We need to talk about privilege
I have somethings to admit and let you in on. This idea of restoring vision is somewhat pretentious. What I mean by that is that it is quite assuming of our social position. Jus the basic level that I have the time to write, coach, and think about restoration, passion, and vision is a privilege. I am not saying this is not work and I am not doing my part in the world, but there are some privileges that have gone unrecognized. If restoration is going to be practiced and utilized in its full capacity then the privileges will have to be recognized, considered, and adapted into the plan of reaching and teaching. Here are 5 privileges that we need to be aware of when restoring passion to pursue our vision from the perspective of the coach.
1. Free time and money
Time is money and money is time. As a coach there is an assumption that you have the time to absorb the information I have to give and the process is trustworthy enough to take your time and money. If I think of somebody that is economically disadvantaged, racially disenfranchised, or under resourced by any other means; I probably do not think they would be able to financially afford the investment to pay for coaching to pursue their dreams, their passion, and their one true desire. Most working class people can not afford coaching programs like this because they are so expensive. Often times in the entrepreneur world I hear this being talked about as a “target audience”. If the population of people does not fit your goal than that is not your audience, is what I hear, and that sucks for a large chunk of the population that gets left out.
The privilege is that I can financially afford the time to think, process, and teach these coaching programs
Within this same presumption is the presumption of time. It is one thing to financially be able to afford it, but can you afford it with your time. When people are under resourced they often spend their time working 2 or 3 jobs to get by, maybe providing for a family, just to get through each day. No big dream pursuits, no ambitions to create the next nonprofit that changes the world, just the drive to take care of themselves and their family to make sure there is food and a roof over their heads. Yes there are dreams of things that would be nice, but dreaming about nice is not too wise. My privilege is that I can speak to people that have time to think about the big picture vision of life, coach them to their goals, and to figure out ways to not be held back by everyday struggles and responsibilities. Sometimes I look up to this way of life; it has dedication to family and faithful work. The simplicity of it is envious from the outside, but we can not assume that their struggle is any different than ours because we all have the same amount of hours, but different resources that display our privilege for opportunities.
2. Coaching will do it
I think as a coach, I as well as many other coaches think we have what it takes to get you to your goal. coaches that try to promote how well rounded their research is , which is in-turn their practice, without listening and investing in the person first; is that it comes off as narrow minded. It assumes that the only thing holding the person back from their manifest destiny is themselves. I believe this is true, but not all the time. Coach’s talk about it is how you organize your life and figure out your priorities. I do believe everyone can benefit from a coach, but a coach will not get everybody to their goals. Sometimes there needs to be training, a tool developed to cross a physical barrier, and the most restrictive and frustrating limitation of being lawfully or culturally segregated so opportunities are not available
This reminds me of the cool Runnings story. The Kenyan bobsled team and how unlikely this group of 4 Kenyan men from Africa would make it to the Olympics in an ice bobsledding competition. It hurts when this presumption is racially bias and we discount people based on what we think their capabilities are based on their race. The Kenyan bobsled team had to overcome this in their journey to the Olympics. Coaches can only do so much. They can not make the goal happen, the dream come true, or the restrictions disappear. The coach can guide, a guide is helpful, but guidance is only responsibility a coach can fill. We would be foolish to think there is more a coach can do. Let’s embrace our privilege of being a guide and be realistic with what our help is as a coach.
3. Vision is everything
As much as this is something I promote and believe in, it just is not true. Some will say there needs to be a decision. You need to decide that you want change before change actually happens. Without turning this in a chicken before the egg standoff I want to emphasis that vision is important and is a turning point, but there are many other vital impacts that affect your ability to move forward. I have the privilege of talking about vision because it is an all-encompassing aspect that I can use to speaking to various avenues of change. Vision is almost a synonym for belief, identity, social change, and goal setting because it speaks into each of those areas.
The most common way that this privilege gets portrayed is by people saying things like just imagine your dream and let that guide you and be your power, or you need a vision of your goals before you can go pursue them. These things sound good but they are not exactly true in the simple sense they are being portrayed. Yes you need to have an idea, but making vision the focal point is not necessary and comes from a place of privilege. For most people, just putting one foot in front of another is hard enough, so I do think vision is important, but when we put it in front of decision making and taking action the priority gets messed up. In the coaching world vision helps you to dream and think in the big picture. Seeing life in the big picture is a privilege for most because the small picture of essential task does not bury them so they have the privilege of having the ability to dream.
4. Speaking from an a-historic perspective
A-historic means that the present is only view through the lens of the present. When folks look for a coach they are usually looking to get over a hurdle to accomplish a goal or just get life straightened out to pursue something richer and fuller. Most take the perspective of what is your goal, where are you at now and what do we need to do to get there. Unfortunately this will lead to burn out and disappointment in the long term. This framework only works for so long. When looking at the future the past needs to be incorporated to work in the present. The most powerful journeys of transformation are the ones that dive in the past and are determined to reconcile with it and not repeat it.
It is the nature of coaches and counselors alike to stay focus on the present and meet you where you are at. I understand the frustration of going to a doctor, a therapist, or a coach and spending an hour on the history when they did not even use the information or even more frustrating when they do not use your history and just guess about the condition and the solution. It takes the dignity and humanity out of the person. The privilege is being the one in control because the coach, counselor, doctor, or whatever is the one getting paid. If somebody says they take a holistic approach make sure they take a full holistic approach that includes the past because it is important to listen to the whole person.
5. Not everybody wants to change, change is not for everybody
This is the hardest one for me to grasp. For me this goes beyond my practice of coaching and into my personal values. I believe everyone has the ability to change, but the reality is that not everyone wants it to happen. The desire has the meet the ability. This is frustrating because potential is left on the table when a fuller more abundant life is possible. Coaches promote change and make money off of change. They are in the results business, so if the customer does not notice or feel the change in their life then business will die, so there is in an invested interest in change. The ability will always be there, but the desire is the one that is always in question. It is a privilege to always be in the mindset to pursue change. For the majority of people they have to just rely on their abilities to get by in life and take care of the priorities of putting food on the table and maintaining a roof overhead. I ask many people what their passion/desire/ dream is and many of them do not know, not so much because they have not dream, but because their dreams have been limited to their abilities. So the dream is to be the best mom, just to be happy and a good person, to have a good family, to love and care for my children. For most of us our abilities have pushed down a path and the path is not something that we consciously choose. Some people work on just being present with what they have, which is a dead end for a coach because there is nothing more abundant than be grateful and present with what you value.
The only question I will leave you with is do you like what you value or is there something more that you want for life?
I find it important to recognize privileges so that we do not take things for granted. I believe this practice has helped me be more compassionate and allowed me to walk the extra mile in the other person’s shoes.
If you have a coach, share this with them and see what they think
If you do not have a coach let these questions set in a see if any of these hold you back from having a coach.
There are people out there that are willing to lessen their privilege, so that you can have the ability to pursue your desires and dreams.
You are powerful where ever you are and I hope you are able to find abundance where ever you are at.