I’ve never had problems in making friends. While I hated leaving the friends I made in Delaware/Pennsylvania, the worry that plagues many people, “Will I make new friends in my new location?” never occurred to me. I realized that before I moved to that area, I didn’t know my good friends–Judy, Esther, Pat and Joyce. I was confident I would find new friends who would also become special. As it turned out, I have made more friends here in NC in 3 years than I did in the 7 years in my previous home.
I consider my friends my chosen family. I talk with them when I need support during a crisis, when I need advice and just want to “touch base.” Why then, do I also need a coach? Given that I AM a coach myself–it got me thinking about why I/we need both a coach AND a sprinkling of wonderful friends. Here’s what I came up with…
Objectivity — My coach helps me look at the situation, goal, dream or problem without imposing her values or how she handled a similar situation. It’s about what works best for me that counts.
Push/Kick — My coach knows when I am stalling, trying to weasel out of something or wanting to stay in my velvet rut where it’s nice and comfy. She is not afraid to use whatever it takes to get me to my goal. She does not hesitate to use some special techniques to get me there–with love, of course.
Accountability — My coach isn’t a soft touch that will give me a “Get out of xxx free” card whenever I don’t make my commitments. See above paragraph!
It’s all about me — It’s my time. I don’t have to wait for the polite friendship volley where we each take turns to share our opinions and stories. My coach is working toward my agenda and my agenda only.
Resources, options and new ideas — Because my coach truly understands where I’ve been and where I want to go–she always seems to have a lot of ideas I can use for my own situation.
Celebrate — Sure, I use my friends to share successes with. But it is my coach who celebrates each little bitty step that got me there. She “gets” the effort it took and makes sure I take time to acknowledge my progress.
The good news is that I don’t have to choose between my friends and my coach. They are all an important part of my life. So, what do you think? If you have a coach, how do you utilize him/her versus your family of friends?
When I considered a move to Asheville, my mind quickly went to leaving the wonderful friends I would be leaving where I lived for the past 8 years. My heart sank; boy, I would sure miss them.
But then I realized if I hadn’t taken the chance to relocate with my company and move to Delaware, I wouldn’t have met them in the first place. I then found it fascinating to go back over my life and think about all the changes in my life that have lead me to find so many wonderful people. I stopped when I got to Madeline whom I’ve known since I was three.
At a recent relocation workshop I facilitated, several people confessed their biggest concern about moving was making new friends. One participant repeated a saying I remembered my mother telling me years ago, “It’s hard to make friends when you’re old.” I’ll admit I even said it myself–but now I realize it is a limiting belief.
I’ve been trying to figure out how this cultural belief evolved. My friend Marie is 81 and she continues to make friends. Alice, age 90 who recently moved here to be near her daughter, plays bridge every week with her new friends in the assisted living facility where she lives.
Friendships blossom with a common bond. Certainly work is a natural breeding ground for friendships since so much time is spent there. But other places could be church organizations, volunteering, life-long learning classes, etc. You need to be willing to take a chance and invite them to coffee, lunch or another activity.
As I write this, the girl scout song I learned in my childhood, “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold” is playing in my head. How wonderful that along the way some of my silver friends have turned to gold. I celebrate and value my golden friends and look forward to getting to know my silver friends better.