It was important that I felt I could (a) trust her, (b) feel comfortable talking with her, and (c) get results. (c) was yet to be seen, but (a) and (b) were a go after that initial consult. And notice that I say "her" because I knew I wanted a woman coach as things were going to get personal, and it's probably best to avoid that whole "Harry Met Sally" hypothesis.
Also, I liked that she came from a creative background as opposed to being a corporate/business type coach or a relationship guru type coach, since I felt it was my right brain that was the most confused. I watched the movie my coach told me about in which she'd successfully tackled a challenging role that, in turn, had made quite a postive impact on many lives. Yes, this just might work.
Artwork courtesy of Deidra Alexander
One of the first things she introduced me to was the "inner critic" and how I should train myself to ignore it. We all have one. It's the voice that tells us stuff like, "You're too old for a career change", or "You should do what makes sense according to your resume'", or "People will think you're weak if you tell them you hired a life coach". WAIT, WHAT? Or how about, "A life coach? Seriously!? Think you could be any more self indulgent?!?"
Yeah, that voice.
When I was researching others' experiences with life coaching, I remember one woman who actually constructed a doll to represent her inner critic. It was hideous. I didn't construct an inner critic doll.
I got a bunch of homework before our official sessions began. My coach directed me to this website where I completed a questionnaire to identify core strengths and values. Additionally, I did a fill-in-the-blanks questionnaire and colored in my wheel.
My coach's job was not to tell me what I should do (that would be so much easier). It's to help me figure out what I should do (that would be so much better).
After just one session, I noticed I was already thinking differently and noticing things I hadn't really thought of before. One thing that came up, for instance, is the fact that I had none of my artwork on display anywhere in my house - not counting the couple of murals anyway. Even the space where I do my artwork looks more like an engineer's cubicle most of the time. Yes, I'd uploaded some here and on the art blog, but all of the originals were tucked away in binders or folders.
I thought of my art hobby as just an indulgence for me, but it wasn't suitable for the walls of my home, and not to be taken too seriously.
It made me wonder (speaking of the murals), why I had enthusiastically "vomited" a large display of floor to ceiling bold-colored florals one day, but kept everything else in a stash?
I still don't know the answer to that, by the way.
And let me just add that Magnum supported this whole
And that is really a big piece of this. I know that I have advantages and opportunities that not everyone has. Some of them I've aquired through dumb luck, but others, I've "earned", and I don't want to go squandering them. (btw, I've earned Magnum with a little help from dumb luck). I just really want to do this right - not surprising after what the core values questionnaire told me...
After just a couple of sessions, I was already thinking differently and better. I was putting some frames on and hanging up a few artworks one night when Wolfgang asked me what was up. I told him it was homework from my life coach.
"You have a life coach?", he asked.
"YES!", I replied rather loudly and quickly, before I could be too embarrassed to admit it.
It had started out well, though, I thought. But it would get even better...