This is a very useful question to explore. Every person experiences coaching in their own unique way and their achievements are equally diverse and rewarding. Here is a story from Jessica Podzebenko – her own unique reflections that answer the question.
Coaching – a necessity or indulgence?
Normally a fairly self-reliant sort of person, last year saw me engaging the services of a few professionals for the kids. Speech therapy, nutrition, integrative medicine – to name a few. Growing up in a ‘make-do’, ‘she’ll be right’ country family, seeking external help for a number of (real) issues wasn’t something I thought I would naturally do. But I like solving problems and the pragmatic side of my brain says – if there is a problem that isn’t getting better as a result of time and reasonable parenting, then perhaps a third party can help the situation.
Applying that logic to me, a Mum who is trying to forge her way through the moving feast that is motherhood, growing up and keeping her sanity – results in me engaging the services of a coach.
Not the fitness type to help fix my separated abs, but a ‘life coach’ – a term I once was very skeptical of. I mean who really needs someone to help you set and achieve goals? Growing up, I used to apply myself, stick post-it notes to my noticeboard above my desk and conscientiously study – and achieve the desired results. Sticking to a plan and achieving was easy for me. For example, if I wanted to travel the world and do my thing I would orchestrate an adventure and the stars would generally align. Fate would have me housed and employed where and when required. Somehow serendipity did its thing, and a path would present itself. Admittedly I tended to drift somewhat from the ‘right’ degree to various ‘good’ jobs, save for a few times when I followed my niggling intuition and deviated from the traditional path.
Now a Mum and a wife, I have been a bit unanchored and bamboozled by what comes next. Choice is a wonderful thing, but it can be a curse. I am fortunate enough to be in a situation where I essentially have the world at my feet – bar the slight restriction of two pre-schoolers, a home owned in Sydney and a husband’s career firmly entrenched in Sydney.
Not letting those minor practical points stand in my way, I turned to self-indulgence and embarked on a self-finding mission – to identify what it is that I really really want to do. And then, as my husband so eloquently pointed out – I need to just do it.
Here steps in the coach – a qualified professional coach to be ‘my person’. I pay her to listen to me, to act as my confidante and overall to be my personal cheerleader. She is there, sitting in another country talking via Skype, to give me the kick up the behind in order to achieve my goals.
Like I said, I was originally skeptical at first – not only because of the cash we would part with, but the output I would see. But we have some friends who really are high achievers in all facets of their lives. They both achieve a huge amount personally, professionally, within their family and in their community. From experience, they recommended the coach I see. My rationale was ‘if they can achieve so much on a time poor lifestyle as theirs, then surely this coaching business mustn’t be too bad.’
So I signed up and embarked on this almost confessional-like coaching experience with excitement and trepidation. A few months later, I come away from our sessions with a revived energy for life, gumption to achieve my goals and huge insights about who I am and what I want. My confidence is boosted and I am beginning to see the wood for the trees. I am allowed to take a step back and cast my eye back to when I was young, fearless and had the world ahead of me. No financial pressures, no other obstacles. I can look inside and identify what makes me, me.
I relay to my husband what my coach and I discuss – one key take away has been that I need to ‘just take action, just do it’. Too much overthinking and procrastinating before I dive in and try something. My husband rolls his eyes and just tells me ‘Isn’t that what I have been telling you for months?’.
Fortunately, he remains whole heartedly supportive of paying this wonderful woman to guide me and tell me things he has been hammering at me for months – if for no other reason that this is ‘my thing’. It gives me back a part of myself that has been lying dormant since I threw myself into motherhood. But perhaps that thing was dormant for some time before that, when I was on the corporate gravy train.
So what comes out of this process you may wonder? These words so far, this piece that you are reading. The commitment to do what I enjoy, which is writing and expressing myself. And what’s more, is the gratitude I feel for being in a position to do this.
Jessica is a writer, blogger, lawyer, stay at home mother and explorer at heart. Having grown up in New Zealand, Jessica has lived in Belgium, London, Canada, France and New York, and travelled many places in between. Sydney is now home, where she raises her growing family and writes a blog to feed her mind.
To read more of Jessica Podzebenko’s writing, go to www.acuriousdot.com.