09: How Coachable Are You (or Willing to Be)?

09: How Coachable Are You (or Willing to Be)?
Photo by Drew Beamer / Unsplash

Sustainable success on your longevity journey could hinge on a vital personal growth quality.

Actually, there are two related components. And they are aligned in your quest for personal growth and longevity.

We're talking...

Attitude and coachability.

Let's start with the core value of coachability.

Is personal growth and longevity possible without being coachable?

Coachability from my point-of-view (POV) is a quality that could best be defined by a willingness to accept...

  • That you haven't arrived
  • That while talented, skilled, informed, or experienced there's always room for improvement
  • That you have untapped potential regardless of age or circumstances
  • That your failures are a substantial growth opportunity
  • That you can shape your legacy by shifting your mindset
  • That your best years, ideas, and breakthroughs could be ahead of you (rather than behind you)

Coachability gets down to the nitty-gritty of personal growth.

How can you expect to grow and sustain your personal development without occasional (and potentially essential) course corrections?

There's not an athlete, employee, executive, creator, student, dad, mom, grandparent, retiree, maker, or anyone for that matter who has acheived success or sustained their success without being coachable.

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." - John Wooden

If you want to be more coachable start here...

You've likely heard that "attitude is everything!" Perhaps overstated but nonetheless attitude is a core driver for being coachable.

I'll not dwell on the standard notion that a positive attitude is the ultimate. I choose rather to define a coachable attitude as something that's more about being proactive, resilient, and gritty.

It's an attitude that...

  • Chooses to believe that you can accept the way things are while adapting and growing through them
  • Believes age is a "number" not a hinderance
  • Is willing to accelerate failure in order to learn and succeed faster
  • Understands that your legacy is more about influence than "stuff"

Attitude drives coachability. Your attitude will propel you to accept and overcome the barriers that stand in your way.

What's stopping you from being coachable?

Three primary "opponents" keep you and most from moving past where you are to where you want or need to be.

We're talking:

  • Ego
  • Stubbornness
  • Fear

"Ego is the enemy"

I borrow this perspective from a favorite and compelling author, Ryan Holiday. In fact he's written and published an entire book on the downside of ego.

If this applies to you, it's time to call "ego" out.

For clarity's sake, there's nothing wrong with personal confidence. But that's not the same as ego.

Ego is that stubborn character trait that roots itself into your motives. If it's allowed to thrive it can build a mountainous barrier between you and your personal growth.

It essentially says:

"I'm too good for this...I have all I need...I'm too capable or talented to put in the work..."

Any tone of those statements is your ego talking. And you have to fight it to silence it!

"...ego is the enemy of what you want and of what you have: Of mastering a craft. Of real creative insight. Of working well with others. Of building loyalty and support. Of longevity...”

― Ryan Holiday, Ego Is the Enemy

Good old-fashioned stubbornness

You, like some, might have a stubborn-streak. It only shows up when you prefer to dig-in and not admit your need for coaching.

Consider how many new discoveries, new abilities, or new goals could be experienced or achieved if you admitted (instead) to being stubborn.

Think about it...

If you're stubborn during a Category 5 hurricane you could be blown away or drowned.

If you're stubborn in your character development you miss all the benefits of reaching your full potential.


Because your potential lives on the other side of letting go and leaning in to someone intent on helping you improve.

Call-it-what-it-is fear

No one wants to admit they’re afraid. Yet, to face your fear you have to own whatever it is that is causing you to feel afraid.

Refusing to be coachable is false-front courage. You might think it shows your "muscle" but it actually reveals that you're afraid to pay-the-price.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of the hard work.

Fear of change.

Pure call-it-what-it-is fear along with stubbornness and ego could be (among other personal issues) what's keeping you from coachabillity.

How to own your story and become coachable

Choose humility

Here's the deal - you can choose humility or wait for life to humble you (and it will).

Could be a missed opportunity, a failed test, a bad review, a missed shot as the clock runs out, or any of life's humbling experiences.

Living from an humble position isn't weakness. In fact, humility provides lift.

When you see yourself for who you are and for what you need to grow you'll begin to feel the "wind-beneath-your-wings" so to speak.

  • Stop taking yourself (and your failures) so seriously.
  • Own your failures and learn from them.
  • Believe others have something to offer you.

Humility will introduce you to a tribe of coaches.

Watch, listen, and learn

Those you admire or want to be like didn't get there without help. The "greats" (or G.O.A.T.S.) were above all...coachable!

Many times the coach on the sidelines isn't anyone you would recognize by name. But ask someone who has acheived a level of greatness or skill and they will (without flinching and with great humility) mention a teacher, coach, parent, grandparent, friend, or colleague.

Their gameplan is simple:

  • Watch what those better than you are doing - imitate it!
  • Listen to those who have acheived what you desire to achieve - believe it!
  • Learn from those who succeed (and fail on occasion) - leverage it!

There's nothing trite or irrelevant when you're extracting experiential wisdom from others.

The key: make it yours!

Become the best version of you by allowing yourself to be exposed to the best in others.

Coachable people become longevity-minded legacy-creators.

It beats being stuck in mediocrity.

Press on...