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  • Foto van schrijverMIke Brouwer

What can we learn from philosophers when working as a coach? – Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche is often seen as a source of inspiration for coaches because of his emphasis on the power of self-determination and the importance of cultivating a strong sense of individual identity. Nietzsche’s ideas about the importance of self-overcoming, striving for excellence, and pushing the limits of what is achievable can be very helpful for coaches trying to motivate their clients. As well as that it teaches that life's struggles can be used as opportunities for personal growth, which is an important concept for coaches to remember.

He also stressed the importance of living a life of passion and purpose, as well as cultivating a strong sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. Coaches can also take away from Nietzsche’s writing the importance of being honest with oneself and looking within for the answers to one’s own questions.

His concept of “the will to power” offers the insight that all things - and subsequently all interpretations of what is going on in the world - are in constant battle for dominance. Any narrative by a client can thus be provocatively challenged by a contrasting interpretation from the coach, as neither can ever know the full truth.

Finally, Nietzsche’s concept of “eternal recurrence” can be a powerful reminder to coaches to recognize the interconnectedness of life—and the implications that our choices today have on the future.

The story goes that he was amazed at the inner contentment of some cows in a pasture. So, he approached one cow to ask what made him so content. The animal raised its head to answer the question and then lowered it as a sign that it had already forgotten the question. Nietzsche’s interpretation was that animals are always in the here and now, while we are stuck in the past and the future. According to Nietzsche, any mindful attempt to be in the moment will lead to “Vertierung”.

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