I came to coaching after a fifteen year career as a therapist working with convicted sex offenders, troubled juveniles, and people experiencing every manner of crisis imaginable. While I greatly enjoyed the intensity of working with the clients in my care, I realized after a few years I would not be able to do that kind of work forever. I worked with convicted sex offenders for eleven of those fifteen years and this became especially grueling, largely due to the details of the offenses I had to discuss with my clients. There were also many legal requirements to the work, including court appearances, that added to the weight of this career choice. I switched positions to work in a newly created crisis clinic that came about after the Aurora theater shooting. Initially I found this rewarding as well, but due to program changes and a growing disillusionment with bureaucracy and callousness within the mental health system, I decided to close the door on being a therapist.
I remembered the thing that excited me most was being the help for others I had needed at various times in my life.
This forced me to examine what I liked about being a therapist and why I began that work in first place. I recalled my initial interest in being a therapist was I was able to help people develop insight into themselves and thus lessen their suffering. Having had my own struggles with finding direction and mental health, I remembered how valuable this gift could be to others. I remembered the thing that excited me most was being the help for others I had needed at various times in my life. I had several friends and acquaintances who had made the change from therapist to coaching. All of them had expressed they found coaching more rewarding due to there being less structure and the fact they could pick their clients more selectively. The idea of creating my own coaching practice gained momentum rapidly.
Helping others succeed has always been exceedingly appealing to me. Obviously personal success feels fantastic, but sharing this feeling by helping others achieve their respective successes is what life is made of for me. This is what drives me. I firmly believe success is contagious. Satisfaction with one’s life is also contagious and I feel this is something we should share with each other. In more than one job interview I mentioned I want to help others realize that life doesn’t have to be continuous uphill struggle. When we realize limits are self-imposed, blowing through them becomes a thrilling way to live a life. Any part of life we are dissatisfied with can be modified and improved. I would not say the sky is the limit; rather I would say that is another limit we can exceed!
I don’t believe anyone’s reach exceeds their grasp. If we can reach it, we can grasp it. We might need to make adjustments and face some uncomfortable truths in order to get there, but if we want to reach our respective goals, we can and we will. Do it. Don’t wait. Make your necessary course corrections and drive on!