Life Coach: Get Your Life in Shape! (cont.)

Member: One area your list doesn't seem to address (I may be wrong) is employment. So many people I know feel stuck in their jobs. The answer isn't quit and move to Mexico to tend bar, so how do we make the most of the careers we have?

LaMotte: Do you feel stuck in your job?

Member: Sometimes :)

LaMotte: I think a lot of people feel trapped in life. It is sort of like sometimes you say something to someone in a way that you really didn't mean to say. And the more you explain the deeper the hole you dig. We make decisions in our lives that often put us into holes. And the more we try to scramble out, the deeper the hole.

For example, and this is typical, one woman wrote she was married at 20, had a baby at 21, another baby at 22. Her husband's career faltered. She realized she wanted to go back to school. But they had no money and no time to do so because of the children. And my question to her initially was, "What were you thinking at the time you decided to have children?" And her response was, "Nothing."

I say all that to say that first I think we have to be accountable to the decisions we've made that led us to the hole we find ourselves in, rather than blame someone else for the trouble we see. Look back on the series of decisions we made that led us to that trouble. If we do that, there is less chance we will repeat that mistake.

Secondly, I don't think anyone should tolerate a job that they find impossible for them to accept. Because if the job is having a very negative effect, then that negativity is passed on from that person to a relationship with the family. It's almost like passing on a virus deliberately. I would rather that person first decide really what kind of job would give them satisfaction, and to do their homework and research and talk to people already in the field and see what it's really like. Be well-versed as possible for this decision for which you will be held accountable. Once that choice is made, I think they should take every step they can to get out of the job they are in and move to the new choice -- quickly.

Member: Career is a big issue for me, definitely. I quit my last job over the environment. It is something I love to do, it is just that adequate respect wasn't there for what I did -- it was like they felt I was dispensable and they could have done without me and when I quit they acted like it was "out of the blue," when signs have been put out for months. So I guess where I'm going is how do you make sure you are in a good environment or shape this environment to be good in this sense?

LaMotte: Good question. Many times we spend more time looking into ways to buy a new car than we do looking into a job opportunity. Even in the interview portion of a job application there is nothing wrong with interviewing the interviewer! Asking the interviewer how he or she personally likes the job they have, what challenges they face, what opportunities, what kind of people and personalities they work with, how the boss motivates -- there is nothing wrong with talking to people who work in that place and asking similar questions.

But first of all, you have to understand yourself. How are you best motivated? What kind of work environment specifically do you want? Earnestly look for a match. It is critically important. Sometimes people feel desperate inside and they take anything that comes along. They have to be accountable for that decision. I think it's worth the wait to find the right match. Because you know when you find it, you will thrive, they will thrive, and the two of you have a relationship that will likely go far into the future.

Member: Do you refer clients to mental health professionals often? How do you differentiate between energy drains you can help people overcome and energy drains that might be the cause or result of depression or anxiety?

LaMotte: I am very careful about staying within my own knowledge base. I think there is great value in using a psychologist for certain emotional problems. And I am trained to look for people who have those problems and refer them to a psychologist. Sometimes coaches work hand in hand with a psychologist, because each has a different purpose. The psychologist tries to get to the cause of an emotional problem. The coach is assisting the person to stay in action, to stay motivated. There are arrangements where the two can help one another and help the client at the same time.

Moderator: We are almost out of time. Before we wrap up for today, do you have any final comments for us, Larry?

LaMotte: I really appreciate the chance to be on this live chat. I recommend you go to web sites such as coachu.com or coachfederation.net and find a coach in your area from their list. I think it's a powerful relationship and it's talked about so much right now because it is working. Thanks for letting me have the opportunity to tell you about a field I am very proud of.

Moderator: Thanks for joining us, members, and thanks to Larry LaMotte for being our guest. For more information, visit our WebMD Weight Loss Clinic message boards, where you can continue to work through your energy drains and find support from other members.

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