When I was younger my mum took a course in aromatherapy and massage. I remember her asking my Dad and I to be her models so she could get some practise in, but neither of us were very supportive. It just wasn’t me. I was a tomboy growing up, I liked to climb trees, ride my bike, play sports and listen to cool 90’s indie music, I certainly wasn’t into being girly, spiritual or smelling of lavender.
I also remember many moons ago being introduced to a friend of a friend who was a life coach. I had no idea what she was talking about when I asked her what she did. It all sounded a bit woo woo to me. And woo woo certainly did not fit with the aforementioned image I had worked hard to cultivate.
I guess looking back it is probably a bit daft that for someone who was massively into sports and over the years has had a gymnastics coach, athletics coach, rowing coach and hockey coach, all of which helped me become a much better gymnast, athlete, rower and hockey player, I couldn’t seem to make the connection that coaching can help in all areas of life.
But this blog isn’t about how I changed my outlook on life coaching, it’s not about convincing people that coaching is for them. This blog has a different message that underpins it. One of personal internal commitment.
You see, after investing in my own life coach and immersing myself in the industry, seeing the transformation in myself and in my clients, I’ve often said the words that coaching is powerful and transformative. People have often commented about how my passion and love for what I do shines through. But last night I realised something that took that belief to a whole new level.
I found myself sitting across from someone who was different to anyone I had met before. We spent almost two hours connecting. I listened to his story. To his pain. To his hope. To his needs. I listened with my ears, my eyes, my gut and my heart. Despite everything he had endured, what I saw was this… across from me was a human being with an incredibly kind heart, a selfless, beautiful soul, a gritty determination to keep his spirit alive, and a deep appreciation and sense of gratitude. A gratitude so powerful that he was able to appreciate the things many people would complain about if they found themselves in similar circumstances.
I’m going to repeat that… He was thankful for something most people would feel enraged about. He wasn’t thankful for things we take for granted, he was thankful for things people would feel hard done by. He was grateful because at least it wasn’t quite as bad as what had happened before. What I also witnessed was a desperation I have not seen before in the clients I have served. And so something happened to me during that session…
I truly realised that what I do matters.
It’s possibly the most powerful insight I have ever had. As I write this I’m aware that no amount of words can actually describe what I felt. It took all my strength and training to remain centred and focused on listening and serving him as powerfully as I could because his story tugged on all my heart strings. When I stepped away from that session I was even more determined than ever to be the best coach I can be at all times.
I thought I was determined before. I’ve always been impatient, driven by an insatiable thirst to learn more, do more, be more. When I look back to when I first started coaching, perhaps some of that determination was fed by my own insecurities (what if I’m not good enough, I don’t know enough yet type thoughts). But now that determination feels so different. I know I’m the best coach I can be and I know I’ll continue to be the best coach I can be.
I thought that it wasn’t possible to believe in coaching more than I did. But last night changed all that. I now know that it is possible to want it more, to believe it more, and with that fresh insight, I have up-levelled my commitment to my practice even more, to serve my clients even more. What I thought wasn’t possible has just become possible.
As I write this I have tears in my eyes at the thought of the suffering that this person has endured and the strength and resilience he has shown to bounce back every time and do whatever he could to keep himself alive and still provide for his family.
I am humbled and honoured to be in a position where I can provide that support and have that impact and so I am embracing today with a determination and personal internal commitment stronger than ever. With that in mind I invite you to consider what matters to you and what are the personal internal commitments you will now make in your life?