Has anyone ever revealed an observation so powerful that in that moment your life changed forever? A statement that having heard it, you could never forget it? Perhaps a statement that pointed you toward a new course that you never expected? This is precisely what happened to me from my own business coach on a late Friday afternoon in January 2015.
That fateful afternoon I was on a call with my executive business coach; a coach I had sought out as a direct result of feelings of dissatisfaction in my professional life, yet couldn’t identify why. We had been discussing a variety of potential stressors for months, but on this particular day we were talking specifically about my boss. Simply put, I was frustrated with him. I couldn’t figure out exactly what it would take to make him happy, earn his trust, and to be considered a valuable employee. It seemed as though everything I did just pissed him off and I couldn’t understand why. I wanted him to be different. I wanted him to see me as a shining star and to sing my praises to anyone who might listen, about what a terrific job I was doing…but, that wasn’t happening.
And so, I was complaining about this to my coach. I relayed the stories about what my boss WASN’T doing and how I needed to CHANGE him…and that’s when she said it…she uttered the words that would change my life forever… “Michelle, you cannot control or change anyone besides YOURSELF.”
WHAT!?! That didn’t make any sense. Couldn’t she see that HE was the problem? After all, he was the one doing all the wrong things. And so, she let me vent for a few more minutes and feel sorry for myself a bit longer, then got quiet and repeated, “Michelle, you cannot control or change anyone besides YOURSELF.” No, I said in defiance, YOU just don’t understand my circumstance. Now, my coach Theresa Campbell tells me the truth – even when I may not want to hear it. She never sugar coats any situation and instead tells me the cold hard truth, and this day wasn’t going to be any different. She then followed up this truth with a challenge; so, can you just let him be him and instead work on yourself?
I’ve got to tell you, I was pretty mad at her assessment at this moment. I had spent the better part of 3 years blaming my boss at this point and no, nothing had changed…but, come on, it was clearly his fault that I wasn’t moving up in the company – he was holding me back from my greatness. I was mad at Coach T (as I like to call her) because I didn’t want to accept what she was telling me. I responded as any good strong-willed person would, telling her that I would think about it and get back to her. I couldn’t just accept what she said as truth until I took some time to reflect and sit with the idea, and then unwind the truth bomb she had dropped, deciding for myself if I agreed with this harsh assessment. I let her know I’d give myself the weekend to decide if I could truly accept the notion that ‘he was who he was’ and the only person that I could ever control or change in order to achieve different results was indeed myself.
You see…the truth often hurts. It took me THE WHOLE WEEKEND to finally admit that she was right. And once I accepted this fact, I realized that she had given me the best gift ever on that Friday afternoon. She had given me a superpower, power in the knowledge that the only person I can control and change is myself; setting me on a path to explore what the future might look like in a future where I had left the company that I loved and once believed I would work for the rest of my life. That one conversation changed it ALL for me. Once I was willing to accept that my boss was not my problem, I realized that it was time for me to leave. It was time to shift into a role as CREATOR of my future, instead of an outside observer, simply living as a victim and believing that it was everyone else – or in this case my boss – that was making my life miserable and incomplete.
What about you, what is an area where you may need someone to drop a truth bomb? What moment of truth, or deliverer of that truth, may have changed your life forever? Many people think that coaching is something that only a certain type of person may need…but the reality is that there is not a specific job type or personality type that NEEDS coaching, however every person can benefit from the observations provided by a trusted outside perspective and sounding board; and this is where a good coach meets you in YOUR place of need. Truth is, I didn’t engage my own coach because I thought I needed her…I engaged my coach because I WANTED her. I knew that I yearned for change and I recognized that I didn’t have the ability to get out of my own way and see how I was holding myself back. In that moment I needed a truth teller, and that is precisely who my coach was to me.
And now here we are…
I now have a thriving business of my own, and am able to work with AMAZING leaders; to be their truth teller and their greatness barometer, driving them to be all that they are capable of being. I work from home and am there for my 10-year-old daughter each day when she gets home from school. I am able to design a schedule that fits my life, and truly find balance and joy in the career that I have chosen. Was it easy to get here? NO, but it was unmeasurably worth it. It was worth every minute of the 2 years spent figuring out what I truly wanted to be when I “grew up” and the work in testing those career ideas, the many weekends up at 5am working toward my dream while my family slept, and the countless FREE coaching sessions conducted from my car during lunch time, hustling to get to practice. Life is so much sweeter here.
I love what I do. I absolutely love the difference that I have been able to make in people’s lives. I live for helping others see things from a different perspective.
I get a high in the ‘aha’ moments, when those individuals who felt they were stuck and couldn’t quite grasp that ladder they have always wanted to climb are finally able to take the first critical step toward fulfillment of their goals. That is what coaching is; the ability to see the greatness in your client, especially when they don’t see it themselves, and to keep believing in them, no matter what. I truly believe that you have exactly what it takes to be an amazing mom, executive, and wife. I know that you possess the skills to run a successful business AND be home with your family in time for dinner. You can do it, and you can be it. The possibilities are endless, you must simply allow yourself to see the possibilities.
I will never give up on you, you are amazing!
And here’s the truth, there is never going to be a ‘right time’ for a change, and it will never be easy. BUT, it just may turn out to be the best thing you have ever done for YOURSELF and for those around you! Be an example for your wife, husband, children, friend, neighbor, that it is never too late to create the life you are dreaming of – because when you stop making excuses it gives those around you the permission to do the same. If you’ve struggled with thinking it’s the other person, not you that needs to change in order to be happy, let’s talk. Click HERE to schedule a conversation to see how things can be different by taking the time to focus your energy on your most important client, yourself.
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