Yeah, putting icing over mud doesn’t turn it into cake. I do think that it can be helpful to focus on where you want to go and doing what you can to move in that direction, but part of that is going to be feeling what you are actually feeling, not pasting on a fake smiley face.
I found that working with a life coach was really helpful to me because she didn’t tell me what to do or how to be. She just facilitated my own best thinking around me getting to where I wanted to go and that helped me feel more at the helm of my life, even when it wasn’t going perfectly. She never acted like she knew what was best for me, and I really appreciated that because so many do people tend to do that. You are absolutely right that just asking someone what they want or need can be hugely helpful!