At the recent PCCI Family Retreat at the Cove in Asheville, North Carolina, I got into a conversation with another coach who had stopped her coach training. I asked her about what happened and she told me that she stopped because she found the ICF Core Competencies to be too restrictive and she didn’t feel free within the boundaries of them.
In true coaching form, I decided to follow up with a question to challenge her thinking, although, I am warning you now that I asked a close-ended question. The question I asked her for continued thought was, “is there any true freedom apart from boundaries?” The next day as we were leaving the retreat, she said she was still pondering my question.
For me, the boundaries set in place to do coaching at a high level are actually what allows us freedom. They aren’t meant to restrict us and keep us from success as coaches. I believe the same about God’s Commandments. God didn’t give us the Commandments to restrict us, but rather to allow us true freedom.
Many times we hold a false belief that freedom is autonomy. Freedom is in doing anything we desire. However, freedom is not found in autonomy, but rather the disciplining of desire to make the achievement of the good possible and then effortless. Freedom in our health isn’t consuming whatever we want, freedom in our marriage isn’t giving our hearts away to people other than our spouses, or freedom in our careers isn’t showing up to work whenever we feel like it.
The ICF Core Competencies and our coach training aren’t meant to hold us back. They are precisely there to allow us freedom. Mastering the boundaries allows us to operate freely using our own unique personal style.
So what do you think? Is there any true freedom apart from boundaries?
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