Ever wondered if coaching is just a bunch of ‘rah-rah-rah’ and high-fives?
Spoiler alert: It’s so much more.
Meet Kate. Picture her: a corporate warrior, queen of the cubicle jungle, but inside? She was like a glittery disco ball of emotions, spinning with feelings she couldn’t quite catch. She was the embodiment of that meme: “I’m fine. It's fine. Everything's fine.” Except, it wasn't.
All that inner tension was affecting her outer life, too. When Kate came to me, she was struggling with anxiety and having trouble sleeping. She felt alone and like no one understood what she was going through. “It felt so nuanced” she told me later “it was hard to talk to people about.”
Clearly there was no time like the present to get started, so we did.
What Are Your Core Values?
Finding your core values is one of the first steps in my life coaching process. Getting to know your core values is like going on a first date with yourself. You’re a mix of anxious and excited, wondering what you’ll discover, and if you’ll have fun! And yes, you’ll not only discover what you hold dear, and what truly matters to you in life, you’ll get to know yourself on a way deeper level. And because of that, it’s a lot easier to create a life that’s perfectly tailored just for you when you understand what ‘makes you tick’ (and what ticks you off!)
For example, back when I was a stressed-out events director, I learned that one of my core values was “rest.”
That was for everyone else. I was out here pulling 18-hour days. After I realized how important rest was to me, I made a conscious effort to make “more rest, less stress” my mantra (which was way better for me than “you'll sleep when you're dead”) and immediately prioritized rest in my life. Because when I'm rested, I feel balanced and healthy. Conversely, when I'm not feeling well, it's likely because I need more rest.
Kate felt the same.
“I felt a lack of clarity when it came to understanding myself.” Kate told me after coaching. “Without a clear set of core values, I found it hard to identify or articulate what was important to me.”
Once Kate got acquainted with her core values, a good dose of clarity and conviction soon followed. See, when you really understand what matters to you, you can’t help but start building your life around those things. She was asking the questions that bring about big changes – how do I live from my values? How do I bring that into my everyday life?
Calling On Courage
Kate told me she was struggling to find the sense of self or confidence to pursue her dreams. It was hard for her – as it is for so many of us – to let go of limiting beliefs and ingrained thoughts. We spent some time digging into the concept of courage – another core tenet of my work.
It’s easy to wrap courage up in big sweeping stories and heroic acts, but courage doesn’t have to mean saving a kitten from a burning building. Small everyday acts of courage are the ones that make a long-lasting difference in our lives.
The 5 acts of courage:
- Speaking your truth - give voice to your concerns, feelings, and thoughts and share them with others you trust.
- Owning your story - be who you are, no apologies or explaining necessary, and accept yourself, faults, scars, and all.
- Taking responsibility - instead of blaming a person, situation, or environment, which gives your power to them, take responsibility and bring your power back to you.
- Setting boundaries - being honest about what is cool with you, and what isn’t, and learning to deal with the 8-second awkwardness of saying no.
- Reaching out and asking for help - we’re wired for connection and we’re here to help each other ... so don’t be afraid to ask for help!
I asked Kate what had pushed her to make the final step and work with a coach. She told me that she finally realized she couldn’t do it alone – she needed a guide to support her on her journey to getting more in touch with herself and her dreams.
After we finished coaching she told me that as well as taking the step to ask for help when needed, coaching also helped her learn deeper trust in herself, her insights, and her intuitions.
Having Someone In Your Corner Makes All The Difference
Let's be honest, shining a bright light on the darkest corners of your being is hard. It takes courage to dive deep, learn to listen to your soul and honour all of your emotions. Especially the ones we've shoved in the 'Do Not Disturb' box our whole lives.
As her coach, I wasn’t a dictator with a whistle; I was more like the friend who tells you there’s spinach in your teeth. I acted as a mirror for her so she could take the time to work through the mazes of her mind - past the 'shoulds' and into the land of 'what ifs.' Feeling supported is so important when taking on any kind of new journey. You want to know you’re making the best decisions for yourself. So, it helps to have someone to gently and lovingly call you on your BS and challenge those gremlins that hold you back from greatness.
I asked Kate what her favourite aspect of coaching was.
“Having you in my corner.” She told me. “It felt like we were in it together and you were walking with me through the challenges, questions, and obstacles I’d created. It felt like a true partnership.”
A Gift That Keeps On Giving
During our post-coaching evaluation, Kate told me “coaching fills you up in a way that lets you then give more back to others – it’s like a gift that keeps on giving.”
Kate was so glad she’d given herself the gift of investing in herself and her dreams for a better life. As a result, she was able to gain greater clarity, balance, and fulfillment.
If you’re thinking about coaching, I encourage you to ask yourself this question: Where will you be a year from now if you keep doing what you’ve always done? If the answer is anything less than “living a life I love so hard I want to grab it by the lapels and kiss it on the mouth”, it’s time to call in a pro, in the shape of a Certified Professional Coach (*cough cough*) who has the skills to guide you through the landscape of your dreams and desires and into a life you’ll be proud of.
'You 2.0' Is Waiting
And guess what? Kate transformed. Not into a unicorn (though that'd be cool), but into someone who could look her fears and doubts in the eye and say, “I see you, and I’m not scared.” She started living a life so authentically hers, she might as well have trademarked it.
So, if your life feels like a never-ending loop of “I’m fine,” and you’re ready to dance to a different tune, maybe it’s time we talked. Let’s uncover your disco ball of emotions and get you living a life that’s more YOU.
Ready to light up your world? Let’s chat. Your next chapter is waiting to be written – with all the feels included.
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