It’s taken some time to find my strength although many people in my life find that difficult to believe. Their perception of me is of a “strong woman”, a “fighter” and someone who is consistently in control of their life. I guess that those things are true, to a greater or lesser extent at different times, but the reality is that what has been on display to others has, at times, been a mask rather than my true face.
My story is long and complicated – my LIFE has been complicated from a relatively young age. It’s not been bad – on the contrary, I have been blessed with so many wonderful people and experiences – although there have been times where I have reached the very darkest pit in my soul and believed that I couldn’t get out of it. Over time, I will post about some of these life events, because now I am in a position to see that for every challenge that I have experienced and overcome, I have been given a gift – new insight, learning something about myself or discovering more of my own power by surviving a situation. I hope that in time, by sharing elements of my life story and experience, that I can help others to move past their fears and find a way through the darkness that they might be surrounded by.
I am strong now.
My own journey with coaching – being coached, studying coaching and engaging with different strategies and activities to embed positive habits and change – is what has brought me to this place. Strength is a state of being. It refers to so many different aspects of who I am at my core – emotional strength, mental health, my professional pathway, my relationships. (You’ll note that I didn’t mention physical strength – that is definitely a target for 2021!)
I have been coached throughout my life. As a young girl, I was a gymnast. I trained hard and was talented. Ultimately, I made a choice to pursue my studies rather than an elite pathway and I have never regretted that choice. My coaches shaped and guided me to become the athlete that I was. They provided me with the tools (fitness plans – body conditioning, flexibility and mobility exercises), the accountability (training sessions, repetition and rehearsal until the routine or the moves were perfect) and the recognition and celebration of my achievements. Those ten years of my life embedded an understanding of what it means to be coached although I clearly didn’t recognise this until I was much older.
As a teacher, I have coached students and colleagues, in different ways and have been coached myself. It is an intrinsic part of good personal and professional development. My only sadness about coaching in schools is that is so variable in quality and effectiveness that it has sometimes been seen as yet another initiative, bolted on as a potential ‘silver bullet’ and the idea of coaching has fallen into the lexicon of ‘bulls**t bingo’ when in fact, if it is done well, it is one of the most powerful tools to support growth that you can imagine.
Within the teaching profession, so many things that could be extremely powerful have become tainted with negative connotations. Even some of the language that we use seems trite at times, because it has been overused, misappropriated or used in a context that has deeper, darker undertones (“Support Plans” anyone?).
I am not prepared to have coaching fall into that negative space – it is powerful, when done well. Coaching is for your heart, soul and mind, what a personal trainer is to your physical fitness. It’s done with with you, with your goals driving the agenda, with the firm belief that you have everything that you need to achieve those goals – you just need someone to give you the guidance, the support, the challenge and the recognition to help you get to where you want to be.
If you’d like to find out more about what I do and how I might be able to help you, do get in touch. Jump over to the Contact Page or book a Discovery Call (free of charge) to explore where you are right now and whether I can work with you to help you get to where you want to be.