630-484-2336 ben@bedo.org

This may come across as radical, or brilliant, or perhaps I’m sharing something that you already know.

I was talking with a coach about the concept of seeing our clients as “Naturally Creative, Resourceful and Whole.”

Admittedly, although I’m not a fan of most school-specific jargon, this is one that I’ve learned from CTI, and haven’t found a suitable replacement.

Ironically, this concept is not part of our 11 ICF Core competencies, but it still shows up in many coach trainings (or their own version.)

In any event, this can be an easy concept to “get” but quite challenging to truly “GET”.

And invariably, when I’m working with coaches on this topic, these questions come up:
“But people come to you with problems.”
“But if they have ADD, or real problems…?”
And even, “What if they’re in recovery?”

In other words, how can a person be whole if they’re broken in some way?

Still further I have coaches who struggle with the “whole” concept.
“What if they’re missing a limb?”  “What about those with a disability?”

So let me shortcut this simply by saying, “Whole” has nothing to do with a person’s appearance, situation, environment, or what they do or have.

WHOLE is who they are.

If someone has problems, they are a WHOLE person with problems.  If someone is disabled, they are a WHOLE person with a disability.  If someone is sick, they are a WHOLE person who just happens to be sick.

The WHOLE is about them as a person, a living being.  Would you say a child who is born without teeth is not WHOLE?  Of course not.

When we see ourselves as broken, we abdicate our power.  We are helpless victims of the world.  Our circumstances decide and dictate who we are.  And that’s unfortunate.

True, we can’t control some of our events in our lives, we certainly can’t change the past.  Things happen.  People get sick, injured, or worse.  People get scared, stuck, tired, empty, hopeless, angry, hurt, and all those other things.

But if we insist they are WHOLE, then we give them back their humanity.

And the same goes with ourselves.  We are WHOLE.  That doesn’t mean we are without problems, obstacles, disadvantages and missing things.

Now here’s the stretch. I preface this by acknowledging there are circumstances and conditions that require specialized help.  I’m not talking about that.
But here me out.

(with certain serious exceptions) The only time that someone is broken, is when they say they are.

The only time a client is not considered WHOLE, is when they say they’re not.

The power of I AM or I AM NOT is very strong.  It trains the world how we want to be seen.  And it reinforces deep programming with ourselves.

The minute you or your client declares “I AM BROKEN” or “I AM NOT WHOLE” then it is irrefutably true.
But when that happens, then coaching cannot exit.  Growth cannot occur.  Discovery isn’t possible.  And possibility, passion, potential, and purpose are all insignificant.  We are powerless to change and hope dies.

(I know this sounds bleak, but consider it for a moment and you’ll see I’m right.)

But fear not, dear coach, because this powerful phrase works incredible wonders the other way around.  Because the minute, the absolute specific millisecond that you utter those words.
I AM NOT BROKEN, I AM WHOLE!” to yourself and to the world around you, it becomes irrefutably and unconditionally true.  No debate.  No contest.  No question.  It is deeply and completely true.

And when we are WHOLE, we have power.  Change is possible.  Possibility exists–unlimited possiblity.  We are able to connect with our passion and purpose, our lives have meaning.  It doesn’t mean that we magically eliminate and erase all our problems, but that we can handle them and not let our circumstances and situations define who we are.

You are who you declare yourself to BE.

So today, do yourself and the world a favor.  Declare yourself to be WHOLE.  Regardless of what struggles, shortcoming, obstacles, problems and any other “lacking” you might be experiencing, you are simply a WHOLE person who is experiencing it.

And that’s the WHOLE TRUTH.