I left teaching as we were moving house about every year and a half to two years with my husband’s job. It was becoming really stressful to keep changing schools as every school had its own way of doing things and you spent a lot of time setting up plans and systems from scratch, on top of an already heavy workload. I knew that teaching was part of who I was and yet I was so self-critical at the time that I could never admit to myself that I was good enough as a teacher. This was despite glowing reports and feedback.
Sometimes I take the same pattern into my motherhood and I think that no matter how hard I try I can never reach some idealistic idea of who I should be as a mother. This idea of motherhood is not pitched at the level I expect from others. It’s higher and much more stringent.
As a coach I now realise that my decision about my competence in any area of my life is key. I get to decide whether I am allowing myself to feel competent in any area.
So I have learnt that it is up to me to decide how worthy I am and then to act from that place.
This came up when I had exhausted lots of other avenues in my attempt to find what would come after teaching.
I did a second degree in Art History and Creative Writing. I studied floristry, photography and interior design. I was trying desperately to find a career that I could feel passionate about.
Yet all along I was reading coaching and self-help books and had been since I was a teenager. I was also gifted with patience and the ability to listen and to intuitively help and guide people.
In the end I had to give myself permission to be fully who I was and to fully recognise and own up to what it is that fuels me and fully engages my heart, spirit and mind.
Beyond this I had to give myself financial permission. I had to give myself permission to invest in coach training, which was a huge investment of our family’s financial resources. I had to trust in myself that this would not be another ‘fly by night’ folly of passion that would be out of my head as soon as I had finished the course.
In my coach training there is a tool about making a decision that feels like a leap. You imagine that you are on a diving board and that the water below you represents the steps forward that you are considering taking.
So you are on the diving board, in your swimming costume and you edge out to the edge of the board and you look below you.
As you see this in your mind’s eye think about whether to take that step feels like jumping into cool clear, beautiful blue water or whether it feels like jumping into muddy sludge.
If it feels like diving into cool clear blue water it’s a sign that this may be a step in the right direction. If it feels like diving into muddy sludge it suggests that this might not be the right decision for you and it’s time to reassess.
Within my coaching business I often help women who are standing on the diving board in their lives and trying to decide what is next for them. They may be considering becoming a coach or be working hard to establish a coaching practice or may have some other life leap that they are considering.
Being a deeply thoughtful person, an introvert or a perfectionist sometimes means that you can hang out on the end of the diving board perhaps longer than you need to. Working with a coach can help you to make the right leaps in your life, even when the decisions seem huge and you are feeling nervous or uncertain.
As part of my coaching practice I coach and mentor women thinking of becoming a coach, in coach training or at the early stages of setting up the business foundations of a coaching practice. If you think you would like to work with me on this email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a free 30 minute call to talk about working together and to find if we are a good fit for coaching.