Sometimes even the little things in life can make us feel triggered and overwhelmed.
However, how we react to situations is something we can control. The coaching process is a great way to understand why we feel the way we do and work towards reacting to life’s challenges in a more positive way.
Although generally happy, Jane had lived through a traumatic experience and was feeling frustrated with the stresses and strains of everyday life. When she first came to me she was looking for support with managing those feelings.
‘I’ve had my own company for 15 years and I have 15 staff. I’m married and we have chickens. I don’t have a bad life, I have a great life! I was however, struggling with the small things. I was getting frustrated but rather than deal with it I’d get really angry. Things would really get on top of me and it would eat me up inside.
In May 2017 my best friend took her life and I was really angry about it which added to how I was feeling. I knew I wasn’t coping so I decided to have some coaching, initially to deal with my anger issues and life generally. There wasn’t anything in particular that caused it, just a lot of frustrations. I was very angry about my friend dying because she left a family behind which was upsetting.’
Choosing and working with a coach
Jane had known many coaches and had always felt a little sceptical. For her it was vital to find someone flexible, professional and well qualified.
‘Over the years I’ve always questioned what coaching could really do for me. Some might say I was even anti-coaching. I did however feel that I needed to do something about the anger. I knew Emma was a coach and she has lots of qualifications and personal experience. I felt if I was going to have coaching I’d rather see someone qualified to do it.’
My aim as a coach has always been to be as professional as possible. This has involved undertaking the qualifications and accreditation’s needed to be the best I can at what I do and demonstrate this to my clients.
Flexibility really helps with the outcomes for the client. The location and mode of contact can be tweaked to suit the client’s needs.
‘I didn’t want to do it over the telephone or Skype. I know Emma has clients who use both but I thought if we’re going to do this, we’ll do it face to face.
Emma is flexible about where we do the coaching. In the summer we went down to the beach, sat in the sand, had a paddle in the sea and then went for an ice cream after so that was nice. I think outside is a nice way of doing it.
If you’ve got a heavy issue to talk about and you’re going to the same place you would then have a negative connotation towards it.
When you think about coaching you think about laying on a couch in a dark room with lots of mahogany around you. With Emma it’s really not like that.’
Finding the solution
We all have the solutions to our problems and if we delve deep enough we can find them. This is hard to achieve alone. A coach can enable you to find the answers and come up with a plan of action to tackle personal struggles head on.
‘Emma doesn’t ever tell you what to do, she just lets you talk. If you try and go off on a tangent she’s very good at bringing you back to topic and finding your own solutions. All the answers are there already. You know them so it’s just getting them to the surface. Emma’s very good at getting you to consider the ‘why’, like why am I angry? What can I do to fix that?
We’ve done exercises where something in the room would replace the feeling. Anger might be the bin and the bottle of water might be happiness. We’ve considered how I feel near the bin compared with the bottle of water. Then we’ve explored how I will get from one feeling to the other.
Emma questions what you say and do in a session. If I laughed or crossed my arms or my body language changed she would question it. I always feel comfortable, but Emma is very much on the ball and keeps you on your toes. If I crossed my arms she’d ask why. We’d discuss if I was protecting myself and what I might be protecting myself from. She’d challenge why I said what I said and why I feel the way I do about it.’
Coping in good and bad times
Coaching is not just for when something bad has happened, it’s a valuable way to regularly check in with how you’re feeling. There is always something else to explore and often this prevents bigger issues from emerging.
‘I see Emma once a month now and sometimes I’ve gone in with a clear problem. I’ve felt upset, angry and it’s just been good to get it all out there. Other times I wonder before if I will have anything to talk to her about? Do I have any issues? Within a few minutes of the session there’s always something
underlying. Now, because I’ve been going for some time the issues aren’t as big but they’re still there. The coaching keeps me on track because no one’s 100% happy all of the time. It’s a case of trying to work out where there’s an issue and what can be done to prevent it becoming a problem.’
Empowerment for positive change
Coaching doesn’t just happen in the moment and stop at the end of the session, it’s designed to make the client feel better and generate a plan of action.
‘You sometimes feel, especially if it’s been a heavy conversation like a weight’s been lifted off you. I’d come away with a list of things to do as homework and an action plan. It feels like you have the steps in place to make it right. Emma doesn’t come up with this, you come up with the actions yourself. Sometimes those actions might not work, but you can then come up with something else. You never go to session and feel there wasn’t any point to it. You always feel like you got something from it and you’ve got something to do to improve the situation.
I’m not as angry as I used to be. Different things make me angry now though they are smaller things. There will always be work frustrations.
I think coaching makes you more aware of the things you say to others and helps you take other people’s feelings into consideration. I recently had someone come to me and say they’d tried to take their own life at the weekend. This could have been difficult for me but I felt better equipped to deal with situations like this after coaching.
Coaching has helped move my business forwards. Rather than focusing on other stuff I’m more focused on my work. I can deal with things so I can concentrate more on the business.’
More from Jane…
‘Coaching with Emma has been valuable to me, especially the fact I’m not as angry as I used to be. Emma’s got me over my anger issues, which was really important. Don’t get me wrong we all get angry, but I manage it differently now. I think now, what can do about my anger? Is there any point to being angry? Most of the time anger isn’t going to help and you can get more done without being angry.
Now I’ve had a coach I realise how important it is to have someone to talk to. A coach is a personal thing so you have to meet them and check you like them enough to feel you can work with them, but I would definitely recommend Emma. I’ve been seeing her for 9 months and have really felt the benefits of it.’