I Read Self-Help Books So Do I Really Need a Coach?

I hope you got a chance to check out the new website and take the new updated Enneagram Personality Trifecta Quiz.

Today’s topic will focus on the difference between self-help books and courses and individual coaching. In my 15 years of private practice and being a lifetime knowledge seeker and self-help enthusiast myself, I have often come across this question/topic, and I think it is worth addressing.

Self-help books, videos, and courses are inspirational and especially when the presenters or authors are very passionate about what they are presenting. They open our minds to see things from a different perspective, and this can be very useful.  We begin to understand the things that we have never realized before. Is just understanding enough to change a habitual way of being and reacting?

In my professional experience, training and the law of probability, the answer is NO, and I will explain why?

It is true that to change something about ourselves we need first to see it.  The next step is to begin to understand it but unfortunately statistically speaking this doesn’t create change alone.

Now I will get to the main point of this blog. 

The next step is incorporating the practice of distinguishing this pattern without self-judgment and with compassion and also realizing that this is not an overnight process.

To go into this with a bit more detail without overwhelming the reader I will state that I believe and Dr. Steven Stosny has indicated that it is most if not all of our behaviors are rooted in our neurobiology.  Most if not all of our thinking, feeling, and reactions form unconscious neurological patterns aka habits, which store in our nervous systems. The nervous system works unconsciously at such a fast speed so the older and more deeply rooted the pattern the stronger and more automatic the neurological pathway.

There is a saying that “understanding is the booby prize.” Real and permanent change takes time, patience, compassion, and consistency the latter for some being the most challenging.

According to Dr. Steven Stosny who is an expert and researcher in this field he has stated that the latest research has shown that it takes ten months consistently and multiple times a day to change a habit and form a new healthier neurological pathway/pattern.


Why use a coach?

As stated above changing an unproductive or self-destructive pattern takes time, patience, compassion, and consistency, and there is one more piece of the puzzle that needs addressing that is objectivity versus subjectivity.

As much as us “self-aware self-help seekers” see and understand many things, in the beginning, it is difficult for one to be truly objective.

I give an example when working with clients that we can’t genuinely view ourselves objectively because we can’t gouge out our eyes and look at ourselves from different perspectives. We all have” blind spots,” and these blind spots do not allow us to see what we do not know, we do not know about ourselves. Here is where a trusted coach or therapist is of great use and will expedite your self-discovery in ways that are not possible by doing by just reading a book or taking a course.

After a time, consistent repetition and awareness you will notice that something has altered within you and this new way of being becomes your own.

While you are in the process of working on habitual ways of being that no longer serve you, you will simultaneously be working distinguishing the voice of your inner critic from the sound of your truth and inner-guidance.

What to look for when seeking out a coach?

You want someone who will see you for who you are, and you must feel comfortable with working him or her. Trust should be established within the first session. People who know you may refer you to someone and that person may be a match for them and not you, trust your gut on this one. You must feel safe for the process to work, but it is also their job to open up blind spots in you so that it may bump up against some discomfort at first. If you experience discomfort, but the trust is there hang in there.

You want someone who imparts insights and tools and as well as is a conduit for your self-discovery and process.I believe the most significant investment we can ever do is invest in our self-awareness. Like my wise father would always say “kid you take yourself with you wherever you go.”

Book now and take advantage of the complimentary 15-minute consultation.

1 Response
  1. Tyler Lucchese

    This blog is spot on. It addresses the importance of choosing a coach and what to look for lasting results. Iris offers a “safe space” that allows me to trust myself and the self-inquiry process, and any fear of judgment completely disappears (which is not something that I am used to). Her extensive education and life long-search of knowledge, and experience in her field, certainly shows when working with clients. She has guided me in discovering different parts of myself, although not always so appealing, were fundamental building blocks of how I now navigate through all areas of my life. By distinguishing the blind spots from my past, it now impacts how I am in my present and future especially in honoring my own individual truth and the relationships that are most meaningful to me. Thank you for your guidance and all that you have taught me, Iris. I take it with me wherever I go.

Leave a Reply