People often ask me how and why I decided to become a coach. The answer to this question is simple: I was coached. People then ask me how I could afford it, and was it really worth it? The answers to these questions are really only dependent on how much you value yourself, and how much you are willing to invest in yourself. If you want something bad enough, you find a way to make it happen; I am a firm believer in this. When you recognize something that you are lacking: time, money, self esteem or satisfaction in relationships or work for example; you can bury yourself in that dissatisfaction, or you can do whatever it takes to make a change.
There came a point in my life a couple of years ago when I was going and going and going and feeling so dissatisfied. I was in a relationship that was no longer healthy for me and was not giving me what I felt I deserved. I was at a job where my joy was slowly being taken away and my purpose seemed to be diminishing as well.
For almost a year I struggled with this burden that showed up daily in the form of anger, sadness, insecurity and anxiety. I sought help from friends, family and even doctors; and I tried a variety of ways to “make myself happy”. Little did I know at the time that I knew exactly what it would take for me to find happiness and balance in my life. What I needed was someone to help me discover this within myself.
I happened to be talking with a new acquaintance that I had randomly made one day at a baseball game. While sarcastically expressing my lack of fulfillment and satisfaction at home and at work, I was trying to make light of the issues, share a laugh and an FML. But as fate would have it, I happened to be talking to a coach. When she first informed me of this, I remember thinking, “Great, this lady probably thinks I am crazy and wants to help me”.
Fortunately, that is far from what happened. After chatting with her casually about my current situation, listening as she shared her insight and experience, she offered me the name of a coach that she knew, “just in case” I was interested in learning more. There was no pressure, no awkwardness, just a casual reference and we parted ways.
My first hesitation about the idea of having a life coach was in regards to money. I live in Washington, D.C. I am a public school teacher with almost 100k in student loan debt. How could I afford this? What am I really going to get out of this? Timing is everything though and the timing of this introduction was impeccable. I knew myself and I knew that I had to explore this idea. After an introductory call with the prospective coach, I really got a feel for the process.
By simply having someone guide me towards outlining what I wanted out of life, my eyes were beginning to open to a potential new reality. I spent some time considering how much I was willing to invest in myself and how many months I may have to forego a weekend getaway, salon visits and nights out to be able to afford this.
After a week of thought and deliberation, I realized that I wanted to partner with her. Although this would be a big investment in myself, I knew I was ready. And, more importantly, I also knew that I did not want to waste anymore time living a life that I did not love.
Only you can truly decide if how you are living your life is enough for you. Only you can truly decide if allowing someone else into your life as an accountability partner will help you to accomplish your goals and put into action your “dream life”. I was in a position where I knew that I needed some major change and I knew I was not yet equipped to make those changes on my own. I knew I was destined for something more and the timing was right.
My coach worked with me for months. The process of self-discovery, planning and action has brought so much more goodness into my life than I knew was possible. I think that perhaps no one really knows what they are capable of until they confront themselves to discover their purpose, desires and motivations. For me, coaching helped me to figure out all of these things. With that knowledge I was able to create visions and action plans and set myself up for what I truly wanted out of life.
How you choose to invest in yourself is completely up to you and depends on what you want out of life. Reflect on what you want, consider your options, then do whatever feels best for you. There is no power in waiting, take action now and start creating the life of your dreams.