An area that we cover on the Coaching Diploma that resonates with both trainees and clients is the idea of developing our ability to notice and observe without judgement. We think this is key for any coaching practice – whether you’re a career coach, executive or life coach. The ability to enhance the way we notice and observe is crucial.

Although there’s links to other psychological frameworks we find that this ability to simply observe you having feelings really resonates with Acceptance Commitment Coaching.

Recognising those feelings (be they happy, elated, frustrated or challenging ones), your behaviour when those feelings show up, and then being able to actively accept them as a natural part of a life that is fully lived is freeing and creates potential.

There’s a lot of things in that one statement to unpack! So here’s a few ideas that breaks down this approach that little bit more to understand why it is so powerful:

  • observing your feelings creates a shift between a self that might be a bit judgemental and your real self. You move away from a self that might want to fight the feeling to one where you are being a kind observer towards it. This process of noticing in turn helps you to differentiate your experience from who you really are.
  • there is an active, not passive acceptance that happens here. We don’t need or will want to accept every situation however there are some that we might still hang on to that don’t serve us. Perhaps feelings about the past, our expectations or previous coping strategies that might have not previously worked. Being observant of these and how they impact us helps us understand and accept them.
  • it gives you the freedom to make a choice, establish a direction and be more psychologically flexible. You may not feel willing to carry out a particular action because of how you feel (e.g. “I want to change careers, but I am nervous about it.”) but noticing that you might choose to give it a try anyway (e.g. “I want to change careers, and it’s okay that I am nervous about it.”)
  • it empowers you to face negative thoughts and feelings. Instead of distracting yourself from difficult experiences and perhaps trying to control negative thoughts or feelings you instead focus on what’s important to you. What really matters. Your values.

Understanding how you behave when negative feelings show up is key. For example, when I have a new or big project to tackle the first feeling that turns up is anxiety and I might push it away, distract myself or focus on some other work. But then I observe how that’s not who I am – it’s not part of my values. By tapping into what’s important to me – doing a great job, being honest with clients, having fun, I can then notice how I feel about the project in a different light, usually leading to better focus and commitment.

Our ICF Accredited Diploma in Integrative Coaching covers Acceptance Commitment Coaching. And because of the way it’s been designed it caters for individuals who wish to develop themselves as business, life, career or executive coaches alike.

In addition if you are thinking about starting a coach training programme join one of our free webinars. You can sign up here.