Y’all, today is a big day for me as I found out this morning I passed the last phase of my coaching certification and now am officially a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI).
I've learned so much throughout this journey and wanted to share a few things that have made a big difference for me:
1. Never underestimate what you’re capable of, even if you don’t yet know HOW you will make it happen. When I think back to where I was when I decided to start my coaching journey I knew nothing more than I wanted to be a coach. I had zero clue how I was going to make it happen. All I knew was that I felt a constant pull in my heart to take the leap. No matter how hard I tried to ignore the pull, it didn't go away. In coaching they say “what you resist persists” and gosh was that true for me! I learned that just because I don’t yet know the HOW doesn’t mean it isn't the right thing NOW!
2. Give yourself grace and space. I didn’t do the journey “perfectly”. I messed up, ran late, said the wrong thing, was “too” vulnerable (I’m not sure if that is a thing, but I sure had a vulnerability hangover or two along the way), and wasn’t always the “perfect” coach. But I tried to remember to give myself grace. Grace on the days I wasn’t at my best, grace when I didn’t know what to do, grace when I felt overwhelmed as others were getting it faster, more easily or at a deeper level than I was. Grace when I didn’t think I could keep going. Grace to remember that who I am is (and always will be) enough.
I also had to remember that I had to create space for this journey. I had to say no and miss out on things that I really wanted to do. I missed kids’ birthday parties, neighborhood events and time with my family. I had to stay focused on my ultimate goal over my more immediate desire. Giving myself permission to create space and allow myself to do something I wanted to do just because I wanted to do it was tough, but critical.
3. Show gratitude to your people. As I reflect on the two years since starting this journey, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the number of people who have been an essential part of this process for me. My husband for single-parenting numerous weekends last summer so I could be in DC for the training weekends. My daughter for understanding why it was so important that I be away. To a group of women I met through CTI (you know who you are) who left lasting imprints on my heart. Women who challenge me to be my best but hold space for me when I’m not. To my instructors, certification POD members, and CPL, thank you. To my friends and previous employer who supported this dream since day one. To my incredible clients who worked with me during this certification process…words could never express my gratitude. And most of all, to the small voice inside myself that told me I could do it…. thank you for becoming louder and louder each day of this process. To you, I will be eternally grateful.
4. Even if you don’t hit the mark, you are still enough. This one was a tough lesson for me. I didn’t feel great about the last step of my certification process. I didn’t think my oral exam went well. In fact, I had convinced myself that I failed. That feeling brought up so many emotions for me that were REALLY hard for me to be with. Feelings of being an imposter, fear of the embarrassment I’d have to face when I had to email my colleagues and share with them I had not passed and most of all fear of what others outside of those in my coaching journey would think.
Fortunately for me I had a coaching session with my coach the day this all really came to a head and she helped me do the work to realize that, with or without the certification, I am coach (and a good one at that)! I began to realize there was work for me to do in realizing that even if I don’t hit the goal, I am still enough. I still matter. I still make a difference. I’m still a coach.
I’ll wrap with a quote from one of my coaching supervisors who was providing counsel on how best to prepare for the oral exam. He said, “it’s not about showing off, it’s about showing up.”
At the end of the day, isn’t that what it has always been about? Showing up, for ourselves, our dreams and our life, credential or not.