Can’t See The Woods For The Trees?

In two of my coaching sessions last week I made a comment on a situation my clients were in and they both stopped and sighed – and said “That’s so obvious why didn’t I see that?” My reply? “Because you are too close to the situation.” You can’t see the woods for the trees.

So often when we are stuck in a situation in life or cannot work out what comes next it is because we have been looking so closely – at so much detail that we forget that to  get a really clear vision we need to step back and get a different perspective. Constantly looking at the same situation head on, asking the same detailed questions is not going to give us a new answer.

What we need to do is step back and see it from a new angle.

I believe my role as a coach is to help you do just that. And that’s not just about asking you more questions, that’s just infuriating. As the Queen of Retreats said in her review of her retreat:

“I’d experienced a newly qualified coach a few years before asking me a never-ending series of open-ended questions designed to help me find the answers to my questions myself. It was intensely irritating. By contrast, Jessica delves into her life experience – from getting married to the wrong person to being a hang gliding addict to spending four years living in an ashram – to offer guidance every step of the way. Yet she’s clear that just talking to her isn’t going to change your life – there’s work to be done, by you, and she’s there as a guide to help facilitate it.“

It can feel so hard when we know that something has to change in life but we just can’t work out how to change it. Often if you are someone who lives a busy busy life time can seem like a problem. We can be time poor and that automatically effects the richness of life. But little ideas can make a huge difference. For example I had a client on retreat recently and she never seemed to have enough time in her day to keep in regular contact with friends or family. So we looked at her day and what we were looking for was some ‘dead space’ time when she wasn’t ‘doing’ anything. What we found was a 30-minute window in her daily commute home. She drove home and realised that she could make ‘catch up’ calls in that time.

By being in contact more regularly would also have a knock on effect in those relationships too. Because if she spoke more regularly, even if only for 10 minutes or so when she did meet up with them she would know what was going on in their lives and they in hers and so instead of that meeting being about catching up on news it could hold deeper conversations. Just a simple idea of catch up calls in the car will have a big effect on the quality of relationships.  Does this ring true for you?

When I suggested this she was frustrated saying – ‘why couldn’t I work that out?!” And that’s it – sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees. You don’t need to be frustrated, you simply do not have enough perspective. I’m sure you’ve experienced this – a good friend has had a problem and you can see immediately what could help. Same thing with coaching – except as your coach I don’t have an agenda in your life so my comments are going to be purely for the good of you.

And I say that because even when we turn to those that love us they do have a vested interest in what we decide because it might impact their life. I don’t, but I am a clear mirror so that you can see where you are in life and what needs to change to get you to where you want to be – professionally, personally or simply as in what’s next in your life.

Just one small idea can make a huge difference

So if you can’t see the woods for the trees, if you know that something in your life needs to change but you simply cannot work out how then let’s chat and explore how I can help you. You can also check out my latest video and see where we will go when you come on retreat – if that’s what you’d like to do. I have some time free at the end of June or beginning of July or September onwards if later in the year is good for you.

Alternatively we can do some coaching over phone or skype if a retreat doesn’t work for you. Either way – if you can’t see the woods for the trees, don’t stay stuck and then wish you’d done it years earlier like a recent client:

Jessica had been recommended to me by a friend, but I was not sure what it would involve and I was concerned about taking two days away. However, the retreat exceeded my expectations.  Jessica does not have a set program but allows the process to unfold and we covered all the points I needed clarity on plus I learnt some very valuable tools for life that I would really have benefitted from far earlier in my life!  Jessica is not a typical coach, she pushed me on the difficult issues in a sensitive and thoughtful way and gave me valuable input and insight when needed, allowing me to see the situation in a new light. I left the retreat wishing I had been to see her several years earlier.

Being up in the mountains in Spain away from the “noise” of life made a big difference.  The peace and the ability to spend time outside in beautiful and calm scenery was thoroughly worthwhile.  On the second day we had a fantastic walk in the high peaks which allowed me to consolidate my thinking after the intense conversations.  

 If you are at a crossroads in your life either personally, professionally or both, I thoroughly recommend going on a retreat with Jessica.   She will help you cut through the frustrations and put you on a fulfilling long term path.” O.W. Managing Director & Global Lead for Consumer Goods & Services 

If you want to know more – just drop me a line or give me a call on +44(0) 203 239 6155.


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What is your life showing you right now? Maybe this has resonated with you, or maybe you are wondering about things that are happening right now in your life.  If you feel you’d like some help deciphering your life’s journey then let’s have a chat.  You can email me or give me a call on +44 (0)751 891 4604