Quite often yoga philosophy finds its way into my coaching practice. I teach girls breathing techniques that help calm their minds and reduce stress. I frequently share strategies for letting go and cultivating self-acceptance, two very common yoga class themes. But one of my favorite philosophies that fit perfectly into coaching is called I.A.M. It is a powerful practice and truly empowers teens and young adults to realize their hopes and dreams.
Many years ago, I attended a yoga workshop with Bhava Rham of Deep Yoga. The class centered around manifesting a life you desire, which is also a primary function of coaching. Bhava Rham introduced the class to an approach called I.A.M. which stands for Intention, Attention, Manifestation. The premise is that if you set an intention to accomplish something and you put your attention on the intention, your intention will happen; it will manifest. It’s a simple, yet powerful approach that I have since added to and integrated into my coaching conversations with teens and young adults.
I.A.M in coaching
In coaching, one of the first things my clients outline are desired outcomes or goals. This is their intention, what they hope they will achieve with coaching, and why they show up. Throughout their coaching program, we focus our attention on their desired outcomes, their intentions. I have since added an A to I.A.M, which stands for Action. Along with attention, I support girls in determining actions that will lead them toward their desired outcome. With consistency and time, their intentions and outcomes are realized. I have seen it happen time and time again. A clear intention, followed by focused attention and consistent action, always leads to a manifested intention.
How I.A.M philosophy empowers college girls
Consider Lisa*- she started coaching the summer before her Freshman year of college. High school was rough for Lisa. She struggled to find a peer group with whom she connected. She felt isolated and awkward. As college approached, she was eager to have a fresh start and be surrounded by more like-minded people, but she also felt nervous. She feared her shyness would get in the way of creating close relationships and that the four years of social struggle in high school damaged her confidence.
When she started coaching, her intention, or desired outcome, was to build social confidence and make friends in college. In the summer months leading up to her first day, we put our full attention on her intention and talked about small steps she could take to build her confidence. These included actions like embracing new mindsets and creating powerful visions of her future friends. Lisa committed to taking action and staying focused. When college started, she seized opportunities to go out and meet new people. It wasn’t always easy, but we talked through the fear and anxiety that sometimes occurred, and she persevered. Her attention and action bolstered her intention and she began experiencing what she had always hoped for. Now, Lisa has made several close friends. She is more socially confident and content.
Once learned, my clients use this technique to accomplish their intentions in whichever areas they wish to explore.
*Name changed to protect privacy.