Having set up my coaching practice during the early part of 2017, almost a year later I chose to change direction.
I still wanted a practice. However, with a broader skillset, I knew it was important to use this. I also recognised that I was sticking to what I knew from the past. From my career in graduate recruitment & development. I was playing it safe. Relying on my years of knowledge and experience, rather than sharing my newly developed skills.
That was just so much easier, right?
I wasn’t just selling this coaching skill, I was offering over 10 years’ of experience. Surely that was worth more to potential clients. And, I suspect it would be. Especially, when compared to someone offering the same service but with less experience.
The only issue was that I wasn’t excited about what was ahead of me. I should have been. Seriously, we’re talking about greater parent engagement in career choices, connected to better parent/teen relationships, and even the potential of a complete reform of our education system. It’s exciting stuff. It’s challenging. I had a relevant background.
I just wasn’t doing anything to make it happen.
Now, I could say I was sabotaging myself through inaction. And that’s true enough. I could have simply pushed past this. Setting up a step-by-step plan and then putting it into action. I have a network of coaches, several would have supported me. Some already were. But this wasn’t the real issue. It was the symptom.
This needed exploration. Or at least a greater openness to the options. So, I started to pay more attention to what was coming up for me.
It was mostly the inner voice that popped into my head unexpectedly. It would keep asking me “How?” “How are you going to make that happen?” Every time I had a decent answer, the question would be asked again. And again I would respond with a perfectly reasonable answer. And this would continue. The same question followed by a good response. Until I either couldn’t come up with an answer, or more frustratingly, I found myself at the start of this process. I found myself stuck with inaction.
This inner voice isn’t complex, but it is freaking smart.
It took me a while to notice the pattern of question and response, and that was the turning point. I was no longer working at the surface level, trying to answer these questions. I was exploring what was creating the symptom. Part of it was fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear that this wasn’t the right option. Fear.
It wasn’t the right option.
I had the answer all along, I just couldn’t hear it.
I was finally able to admit that I wanted to work at a much deeper level with my clients. For me this was more challenging. More exciting. I wouldn’t just be helping clients get past their immediate issue, I wanted to help them resolve the root cause. You see, I would have pushed and eventually become successful as a career and relationship coach working with parents and teens. I just don’t think I would have enjoyed it. And, I would always be looking for something else to engage me.
I don’t feel like that now. Working with clients and their inner speech, that’s exciting for me. Exploring what the voices are trying to say and helping clients tune into these inspires me into action.
It all seems so straightforward now. So incredibly simple, and right.
Changing direction is likely to be one of my best decisions of 2018. I’ve got hundreds of ideas running through my mind. Now, it’s just a matter of putting them into action, which seems well within my reach.