It’s Getting Real: My Coaching Journey #3

Welcome back! I realize it has been a while, but since starting a new job (more about this in Summer Blogz soon), my focus has been elsewhere recently and I just haven’t been in the mind frame to just sit and write.

So, last weekend I was away in sunny Berkshire once again; this time to study the practicalities of setting up as a self-employed coach. I had a fabulous time as a soul tourist in Windsor before meeting my new friend, Anne-Marie at the hotel on the Friday night and from then on, it was lovely getting to know a fellow coach and meet more lovely people at the training day, ending with a chilled out road trip home.

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In all honesty, I was in two minds on attending this training day as I was (for some reason) terrified of going via London. I can’t understand what the anxiety was about because, although I was a nervous, wide-eyed wreck on the underground, it was such a simple route and easy to navigate. It was incredibly hot in the South of England last weekend and I felt so grateful being in our capital city to take in some London sunshine between trains.

A Bit of Insight:

Anyone else who is an anxious traveler may understand my state a bit more, but to be honest, it was easier than Manchester to get from station to station and there were lots of people around to ask if I was lost. I choose to ignore the stereotype of Londoners being ignorant and rude, so I would approach anyone and pleasantly ask; chances of them being rude may be high but to me, it’s worth the risk and perhaps by approaching them in a confidently positive way, they are more likely to help- if not, no big deal just ask someone else and don’t get too hung up on the way I’ve been spoken to.

Anyone who knows me, knows of my love for horses and how much they inspire me creatively. After watching a lot of my favourite horsey YouTube channel, “Think Like A Horse”, the presenter Rick Gore, talks of people reacting too “emotional”sometimes; horses don’t and he suggests taking on this attitude when dealing with animals. This one point inspired me to take a different view of a situation and perhaps by not reacting in an emotional way to someone being rude or disrespectful, just deal with it and move on. Don’t dwell on a moment that is now over and no longer affecting your mind in a negative way! I appreciate there are some issues people go through, where they are consistently in a negative space and it’s very difficult for them or they don’t know how to get out of it- this is an exception and perhaps where therapy is an effective solution and positive space they need to learn skills to become stronger to deal with their personal circumstances. This can be a very sensitive topic, so just to be clear- as a trainee coach with a good awareness of therapeutic methods, I’m mainly talking about people whom aren’t in a vulnerable position. So if you know that you are in an “OK” situation, then perhaps a way to improve your intake of positive experiences in the world, is to simply not dwell on little things as they happen, not expect everyone to treat you with respect and perhaps approach people with a neutral mind. Like horses, people’s minds can be so unpredictable, so if their actions disappoint you, don’t take it personal if you know that your  own actions have been reasonable and respectful! Accept the possibility that hey, it might not be you that’s ticked them off.  I could go on and on here, but let’s save that for another blog post and get back to the trip…

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Right, so that was a bit of a ramble but sometimes I like to offer what I have learned on this experiential journey of growing up as a trainee coach. I find that this qualification has given me so many life skills and every single thing about coaching focuses on the positive which I’m a big believer in and what makes us stronger and more confident individuals.

I actually had my camcorder with me this weekend and I captured quite a lot and will eventually be uploaded on Heather Vlogz at a later date. I didn’t get any snaps in London, but I have plenty of video footage. When I got to Windsor & Eton Riverside station, I was blown away with the most beautiful English scene. Children feeding swans on the river bank, groups of people enjoying a pint outside the pubs and soaking up the sun in pretty summery dresses or blokes with their beer bellies out, looking thankful they didn’t have to go as far as Spain to experience this perfect weather. I smiled as I dragged my suitcase over the bridge to Eton, with Windsor castle overlooking the magical scene below. It’s times like this where I get a feeling of English pride- not British, just English. Something about Windsor and Eton just blasts: English- this is what English is!

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So after my suitcase and I had a bit of a wander around to find somewhere to eat, I took plenty of video and snaps before getting the taxi to the beautiful Beaumont Estate. The whole area of Windsor and Old Windsor is just so beautiful. I couldn’t imagine people being angry there- I guess that’s because I was focusing too much on the lovely, sun-kissed positive scene. The hotel was super busy at this height of the Summer hols, and I took a walk around the grounds once again before meeting my friend from the course, Anne-Marie for dinner. We went down to the nearby Harvester to eat and sat by the river, admiring the local residents’ homes along the way- just stunning!

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It was an early start the following morning, for a whole day of learning the professional side of a coaching business. As I guessed, this was the day that made it all SO REAL! We had an experiential exercise where we took a phone call from a potential client- one twist though, the caller was a completely different personality style to you! I got exactly what I needed- a challenging, direct client. The lady was so good at portraying this nightmare of a client for me, as I’m quite naturally introverted, unless the person is the bubbliest and most friendly in the world! This was a huge challenge, but the observer gave me a bit of encouraging assistance and I learned how to handle the situation. Thank you to those lovely ladies I worked with and thank you for making it so real for me- so much learning is gained through experience, not text book and that is what The Coaching Academy is all about 🙂

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That exercise was pretty much my highlight of the day and biggest learning point so far! However, so much clarity was gained with other areas involved in set-up so I left feeling ready to go ahead and plan, practice and perform! Anne-Marie was kindly giving me a lift up home as she is from West Yorkshire (BIG thank you to you, Anne-Marie!) with an overnight stay at a motel near Leicester. It was so great to be on the road again- driving being something I miss dearly. Not that I was driving, but the whole motorway experience just came back to me like a familiar friend. How navigating road routes and memorizing directions just came more naturally to me than all the train travel, connections and stress I have been tolerating since I sold my car just over a year ago. Another thing I’ve learned about myself this weekend; one of my values is to be free from restrictions- freedom. With a car, I remember being so free and in more control of my journeys and less reliable on other sources of transport. In fact, this value has become more apparent in my life and I feel it’s ready to aim for the next big goal of owning a car and getting back on the road! With my recent successful job interview at Pizza Express, I am now in a better position to aim for this.

Costs of running a car have previously been an obstacle and other people’s negative attitudes towards this has held me back. Now I see two ways of looking at it: Cars are expensive to run and I can’t afford to have one. OR: Cars are expensive to run, but I will make sure I can afford to have one. Thanks to coaching, I now have the skills to work through this and perhaps something I will concentrate on with my own coach 🙂 If there is something you want badly, there is always a way to get it. It just means finding the ways and being committed. More importantly, if you have a dream- your coach will allow you to believe it is possible!

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After the weekend, my head was buzzing. I thought I would get back and get straight into it, but with a shift at a new, exciting job on Monday, I was totally overwhelmed with a head full of: I want a car, I want to plan my intake session, I want to amend my coaching contract, I need to clean the house, I need to iron, washing, cooking, finances budgie clients Dean friends coaching workbook plan next week’s training call parents- AHHH! My head was literally all over the place- I’d taken in so much at the weekend I just didn’t know where to start. So I didn’t. It has taken me a good few days to get back into the pro-coach mode I am only just getting back into today! I was trying to force myself to be productive but it just wasn’t happening. The first thing productive I did was clean the apartment before a late shift on Wednesday- so at least it was a clean space to work in now and giving me more motivation to do something.

So, now I’ve got to that point where I’m ready to work. We can plan what we want to do, but sometimes we have to trust ourselves that it will happen in good time. I think my psyche just needed a longer recovery from taking in so much info as well as starting a new job. Other people may just be able to get right on with it, where-as me, I guess I’m like a sponge that slowing absorbs plans and input then once it’s full, I can then start to use to get cleaned up and productive!

14055660_286153285083405_1347227090_nThat was a long blog post, wow! Thank you for reading if you have got this far- I really appreciate the support and I hope there was something you can take away, as I’m all up for sharing things I’ve learned. Until next time, take care and stay positive!

All the best,

Heather ^_^

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