This may seem like a shameless plug for coaching. And perhaps it is. But folks really need to know that help is available and, despite cultural messages to the contrary, getting the support you need is a good thing.

  1. You’ve got a deadline, the clock is ticking and you’re not doing what you know you need to do. You do lots of other stuff, but not what it’s going to take to be successful in this venture you’re in (whether it be a business, a project, a degree, an exam, or whatever). The deadline seems far away, but each day that passes without your having taken care of your most important business is yet another day lost. You can’t get it back to do over. And with each lost day, your ever-descending sense that you haven’t done what you promised yourself you would do that day reinforces your sense that you probably are not capable, after all. Of course, you are capable. How to get you moving and stay moving is a coach’s expertise.
  2. You’re not showing up how you know you need to show up. Perhaps you’re not performing well on the job. Maybe you’re not speaking up… or speaking up too much. Maybe your fear of being blackballed for future promotion has squelched too much of the style that makes you interesting to others. Perhaps you haven’t figured out how to relate well to those with whom you need to relate. Showing up more fully will not only serve to make you appear more interesting, it will make you more interested.
  3. You aren’t sure what you’re supposed to be doing? Maybe they (your boss or supervisor, division, or department) don’t want to tell you what you need to do. Perhaps they think you should know what to do without being told. Maybe they don’t even know what it is they want you to do. The problem is that, sooner or later, you will be judged based on some criteria, explicit or implicit, fair or not. The bottom line is that you need to know. Maybe they’re telling you and you’re not listening. Maybe they expect you to ask. A coach will make sure your activities are founded in the reality of your situation, will help you learn how to get the information you need to have… and will help you take the steps to achieve your goals.
  4. You are distractible or disorganized. Or both! A coach will help you put systems in place to minimize distraction, help you stay on track, and get yourself organized. And your coach will bring you back to your agenda when the other systems fail to do the job.
  5. You beat yourself up for your shortcomings. You feel like you’ve come as far as you have only by pure luck, you’re convinced you’re a fraud, and you’re fearful that, sooner or later, the truth about your incompetence will be discovered. Probably this is not the whole truth. The whole truth, the bigger truth, is that we all have shortcomings. And despite this reality, we all are usually stronger and more gifted than we are comfortable admitting to ourselves. Your coach will remind you who you are and what you are bringing to the world. And your coach will “champion you” as you take on more than you believe you can.
  6. Writing. Oy! Can’t get those words onto paper. Don’t ever feel good about sending them off. It is, in fact, possible to write more easily. Less drama. Some satisfaction, even. A coach will help you get the resources you need to make this happen.
  7. You are doing just fine, getting your work done, moving forward, on track to success. You just don’t know why you are doing it… ‘cause you don’t really like either where you are, who you’re with, or what you’re doing.
  8. OK. Here’s a bonus. If you're the eighth type of person, you're on the top of your form. You hit each day in full stride, love what you're doing, and feel pretty darn good about your impact in the world. What can a coach offer you? Good listening. Challenges to step more often into realms of discomfort, where a stretch into unfamiliar territory can open doors and allow for more rapid growth. Perspectives without any hidden agendas. A safe and “sacred” space in which to simply be with what already is, to let down your guard, to process what cannot be processed with loved ones, advisors, associates, or supervisors.
Author's Bio: 

A personal coach since 1997, Steve Reiter now mostly works with faculty and students in universities and colleges, helping them do what they need to do and be who they need to be to achieve the success and satisfaction they desire.

Tell him how this article helped you and learn more about what his work can mean for you, a friend, relative, or colleague at

Copyright 2007 - Steve Reiter, MS, PCC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way, and provide full author credit.