Give your life direction

Can you change your life in four simple steps? Life coach Doug Scroggins believes you can. Emma Harrowing decided to put life coaching to the test and has been having sessions with Doug over the last 12 months.

It's the time of year when you want to change something in your life.

Whether you want to lose weight, improve your fitness, save more money, find love, improve on relationships, change your career, or progress up the career ladder, all too often your resolutions fall by the way side.

But what if you want to change all aspects of your life? Where do you start?

The answer is by establishing who you are.

It was a question that life coach Doug Scroggins, founder of The DLS Experience, asked me on my very first life coaching session back in spring last year.

Life coaching is about finding a way to fulfil your potential to be someone by setting out your own values, beliefs and purpose. Sessions are based around four steps: to identify what you want out of life, to identify who you need to be to achieve what you want out of life, to use your chosen values and apply them to everyday situations and finally to release your full potential by achieving what you want to achieve in your life.

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The technique can help individuals, groups, businesses and even high-powered executives realise their true potential and grow.

So does it work?

I didn't have a specific area of my life that I drastically wanted to change, but as life coaching is said to help you release your potential in all aspects of your life, I decided to try out ten life coaching sessions with Doug.

And so back to Doug's first question: 'who am I?'

I answered with fervour about how I am a journalist, a sister, a daughter, a fashionista, a friend…but this is not who I am, says Doug, who has heard people spout off about what they do – their profession, their role in their family, their hobbies, all too often. After all if you lost your job or your situation in your personal life changed then who would you be?

'Your job or your role in the home does not make you who you are, that's what you do,' says Doug. 'The real you is the person you want to be. Being comes before doing, so you have to be disciplined if you want to get fit or lose weight, you need to be nurturing if you want to get the best out of a relationship.'

It was a statement that Doug said many times throughout my sessions with him. In a society that is drip-fed to 'do' things to get them done, retraining my thinking to 'be' someone in order to achieve my goals in life was a challenge.

Says Doug: 'Many people wonder why they cannot find a job or are in the same job they dislike, why they have a poor relationship record or why they cannot seem to lose weight. The answer is because they are not being who they need to be.'

In the first session Doug re-asked the question 'who do you want to be' and this time I came up with a list of three attributes that I would like to be: to be disciplined so that I do not over-indulge on food and take more exercise, to be organised so that I become more productive at work, and to be energetic so that I have the drive to be all I want to be in life.

Each session became a discussion about the various challenges I had faced both at work and in my personal life and how by thinking of how to 'be' rather than just 'doing', I could improve work and social relationships and ultimately achieve more out of life.

As I didn't have a specific problem in any aspect of my life I found the sessions hard-going. Sometimes I would have a revelation that made day-to-day life that little bit easier, but in the main I wished I had a smoking addiction, a bad relationship or a job I disliked just so that I could apply what I learnt in the life coaching sessions to a real problem!

As the sessions progressed so to did my list of values. To be disciplined, organised and energetic were joined by to be intuitive and nurturing. Each value was put into a sentence that I could say to myself whenever I found myself in a challenging situation.

The main value I became reliant on was to be intuitive – to trust myself – and this helped me in no end of situations. In fact believing in myself became my belief at the very beginning of my life coaching sessions.

By session four I was beginning to see how having a life coach can help you gain a clearer picture of what you want out of life and, in fact, life in general.

The sessions with Doug were informal and chatty. I felt as if I could talk to him about anything that was troubling me, however small, and that he would guide me to find the right approach to deal with it.

Most of the work is down to you. Doug let's you find your own way of dealing with problems in your life and gradually you find yourself thinking in a 'being' way rather than a 'doing'.

I began to pull myself up over the way I spoke to people in my life, the way I wrote emails and the way I handled situations at work and home, and gradually I found myself feeling more at ease with myself and improving my relationships with others.

Caring too much about what people think of me had held me back to some extent all my life. And then in one session with Doug I set my fifth and final value – acceptance – to not (negatively) judge, criticise or reject myself or others. By applying this to situations when I was concerned I had said the wrong thing, I was worried that what I was wearing was out of place, I beat myself up for not going to the gym or eating too many chocolate biscuits or I worried what my parents thought of me. I just merely accepted myself for who I was and respected that other people may not feel that way about me.

My ten sessions with Doug taught me a lot. Although I was pretty happy with my lot before life coaching the sessions have given me the strength, self-confidence and conviction to believe in myself when, and if times get tough.

For more information about The DLS Experience and how life coaching could help you click on the link at the top right hand side of the page, or call Doug Scroggins on 07786 428936.