When the pandemic hit, I found myself at a crossroads. I enjoyed knowing that I made an impact on many others’ lives, but I knew there was something missing for me personally. There was something more that I was meant for. I wanted to thrive, not just survive; to move beyond the good enough. I started doing research to see if I could find something to spark the flame that had dulled over time. Looking through coursework while considering whether to get another degree did not spark the flame for me. Then, as so often happens, the universe reached out and grabbed me (or some might say, knocked me upside the head). A coaching certification program ad popped up and grabbed my attention. I looked more into it and knew right away that this is exactly what I had been looking for. In my mind, I had been “coaching” for over 15 years. “Coaching” had always been a passion of mine – this certification would just help build a stronger reputation in the field. Reading through the coursework for the certification sparked that flame! I knew I wanted to up my game and honor my true potential by partnering with individuals to raise their consciousness and get powerful and sustainable results.
Each of you observant readers are likely wondering why I put the quotation marks around “Coaching.” Well, that’s because what I learned through the MANY hours working toward my coaching certification was that I had not been coaching at all. I was doing more mentoring. Now, please do not misunderstand – mentoring is very important. The many mentors I have had in my life have helped propel me to the level of knowledge and skill set that I now have. They guided me throughout my career on best practices and resources, which has been, without a doubt, invaluable.
If what I had been doing is mentoring, then what in the world is coaching? The coaching relationship focuses on questions, learning, and who the individual becomes along the way. Coaches accept their client is the expert and has all the answers within themselves. Wait, WHAT??? I know we have all been in situations where we go to someone because we want an answer. Well, guess what? The answers often lie within ourselves. We just need the right partnership with someone to ask the right questions to get the answers. Coaches are there to help the client create a customized plan using THEIR knowledge, THEIR resources, and THEIR experiences according to THEIR needs. Coaches help people shift and understand their value – their potential.
In my personal experience of being coached, my coach helped me get from where I was to where I wanted to be. They ensured our conversations focused on possibilities and solutions rather than circumstances. The focus was always on opportunities with consistent focus on what I believed was my value and my potential. The exciting (and also surprising) thing was that I actually did find my value and my potential was within me all along. I was able to find out what drove me, what lit that fire inside of me. No one told me what that was, they just asked the right questions to pull it from me.
When I first started my journey, I was told, “Engage in the experience and see where it leads you.” I did just that, and what a ride it has been and continues to be! I encourage my clients to do the same: to be open and give yourself the opportunity to see all the possibilities that are out there for you. What is a goal that you’d love to achieve? I truly believe the people that do the best, are the people that understand their value and potential. The world is waiting for you – seize the opportunity to work with a coach and go out and honor your true potential!