Every Human has a Hero’s journey within them!
Tour guide with a road map.
Adventure Guide with a Treasure map.
Answer the call
Here are the first two lines of our coaching definition:
- A profound personal relationship
- Where the coach guides the self-determined player
A guide is an egalitarian co-creative partner on the journey. Not greater than, not less than; not the boss, not a servant.
It used to be called the Hero’s Journey. But we believe that EVERY human can choose to live a hero’s life by playing for their BIG Dream to contribute to others by expressing their unique superpowers! So, we call it the Human Journey.
This model describes a few key elements of what it means to be a Guide on the Human journey.
The Dream is
The idea is that when most players start the adventure, they are in the Self-Preservation Zone and their Dream calls them out into the world. Two points I want to share with you here:
1) It’s NOT a straight path: In model you can see that the path from the Preservation Zone to the BIG Dream is not a straight path. You can expect a lot of moving ahead and then pulling back. The adventure will have many side trails and speed bumps.
2) You will also notice the arrow that shows that once your player becomes comfortable and capable in their BIG Dream it becomes the new Preservation Zone. Then a new dream will come to their heart and a new adventure will begin! With you as their Transformational Coach, they don’t stay in one place very long!
OK! Let’s take a walk through this model. It’s super fun and explains A LOT about the coaching relationship!
There is a “stay safe” version of our lives that is available to us now. In this life we preserve who we are and where we are. We avoid any social risks. This is how most people live. But this is NOT how we live when we have a Life Coach! As a Life Coach you will often find yourself encouraging your player to take steps into the unknown.
The outer ring is the BIG Dream that we talked about in the last section! The adventure is to get your players heart’s desire out into the world. It is their heart calling to them! (Yoo Hooo… I’m out here) Often you will be the amplifier of this voice.
Living the Dream is where the peak experiences and imagined results happen with regularity. We are in the flow of life contributing our unique value to the world in a way that is fulfilling for us. The BIG Dream is the equivalent of the “call to adventure” in the Hero’s Journey stories. To pursue our BIG Dream, we will need to leave the safety of the Preservation Zone and pass through the FEAR/GROWTH zone and discover and develop our Superpowers that will be needed to fulfill the dream.
Honor the Self
The Social Safety Instinct and the Preservation Zone
Next notice the Social Safety Instinct at the center. This force is like a magnet that pulls us toward the Preservation Zone. Here we aim to maintain the sense of belonging and status quo that we have in our current environment. We also seek to maintain the beliefs that are required by this environment. And finally, we limit our becoming through play to what can fit within the existing structure, which is usually not much!
The Social Safety Instinct – and the requisite need to maintain belonging – is by far the most powerful force in Human Nature.
Many personal growth programs refer to something called the “comfort zone”. It is a similar idea, but I feel that the Preservation Zone is a better name for what is actually happening. First of all, many people are stuck preserving something that is not at all comfortable; yet they fight to preserve it just the same. Preservation Zone also takes away the stigma of comfort zone that implies a person is weak or lazy. Self-preservation is a super strong survival instinct and is both essential and an honorable force to be reckoned with!
Often life in the Industrial Culture Preservation Zone gets so routine that we don’t even notice that we are stuck. It’s a blind spot. As a Transformational Coach it is your role to shine a light on these spots with judgment-free awareness.
The Performance-Possibility Gap
Notice the Performance Possibility Gap (in the upper right). This is the gap between the sum total of who we are and what we can do now AND who we must become to fulfill our dream. We have a vision of ourselves playing life at a higher level of impact. This is a good thing!
This is the essential coaching element. When a player has a BIG Dream it includes a vision of themselves having new experiences and doing new activities or doing them in a bigger and better way than they can do them now. Anyone who goes after a BIG Dream knows that there is a gap that they will need to cross.
Crossing this gap from the current ability and situation to the vision is what coaching is all about. After we guide our player across this gap, a new dream emerges, and we start the next adventure into the new gap.
The FEAR/GROWTH Zone
The Fear/Growth Zone is the unknown. This is when we are in a situation that is a little – or a lot – beyond our current capabilities. It is when we face a challenge that we cannot overcome as the current version of ourselves.
Fear is a fundamental Human experience. Its purpose is to keep us safe. Fear is a feeling in the body that reminds us that in the past while doing something similar something “bad” happened. The fear comes up as a bad feeling to steer us away from the situation or action. Whenever we pursue a course of action that is beyond what we are doing now, we will experience fear on a regular basis.
The BIG insight is to realize that all our social fears were absorbed from our environments. And most of our fears are social fears about expressing our playfulness and unique power. So, if we explore the fears – rather than attempt to overcome them – they can lead us back to our playful powers.
We call these social fears the treasure map that leads to our Superpowers. As a Transformational Coach you will become masterful at reading these maps!
A BIG key to Transformational Coaching is this: since most of our social fears were absorbed in Industrial Control Culture, it is essential that we explore our fears in the company of a trusted guide. It is almost impossible overcome social fears by facing them alone. This is why all Hero’s journey stories include a guide… and why all modern-day hero’s need a Transformational Coach!
This is where you face social risks in pursuit of social rewards. In the Fear/Growth Zone you see the 5 BE’s of Human Nature: BE Free, Befriend, Become, Believe, Belong.
- Your player will need to boost their self-determination and self-trust to play for their dream
- Your player will need to restore their natural abilities to co-create and give AND receive care rather than attempting to go it alone.
- Your player may need to Become the next version of themselves by upleveling their skills or strategy by expressing your Superpowers.
- They may need to Believe in themselves or in new possibilities; or let go of Beliefs that don’t support their new dream.
- They may need to find a place of Belonging for this new version of themselves.
The Superpower Zone
I like using the term superpowers to express the notion that we all have unique qualities within us. “Strengths” is another term that is often used. I like Superpowers because it pulls in the theme of the Hero’s Journey and its way more playful. Yeah!!
A Superpower = A unique ability that you can practice
until it is capable of making a BIG IMPACT on people or situations.
As I mentioned before, in almost every Hero’s Journey story there is a plot line where the Hero discovers powers within themselves that they were unaware of before.
The Superpower Zone is where we discover the powers and playfulness within us that have been hidden in the shadows that we will NEED to live our dream. We have Superpowers for the social play activities of influence, inspiration, visibility and change that we have not yet tapped into. OR we may be using them, but now we are being called to raise our level of mastery.
As a Transformational Coach you will Guide your player to practice and use their rediscovered Superpowers. This is a highly co-creative process that you will love.
The Pull creates
Notice The Pull! This is what we experience anytime we endeavor to pursue a big dream. The BIG Dream pulls us out and the Social Safety Instinct pulls us in. In the Hero’s Journey stories this is called “refusal of the call”. While in these stories this is a one-time event at the beginning of the story. In my experience of coaching people in pursuit of a BIG DREAM this is an EVERYDAY EXPERIENCE! Hah! It is often a “many times every day” experience.
By walking with your player through the zone of fear/growth you will obtain many clues about their unique powers that have become hidden over time. Any time they contemplate a new action their body will buzz if the action resembles a troubling experience from earlier in life. I am sure that you can relate to this experience in your own life!
Exploring these moments like clues on a Treasure Map will often reveal the expression of power that is connected to earlier, troublesome event in your player’s life. BAM! They now have awareness of a lost Superpower!! AWESOME!
We have a technique for coaching these moments called the Pivotal Moment Technique. This technique is woven throughout our curriculum.
This is a powerful perspective that I invite you to consider. My mentor for 14 years when I was an assistant coach for the Seton Hall University Men’s Soccer Team, Hall-Of-Fame soccer coach Manny Schellscheidt, used to describe it this way:
“The purpose of all the planning and all the practicing and all the training and all the hard work is NOT winning the championship, or even winning games. The purpose is that moment when you are playing, and you experience yourself playing well. That MOMENT, is what it is all about.”
This is known as the “Peak Experience”. It is also known as a moment of being “in the flow” or “in the zone”. These are moments when we feel the thrill of playing combined with the thrill of being alive. These are moments when our practiced abilities allow us to rise up to a challenge in a way that we were not capable of at some point in the past.
These moments of peak experience are available to us and within our grasp when we truly play for something we care about. They can happen on any given day when we play. Yet, they are rare enough to maintain their value.
These magical moments – just as much or even more than reaching objectives – are what coaching and playing for Dreams are all about.
Being a Transformational Coach…
You will become a truly capable reader of treasure maps. While every player is different, you will develop the skills and wisdom needed to read the mysterious clues and signs.
You will be able to see and guide the call to adventure with most people that you meet; though they may not always be ready to answer the call! It’s fun.
Center for Coaching Mastery Program
In the Center for Coaching Mastery Program the Human Journey framework is woven throughout the curriculum.
You will become a master at holding the balance between the adventure of doing new things in the social world and the inner adventure of exploring fears and unleashing superpowers.
Link to Center for Coaching Mastery Philosophy