Can anyone really tap into their full potential on their own?
In 1997, when I walked into my coach’s office for the very first time, I had no idea what coaching was all about. I was a vice president in a top communications firm. To the outside observer, I had achieved a great deal of success, and seemed assured and confident about my future.
On the inside, I was managing stress that was taking a physical toll on my personal life, I was questioning my values and belief systems, and was tired of corporate politics and dysfunction. And like many professionals who hit that first big career wall, I entered coaching with an escapist mindset — how do I chunk it all for a small tiki hut business in any far away locale away from corporate America?
During the first few sessions, my coach asked me tough questions, helped me explore and understand my professional identity, boost my confidence and develop new strategies to take control of my career. He also helped me see that I had much to learn and offer by going back to Corporate America.
For the next several years, I worked with my coach negotiating for new jobs and consulting contracts, exercise personal power and set boundaries, gained leadership skills, learned to better understand and navigate corporate politics, and increased my compensation to levels I never dreamed imaginable. But the most important gift that my coach gave me was perspective. He helped me gain personal power. I learned to depersonalize my professional experiences. I could look at business and people in a more objective way. Through this, I began to be a better consultant, professional, leader – and to be perfectly honest, a better human being.
When my contract with one of Silicon Valley’s top technology communications firms came to an end, I was left with many professional options. But with amazing clarity, I realized that I wanted the opportunity to give back the same courage, inspiration and guidance I was so blessed to have found in my own career journey. I wanted to better understand how to help people make positive changes in their lives.
When I told my coach that I wanted to be a professional coach, he asked me wryly if I was waiting on divine intervention. With his encouragement, I returned to school and completed a master’s program in professional counseling.
As I work with people, I understand what it’s like to have doubt, feel those feelings of impending failure, financial insecurity, or thinking that after a painful layoff you’ll never get another job – or, worse yet, have to take a job you hate. I understand the challenge of navigating periods of complete indecision in our lives, of unpleasant corporate politics, difficult bosses, hard work-life choices, and overcoming the inevitable barriers we all face every day in business, career and life. But I can assure you: the journey of career and life choices is quite different when you have a coach alongside you.
If you want to tap into your true potential and achieve whatever it is you want to achieve, consider coaching. Whether you work with me or another great professional, coaching can be transformational – if you’re ready to do the work. Coaching allows you to see parts of yourself you just can’t see on your own. And take BIG steps you might not take without that healthy push.
May coaching help you be all you are capable of being.