There is no greater malpractice in business than to help a client achieve a goal that is not aligned with their authentic needs, desires, or how they work best.
Whether it’s sales, coaching, or service, we actually do our clients and customers a disservice when we don’t stop to question their goals or outcomes.
We don’t serve them when we fail to investigate whether what they say they want is truly what they really want. Or whether the way they want to achieve it is aligned with the way they work best.
The pursuit of an outcome that is not aligned often ends in failure and frustration. Even worse, it often damages a client’s self-trust in their vision and can cause crippling self-doubts.
When what you’re aiming for or the way you’re trying to achieve it is not aligned with what you truly need to do your best work or feel fulfilled, the path is much more difficult.
And — this is super important — even when we succeed in achieving the goal or outcome, when we do get there we often don’t feel fulfilled. We may feel defeated or deflated because we don’t actually have what we really wanted.
When the desired outcome is not aligned with your true desires or how you work best, even success is a failure.
Pursuing outcomes that aren’t aligned is a lose-lose situation.
And yet it happens all the time.
Most coaches, real estate agents, sales people, personal trainers, and other people in helping or service roles take the client at face value.
They assume that the client is honest with themselves about what they want.
They assume that the client knows what they want.
They assume the client knows what they need.
In fact, often this is not the case.
We get ideas in our heads about what we desire or what we need to feel fulfilled, based on what we see around us, expectations that we’ve been conditioned to meet, what the culture promotes.
Decades ago culture’s “gold standard” was a solid 9–5 job at a company where you’d work for your whole life. Today the mythology revolves around entrepreneurship and creating a life of “freedom.”
What others promote as their holy grail may not be what you need, what works best for you.
In the process of striving after cultural standards we often ignore mountains of evidence we have acquired that tells us what we need.
Once these ideas become entrenched, it’s hard for us to see around them or past them. we have someone who is willing to ask us the hard questions.
Most coaches and agents and trainers don’t step back to ask. They don’t question whether the client is offering their truth. They just take the client at face value.
And this is where things start to go wrong.
Because they aim to create paths to help a client get to where the client says they want to go, without regard to whether this is aligned for the client and what the client actually needs to show up at their best.
As a practitioner you must be willing to step off the road, put on the brakes, and ask the hard questions.
“Resistance” is the general term we use when we fall into patterns of self-sabotaging, feeling stuck, or avoiding the work we know we need to do.
In my personal practice and with my clients, I do the deep work of exposing the resistance. Sometimes resistance is just a way we show up in response to fear.
And sometimes what we call “resistance” is really a message from your inner wisdom telling you
This is not your path.