Dare to Compare: Hidden Gifts and Building Your Coaching Practice

The adage “Compare, and despair” admonishes us to steer well-away from comparing ourselves to others. Certainly, judging ourselves against what we see in others and triggering a slew of unhelpful thoughts isn’t…well, helpful.

But what if, as coaches building our businesses, we could gain valuable insight from some guided comparing?

We often subconsciously project our own qualities, along with our hopes, fears and whole host of other things, onto those around us. And if we’re willing to dig deep, we can uncover valuable information about our own gifts, sparking new ways apply them in our businesses.     

Find Your Hidden Gifts

To discover more, I invite you to try the following exercise adapted, in part, from this Martha Beck exercise.

(You can also download this free PDF worksheet with the writing exercise that you can access anywhere.)

Pick a Coach

Pick a coach in your coaching industry you find yourself thinking a lot about. What are the things you admire about her? What does she do well? How does she show up in your world? What is she doing that you absolutely LOVE?

The coach doesn’t have to be well-known, although she could be. She could be someone just starting out. She could be a practice coach partner or someone running a Facebook group. She could be any coach you’d like as long as you love what she’s doing and how she’s doing it.

Write a Letter

Now write a letter to that person explaining what it is that you most appreciate about her. You won’t send it (necessarily) so be as open and gushy as you want. Get specific going into detail about why love how she’s showing up in the world.

For example, I just love the way you inspire women with your personal stories. You are so open and honest when you talk about yourself…

Quantify the Qualities

Based on the letter you wrote, make a list of qualities and behaviors you love in this person.

She is inspirational, energetic, and unafraid.

List as many as you find in your letter. 

Turn Them Around

Now take the letter you wrote, scratch out the coach’s name and put yours at the top instead. Read it aloud to yourself.

Dear Diane,

Don’t be tempted to gloss over this step, thinking OK, I’m a coach. I get this projecting thing...

Read it through and really let it sink in. This really is all about you. You can’t see the qualities you admire in others unless you have elements of those very same attributes in your soul self.  

Let the sentiment of what you wrote wash over you and fill you full of love.

Mine for Gold

Now take the qualities you listed in number 3 above, and for each one, answer both of the following questions:

  1. What evidence do I have that I’m already being this way this in my business?

  2. What is one new, fun way I could bring even more of this into my business?

Here, you’re not trying to become this other person or to deny your own unique self – not at all.

Instead you are simply recognizing and claiming these same desirable qualities that are already in you.  

Once you fully embrace that, you open yourself up to even more creative ways to show up and build a business that you love.

And that is something truly incomparable.

Photo by Gaetano Cessati on Unsplash