Three ways coaching can help your cancer recovery
If you have ever received a cancer diagnosis and treatment, you will have faced physical, emotional and mental wellbeing challenges. Not to mention work, relationships, friendship circles and social lives feeling different to where they were before diagnosis. What may once have been normal or enough feels somehow out of place or just doesn’t feel right.
Your story will be different from the next person’s and you may recognise anything between one and all of these things. In coaching, we see you and work with you as an individual and no generalisations are made about who you are or what you want.
You may have thoughts about future plans that you don’t want to discuss with your loved ones yet, preferring someone who is impartial and can help ask the right questions as you explore where you are now.
There’s a famous quote from Stephen R Covey that rings true ‘Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply’.
If you have felt not listened to and that maybe people are just waiting to get their views in, here is some good news – one of the most important skills an accredited coach brings is listening. Coaches are curious and will listen to you in a way that possibly you haven’t experienced for a while. And anything you say is completely confidential.
And unlike therapy, where the focus is on the emotional impact, coaching is more focused on how you might like to take steps forward after your cancer experience, and many find it a really powerful way of connecting with values and what really matters most.
We always listen with the intent to understand, not with the intent to reply.
Life after cancer treatment can be seen as an opportunity for change and your coach will support you to develop a plan to get you closer to where you want to be, step by step.
Your coach will provide accountability as well – someone to have your back and keep you on track and motivated, celebrate small steps along the way and always be open to listen to you without judgement or unwanted advice.
The 3 most frequently reported benefits of coaching after cancer treatment are:
Regaining self confidence
Has cancer made you doubt yourself and your ability to make decisions? Have you gone from being a confident person who can handle anything and a clear identity, to being recognised only as a patient or that person who has cancer?
Coaching can help you to think in terms of possibilities, not limitations. It will give you unbiased support, challenging beliefs that stop you from having confidence in yourself.
You will start to think differently about things and imagine how life could be if you no longer held onto those beliefs. If you want to change, we will talk about how to get rid of them, develop more positive ways of thinking and changes that can help you to get back your identity, increase your confidence and stand up for what you believe in.
Taking Back Control
Coaching provides a safe time and space for you to regain some control in your life. Having had to make so many decisions and periods of uncertainty, it’s time to think about your own priorities and ambitions. By exploring your values and using your own strengths and abilities, coaching will help you to focus on what you want now and take charge!
It can also help you to see another person’s perspective – let’s face it, cancer can create chaos and uncertainty all around for you and those who are close to you. Not that you need to change what you want to accommodate their perspective, but exploring awareness of this can help you understand what you might want to work on.
Setting and achieving goals
It is likely that the ambitions you had pre-diagnosis will have changed through your experience. It might have made you need to reconsider what is now doable, how you live with uncertainty, or on the other hand, it might have made you feel determined to live life more fully than you did before?
Or maybe you need help to get back to work or communicate with colleagues effectively?
Maybe you have been inspired to think about a new direction or one that had to be put on hold because of cancer?
Trying to make sense of these thoughts can be overwhelming but coaching gives you the opportunity to put in place meaningful goals and a step-by-step plan to meet them.
Before long, you will be celebrating making those small steps, leading to bigger ones and leaps into new ways.
How do I know if coaching can help me?
If any of the above rings true, it is likely that coaching can help you. But you do need to be ready to put in a bit of work yourself, your coach can’t and won’t do it for you. When we talk about goals, we talk about YOUR GOALS, not the coach’s, so the ultimate responsibility lies with you to meet them.
But a good coach can definitely help you to make life after cancer treatment make sense and get a grip on where you are now and what you want. They will give you a way through any muddled thinking or things that you don’t feel able to share with your loved ones because you don’t want to upset them or because you need someone who is completely unbiased to truly listen.
Any coach worth their salt will always offer a discovery call so that you can ask any questions on your mind about whether coaching is right for you and indeed, whether that coach is right for you and you for them. Another important element of coaching is trust and rapport between coach and client so that you feel safe sharing your experiences.
Please do get in touch, book in a discovery call and let’s see what we can do together.