Personal Development: A Magic Formula


Personal Development: Reetika Gupta-Chaudhary unveils a magic formula.

Have you ever been in a situation where you have been a victim of the circumstances? How many times in life have you blamed someone or something for all the wrong things happening in your life? The honest answer should be almost always, isn’t it? I had a client (a smart-looking Italian woman) who came to me with a problem. She said: “I have so much negativity in my life and no matter how hard I try to escape it, it seems to be constantly catching up.” I smiled and said: “It looks like you have been trying really hard to find happiness.”

She looked slightly surprised, perhaps at the promptness with which I had seemed to understand her situation, also hopeful and eager for me to quickly hand over some kind, miraculous formula that would suddenly make all negativity vanish with a flip of a hand. I got up from my chair, walked towards her and said: “I totally get your problem but I don’t think I can help you.” I saw the light vanish from her eyes as I said those words.

She looked utterly confused and after a small pause asked: “Are you saying you cannot help me at all?” “No,” I said. Still looking confused, she said: “Well that’s OK if you can’t, but may I ask, have I offended you in some way?” She quietly got up and as she was grabbing her bag ready to leave, I said to her: “Well, I cannot help you but I know of someone who can.”

Once again, her eyes lit up and she looked at me eagerly, waiting for me to refer her to this great therapist/coach who would be able to help her after all. “Do you really want to know who can help you?” I asked. “Of course I want to know that’s the reason I am sitting here today. I’ve heard some really good things about you, and that’s why I came to you.” she said. “That’s great. I am really grateful that you put your trust in me but let me tell you this – the only person who can help you is you,” I said. “How does that sound to you?”

Her face was a kaleidoscope of emotions. Finally anger took over and she said: “If I could help myself, I wouldn’t have come to you.” Well, this is something none of us want to hear, especially when we have tried and failed to get rid of a problem that has been haunting us forever. The irony here is that this truth has to be told, and I did exactly that. Realizing her disappointment, I quickly added: “What I am saying is, only if YOU take the responsibility of helping yourself then we can work together and slowly move you in the right direction.”

Let me explain, I meet many clients who come to me looking for a magic solution to their problem and, as a coach, it is my responsibility to help them realize that the change outside can only be achieved by bringing about a change on the inside. The magic formula people look for is a be-do-have. In essence, you need to be the change you want, then do the things that will lead to that change and then have the change you wished for.