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Winning at the game of life: 4 pieces of advice from a local relationship coach

The meaning of life is a certified enigma, but most people can agree that a lot of it involves finding love. A lot of people can also agree that finding love and, more importantly, keeping it is one of the life’s toughest-fought battles. If you need some extra ammunition, a therapist can help you dig into your past, but a life coach can help you get “unstuck” in the present.

Sharon Pope is a certified Master Life Coach and a six-time #1 International Best-Selling author, specializing in love and relationships. Recently (614) caught up with Pope to ask her some of our most pressing questions about L-O-V-E. 

(614): I know everyone is different, but what are some textbook symptoms or signals that lead people to consult a life coach? What if someone feels their life is “a little off?”

SP: The short answer is this: If you have a problem in your life that you haven’t been able to solve through other paths or on your own, why wouldn’t you try coaching? Here’s the longer answer: When people are a “little off” in their lives, being mildly impacted by a small problem they’d like to overcome, they will look for a simple, straightforward solution that aligns with that small problem. The people who find their way to my work aren’t just a “little off” in their lives; their marriage is crumbling around them and they’re paralyzed in fear and doubt. They don’t know how to stay and make the relationship work, but they are also terrified at the thought and impact of making the decision to leave. They don’t know what the right answer is for their lives, they’re unable to concentrate at work and sometimes, the stress has already begun to negatively impact their health.

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(614): What can life coaching do for people? 

SP: We can help people create the necessary changes in their lives quickly because it’s very focused on where you are, where it is you want to be, and what’s been getting in the way of you getting there on your own so that we can overcome those obstacles. Coaching can take someone who is already mentally and emotionally stable and help them get their life on track, or even help them achieve things they previously thought were impossible. In the case of my clients, they are able to have absolute clarity about their marriages inside of eight weeks, plus they feel confident and equipped to navigate what comes next—whether that’s how to stay and re-connect to their spouses or how to lovingly release the relationship. Some of my clients are able to create what I refer to as the “2.0 version” of their marriage inside of two months. Some make the decision to leave the marriage, but they are able to do so gently, peacefully, even lovingly as emotionally mature adults.

(614): What do you think is the most important quality in a relationship and why? If readers finds themselves lacking this quality in their relationship, how would you advise they strengthen it?

SP: There is a quality that no one ever wants to have or readily admits to themselves; that is easy to see in others, but much more difficult to see in ourselves; that will consistently leave you feeling powerless in your own life if left unchecked. The most important quality to have in a relationship is the ability to absolutely refuse to be a victim. If I’m not happy, the victim part of me wants to blame that on something outside of myself (my husband can feel like an easy target). The empowered part of me knows that no one else can make me happy; that’s my responsibility. If I’m not having the results I want in my marriage, the victim part of me wants me to get in my pajamas, go to bed, and curl up with a sappy movie and a bottle of wine so that I can distract myself from the pain. I will also give him the silent treatment and withhold love for some period of time. The braver version of myself will be willing to express what it is I need and desire in the relationship and listen for what I can do better to meet his needs as well. If I feel like my relationship is lacking something, such as love or affection or spontaneity, the victim part of me complains to my husband about all the ways he’s falling short and then I’m waiting for him to do those things for us. The deeper part of me knows that if I want something, I have to be willing to give that of myself first.

(614): What would you say to people who feel they will never find their “person?”

SP: The person we’re all ultimately looking for is staring back at us in the mirror. We want to know that we matter, that we’re loved, and we want to feel valued, seen, and heard. The problem is we’re searching high and low for someone outside of ourselves to do that for us. When it comes to finding love, if you think all the good ones are taken, that most people are liars/players/cheaters, or that it’s going to be difficult, it will be. But, if you genuinely love your own company, value yourself, and think it will be easy to find someone that would value and appreciate all the love you have to give, it will be easy. If you want love…become love and be loving […] and you will always have an abundance of it surrounding you. •

To learn more about Sharon Pope, visit sharonpopetruth.com 

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