Ever listened to a little kid practicing the piano?
I remember diligently (OK, that is a rosy reflection. Begrudgingly…) doing my 30 minutes of practice a day. Well, most days. I would play the same song – usually as fast as my fingers would go – until the timer beeped and I bolted off the piano bench to play or read or whatever.
The thing about practicing the same thing over and over is that sometimes I would learn a song and learn one note incorrectly or with a weird rhythm. But I wasn’t able to hear the part that clunked. I bet my neighbors did, though! When I trucked into my piano lesson each week, my teacher would first listen to me race through the song and then get me to slow it down. Sometimes I would then hear it. Or sometimes she would point my attention to that area and we would work through the passage together. Muscle memory is an itch and it takes more work to unlearn a habit and then retrain a new one.
Working with a coach is kind of like this. There are areas in life where we go on auto pilot because *we know it*. In fact, the conscious mind can only hold about 7-9 things at any given time. That is a whole lot of thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and actions being run by our unconscious! So it is hard to hear the parts that we keep tripping over.
Coaching turns our attention to these things to bring them into consciousness to see what we find, tweak what is working and rework what isn’t. Then we are able to set off to the races again, knowing that we will hit the right notes to make our Fur Elise soar. A professional coach is trained to listen for the clunks and and is skilled at slowing you down to work through the rough spots. Coaches are also trained to listen for your inner Mozart and will help you amp up your genius.
For your enjoyment, a piece that reminds me of tranquility and the underlying madness of the mind:
Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1