The coaching space can feel overwhelming with so many issues and areas to think about and read about, and that’s why I’ve felt stuck. A stream of articles, podcasts and comments have been constantly bombarding my inbox and flooding my social media. I think I’ve been a bit confused about the sort of coach I wanted to be. In coaching language I could say I’ve been searching for my ‘authentic coaching voice.’ I have been reflecting on why it has taken me so long to find it and what I’ve learnt along the way?
- Don’t beat yourself up.
No one has a straight line to where they want to go or who they want to become. When you are working in a new area and evolving it’s often one step forward and two steps back. I tried coaching in a few areas which didn’t feel right, and I went down a few blind alleys, but I’ve learnt a lot. There is always progression, even if it is in unexpected places.
- The Imposter syndrome thing
Many coaches I respect post profound, eloquent, or sometimes research heavy ‘clever’ stuff. I have undoubtedly been questioning if I am good enough to enter this space. This came from a place of insecurity. I felt if I spread my net wide, learnt lots of stuff about lots of different areas I would be more knowledgeable and market myself to more potential clients. Then I would be more successful and feel validated. I have realised from experience the opposite is true.
- The authenticity thing
Although as coaches we are all trained in core competencies; to hold space, be non-judgemental, reflect back what we hear, be curious, listen with empathy, help our clients see things from a different perspective, overcome limiting beliefs and self-sabotaging behaviour, etc; we cannot all work in the same way. It was the wise teachings of my Coach Supervisor Marta Abramska that gave me the confidence to bring more of myself to the coaching space. When I finally relaxed and started coaching about the things I personally felt really passionate about, guess what? The conversations flowed, became more valuable and my clients started to find me.
- The healing thing
I’ve had to heal and get comfortable with the scars from my own past. This doesn’t mean I’m not still learning and evolving; as I say to all my clients, having a ‘growth mindset’ is the key. However, I have got to grips with the big stuff; the stuff that was holding me back and trapping me in certain patterns of behaviour. I’m just happier. I really do feel I am ‘living with zest’. (See what I did there???)
Most significantly I have learnt to stop trying to convince other people to do the right thing. I just observe their choices, understand their character, and decide what I’m going to let impact my life. I can accept I sometimes feel or see things differently to others and it is very liberating.
- The perfectionism thing
I’ve stopped worrying about being judged and needing to feel I was the finished article and that my work must be perfect. Now I’ve accepted where those thoughts have come from I have acknowledged them and gently put them down. If some people don’t like or agree with what I say, that’s fine also.
I’m now comfortable that my Coaching Voice is unique, and inevitably partly a reflection of the highs and lows of my own personal journey. If you think me finding me could possibly help you find you, please do get in touch, or just let me know your thoughts.
‘People on a true path of purpose don’t waste mental energy on drama, comparison, jealousy, posturing outrage, or any other hurtful thinking toward others. That mental energy instead goes to creativity, intention, passion, kindness, love, leadership.’ @BrendonBurchard