What I gained from coaching is beyond my wildest expectations. If you have read my story then you know that I looked into coaching after my life was turned upside down after my husband passed away. When I first signed up for the coaching course, I never expected or could have imagined how it would change my life. I went into it with the desire to support others, but I never realized how much it would have, and continues to, support me on my journey.
I can’t say it enough, I think everyone deserves a coach! I don’t say this because I think everyone is broken, rather I believe we all have areas of our lives where we are not shining our brightest! It may not be that drastic and you may not necessarily be suffering, but why have fried bologna when you can have filet mignon?! What I mean by this is I see a lot of people surviving in this life, settling for a good life when they could have a fabulous one. And this has been my experience with coaching. It took the complete upheaval of my life to help me find the courage and the strength to decide I wanted and deserved a fabulous life.
Until you have experienced it, and I recommend you do, it is hard to explain how coaching changes your life, but it does! When I first was coached, I went into it thinking “I am self-aware”, “After years of working in the human services, I have a lot of skills”, and “Short of magically returning my life to my level of happiness before my husband passed, there is not a lot that can change”. Boy, was I wrong! First of all, I couldn’t even fathom that my level of happiness could be higher, much higher! Second, the journey that coaching has taken me on is one that is challenging, eye opening and so rewarding. I couldn’t even imagine I would be where I am now and my journey is not over! Every time I get coached I learn more, grow more and gain a better understanding of myself and how I show up in my life!
I know this may sound all ‘sunshine and roses’, but trust me there are storm clouds. What I have gained from coaching is a way to handle those difficult times with strength, trust and the ability to listen to my inner wisdom, that guides me always! I have learned that I am fully capable of handling what life has to throw at me. This does not mean that I live it all the time, but how I used to cope compared to how I cope now is totally different.
In the past, if a storm cloud rolled in I would go into my head and catastrophize the whole thing, I would over think to the point of obsessing at times. Sound familiar? Even after the storm had passed I was still thinking and recycling through fear, shame and thoughts of how I should have or could have done better and then I would ruminate on this for a while, sometimes weeks! Then, when another storm cloud showed up on the horizon I would go into hyper drive trying to control the situation and reliving the last storm cloud, in mind and body. Holy anxiety producing!
This is a stark difference to how I handle storm clouds now. I am now able to enjoy the day until the cloud comes, rather than living in fear it may appear and being vigilant about checking the horizon for it! So when they appear – and they do still appear – that is life. I take a deep breath, brave the storm and trust that it will pass. I use the skills I have gained to weather the storm, and at times find myself enjoying the show. Once it has passed, and it always does, I can be grateful to the storm for all it provided; clearing out the old, shining the light on potential areas of growth, and providing much needed sustenance to blossoming seeds.
Now, I want to be perfectly transparent. There are still times when fear and old patterns show up. They have been there for years and they were in place for a very real (perceived) reason. The difference is, now with the skills I have gained, if I do fall into old patterns I can recognize and adjust so they are not nearly as paralyzing as before and don’t last nearly as long. When I feel really stuck then I reach out to my coach for further support.