It was February, 19 months after I started to receive coaching and 4 months after deciding that I was respect worthy, when I (once again) said to my husband: “Do you think I will ever be able to enrol in the 18-month Ontological Coaching Program?”
As he had every other time I had raised this, my husband replied with: “We could probably find a way to make it happen”. This time, however, it was different. Instead of being happy with his response and assuming that it would happen “one day”, I responded with: “Well, can we pick a date and work towards it, please? I would like it to happen, and I don’t think we will make it happen without a date to work towards”. True to form, my husband immediately found a solution and, by the end of the discussion, we had agreed that I was starting the course in July of that year.
My coach and I had agreed that our coaching conversations would end just prior to the course start date. My feelings around this decision were mixed. On the one hand, I was nervous about not having regular coaching conversations; what if I could’t cope without help? On the other hand, I was excited. This felt right. It felt as though it was the perfect way to mark the end of one leg of the journey and the beginning of another.
I didn’t want to talk about anything new in that final conversation. Instead, I decided to indulge in a discussion about who I had been and who I had become.
And so our final conversation became a time of celebration.
I started the conversation by reflecting on where I felt I was at when we first started the coaching process almost exactly two years prior, and I will share this now:
What were my Original Goals?
(These goals are also listed in an earlier blog post)
- I will improve my self-confidence; and
- I will improve my ability to cope so that I don’t constantly burst into tears.
How was I Occurring to Myself when we Started the Coaching Process?
I was occurring to myself as a failure. I felt as though I had no power or control in my role at work (which I had only been in for 1-2 months at that stage). I also felt as though I had made a huge mistake in taking the job to start with. I felt weak.
What was my Default Future at the Beginning of the Coaching Process?
My default future, had I chosen not to change my approach, seemed to include a career and mental health that were both very much in jeopardy.
What did I Learn?
Some of my learning was information based. For example, the difference between assessments and assertions, which I assess to have been instrumental in my move from a way of being centred in self-doubt. Similarly, the way of being model was instrumental to my learning and the root of my transformation. What really blew me away, however, was not the academic knowledge that I had acquired; it was what I had learned about myself and my possibilities for action:
- I am enough
- I am worthy
- I am worthy of respect
- I can and do take my authority (now), but sometimes I tend to also give it up very easily
- What other people think doesn’t really matter unless it serves me; it is just an assessment
- My thinking is a great tool when I manage it constructively
- I can be (am) quite strong and courageous. (This was a huge surprise)
- Self-compassion; treat myself in the same way that I would treat one of my team members
- None of this is about right and wrong. It is about what serves us
- It isn’t failure, it is learning
- It is ok not to be perfect
- When I get that horrible, anxious feeling in my stomach and upper body, it is probably because I am self-judging. Find out why I am being judgemental and remove it
- It is ok not to have all of the answers
- I can achieve whatever I want to achieve, if I really want to achieve it
- Outcomes are important to me. Remember to commit to the outcome; don’t get attached to it
- I can cope
- I can do it
- Moods and emotions such as anxiety, anger, etc, can be ok and may even be appropriate. It comes down to how I use those emotional spaces and how they serve me
- Anxiety is normal in new situations. Acknowledge it, and don’t let it get in the way of being a learner
- Uncertainty is ok, and can actually be fun
Every item on this list is there because, two years prior, I’d started out with the opposite learning of that item. It is a list that represents transformation, and I am finding it difficult to put into words what this list really means to me. The list represents a journey where I see challenges, hopelessness, suffering and pain, followed by freedom, hope, self-respect and gratitude.
As I described all of my learning to my coach, I felt free and accomplished and happy and wonderful; ready to take on the world.
When that final coaching conversation came to an end, I provided my coach with the following summary:
How am I Occurring to Myself Now?
I am occurring to myself as someone who has the strength and ability to achieve whatever I want to achieve. I am not perfect, and that’s ok. I am committed to doing my best.
What is My Default Future Now?
Whatever I want it to be.
Did I Achieve My Original Goals?
I absolutely achieved my goals, and so much more. I am incredibly grateful for the coaching and support that I received throughout my journey.
I did it. I smashed the challenges of two years, and I learnt SO much.
I can’t describe the way I felt when I walked away from that final coaching conversation. It was second to none, and far beyond anything that I could ever have imagined. The world of possibility was now mine for the taking.
I think that the learning from this final coaching conversation is simple, yet incredibly useful:
- We are limited only by the version of reality that is available to us, and by what that reality provides to us as possibility. If we can shift our way of being, thus also shifting our reality and available possibilities, anything can happen.
- Taking time out to have a (self) conversation for appreciation can be incredibly useful.
Points to Ponder…
- Where might it be useful for you to have a conversation for appreciation with yourself?
- Where might it be useful for you to have a conversation for appreciation with others?
- What is happening right now for you in language? How is this serving you? What would be helpful to shift?
- What is happening right now for you in your emotional spaces? How is this serving you? What would be helpful to shift?
- What is happening right now for you within your body? How is this serving you? What would be helpful to shift?
I am a leadership and life coach, available for coaching and facilitation services. If you feel that it would be useful to have a conversation with me, please feel free to view my services on the Leading and Being website.