This post is the last in a series of blogs in which I will examine the transitions of the last 18 months – from administrator to writer, coach and speaker.
I’ve written quite a bit about how I came to be a blogger. Here’s a little more about what helped me to develop the skill of writing and public speaking. I’ll end the series with some personal anecdotes about my journey to becoming a coach.
When starting something new, it is tremendously helpful to put a structure in place to help you stay with it until your skill develops and it becomes more naturally a part of you.
For writing, my structure was a commitment that I would write a weekly blog. Knowing people were reading it, gave me the accountability I needed to keep practising and being consistent. My structure, accountability and commitment kept me moving forward. The impact of taking what felt like a significant risk by blogging (because of the visibility factor), was that more doors opened than I imagined possible. It has enabled me to make connections with people from all over the world, including some whose comments led me to become a coach. The practise of regular blogging helped me to learn the skill of writing and made me visible enough to be recommended for a job as a writer for a magazine. It has also made it easier for people who want to coach with me to find me – even those from other countries!
The structure and accountability I had in place to learn public speaking was also weekly – becoming a Toastmaster. I was committed to overcoming my fear in this area, and it was that commitment that kept me going through the challenging moments. This Toastmasters program and the encouragement from the local Toastmasters Club has been invaluable in helping me develop confidence in the area of public speaking and in learning to trust that I will have something to say when I need to speak in front of a group. The weekly meetings also gave me regular opportunities to be courageous in practising speaking both formally and informally. It has taken me from paralyzing fear of public speaking to enjoyment and confidence in this area. Stay tuned for a link within the next week to obtain tickets for the International Woman’s Day Event on March 8 at FireRock near London, Ontario. I am excited that I get to be one of the speakers! It will be an all morning event with lunch included. There is no cost as it is government sponsored, but you will need to register as there are only 200 seats available.
Here’s a little more about what it was like training to become a coach.
If blogging started creating awareness of my shadows and dreams, then training to be a coach (and getting coached myself) blew these things up and put them on my personal big screen – big, bold and in colour. I started to see things in myself – patterns of behaviour, attitudes, unconscious responses – that in no way helped me. I began to explore what really mattered to me at my core. The more conscious I became, the more I realized that I have the choice to become whoever I want to be. My actions are not pre-determined because of my feelings, personality or as a result of things I think are true about me. This was not easy to see, but it is tremendously empowering. If I am tired of being afraid, I can choose to be scared and brave at the same time. My action does not need to be determined by my emotions or by what I think I should do, but rather, it can be chosen by what I value the most. It is possible to do almost any difficult thing if it matters enough to you.
This is what I learned about coaching:
1. It’s about awareness and choice.
2. It’s about discovering what you value and want.
3. It’s about learning to expand the way you see things.
4. It’s about learning to identify what makes you feel alive and what diminishes you.
5. It’s about facing what you are avoiding.
6. It’s about taking deliberate action and learning from it.
7. It’s about accountability.
8. It’s about moving forward.