How coaching has added value to my life:
Without coaching where would I be? Most likely back in my old job, or similar, lurching from one person’s problem to another, trying to fix things for other people, trying to juggle a full-time job with growing kids and parents who live 3 hours away. And crucially, never taking time out to consider why I was doing all this, and what I really wanted. To what end was I getting up every morning and getting on this treadmill? When I look back, I also realise that I was surviving in a little bubble or cocoon. I stayed in my own small circle and I probably hadn’t made a new friend in quite a few years.
But I knew, and had known for quite some time, that something wasn’t right. I know now that I wasn’t living my life aligned to my values, and I know first-hand that that can cause stress and anxiety, and if not addressed, burnout.
Coaching for me opened an insight into the importance of living in alignment with my values and of taking time out and getting off the treadmill to consider my “why”. It’s something I am always asking clients to consider “What is important to you?” It’s so simple and effective a tool to get to the crux of any issue and in deciding to make any change.
I had dipped a toe into coaching a few years before I took the plunge. I had expressed an interest and my husband had bought me a book. I remember reading it on holidays and feeling like it really clicked. Especially attractive to me was the belief that the client was creative, resourceful and whole and that the client held the answers for themselves. Coming from a career where I was always advising people this was refreshing, but also proved to be my biggest challenge. It’s a role that I can easily fall back in to – giving advice – and it’s the major thing that I must be aware and conscious of when coaching. It is not my place to advise now. The client is naturally creative, resourceful and whole, and I am not serving them at all if I try to influence them with my opinion.
Living a life aligned to my values has meant that I now regularly consider what my values are, and it makes me look more deeply at every action I take. And my values have changed a little since I started the Diploma course, almost 3 years ago. I will expect them to change further, and I do from time to time sit down and consider them. Kindness, happiness and respect are the ones which have always stuck with me. I have learned through coaching to respect the client enough to meet them where they are at. Some kindness; a smile or kind word can mean a lot to someone, and to respect the position that they find themselves in and not judge them for it. I learned this for myself when attending my own professional coach, who just listened to me for a while, with no judgement, no opinion and no agenda. I know the catharsis of this can result in a clarity of thought, which, when it becomes apparent, you wonder how you never saw it before. This to me was the biggest positive surprise and eye-opener in coaching.
To anyone considering coaching I would say “Just do it!” You’ll be amazed at the freedom you will achieve if you come with an open mind. Coaching has opened my mind and broadened my horizons. I’ve made friends and connections whom I value over the last few years and it’s a joy to meet and work with people who have the same positive and growth-mindset. I can honestly say I have not met one negative person whilst on this journey and I very much look forward to continuing down my coaching road.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will always be successful” Albert Schweitzer
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Bio: Collette Bryson
Collette holds a Diploma in Life and Executive Coaching from PSG and a Certificate in Career Coaching and came to coaching following a career in general legal practice spanning 20 years. She is also a qualified Mediator. Collette established Engage Life Coaching a year ago and has a particular interest in career coaching. She volunteers as a career coach at Jobcare, coaching unemployed people, has also facilitated their Jobnet course and recently was a guest speaker on the topic of “Effective CV Production”. She has also volunteered at Intreo Job Fair and Future Sparks Festival for the last 2 years.
Collette lives in North Dublin with her husband and 2 children.
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