I Want to X, But Instead I Y

growth tools

Entering a coaching relationship can be a transformative experience, a journey towards self-improvement and growth. But before embarking on this path, a vital question arises: What are you hoping to gain from a coaching relationship? This question serves as a compass, guiding both the coach and the client towards their goals. The journey towards change, whether external or internal, starts with identifying the gap and understanding the type of change one seeks to create.

The Power of Gaps:

Gaps are powerful. They are the spaces between where you are now and where you want to be. When a coach asks this question, they aim to understand the unique void that needs to be filled, making the path to personal or professional growth more focused and efficient. Once the gap is identified, the coach and client can work together to bridge it, and this process often reveals the metric they are optimizing for.

External Changes and Metrics:

In the world of business coaching, change is often a math equation. What needs to be added, subtracted, or multiplied to achieve specific goals? The metric that one aims to optimize for can be tangible, such as sales numbers, profit margins, or market share. In these cases, success can be measured objectively.

Internal Changes and Decisions:

Not all changes are external, and not all progress can be measured with traditional metrics. Some changes are deeply internal, driven by shifts in mindset, beliefs, and behaviors. These changes often don't have clear external measurements, but they are no less significant. For example, someone may want to change a habit of negative thinking or self-doubt, or perhaps they want to cultivate more patience and empathy in their relationships.

Measuring Progress Through Decisions:

When seeking internal change, personal growth often manifests as a series of different decisions. These decisions are moments when one chooses to act differently than they might have in the past. They signify progress on a path of personal development. These moments can be found within the language patterns of one's thoughts and conversations.

For instance:

  • "I wanted to stay in bed, but instead, I got up and exercised."
  • "I wanted to confront my kids, but instead, I calmed myself down."

Each of these moments represents a conscious decision to make a change, a step towards becoming the person you aspire to be. It's essential to recognize and celebrate these moments as they occur, as they are the building blocks of personal growth.

Reflection as a Yardstick for Personal Growth:

As a coach, I often tell my clients that "reflection is the yardstick of personal growth." Sometimes, it's only by looking back at where we once were that we can appreciate how far we've come. When aiming for internal change, the yardstick is not external metrics but rather the collection of different decisions we've made along the way.


Coaching relationships are not limited to business goals and external metrics. They can also be profound tools for personal growth and transformation. In these cases, success is measured through the different decisions we make, the language patterns that reflect internal change. Progress may not be immediately evident, but by tracking and celebrating these moments, we can build a sense of momentum and motivation.

So, whether your journey towards change is focused on business success or internal personal growth, remember that the path to your goals is paved with different decisions. These moments are the true markers of progress, and by recognizing and celebrating them, you'll find the motivation and confidence to keep moving forward on your transformative journey.


Following a very simple three-step process, break in, break down, break through, Jordan helps his clients design and live their best lives while maintaining a profitable business.


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