“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Mary Oliver

What do you really want?

You may have no idea. A small inkling of an idea. A big idea buried in reasons why it should stay buried. Or maybe you live quietly with the frustration that no one has picked up on it yet. As soon as you try something new, you'll get resistance—sometimes not only from within but also from your environment. There are dreams we want to realize or changes we want to make, but altering our habits takes a great deal of courage and resilience if we are to free ourselves from ingrained patterns, especially if under stress. Mindful Coaching can help us break away from habitual reflexes and engage wholeheartedly with our “one wild and precious life,” working with what is on our mind.

What themes can a coaching process give you traction on? What entrenched habit is standing in the way of what you really want?

Below is a collection of common conundrums—grouped by theme—that may be relevant to you. These inner thoughts could be stunting your initiative by getting mixed up with the very thing you are striving for. A good coaching question stops the challenge from clattering around, blurry and unstructured, in your mind. Without you realizing it, even mild confusion narrows the way you see the world and influences the way you work.

Coaching equips you with a plan. You get to practice new ways of seeing and acting in the world, which naturally transforms the past fetters and familiarizes you concretely with what you are ready for now. Coaching releases the pressure valve, letting you explore what realization would mean for you. You recover clarity and peace of mind. It lets you bravely meet resistance with new insight and develop tools to bring your full potential to light. You can launch successful projects and make significant personal or professional shifts efficiently and artfully, benefiting yourself and the people and things you really care about.

What's the real challenge here for you?

Feeling stuck

I don't know what I want. Should I stay or should I go? Should I leave this job? This person? This city? I want to be my own boss. I want to be more independent. I am a perpetual student. I need to take some risks. I want to inspire autonomy as a manager/director, but I come over bossy, and I don't want all the responsibility on my shoulders.


I just can’t get started on this business/creative project I really want to launch. What’s stopping me? I want to lose weight. I want to create. I want to make more money. I want to change jobs/start up a company. I want to divorce. I want to find someone. I want to … be healthier, ... learn how to calm my mind, ... improve my style, ... brand what I do, ... quit smoking, ... start running, ... be more assertive, ... get out there, ... become a public speaker, ... be a pilot, ... be a teacher, ... be a better friend, ... be a better partner, ... be a better listener. I’m holding back. I want to be seen. I want to put my work out there.


I feel like I never have enough time. Striking a work-life balance is really hard. I have no time for a relationship and I want kids. I have kids and they take up all my headspace. I don't know what my passions are. I have too many interests. I’m way too busy, running all the time. I’m out of breath. I react far too strongly to things. I want to have a better rhythm and flow with things. I want a healthier routine. I want to make more money.

Minor addictions/compulsions

I keep changing relationships. I can't be alone. I can’t stop ... eating sweets, ... checking my email first thing in the morning as though I may miss something if I don't, … posting on Facebook, ... texting, ... the constant distractions. I have trouble being consistent. I want to be more present with my family.


What are my values? What do I really care about? What do I want to wake up to in the morning?


What is it I really want to do? What is holding me back from doing it? I’m foggy about this pressing issue.


I lost my job. I just started a new job. I’m a mom going back to work. I have a broken heart and want to move on. I’m scared to end this relationship. My mother just died and I’m debilitated. I have trouble leaving people or places. I’m retiring next year, and want to have something to look forward to. I’m forced to change careers because I had an accident. I’m faced with new limitations/possibilities.


I don’t know why I’m here doing what I’m doing. Should I just throw in the towel?

The indescribable itches

I’ve always wanted to travel the world—when will the time be right? Something is making me edgy, I feel off track, disconnected. I don’t like my job/environment/relationship—I need a change, but I don’t know where to begin. I feel like I’m always behind. I’m continually making lists, but I’m not getting anywhere.  Maybe I should go travelling, or am I just running away?


I’m really excited about this program, but I don't know if I have what it takes to get in. I’ve lost touch with my inspiration, I used to… now I … What makes me tick?


I’m pretty good at this, but I feel there’s a whole lot more I could bring to what I do. I know I’ve been stagnating for too long on this issue. I have a dream to open up a ...


I want to quit putting this off and begin.


I’m great at standing in my own way and sabotaging my work. It’s subtle but it’s there. I get myself back on track, and then do something almost purposely to wreck what was really working, so it’s tough to move forward.

Confidence and consistency

My friends say that I don't believe in myself enough. I can see that I waste a lot of time trying to be perfect. I am too hard on myself—it doesn't help that I feel this pressure to realize my dream. I get started on something that feels right, but I can't keep it up. I lose focus, go right back to my old ways and give up on my goal.

What’s on your mind?