When I decided I wanted to pursue coaching it was for completely altruistic reasons. I had been in a helping profession for years and I had noticed the shortfalls in the system so I really wanted to help people on another level, a deeper one. A level where they could feel empowered in their own lives. What I didn’t realize is that it was going to change my life, too!
I started out on this path a few years ago and, when I look back now, I can barely recognize the person I was back then. I have undergone such an amazing transformation, one that I never even realized was possible. When I started coach training, I was not only being taught how to help others, I also participated in the same activities. I was learning the same tools and having the same sessions as I now provide to my clients. In the beginning, I was under the impression that I was self-aware and pretty well educated in personal and spiritual growth – and I was – but now I have come to realize that I was probably only about 25% aware! There were so many things that I had just surrendered to as being a part of who I was, stories I accepted. What I know now is that theses stories, patterns, beliefs and thoughts were really holding me back in life and I didn’t even know they were playing out! Crazy, right?!
It’s amazing when I look back now on how I was participating in my life. I was completely oblivious to the potential and, to be honest, I wasn’t really in a bad place, I was enjoying my life… somewhat. So how do you know what you don’t know? What I mean is, how can we understand that something is not all that it could be when it is a part of the life that we live and that we simply accept as that…just life!
You Don’t Know, What You Don’t Know
I had a similar experience when I was first diagnosed with thyroid problems. I talked to doctors and they told me that with my levels where they were, my thoughts and body were in a state of hyper drive. Which was evident in the fact that my hands would tremble all the time, but I was used to it and it started so slowly that I just became accustomed to it… it was me. The thing is, it wasn’t until I started on my healing with my naturopath and my mind and body started to slow down, my levels started to come into a “normal” range, that is when I realized how fast things were before. And that ‘s the same experience I had with coaching. Like I said I went in it to help others and what I got was never even in my frame of reference. One of the strongest examples of this was my level of confidence. I thought of myself as ‘confident enough’, it’s not like I was completely shy, and I was ok with that! But now, looking back, I would say that my confidence level was at 10% and now I am more like at 85%. Back then, how was I to know that there was more? Sure, I saw and read about others who had more confidence, but I just accepted that they were anomalies or had something special that I did not possess!
The same can be said for my happiness. Prior to coaching (and prior to my husband’s passing), I would have ranked my happiness at 75%, what I realize now I was functioning at maybe 15%, and presently I would say I am more like at 90%. What an unbelievable difference! But again, how do you know what you don’t know? Oftentimes we just operate on auto-pilot and, because things aren’t necessarily in a state of chaos or trauma, we continue to operate on auto-pilot, as it is serving our needs. That’s the thing, it is just serving our needs. There is potential for so much more, beyond just the basics. It’s like the difference between a meal at a 5-star restaurant compared to a fast food joint. The fast food is meeting our needs and is ok we are surviving but…WOW…the 5-star restaurant, now that is living!!! And that is something I think a lot of us don’t realize – we are living the fast food life when we could have the 5-star life! I realize this now and most days I enjoy 5-star living. There are times when I slip back into fast food living but I have the tools, awareness, support and vision to move through this with grace and a sense of curiosity.
That is the beautiful thing about life. The more aware you become, the more options you have and the more you want to learn and grow. It’s a pretty cool place to be in, for sure.
Coaching was the opening for me to create this life for myself, but that doesn’t mean that was the only way. I do feel though that coaching with a good, professional, aware coach is one of the most empowering experiences one can have. I know I have personally watched clients blossom into a life that was never even on their radars previously. It is such an honor to watch them claim their power and move forward in life with a passion, conviction and purpose! One thing I tend to hear a lot is “Why did I not know this before?” And I agree! Why are we not taught this vital information? It is an injustice for sure!
Looking back now, I can recognize there was always this quiet whisper from deep inside me that I wish would have been louder. At times it would whisper “there is more”. It was because of that whisper I think I sought out the people living the 5-star life. These inspiring authors, teachers and speakers told me I could have it all but to be honest I never really believed it. I had participated in their courses and read their books and watched shows that would give me a glimmer of this life, but eventually that glimmer would fade. I did learn from them, but it just wasn’t totally clicking. I was usually left feeling that this was just the way it was in my life. I didn’t doubt they had created this life for themselves, but I believed that was their life, obviously not mine. I am by no means saying these attempts at personal growth were a waste of time, rather I think they provided a great foundation for me. The thing that I was missing was I was often in my own head doing the work, therefore stuck in the same old thinking patterns and that is why (I realize now) I wasn’t able to take flight. I am so grateful to all of those authors, speakers and presenters for their inspiration and laying the ground work because I finally get what they were all talking about! What I realize now is that I really do have the power within me to live that 5-star life, we all do!
Though I ascribe to a “no regrets” life and I recognize that things happen when they are supposed to, I can’t help but wonder where I would be now had I known all of this in my 20’s. Perhaps the seeds were planted in my 20’s and they just didn’t start to grow until now? Either way, I am grateful for where I am!
I am not going to tell you it is an easy path but really, in life, is anything worth the time and effort really easy? If it comes too easy then we are robbed of the opportunity to really enjoy the spoils of our efforts.
My sincerest wish for everyone reading this is: No matter how you find it, I hope you find the thing that catapults your life from fast food to 5-star! And I suggest if you hear that whisper, listen and seize the opportunity, it’s so worth it!