with either. By asking a question, which aligns the two, I was able to get Rory to find a way of making two aspects of his personality work together to enrich his life rather than separately which caused frustration and discomfort in the balance of his life.

By taking back control Rory could really enjoy living in the moment with his friends and with himself.

Question: Who are you being right now?
Quote: Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life … Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master Vietnamese Buddhist monk

HR Zone members’ offer
Emma Ranson Bellamy is offering HR Zone members the exclusive opportunity for some coaching. Simply contact her at the email address listed below for your chance to be selected to sit on the couch. Applicants must include details of the topic they're looking for coaching on, together with reasons and a brief outline on what they'd like to gain from the session. Selected applicants must agree to have details of their sessions replayed as part of the editorial series, names may be changed to protect identities.

Emma can be contacted at [email protected] to see her website visit:

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