JOURNEY – Off the Beaten Path


A Coaching Model By Lydia Cloos, Life Coach, COSTA RICA

A Coaching Journey

Have you ever wandered off the beaten path? No matter if it was a new career path that not many people have walked before you, or through extraordinary lifestyle choices, adventurous travel destinations, or even just by saying no when everyone else said yes? Do you remember the adrenalin rushing through your body? Was it caused by fear, insecurity, or excitement – or maybe even all of them?

Wandering off the beaten path is not always rewarded by fate or society, but in many cases, it implies that someone made a (conscious) decision. This is usually accompanied by courage because going off the beaten path can be scary and intimidating. But only those who dare greatly will be able of achieving even greater things that others may miss out on.

If you and I are living in the same success worshipping society, we may have both experienced, that many people still consider coaching as a tool for people that can’t help themselves, don’t have any friends or family to talk to, or even worse, are not ‘strong’ enough to make it through life on their own. This very big misconception is slowly changing; however, I keep finding myself being surprised by how many people still feed the old stigma.

In this paper I would therefore like to introduce coaching as a journey off the beaten path, a journey to and with oneself, to discover and unravel the unknown, to deepen and strengthen the already known, and as Brené Brown[1]would say, to ‘dare greatly.

A Self-Development Coaching Journey

At this point, it may be worthwhile to mention, that the approach that I chose is less theoretical than the countless university papers I wrote in my life, and instead makes use of a more practical perspective. The journey model will guide us through a coaching journey of self-development:

Join forces
New learnings

Join forces – Something inside of you knows you are looking for more. Whatever may be the driving force (curiosity, discontent, a desire for change …), you decided to go on a journey of self-exploration. A coach will create space for that, challenge and question your thoughts and belief systems, serve you as a soundboard, cheer you on as you go, but mostly, accompany this creative journey in the way that you want it to go. Join forces, therefore, describes the very first steps of your coaching journey:

  • Your process of choosing to coach for self-developmental purposes and quite practical,
  • choosing the right coach for you and your intention.

Orientation – What are your expectations? What has led you into coaching? Where are you now? What do you want/hope to achieve? Those are questions that we will address together in coaching. There will be the chance to explore, identify and/or solve issues, talk about opportunities and obstacles, observe yourself and share observations as we flow through the coaching process together. In this stage, it will be beneficial to keep an open mind and to immerse yourself in the journey.

Understand – What matters to you in life? What are the intentions behind your (re)actions? How does that relate to your goals? This part is all about exploring, unraveling, and gaining a new understanding and awareness of your inner self, your purpose, and your life values. This will be creative and thought-provoking and will challenge you to grow and think outside the box. In this process you might experience uncertainty and feelings of uncomfortableness, that will lead you to further insights and knowledge about yourself – after all, working towards our goals and on ourselves requires effort, endurance, and commitment. Your coach will be there to support you and mostly, to hold space for you as you wander on your journey.

Reform – How do your enhanced understanding and (possible) new insights relate to your coaching goal? Is your goal still the same or has it changed? How do you feel about your exploration/identification/solution? This step will “bring things together” and offers you the chance, to revisit your goal/intention and adjust it according to where you are at and where you want to go.

New learnings – What have you learned about yourself in this coaching process? How will those learnings support you outside of this coaching setting?

Evolve – Outgrow yourself. You are not who you were before this session. How can you manifest your insights and growth process with actions? Who/What do you need as support? What may be barriers to this process?

You – got this! Appreciate yourself for investing time into new challenges, thought processes, and growth. The journey may lead you forwards, backward, a few steps to the side, but what matters most, is that you are on it.

The Journey Model Relaxed Approach Towards Coaching and Self-Development

The journey model offers a relaxed approach to coaching and self-development by focusing on the various stages and giving a broad overview of the process; meanwhile, the client will be challenged and encouraged while being on his/her very own journey. This model incorporates beliefs of positive psychology and is supposed to help people find deeper meaning in life, in their relationships, and their actions (work, lifestyle, etc). It Is based on the understanding that all the resources are within the client already and are supported by the following pillars[2]:

  • The main goal of coaching in this context is to enrich the client’s life by exploring underneath the surface (values, purpose, beliefs)
  • Help clients identify and develop their strengths and unique talents;
  • Enhance the client’s goal-setting and goal-striving abilities;
  • Build a sense of hope in the client’s perspective;
  • Cultivate the client’s sense of happiness and wellbeing;
  • Nurture a sense of belonging, freedom, and opportunity;
  • Help the client build and maintain healthy relationships with others;
  • Encourage the client to maintain an optimistic outlook;

Coaching by these means is empowering, supporting growth, and facilitating personal development. By using the journey model, I will attract clients that can relate to the idea of journeys in life, wandering off the beaten path and that comes with an open-minded spirit and a growth mindset.

Whether people want to discover how to respond instead of reacting, how to shift their perspective, how to love themselves differently, or how to outgrow their current status quo, the journey model supports (new)(re)discoveries, creates room for innovation, facilitates space for the physical and energetic body of the client and their very own and unique journey and coaching process.

Learn How to Create Your Own Coaching Model

Your Coaching Model reflects your values,
philosophies and beliefs and must communicate who you will coach
and the problems you will solve.
Read more about creating your coaching model


1Brené Brown: Daring greatly     Last visited: 03.12.2021
2Positive Psychology Definition  Last visited: 03.12.2021

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