What I’ve learned and why I wish I’d had a life coach
My own life, like so many others’, has been the exact opposite. Either through destiny, chance, or life choices, I have been challenged to start over and redefine myself many times. I predict new beginnings will continue to happen.
I sometimes wish my life had gone in a straight line. I’m sure you’ve heard about people like that. People who lived their whole life in one place with constant friendships, a stable career . . . nothing that ever turned their world upside down.
I have moved countries three times.
Three times I needed to build professional and personal networks of support from the ground up! I have needed to work in three different languages and to understand and adapt to three very different cultures of work and communication.
I have changed professions.
Today, I am a trained and certified life coach, working with people aged 40+ who need to redefine or reinvent themselves, professionally or personally. But I started by pursuing a BA in Nutrition. That never quite resonated with me and I moved on to a Masters in Public Health, which taught me how to think through problems and see the bigger picture. I worked for 15 years in the not-for-profit sector, creating new and innovative initiatives for keeping children safe from accidents. From there I transitioned to coaching and had to learn, not only a new profession, but how to be a businesswoman and entrepreneur.
I have had to learn to be a parent, to find strength to fight cancer and to be a woman in menopause at age 41.
I survived all of this as a genetically anxious person who does not like change!
But as you probably already know, or are learning, change is the only true constant in life.
Like it or not, life does not follow a straight path. Like a river, it takes unexpected turns, becoming rapid and scary at times and calm at others. As you travel your unpredictable and unknown river, you cannot know what is waiting for you around the next turn.
New beginnings are hard. I know this firsthand. They require you to constantly step outside your comfort zone. They require you to ask difficult questions: Who am I? What do I value most? What am I good at? Where and how do I start? What doors of possibility exist for me? Do I have the courage to open them? New beginnings require you to take steps into the unknown; to learn to accept where you are at the present moment; to accept the things you can’t change, so you can concentrate on what you can control.
Looking back, there are many times throughout my journey where I wish I’d had a certified life coach at my side — a powerful ally to guide and support me.
Like the time the oncologist told me to go back to my normal life. After two years of treatment, I had no idea what normal was, let alone what I needed to or could do to get back there. Or when I was let go from my job and had to ask myself, Now what? What possibilities are there for me? What are my strengths? What do I have to offer?
New beginnings can feel like lonely places.
A life coach would have helped me understand and grow by asking empowering questions. A coach would have heard what I was not saying and mirrored back what I was unable to hear my intuition telling me. They could have broadened the possibilities in front of me through new perspectives. A coach would have held my hand as we moved into the unknown, one step at a time, first, starting by accepting who and where I was, and then moving forward to create the life I wanted.
If, for any reason (illness, divorce, empty nester, change of country, change of career, wanting or needing to reenter the workforce, etc.), you find yourself facing a new beginning and needing to redefine who you are — professionally or personally — know that you are not alone and you can have powerful help at your side.
Redefining yourself takes courage. But it is at these times in life that new opportunities for growth and fulfillment also come your way. Take it from someone who has been through the trenches. 🙂