Individuals I coach each arrive with their own unique agenda which is what keeps my job interesting. Let me introduce you to Susan, a self-proclaimed PBS addict who reads tons of books and works in the natural food industry. Although Susan and I had worked together in the past to support her physical health, this was my first opportunity to coach her. The experience was richly rewarding, mostly due to the commitment to change that she brought to our sessions.
From our first meeting, Susan expressed the overwhelming sensation of being stuck. She felt stuck in a life routine that was no longer satisfying and yet believed she was unable to make changes to provide relief. Susan made it clear to that she hoped to restart, realign, and renew her thought process in order to break out of the anxious, miserable place she was in. This new way of being was important not only because Susan felt so unhappy, but she was about to return to her hometown of Temple, Texas, where she had a beautiful new home under construction. Although she looked forward to spending time in nature on her half-acre plot with a creek she certainly didn’t want to bring this lack of joy with her.
Recently I asked Susan to reflect on the work she had done over the past five months by answering a few questions. Below are the questions and her responses:
How are you different after 5 months of coaching?
How am I not different now!!! I’ve got my hope back! I can feel joy again! I’m happy and looking forward to adventures every day.
How do you feel about yourself given the changes you experienced?
I am really proud of myself for not giving up…I have had my challenges with mental wellness throughout my life but this particular period lasted close to 7 years.
What have you learned?
My key learnings were that it is imperative I get adequate, regular sleep – without sleep, I am anxious and angry and unable to handle life and there is lots of cursing and emotional breakdowns. Another key is that I am so much more happy and functional if I practice mindfulness and stay in this very moment. I have no business lingering in the past or speculating about the future.
Are there areas you’d still like to work on in the future?
I do feel like I still have a way to go and much to learn on the road to emotional health. It’s a part of me that is still immature, and coaching would most likely be beneficial.
What opportunities are available for you with your new perspective?
I think there are scores of opportunities available – I just couldn’t see them and wasn’t even interested before. Now I find and contemplate all sorts of ideas and adventures.
What was the experience of being coached like for you?
It took me a couple of sessions to get comfortable with the idea and format of being coached – it’s different than talk therapy. For me the sessions became exploratory – how can I get this done? It was great to be able to verbalize what I was wanting to do and then set realistic intentions and goals.
What advice would you offer others who might consider being coached?
We should learn and grow our whole entire lives and be excited to be alive!!! But when we fall into oblivion or are surrounded by darkness or just simply feel stuck – that is the time to reach out for help. It’s a legitimate way to grow and get back on track.