My Seven Favorite Quotations for Coaching Success Part 3 - Courage
My Seven Favorite Quotations for Coaching Success Part 3 - Courage

By: Elizabeth Saigal, Ph.D. CLC

These inspiring quotes are on having the courage to step into the challenge. The previous posts in this series were on quotes about happiness and dedication and how they relate to excellent coaching practice.

1)      “The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.” - Dale Carnagie

Coaches aid clients in discovering what is to be learned from hiccups, mishaps, and mistakes. The coaching rubric focuses on growth and how the journey contributes to the future. Coaches seek clarity in how a client relates to the problems they encounter without judgment. Clients become re-engaged through deeper consideration of what is desired and other possible ways of getting there.

This distinction between coming from a place of judgment rather than a place of learning supports courageous action and is the foundation of the exceptional book “Change Your Questions, Change Your Life: 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work.” by Marilee Adams.

2)      “Success is not measured by the heights one attains, but by the obstacles one overcomes in its attainment.” - Booker T. Washington

Through endorsing client responsibility for working though each challenge that comes up in the pursuit of a goal, coaching also promotes gifts of self reliance and self efficacy. Each time action is taken on a step, whether it involves changing an attitude, learning a new skill, or establishing a new habit, confidence is gained in the ability to manage and handle whatever circumstance that may arise.

3)      “If you're trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I've had them; everybody has had them.” - Michael Jordan

Coaches can normalize getting stuck as part of the cycle of self development. Hudson’s cycle of renewal has four stages: 1) Go for it ® 2) Doldrums ® 3) Cocooning ® 4) Getting ready. Initially, there is phase of action, then comes a period of transition, then reflection, and then planning. A client may experience a block at any one of these stages.

Courage is not just needed when it comes to doing something, but also in integrating what you learn, being prepared to shake your internal beliefs to the core, and being prepared to take risks in your plans. Coaching supports progress in any part of this cycle and questions will be appropriate to the phase the client is experiencing.

4)      “A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” - Ralph Lauren

The coaching model inspires leadership. There is great power in relating to the potential an individual embodies. Coaches provide this anticipation and expectation of the client’s greatness, as well as accountability. In this way, the coach is a leader, but the belief generated allows the client to be a leader in their own right too.

5)      “Health, Happiness and success depend upon the fighting spirit of each person. The big thing is not what happens to us in life – but what we do about what happens to us.” - George Allen

We all get knocked down from time to time. Coaching supports greater resilience so that you can get up more quickly to continue to pursue your goals. Space is provided in coaching for the client to come to terms with what went wrong and put it behind them. Over time, clients will integrate coaching skills into their own lives becoming proficient at hearing their inner wisdom, tuning into their own journey, and receiving the gifts imparted as they overcome each challenge.

6)      “We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” - Henry David Thoreau

As with anything new, we don’t know what we don’t know, so, sometimes, we will be operating in the dark. This happens until the steps we take bring what is needed into focus. This sense of the unknown is scary and a coach can support acknowledging that fear and identifying what is needed to move through it.

7)      “If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.” - David Viscott

The biggest part of getting something done is setting the intention and making a commitment. Just embracing the decision to develop yourself and fully engage in the process, whatever it takes, means that you have opened the door to the possibilities in your life. This is the first step in making your dreams a reality. Coaching provides partnership on this journey of self discovery by supporting a client in targeting their focus and maintaining momentum.

Coaching techniques support the client in breaking through whatever is holding them back. As with any quest, the hero slays the monster and comes back reborn! It is always a privilege to be invited to be a part of this process.


Elizabeth Saigal is an ILCT Certified Life Coach. She offers Life Design Coaching for those intent on connecting with their inner truth and aligning with their intuition to live a life on purpose. You can connect with her and sign up to receive her Free Ten Step Life Design System at

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