Maree Scully: Changing from the Inside Out

“Should I invest money in coaching or put it towards new clothes?”  The person who asked me this question had just finished describing her need to overcome a longstanding and destructive personal habit.

While it’s always tempting to add to our wardrobe, a new look on the outside will never bring inner growth and desired change.  We often misunderstand how growth and heart transformation take place.  We think that perhaps with more discipline and stronger willpower, we can do this on our own.  Sometimes that does work!  But there is a healthier way to grow and change.

Recently I was watching a documentary on ‘Breaking the Food Seduction’ and the doctor mentioned as a throw-away comment that it is not possible to change our eating habits on our own.  He mentioned that a little bit of group support makes the difference between success and failure.  A group that meets regularly and shares successes, stories, and challenges, will change their eating habits and their lives!

Some years ago I read the book ‘How People Grow’ by Dr’s Townsend and Cloud.  The overwhelming thought that I came away with is that God designed us to grow in the community – with loving supportive and accountable relationships.  It was never intended that we run this journey of life on our own, yet we have somehow perfected it through our tendency towards keeping up appearances, busyness and building walls to keep others out.

One of the things I love about coaching is that it enables people to grow and change in a supportive, safe, loving, accountable relationship.  The coach works with you on a journey of self-discovery. To this end, he or she will challenge you and ask you difficult and maybe uncomfortable questions.  The coach creates a safe place for you to reflect, think deeply, and arrive at a point of greater awareness that results in a commitment to change. 

Even good friends or colleagues don’t always hold each other accountable or intentionally encourage growth.   Maybe you have colleagues with whom you can be transparent and who may be willing to ask you ‘What progress are you making in that area of leadership?’  Why not give them permission to ask?  Let’s stop trying to change and grow on our own.  Find people, whether it be a coach, a friend, a colleague or a mentor, to journey with you, to support and challenge you in your leadership growth. 
This morning I read an article by Laura McCamy on ‘6 things people who are good with money always splurge on’.  She quotes a personal finance expert as saying that coaching can be a good career investment for entrepreneurs and employees alike. "Whatever is hard for you and challenging for you, investing in a coach to help you with that," she said, is a worthwhile investment.  Coaching is an investment in your growth.

Let’s not stay stuck on the inside while sporting our new wardrobe on the outside!
Maree Scully

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