15 October 2020
A new chapter begins. I woke up this morning with a nice feeling of expectation. Anticipation of continuing my journey of self-discovery and becoming a better person in this world. I started a diploma in coaching today, which after 9 months of intense reflection, practice, listening and talking, I will hopefully look back next summer and say “what a worthwhile experience.”
I also had fears this morning. Am I sure why I’m doing this? Is now the right time? Will it negatively impact my work? Will it reduce my free time for exercise? Will it be hard to do it online over Zoom video? What if the other people are way more experienced than me? What if I don’t enjoy the content, activities or lead coach?
So tonight as I look back, I’m so glad I signed up. As someone said to me when I was exploring options – “there’s never the perfect time, there’s just now. Go do it.” We can always find excuses not to do something, or postpone a decision, but sometimes you just need to go with it and take a jump into the unknown.
Meeting new people
“We” (not “they”) are now a group of 16 people who will get to know each other on quite a deep level, after 9 months listening and sharing what makes us tick. I realised today how small my social circle has become in the past 6 months – we just don’t get to meet new people these days.
Working from home, you never pass people in the corridor, or bump into someone for coffee or over lunch. I miss the banter in the changing rooms as commuters exchanged chat. I miss the runch group.
So today I found it really stimulating to just meet new people. 16 new faces from a diverse mix of backgrounds – HR, IT, finance, healthcare, hospitals, education. CFOs and HR directors, project managers and self-employed people. All working from home – lots of parents, pet owners, people in attics, bedrooms, kitchen tables and offices. A recent retiree.
Mostly women, so it’s interesting being the minority for a change. Two leaders with a breadth of coaching and psychology experience. Everyone with an interesting story to tell on why they’re here and what they’re hoping to get out of the program.
What am I hoping to gain from the experience?
To learn more about myself and about how the human mind works. I’d love to be able to apply my skills to help others develop and grow – whether that’s colleagues at work, mentees, family, friends. In every interaction I have with someone, I want to be more present, to truly listen, to understand them better, sit in their shoes, ask open questions, to enable people see things from a fresh perspective, or lens.
We spoke about a “beginners mind” and that sense of curiosity that kids have in abundance. Being non-judgemental in my dealings with people. These are hard concepts to apply every day, every time we meet someone and have a conversation.
They are life skills. It’s not about the destination, it’s the journey. Deep stuff I know, but if you truly believe you can develop and grow, then I think it’s worth exploring.
It’s not about lectures & rote learning
Like any course, the months ahead will involve reading books, academic articles, blogs, keeping a journal, writing an assessment, practising lots with colleagues in the group, as well as branching out and finding “coachees” or clients – people who are interested in receiving coaching (pro-bono of course).
Would you like some free coaching time?
So if you have things on your mind that you’d like to explore, in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental environment, please get in touch. You can be in Dublin, Dallas or Delhi. I’d love to chat and see if we can help each other make a step forward.
I’ll continue to share my thoughts from my journal here, as (a) it’s easy to do, (b) I’d love to hear what other people think who might have gone on a similar journey or (c) I might encourage others to start their journey.