Coaching is a wonderful journey of self-discovery and achievement, but how to explain it. As an active member of the International Institute of Coaching I thought that I would summarise their definition of coaching: Fundamentally coaching is simply an interactive, results-oriented, enlightening process that brings about change. Coaching provides each person with the opportunity to live a happier, healthier, and more peaceful life, while maximising their personal and professional potential. Coaches believe that each individual is resourceful and the coach is a sounding board, a faciliatator, an awareness raiser, who can help the individual draw out and develop those abilities and skills that have been dormant for too long. In doing so the coach assistants the individual in enhancing their own skills, resources and natural creativity. Coaches are not judgemental, directional, problem solvers, teachers, advisors, instructors, or even an expert. It’s true that more often coaches know nothing about the topic that is in discussion.
As a coach I totally agree with Goethe when he said ‘Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.’ As a coach I am aware of the numbers of people who have dreams, aspirations that they never achieve. There are many reasons for this but most being around disbelief in themselves, self-doubt, lack of confidence, and expectations from others. I am sure that you have had times when, as a child, you said ‘when I grow up, I want to be …’; but how many of you are actually doing the one thing that you said you wanted to do. I know that I’m not; but I also know that I’m luckier than most. I’ve spent a lot of my adult life based in the UK, but travelling – experiencing different work ethics, cultures, countries, languages, and yes hotel rooms.
Getting to have this experience meant making changes. When I left school my parents looked at my school results and organised for me to have an interview with an accounting firm – my book-keeping marks at school were the highest. I had the interview, got the job and started to work – no this was not the field in which I had wanted to work as a child! Being born and bred abroad gave me the opportunity afforded to those in the southern hemisphere more often than those in the north – the opportunity to back-pack across Europe. Although our plans didn’t work out, I left Malaŵi and travelled to the UK. I found myself a job in the accounting field, found a house to share with others (New Zealander and Scot), and started to make friends. What I didn’t think about before I left home was that life was ‘going to be the same’ just in a different country – I had to go to work, clean, shop, do washing, etc.; but I also had the opportunity to travel. Initially the enormity of what I had done on my own was overwhelming and I just ‘went with the flow’. What this truly meant at the time I did not know, but it worked. I found fascinating companies to work with, interesting people to work with and socialise with, and fun places to visit. I can remember a work opportunity being offered to me, which I initially accepted – it was as a Project Accountant for a film company. Before joining the company I phoned the agency and explained that I couldn’t take the job as my father had become ill – at the time I did not know how serious it was, but he was many hours flying away and I didn’t want to be tied to a position I couldn’t leave in a hurry.
I can remember years later thinking about that decision that I took and realising in my mind that if I had gone through with it and become a Project Accountant for a film company (as exciting as that sounds), I would not have had the wonderful experiences that I’ve had, met the incredible people that I’ve met, or even understood what my life is about. It was only during the early part of this century as I trained as a Coach, that I truly began to understand what ‘going with the flow’ meant for me and this quote by Wayne Dyer really does explain it ‘Everything in the universe has a purpose. Indeed, the invisible intelligence that flows through everything in a purposeful fashion is also flowing through you.’
Over the next few years I researched and realised how I had let myself change when I first moved to the northern hemisphere. I had stopped listening to that voice in my head, I had started to listen to those around me, I hadn’t understood that sometimes others had their ‘own agenda’ and their own priorities and they were putting them first. I can remember my first coaching session with a qualified and professional coach and realising how much I had allowed others and the environment I was in to change me. Here I was having to face my fears, my concerns, my lack of confidence, and work out how to address what was coming out in these sessions.
Rather than being scary, it was enlightening. Suddenly I was finding that there was a lightness to life, brightness to life, I was talking to someone who had my best interests at heart, someone who did not judge me, someone who had nothing to gain from my conversation, someone who wanted me to find my own answers and didn’t want to push me down a certain route, someone who truly wanted me to succeed. As I grew and developed, simultaneously meeting a new range of friends, I realised that what was missing from this coaching relationship was the spiritual side to my life that was now returning. I had the opportunity to work with and train with one of the world’s leading psychic’s – Julie Burgess Wells , and this reminded me of who I was and what I really enjoyed.
I looked carefully at my own coaching business and realised that the people I was working with were all more open to working in a spiritual way, if they weren’t spiritual themselves. I thought about the people I had met, the friendships I had developed, and realised that I was bringing into my life people who were spiritual, which didn’t always mean religious. Suddenly I was experiencing and understanding the Law of Attraction. This meant that I could truly mix with, socialise with, work with people who were like myself. It gave me the opportunity to let my mind open, to hear intuitive thoughts, to start to experience energy, to feel vibrations, to understand the natural world and in this to work with crystals and the environment around us.
What did this mean to my coaching though? Nothing really … I am still a coach who works with individuals in all aspects of their life. What it does mean though is that I will work more energetically, more universally, more openly, and with more intuition.
Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.