The pain is raw. A coachee pours her heart out to you, struggling yet again with her weak points. A student admits that she wrestles with an addiction. A friend tears down the curtain and gives you a glimpse of her dark side.

Whatever the core issue is, there isYou, as a coach, can make a difference frustration. There is despair. And yet you as a coach can make a difference.

You see, G‑d created our virtues, but He also created our flaws. He created them so that we can work on them, bringing more perfection to the world. And you as a mentor can turn the entire struggle on its head by showing your client how her concern can be flipped from a source of pain to a source of true joy.

For while struggle isn’t easy, overcoming it brings the deepest satisfaction possible. In Principles of Education and Guidance, the Previous Rebbe explains that one who yields crops from a fertile piece of land doesn’t have nearly as much inner satisfaction as someone who gets the same results from poor soil. The sheer effort feels worthwhile.

You can encourage your mentee to stretch herself, to cheer herself on for every small step of progress. You can open her mind to the possibility that this very same issue, compulsion or character trait can give birth not to feelings of inadequacy and guilt, but to happiness and victory each time she doesn’t succumb to it.

Say she has an anger problem (or fill in the blank). She can either be depressed about how quickly she loses their cool or experience a real sense of accomplishment each time she stays calm and in control of her reaction. As it says in the Zohar, “Who among you before coming here, has converted darkness into light and bitterness into sweetness?”

Every shortcoming we have is an invitation from G‑d to work on uprooting it, replacing it with its positive counterpart. And this work will enrich a person with everlasting happiness.

Because every time one doesn’t give in to a temptation, the reward is ultimate satisfaction.

Self-Reflection: How can you help your coachee view her challenge as an opportunity for happiness instead of pain?

Source: “Principles of Education and Guidance,” Chapter 4