Life Coaching: A Short Story

My Story:

My life coach training finishes at the end of this month, which will mean I have spent the past 6 months toiling away, training, reading, studying and cultivating a self belief like no other.

It also means that I have taught myself massive self discipline, opened up to a new group of women, expanded my mind, gained knowledge in a new area and am looking forward to the future in a brand new way.

I’ve spent so long dreaming of life coaching, studying those who do it and poring over self help books and meditative guides by women I adore.

There have been years of self directed study, learning Myers Briggs like the back of my hand to understand people’s personality types, discovering Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map and completely changing the way I set my goals. Redefining what self trust means for me with the help of Iyanla Vanzant, and waking up to and breathing deeply with Liz Gilbert as she taught me about creativity and how it actually might work (we don’t need to struggle so damn hard, ideas can come from anywhere, YOU ARE WORTHY).

My plan for the rest of my summer, while I wait for that certificate in the mail (holy-shit-I-did-it) is to plan what my coaching services will actually look like.

The Ideas: 

In my course, we were taught a specific model of coaching and while I can see the benefits of it, it’s not a model that I feel would work for me in exactly the same way, based on what I want to do right now. Maybe someday that model will work better for me, but at the moment, I am looking to do something that fits me a bit better, and therefore fits my ideal client.

Which brings me to my next steps: working out just who those ideal clients are and how to best serve them.

When I started this coaching journey, I had long dreamed of starting a magazine for pre-teen girls around the issues of loving themselves, learning themselves and realizing how important and worthy all those big dreams inside of them are. I wanted to show how girls all over can take up more space and shape their own futures, by paying attention to more than just lipstick colors and swimsuit styles.

I had hoped that what I would learn from this coaching course would help in my magazine endeavors and I felt like my new skills would help me out when it came time to take my magazine from vision boards in my bedroom to actually putting together that first issue.

Six months later and I was mostly right.

Except that the unexpected also happened. My mind opened up and I saw so many other areas that I wanted to dip my toes in.

A short while into my course, came the idea to use creativity as a coaching tool and to help creative spirits bring out the artistic and creative gifts inside them and to make space for those gifts in their lives. Following the thought that if it’s in you, it’s important and worthy and also, you can’t wait for something to be perfect in order to start.

I wanted to take what I had started with A Cat We Have, the online creative collective I began in 2017 and to expand it somehow. To make it bigger, to go offline and bring it into the real world, which had been the original plan anyway.

My next idea had me thinking about all the late night conversations I’ve had in hostels over the past few years. There is something about the 20-something traveler who is backpacking in a new land that allows them to open up and discuss life and their purpose in it in a way others just can’t quite do.

To pack up a life, the length of time being mostly irrelevant, and to take yourself out of your comfort zone with intention and need, well, it results in gorgeous thoughts, deep friendships and awareness about the world in a brand new way.

Time and time again, I head to a new place, hoping to learn about a culture, a land, myself. Needing to discover more about who I am and where I fit, my needs and wants, and what I’ve come to realize after 20+ countries (and even more hostels) is that everyone else I encounter is on their version of the same journey to figure themselves out. Travelers are all looking for something.

What is our purpose? Where do we fit in? What is home and can I make it anywhere? What should I be doing with my life? Am I supposed to be settling down? Getting married? Where am I supposed to BE? Should I use my degree? Pay off that debt? Buy a house? Propose to my boyfriend or girlfriend? Move to a new country? Move back home? Work 9 to 5? Be free and wander? And is wandering the only way of being free?

We constantly weigh what we are discovering about our calling against what others have told us we should do, who we are supposed to be.

There is confusion, contemplation, lots of awareness but often not as much clarity as one might need to take the next solid steps.

So, I am using this August as a fresh start of sorts. I want to sort through all my wild ideas, combine some overlapping elements and come up with a coaching plan that works and makes sense.

What’s Next: 

I’m finally doing it. I’ve taken the steps and made it real. And I’ve realized I have a lot to say about it all.

About the fears surrounding following your dreams, about the acceptance that comes when you finally give in to that nagging feeling inside that will never go away until you finally DO THE THING. I want to hold space for people while they say out loud all the sweet, beautiful dreams they have and I want to help them with the next steps.

I’m trained in this now, yes, but also, I’ve lived and I’ve done it myself. I started on one side and I climbed that huge wall of paralyzing fear and unending what if’s, and I’ve made it to the other side and rooted myself enough that continuing to make my dreams come true is a thing that I trust myself to do now. I’ve built up that muscle.

So. Here’s to fresh starts. To narrowing things down, setting new goals, living it out and taking action. And here’s to holding space for people who want to do the same. ♥

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