You know how you don’t know something until you do? Yeah? No?
Let me explain.
I had really let thinking that I knew something about life coaching hold me back for a long time, so much, so that I’m fairly embarrassed by it, even now.
First, let me preface that I have been acting since I was a young kid and I only ever imagined being an actor and professional goofball. Period. After all, I did sketch comedy and stand up. I wasn’t really open to doing much else, but I did know that I wanted to be of service and change the world. I happened to fall into intuitive coaching…that story is so random, so I’ll save those details for the book I’m writing about that situation, but I will tell you that I still think it's weird. But very interesting. Still weird.
Flash forward to me already coaching here and there as an intuitive coach, which had very little structure and to boot, I had no confidence at all in my ability to have my own business. While the few clients I would take had some amazing takeaways and my intuitive abilities were always spot on (to my sheer amazement), I just didn’t feel like I knew wtf I was doing. That didn’t feel good to me. A friend of mine suggested I get my life coach certification. I had some (ahem – many) preconceived notions about what life coaching was, without investigating it, really at all. And I knew that I wanted to be a professional-level coach, but I wanted to keep my spirituality intact and I was afraid that if I got a coaching certification, it would require that I take spirituality completely out of the equation. “Take that froo-froo spirituality crap and stuff it,” I’d imagine them saying (but in a more professional way...) And about that intuition I was using? “Throw that in the garbage too, it’s a bunch of bull-hockey.” Apparently, these imaginary coaching certification people like to use watered down curses from the 1950’s while wearing plaid socks and black, horn-rimmed glasses.
My immediate reaction to her suggestion was a gentle, but firm, “Hell no.” I felt burned out by the sheer amount of education I’d done over the years. I was a Korean Linguist, formerly in the US Army, I got an Associate’s degree in General Studies from 3 different universities (yes 3!), then I went on to get my BFA in Acting from NYU. Oh…and the book reading. Oh my god, the amount of book reading I had been doing was an addiction-level obsession. Yep, I felt shame around that too. I thought something was wrong with me. I just couldn’t put the damn books down. I had to know more! What other problems could I solve if I could just read one more self-help book? I had to know! Could I get (and keep) the guy? Can vitamins cure cancer? Why do nipples have their own microbiomes? I had a million reasons why I couldn’t study any more or learn anymore, not in a program anyway. It just seemed like I had glued myself into a cocoon and snuggled into a safe book-reading nook, never to emerge again.
And even if I did want to get my certification, I’d have to go deeper into debt than my BFA from Tisch already put me? “Oh, Lord…I just don’t have the capacity for this,” I thought. Then I started to take a good hard look at my life and realized that I really wanted to make some major changes. I wasn’t auditioning and I had lost the desire. I didn’t know where my love for acting had gone. I felt financially really stuck and burned out at my job and wondering how I could sustain it. It wasn’t looking good when I projected my current status a few years in the future. I felt like I had so much to offer and yet didn’t know how I would ever get there. What made matters worse is that I am creative. Really creative. I’m an actor, writer, sketch comedy creator, and on and on. When you’re really creative, it can feel like you’re this irresponsible child with rampant shiny-object syndrome, bursting with ideas and annoying the crap out of everyone around you while being really good at going nowhere. I was so good at having the ideas without executing them at all. This sort of made me want to cry. Not sort of. It did. I did cry. A lot.
This brings us to my moment of desperation where I hired a coach of my own because I felt so stuck in the mud, I knew this was do or die for me. And the dying part was beginning to look more oiled up and attractive than a Baywatch hunk in red shorts these days because of all of the suffering I was putting myself through by spinning my wheels with no kitty litter in sight. No kitty litter, no traction.
This is what ended up happening: I went to the Veteran's Administration Career Center to see what I could do about changing careers from consistently under-employed and burnt out actor waiting on tables for survival to life coach. I decided I could try to get that certification. The Career Center said that it would try to get me another job, but they would use the fact that I had a BFA to put me into another job. That didn’t sound appealing to me at all since I used to work at a desk; all during my military career and all during my contracting for the military career and I learned that this made me suicidal. Check off that box. But what turned up was this: I had some Post 9-11 GI Bill credits left so I could get some more education, about a year’s worth. My coach had helped me go to the Career Center and move forward to apply for using these remaining credits. I looked up some coaching certification programs…and I still don’t know how I came across iPEC (the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) but it was the only one that I found that took the GI Bill, meaning that the course would be paid for. I had just enough credits to take the full course.
I was flabbergasted. You mean I didn’t have to go further into debt to get my life coach certification? I was floored and so very excited. Then, the overwhelm hit.
Now, I am halfway through the program and combining the professional coaching with the intuitive coaching that I had already been doing. I love coaching so much, I can’t even explain. It’s combined my love of acting with my love of learning and teaching people. I get to use my obsession with information to help others. I feel so damn happy that I decided to get my certification because I have learned so many things about coaching that I would have never known. I have also learned so many things about myself and what has been really holding me back all of these years. Yes, you can coach without being certified, but I have grown so much from the experience that I could never, never even think about going back. I’ve received clarity, a sense of purpose and passion in a way that excites me beyond belief. I also know now what I want so many people to know. Coaching changes lives. I have been able to do more than I have ever dreamed I could. I have stretched and challenged myself and become happier than I ever thought I would.
If I could just lift this piece out of my brain and plug it into to your brain so that you could see the power and utility of coaching, I would, so you could already be using this tool to change your life. I get to do so many of the things that I’ve always wanted to do. I get to help people achieve their dreams. Literally. I get to help people have the relationships they love. I get to share my love of wisdom and resources with my clients. Most importantly, I get to help people find their purpose in life and learn to express themselves the way they want to. I needed to have a place and a purpose in life so much that it hurt. I know what that feels like and I know that purpose can be really confusing because of all the mixed messages we get in the world and from family, friends and even ourselves.
Coaching gave me a gift. Now I am using that gift to give back. I am helping people gain clarity and direction in their lives so they can become the best, fully satisfied and self-expressed version of themselves that they can be. And the best part is, I can still tell jokes.
P.S. I offer complimentary power breakthrough sessions (yes, a complimentary coaching session), click on the link below to learn more and get a free 1-on-1 session with me! yay.epicinitiator.com/breakthrough