I‘ve spent the last six months wondering:
- How do I best reach the people I’d love to work with most?
- How do I market my services without feeling cruddy about it?
- How do I blog consistently when I feel like I have nothing new to say?
- How can I be perfect so others will love me and want my help?
Okay, that last one is a bit extreme but I think you get the feeling behind it. Coaches are not immune to the issues they help their clients with. We go through slumps and bumps just like anyone else. But, hopefully, we’ll have learned a few things in training and through life experience that help us push through them without excessive damage.
Many coaches in the first few years of their practice are eager to help anyone and everyone they can. They also want their practice to become large enough and their coaching sessions consistent enough that they can give up their 9 to 5 job and focus solely on coaching. Like me, they’ll take course after course, free teleseminar after free teleseminar, comparing their website and packages and pricing and free offers to every other coach they can find. During this process they begin to question themselves, doubt whether this is really their true calling because Coach “X” is so much better at writing and Coach “Y” is a wonderful speaker…and why am I not as good as anyone else?!!!
See where I’m going here?
We humans tend to compare ourselves to others in almost every aspect of our lives, and often find ourselves lacking. Why is this? Why do we torture ourselves in such a way as to doubt our abilities and confuse our intentions to the point of immobility? This is the rut I found myself in during the darker moments of the last six months. It is why you haven’t heard from me here in quite a while. But, and it’s a very big BUT, I reminded myself that I’ve been through this before, as most of us have at one time or another, and life has already given me the tools I need to pull myself up and out of it. You have these tools as well.
Are you feeling less-than; or like you just can’t break down the barrier you’ve built between you and what you desire? Negative self-talk and comparisons to others are based on faulty thinking so what can they do but tell us lies? If we’re constantly telling ourselves lies, we soon don’t see ourselves as we truly are.
Think of one negative thing you tell yourself, then ask yourself if it is really true. Be completely honest with yourself. The questions in the following example are from The Work by Byron Katie:
My negative self-talk: “I’ll never be successful as a personal coach.”
Question: Is it true?
My Answer: “Well, I’m not reaching my business goals as quickly as I’d like but I can’t know for sure so I guess it is not completely true.”
Question: Can you absolutely know it is true?
My Answer: “Ah, no. No, I cannot.”
Question: How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
My Answer: “I feel defeated, and sick in my stomach. It makes me feel like there is nothing else out there. And yet, it also makes me wonder if I need to look closer at my definition of “success.”
Question: Who would you be without the thought?
My Answer: “Hmmm… I’d feel much more free. Yes, freer to move forward and try different things. I wouldn’t be second-guessing myself all of the time and I’d hold a better sense of wonder and possibility.”
Okay, so now that you know what I mean, why don’t you give it a try? Remember, being honest to yourself is key. Will you share your results or what you think about this process with us?
Sometimes, it’s all in the perspective. What if I had explored further my definition of “success?” Maybe I’ll never be the highest paid coach with all the book deals, high-profile speaking engagements, and doting personal assistants. Is that what success means to me? No. My definition would be that I am able to spend time listening to others’ stories and help them improve their lives. Maybe they’ll each receive an “A-HA” moment and/or finally see themselves for the brilliant, beautiful souls they are. If I could continue to benefit others in this way, be it full-time or part-time, it would be a grand success for me!
It took a good deal of soul-searching and examining my beliefs and motives, but I finally feel peace around business practices and marketing strategies. I know who I am as a coach, and understand that the empathy, intuition, life experience, curiosity, practicality, and respect I bring to my clients will serve them well in their journey. While I can’t promise I’ll never compare myself to another, my goal is to remember more quickly why it is a destructive habit and replace it with positive action.
I will conduct my business and price my products and services in way that is respectful of my clients and honors my time and resources.
There is no need to worry about being perfect; just being the best person, the best coach I can be. That is enough. I am enough.
You are enough.
Along with your comments about The Works exercise above, please tell me at least one thing you find pleasing about yourself. Go ahead and toot your own horn! I wanna hear it! ♥
It’s funny how I’ll make some big proclamation, like getting busy here at In Sight and blogging all the time, when suddenly something happens that puts me out of commission. Usually, what really happens is I’ll make the proclamation and then regret doing it, feeling like I HAVE to do whatever I said I was going to do when now I feel like rebelling and running from the commitment. This time, something really did happen to keep me away from this Internet home. I had the second in a set of surgeries, which went fine, but the pain was much worse than I expected and the rest of my body seemed to fall apart as well. Tendonitis in my left hand, and a terrible arthritis (I think) flare-up after several years of silence. Add to that having to pack and prepare for a move, and you’ve got a mess!
I tell you all this not for sympathy but to pass on a lesson I think I’ve finally learned, deep in my heart, not just in my head. A person can only live with stress and not taking good care of themselves or so long and then, finally, WHAM! A major physical (and sometimes emotional) meltdown. I’m talking about a lack of self-care.
Self-care. I think most of us know we should practice it, but how often does it actually happen? I’ll wager many of you feel guilt when taking time for yourself. How dare I think myself important enough for good, soulful care? I must work 24/7 in one capacity or another to prove I am Super Woman, doer of all things good and selfless! Am I speaking your language, sister?
I think most of us know we should care for ourselves, especially if we want to also care for others. But, really, what does it take to get us to JUST DO IT?
Until we can witness the benefits for ourselves, and really feel the advantage of being good to us, I invite you to set an amount of time to practice self-care each and every day. Let’s not get too crazy right away but think of a time limit you can feel good about (remember, no guilt), and then tell everyone in your family you’ll be taking this time with no interruptions. Even fifteen minutes before going off to work, when you come home, or before bed, can make a world of difference. It will help you adopt a more relaxed mindset and keep you healthier all around, so why not give it a try? Practicing better self-care, eating better, getting more regular exercise, and quieting my mind could have helped prevent this physical meltdown I’ve experienced, which has been downright inconvenient having happened right before a big move.
So, you’ve chosen an amount of time and when you’d like to take that time…now, what are you going to do with it? Of course, it depends on the amount of time you’ve chosen, but here are a few ideas you could try:
- Don your headphones and lose yourself in music you love.
- Take a walk around your neighborhood, noticing all those little things about it that you love so much; or the changes you haven’t noticed…until now.
- Give yourself a mini-facial or do your nails; pamper yourself, you deserve it!
- Go on a photo shoot where you’ve always wanted to capture something spectacular. View life through a different lens.
- Start a journal and write in it daily. Use journal writing prompts or simply record recent activities. Make this a habit and you’ll discover a new love. You!
- Toodle around in the garden or flip through gardening magazines and dream!
As I said, these are only a few of the many things you could spend your time doing, but whatever you choose, make sure it feeds your soul, your spirit, or it might feel like work which defeats the purpose.
We’ll talk more about self-care in the coming days. I’ve been feeling the importance of it so keenly these past few weeks, so I wanted to share my thoughts with you. Does anyone want to join me in this quest for better health and happiness by practicing self-care? Please share your thoughts and plans with us in the comments. We can learn from each other!
One thing you might not know about me is that I’m crazy about books. I mean CRA-ZY! When my husband and I are without child for a weekend, you won’t find us having cocktails at the neighborhood watering hole or even catching the latest flick; we’re perusing aisle after aisle of books. Real. Live. Books. You could almost say we’re obsessed. I’m almost ashamed to admit it but I have at least three shelves at home of books I haven’t read yet! Or, books I’ve started and never finished. Looking at those shelves fills me with anticipation and excitement thinking of the many worlds that are mine to explore, but I’m also a bit frustrated that I can’t seem to get to them.
If you think three shelves of unread books is a little crazy, you should see my list of bookmarked blogs! You know, I really do think I have a problem. :) I love discovering new blogs and am fascinated by not only what their owners write, but by how they set up their blogs, the photos they display, whether or not they stick to one particular subject, and how personal (or not) they choose to be.
How can I possibly start reading those glorious books and catch up on the blogs I’ve bookmarked (and continue discovering new ones) and still spend time with family, get my work done, get this body outdoors, and still have time to breathe? Minda Tsonas of WishStudio has provided the answer.
Mindy is hosting The Great Summer Blog Read. She is spreading blog love and paying homage to the blogs she loves, old and new, by devoting a few hours each week to “reading and going deeper into the blogworld.” I love this, and I like the idea of devoting time to enjoying the life stories of others. My idea is to devote specific time each day to reading a few blogs, and delving into one of my unread books, instead of reading a little here and there and wasting a lot of time thinking about doing it.
They key word here is structure. Eeek! I should be running away right now since the word makes me shutter. But, structure is truly the answer to so many issues. Structure doesn’t have to mean an uber-regimented system; it will simply mean that I spend a set amount of time each day reading. Oh, horrors! Knowing that I have that time plugged into my day will remove the guilt since I’ll consider it daily self-care (a necessity). The rest of the day I won’t be thinking about how I’d really rather be reading and can focus on getting work done, enjoying my family, and all those other lovely things we do during our day.
I’m really excited about this and would like to thank Mindy for hosting The Great Summer Blog Read! I can’t wait to meet some new-to-me bloggers and dive in to those TBR shelves! You might even find a few books reviews posted here over the summer.
Do you ever get tired of hearing or reading the pearls of someone else’ wisdom? On most days, those pearls inspire me, but on others they are a source of irritation. Their shiny surface is like a mirror reflecting all the imperfections I see in myself, and who really wants to be told they do not measure up?
Here’s one for you:
You are precisely as big as what you love and precisely as small as what you allow to annoy you. ~ Robert Anton Weston
Great. Now I can’t even feel annoyed without somehow feeling less than! Don’t get me wrong. Wisdom is a gift and I desire to receive it graciously. Let the pearls be rare and all the more beautiful.
I hereby promise not to abuse my privilege in friendship by gifting you with more pearls than can be worn tastefully. You are already beautiful.
You are already enough.
I’ve been AWOL, I know. The past few months have been a flurry of activity as I completed my assessments for coaching certification through International Coach Academy. ICA has several requirements for certification, which is one of the reasons I chose to attend classes there. Anyone can say they are a life coach, but I wanted the skills, understanding and experience to be confident in my ability to provide value for my clients. (PLEASE READ TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR A TERRIFIC OPPORTUNITY!)
The Certified Professional Coach Program for ICA has the following requirements:
90 hours teleclass time (Module Levels 1-5)
24 hours Coaching Practicums
60 hours Peer Coaching (2 of the clients must be peer clients (fellow students))
24 hours of me being coached
18 hours Supervised Coaching
Personal Coaching Model
Record of Participation.
ICA has trained coaches in over 90 countries in the world; and has created professional coaching programs that demand personal reflection, an appreciation of the ethical aspects of coaching, and thorough training of the core competencies of coaching set out by the International Coach Federation. Further information about ICF ethics at: ICF Code of Ethics.
My ICA experience has been outstanding. Fellow ICA peers agree that it has been a life-altering experience that takes you on a journey of personal growth similar to the one our clients will take. What better way for the coach to know how to dig deep, face your fears, shift perspectives and take action toward our goals?
I am thrilled to now have my professional coaching certification and commit to being an excellent representative of the coaching profession.
If you are interested in learning more about coaching, what it is like to be a client, and/or how to become a coach yourself, please do not hesitate to contact me by using the Connect with Pam tab above. I would love to answer your questions and help in any way I can!
IN CELEBRATION of the completion of my studies and receiving my professional certification, I’d like to extend the opportunity for you to receive an
Introductory Coaching Session with me at no cost to you!
This will be a combination Discovery Session (where we get to know each other and discuss what coaching is) and Laser Session (a 15-20 minute focused session on one issue). You will receive a Session Summary Report within 48 hours of your Introductory Session, and a follow-up email or phone call from me one week later.
I am giving away five (5) free Introductory Sessions total, one per person. If you are interested, please let me know in the comments or contact me through my Connect page. I can’t wait to hear from you!!
In celebration of the release of her new book, The Most Beautiful Thing, I am participating in author Fiona Robyn’s The Most Beautiful Thing blogsplash. The blogsplash is being hosted at Fiona and her husband Kaspa’s community writing site, Writing Our Way Home.
My Most Beautiful Thing
It’s not been an easy thing deciding what I should write about as my most beautiful thing. I could write about how being in nature brings me closer to God, or I’ve learned so much from witnessing my parent’s relationship. Instead, I will write about what has been hovering around the edge of my thoughts since I first decided to participate in Fiona’s blogsplash. It is what paved the way for the blessings I received in my husband and son. I write today of the gift of hope.
Some say I take after my mother with her optimistic attitude and wanting to believe the good in people and situations, and I guess they would be right. Even in times of great sadness and thoughts of giving up, something deep inside would lift me up just enough not to let that happen. I believe that something is hope. I have said that hope is a gift, and I believe it truly is, because there are some who don’t believe in it. They haven’t accepted the gift.
Hope is what brought me through those young adult years of yearning for that one special person to fill my life up with love and happiness, while I was addicted to bad boys and men who weren’t emotionally available. I would pray, “Lord, please, please bring someone into my life who will love me just for me.” I would plead and bargain and try my best to be sincere until one day, I turned that prayer around. I said, “Lord, please bring someone into my life that I can love. Someone I can give this bounty of love that threatens to consume me.”
My son was born some 18 months later. I in no way planned this happy event but believe it was an answer to my prayer.
Life as a single mother working full time and raising a child with special needs was not easy. In fact, it was downright stressful. When my son was first diagnosed with Aspergers and Tourettes, I didn’t have time to grieve the loss of my dreams for him, I just had to carry on. What hope brought me was a realization that I could still have dreams for my son; they would just be different dreams.
While social services existed when my son was young, there were not nearly as many as there are now, and they were usually located too far away or he did not qualify for them as my income was too high, which really, is quite scoffable. So, hope sustained me through those moments of utter exhaustion and frustration when his perseveration and my lack of sleep drove me to tears and there was nowhere to turn.
My good friend hope would flood my heart when my son’s mood would lighten and he’d surprise me with humor. It is one of his greatest gifts. We can get kind of wacky at times and it was probably a good thing no one else could witness our silliness!
Except one day, hope surprised me again when she introduced me to a man who could be just as wacky.
The story of how I met my husband could be turned into a Lifetime movie but I’ll share that another time. Let’s just say I no longer had those expectations of finding my soul mate. So, when my husband and I met, and that comfort, desire, and special feeling like we’d truly connected was there from day one, hope sprung alive once again.
We had our share of obstacles. He lived in another state and is 11+ years younger than me. Could I trust him and would he commit to helping me raise my son? He had no children and mine had special needs. He would need to leave his family and all he had known behind to be with us. Was this what he wanted for his life? Could we make this work? Hope was on our side. We’ve been together ten years and pray for many more.
I want to thank my mother, God, and anyone else who might have planted the seed of eternal hope inside of me. Some may say I’m silly to be optimistic or to hope for the impossible. I say, hope is a gift I humbly receive, that we all can receive, and it is my most beautiful thing.
What is your most beautiful thing?
Is it your one year old niece’s golden smile? The pale pink peony buds in your garden? A silver ring given to you by your grandmother? Your shiny red Vespa scooter? Is your most beautiful thing a place or a moment? Is it a philosophy or a value?
On Tuesday the 24th of April, I’m taking part in a Blogsplash to celebrate beautiful things, inspired by Fiona Robyn’s new novel, ‘The Most Beautiful Thing‘.
People all over the world will be blogging, tweeting & writing about their own most beautiful thing.
You could post a photo or write a prose piece about your most beautiful thing. You could write a small stone or show us a piece of artwork you’ve made in honour of your most beautiful thing. It’s completely up to you. You could be extravagant and post a whole series of your most beautiful things.
Writing Our Way Home are making a directory of everyone who’s taking part, and they will also re-post their favourite entries on their blog over the following month.
If you’d like to join me, email email@example.com for more details.