Life can, on occasions, become so overwhelming that it’s easy to fall into private worlds of despair; where we lock ourselves away and prevent ourselves from reaching out. But, with help and guidance we can unlock these worlds and reach out to transform our lives.
Adrian started to become overwhelmed from the enormity of his role as Manager of a new Christmas shop venture he and his partner had opened. He was also failing to acknowledge to himself, the seriousness of his disabilities that he had become used to hiding from others.
‘To keep costs down I was managing all the HR requirements, the design, marketing, legislation, health and safety, cost forecasting, trying to maintain budgets, deal with the PR and journalists, writing press releases…; eventually a series of events led to me reaching a very dark place where I could no longer cope.
The shop was my baby; I thought I was managing and putting on a brave face, but I wasn’t and instead, contemplating suicidal thoughts. My closest friend was telling me to stop and that I was taking on too much. Finally, I broke down in front of my partner, shouting that I needed more help before life got too much. It was from reaching this horrible, dark place that I reached out on Facebook to see if there was a life coach who could help me.‘
Coaching helps people to overcome negative headspaces and empowering them to find it within themselves to make informed choices and positive changes. It is a process which can take time. Although in many instances, immediate results are felt from even the first session.
‘When Emma called, she really struck a chord with me. We bonded so quickly, she was a genuine voice of concern, wanting desperately to help me out. She could sense something. Her voice was the one I knew would take me out of my dark path and help me articulate my problems – she shared her experiences and knowledge, and confirmed she understood what I was going through.
Even though we were speaking on the phone, Emma noticed my mood change and knew my body language had also changed even though she couldn’t see me. She asked if I was crouching forward, feeling low. She told me to step back, put my shoulders back, head up and can carry on talking, and then see if I start to feel any different. She could pick all that up, just by listening.’
Creating a real authentic connection with my clients gives them permission to really be themselves, free from judgement, creating a freedom to work through the challenges they are facing, or the feelings they are experiencing, leading to greater and deeper understanding and genuine self-realisation and break throughs.
‘Weirdly whilst speaking to Emma on the phone, in the shop’s grotto, and talking to her about my dark period I had found myself, I looked at the bizarre Christmas paraphernalia – my fake glittery backdrop — and I realised I was surrounding myself with pretend stuff.
It suddenly dawned on me, that I’d done this all my life. I’ve always tried to fit in to life, and I was never me. All these years, I had made life nice for everyone else, but never myself.
What came to the fore was the realisation it was my hearing and eyesight that were causing me so much hardship – even though I had never thought of them, or allowed myself to think of them, in those terms.’
Coaching provides people with a space and opportunity
My client use our session to work out where they currently are, and where they would like to eventually find themselves and then we work out how to get there breaking that journey into manageable steps.
‘Emma lifted me up, elevating me to get on with recognising my life and path; how I want it to go. Never pushing me but suggesting ideas and giving me space to find answers and make the decisions.
Emma has helped me come out of myself and talk to people about my disability and broadcast my problems. I am now openly willing, and able, to talk about my issues. More than I ever had before meeting Emma. Emma allowed me to speak up, to be proud of my ears and eyes.’
Finding the root of our problems can really help build clarity within and move forward with a positive mindset.
‘To grow up without allowing myself to acknowledge my disabilities, it’s not surprising I became so overwhelmed. It’s obvious that I took my ears and eyes for granted despite, yet I never talked about my issues with anyone.’
Giving ourselves the chance to work on ourselves and our wellbeing, is time so well spent.
‘I’ve worked with Emma for two years and I’m getting there – I’m not perfect, but she’s really making sure I never go back to that dark world. I really do consider her my rescuer! I think she knows how much I appreciate her!
There are still issues, it’s not a full makeover job where you get better in a few hours. It takes time, but two years down the line I am massively improved, and I now want to go out and shout out, ‘This is me!’
The wider impact of coaching
The long-term results of coaching can be seen in more than just ourselves; it is also our effect on the ‘other’ worlds with which we interact that can improve.
‘The relationship with my partner has got better due to Emma’s guidance. She’s advised us to both learn sign language so at bedtime, once I’ve removed my hearing aid, instead of reading a book or a magazine, we can sign and talk to each other. It’s so much better and has helped improve our communication.
I’m learning that people are so understanding if I let them in. Slowly I’m opening up and letting people learn more about the real me. I recently joined a gym and explained to the coaches about my disabilities; they now make slight changes when I arrive to help me, like not putting on the disco lights so my sight doesn’t get affected whilst on the bikes.
Some of the people in the gym sessions knew I was deaf and at the end of a session when they wanted to say goodbye, instead of saying an offhand bye, they actually tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention, and then said goodbye. It means so much to get such lovely responses from people, just because I spoke out and talked about my disabilities.’
Transforming lives happens in many different ways.
As a their coach, I have the privilege of seeing the amazing confidence and change that occurs when a person learns to accept themselves and it fills me with joy.
‘Emma helped me speak out and be who I am, and that is an absolute massive boost to my life. I am more confident than I ever thought possible, and I have to congratulate her.
I really want other people, perhaps who are also deaf, blind or with some other kind of disability to know how much Emma has helped me escape from that horrible dark world I trapped myself in. It takes strength to get through these issues, but I am so glad I made that connection with Emma, because she’s my rock.’
If you feel as though you’re in dark place, withdrawing from people and believe there is no one who can help you, please do get in touch you can drop me an email or book yourself a free 10 minute discovery call. Together we can help you find your way out so you can start to embrace your life in the way you want.