Last year at about this time, I was at a very low point in my life. I was uncharacteristically depressed and felt trapped by circumstance and obligation. The start of the New Year (2009), along with some support from those who are closest to me, gave me some energy to re-balance myself. I started exercising regularly, taking Vitamin D supplements and fish oil, getting acupuncture. I was feeling better, but I wasn’t feeling happy. I needed to do something different.
I admit to being skeptical about this life coaching thing. I always thought it was for other people, people who had serious problems and needed extra help, but not me. I would think to myself: I’m not one of those people. My friend Cara had recently been through the certification process with the Institute for Integrative Coaching by Debbie Ford. She was very positive about it and encouraged me to think differently about it. I was willing to try anything at this point in my life. It seemed like the right time and we agreed to trade a 16 week coaching session for website design/development. I started my sessions with her in March 2009. Because I knew I needed something different, I took the risk and I can tell you that I have no regrets.
A life coach helps you to become conscious of the bad habits that everyone slips into eventually; to realize that you have the power to make your life extraordinary, to focus on the areas of your life that you need to change; and to make a concrete/ actionable plan to make those changes. A coaching relationship provides structure, support and accountability.
The goal I set for myself during my session with Cara was to get a new job. My career was the one area of my life that I was most dissatisfied with, but also the area where I felt the most powerless. When I started the session, I felt very far from my dream of a fulfilling job because I had been putting off work on my resume/portfolio and this had become an enormous burden. Cara helped me shift some of the negative behaviors that I had fallen into at my old job and find small things I could do to make myself happy at my current job, while preparing and implementing a job search strategy. My goal was to have a new job by March 2010; I achieved that goal 5 months early. I now have a dream job (see New Job: Interaction Designer), a job where I am able to do the things I love and truly contribute with my whole self.
The power to change has always been there, I had just gotten to a point where it seemed very distant. The changes I made (and continue to make) have not been limited to just my career, because everything is connected. I’ve been able to affect other parts of my life in positive ways, such that I’m feeling more confident, capable and in control of my own happiness. Of course, I’m still not perfect, but I feel I’m more conscious of what I can do to ensure that I am living the life I want. Coaching was quite good for me, I also think it came along at a point where I really needed something new and was open to actively engaging the process. I found the process invaluable and would recommend it to anyone who is trying to make positive changes in their life.