My guiding philosophy over the past ten years has been to ‘make the comedy’ of my life, an inspiration to others. As much as possible, as a keynote speaker, I told stories about the accidents and incidents that reinforce Innerwealth. Because the work I do is always strongest when it’s centred in other people’s reality. And that means INNERWEALTH is at it’s best when I’m the walking talking proof of its mission.
But now as a coach, I’m not so invisible. As a result, the name ‘Innerwealth’ which was ten times more famous than the name ‘Chris Walker’ has switched around. I prefer it the old way. That was by design. Even on my Instagram, I would prefer to keep it to the Innerwealth platform. Because I’ve always wanted the creation to outgrow the creator. I don’t want it to be weighed down by my opinions, or politics, or shortcomings. But as a coach I can’t keep myself out of it. It’s personal. I’m not standing on a stage anymore. When things go wrong with a client I feel it and I take responsibility for it. The work can’t become bigger than me. So I’m 100% committed and responsible and very passionate about doing great coaching. In fact, I believe I’m one of the best in the world at this, and I want to keep improving it to stay that way. Most important is that I want my clients to be better than I was. It’s very personal. I’ve reached a time when instead of complicating things with my stories to entertain on stage, my job is to simplify. To help pass on wisdom. In coaching I don’t speak about anything philosophical or opinionated. Unless it helps people see beyond their present circumstances. I ask people “what do you want” and then help them get it. When I was on stage I had to generalise, you can’t ask 4,000 people what they want. Sometimes as a coach, I hear some challenging stories of hardship and it’s in those times that I have to turn the whole thing around and coach myself. If I start emotionalising the whole thing I become a part of the problem rather than the solution. Every story is important to the individual. It’s their life. Nobody has the right to say whether the story is big or small compared to others. If we get a blister on a toe walking in the mountains, it can feel terrible. The feeling we all want is to be admired and loved by the people who know us. But first we have to do something we feel is worthy of admiration and love. That’s very personal. And it isn’t as simple as it should be. I don’t like complexity and most of the self-help industry, including therapy and Human Resources is way over complicated. The more simple things are, the better. In coaching I have the opportunity to see how complicated personal development and change can be. When I think I’m making something simple, but the listener thinks something completely different, it’s no longer simple. Especially when we get so attached to what we define as symbols of injustice. Animal rights, logging, shark nets, and of course, George Floyd in America. These are very personal symbols that grow so much bigger, and carry a message so much farther, than any individual is capable of understanding. Our beliefs give us character and shifting beliefs and therefore character can unleashed feelings of powerlessness. As a coach this is a fine balance. The mission is to coach individuals to great success in all aspects of life which is very powerful and engaging but sometimes to get there I have to shift beliefs and that feels like a contradiction for people. The search for control of our destiny is a challenging one. There are seven aspects of life and each can create a disempowering feeling if it’s not on track. It’s like we get a premonition that something is going to go wrong. And my job as a coach is to help people to resolve those premonitions, prevent them or transition through them which requires change. Change that can feel disempowering. It’s very confronting for the individual. Sometimes they can only handle coaching in small doses, but that’s like scratching an itch you just can’t reach. The dislike of change can only be understood if you’ve ever lived in a home where your parents are at war with each other. Then, you don’t have the simplicity and clarity of a loving home. You have bipolar. And you don’t have the power to push back against that complexity. Then we develop a character that’s strong and can’t be changed. We can only imagine what it’s like to witness domestic violence. And imagination doesn’t come close to lived experience. So being a coach is a beautiful job and it takes every minute of my life’s experience to make it work. I’d have loved to have built the Innerwealth brand for the broader market but I realise real change is not for the faint hearted. From the people I’ve met, the videos I’ve seen, and the stories I’ve read, I imagine most people want to be loved and admired. This is important for me as a coach helping people feel good as well as do something worthy of their own respect.