For the past few weeks, I’ve been struggling. I’ve been itching to get back to my business and get back to coaching but I’ve been erratic, stopping and starting, never making any real progress when I’ve sat down at my desk. I just couldn’t get the momentum going and I was beginning to get frustrated. I just had a baby girl, Sarah, in August and I found myself thinking ‘Crap, this is it now. I’m never going to be able to get anything done anymore!’. How can I run a successful business when my attempts at driving things forwards are reminiscent of bunny hopping the car when I was learning to drive. I just couldn’t find my groove and felt like I’d lost my mojo.
I decided to take myself out to Avoca in Malahide for a nice lunch, sit somewhere down the back and have a discreet little chat with myself to figure out what the hell was going on. After all, I had done really well in the past few years! You see, in 2009/2010, I had hit rock bottom in my career, relationships and finances and was feeling very lost. But in the middle of my soul searching I’d found an old diary in which at the age of 14 (yes, really!), I had written ‘I want to be a life coach’ along with all my other dreams such as a house with a garden, my own family, a dog, freedom to have lie-ins mid week! I had nothing to lose so in 2010, I changed my life and career direction and pursued the vision of success my much younger self had envisaged. Quoting J.K Rowling, ‘Rock bottom became the solid foundation upon which I rebuilt my life’.
Now, fast forward to 2015, I had my business as a life coach with clients waiting for me to come back to work, I had my gorgeous family, my home with a garden and a dog, it was a Tuesday afternoon and I’d had a lie-in and now was in Malahide enjoying the sunshine and autumn leaves! I had achieved everything I had set out to achieve so what was the boulder in my path now? What was blocking me from moving forwards?
Then it hit me like a tonne of bricks. My own words, my own language, my own success. ‘I had achieved everything I had set out to achieve’.
I hadn’t realised because I had allowed the whirlwind of the past 12 months draw my attention away from my big picture. I had been too caught up in my day to day life to see clearly. In June, I had pressed pause on business activities thinking it would matter of pressing play again when I came back but it suddenly dawned on me that the tape wouldn’t play anymore because we had reached the end.
If I’m honest, my first reaction was panic and fear! ‘Oh crap, what now? Where do I go from here?’ Then the fog of fear lifted enough for me to remember two words ‘Success and Celebrate’ and that those two words must go hand in hand! Given that I was in Avoca, I decided that the situation definitely warranted a latte and some sort of sweet pastry treat!
Armed with my guilty (strike that), well deserved pleasures, I opened my notebook on a blank page. I love blank pages. To me a blank page = possibilities. I grabbed my pen and asked myself that age old coaching question ‘If I could have my life and business any way I wanted it to be, what would that look like?’ Over the next few hours, a new story was created which I know with time will become part of my history.
I was struggling to move forwards because I didn’t know where I was going, or more accurately, I hadn’t realised I’d already arrived at my destination. My 5 year plan had become my reality!
I felt like Dorothy having clicked her ruby slippers and found herself home without having the wonder and magic of the story of her journey. I was trying to figure out how it had happened and I know myself well enough to know that I can be prone to bouts of ‘Whatsnext-itis?’. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, that terrible infliction in which the patient second guesses and hesitates for the longest time before finally getting up the courage to do what he/she wanted to do and then once it’s done, quickly moving on to what’s next on the list and then repeating the same pattern without ever stopping to relish the moment. (Yeah, that! I knew you knew it!) Well, we all know the cure for it is to bank your success, to take the time to savour the journey, note the highs and lows and acknowledge the effort and courage you displayed to bring you to that point. The problem is that it’s like a multivitamin, it’s needed in daily doses.
Acknowledging that ‘whatsnext-itis’ had a part to play in my losing track of myself, I had to ensure that I was more mindful moving forwards. I needed to keep track of my progress and put in place some firm measures, milestones and check points for success. For this next part of the story, I really wanted to be more present with myself and life. I knew how to do it, I’d done it before but obviously I had stopped doing what was working! So, what worked? I knew the answer immediately- coaching and balance days.
Since 2010, the longest period I have gone without working privately with a coach has been the past 12 months! The other thing that always supported me was monthly check in’s with myself or what I fondly call ‘Balance Days’. My balance day was a day a month, agreed with myself in advance which I would spend with me! I would do a gratitude journal for the month, review my goals and values, see how I was getting on, check if I was excited about and enjoying my current projects and if I wasn’t, I would change things. I’d also have a massage and take myself out to dinner with a glass of wine. I called it my date night but it was my way of combating my whatsnext-itis! I couldn’t believe that it was December 2014, actually November 2014 since I had a balance day and date night. Time flies and when you get caught up in day to day life. My excuse was that I didn’t have time but we all know that’s BS and the truth was that I wasn’t prioritising it!
It was a well spent afternoon in Avoca! I got clear on my new big picture, well a vague notion anyway and I expanded my awareness and compassion for myself. I know I’m not the only one who gets caught up in day to day life and who suffers from bouts of ‘whatsnextitis’ which is why I wanted to share my story with you this month. We need to be aware of our big picture and be clear on our trajectory so we can prepare, prioritise and schedule in what we need to support our growth and success. My next Balance Day is scheduled in for Sunday 1st November and my 1st session with my new coach is January 8th. I’m already so excited because I know that this is exactly what I need moving forward and into 2016! I’m totally ready to rock! Are you?
Website: The Quarter Life Coach
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