This post is a part of Brigitte Lyons’ Story Crafting Practicum Blog Hop. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.
Holding Your Dreams (when you lose your grip)
I could tell as soon as our coaching call started that something wasn’t going well.
To be perfectly honest, I knew even before that. As I was preparing for our call I felt something shift as I thought about my client. It hit me…this is going to be our last call. Something is not right. Stacey’s not okay.
Stacey is one of my life coaching clients. We’ve been working together for 5 months now, having started off with calls every other week, and then moved to once a month check-in calls with email support in between.
Our work together began with Stacey seeking support around exploring going back to work after being out of her field for several years to be home with her young children. In her previous life Stacey was a writer for a few major print publications. She was pretty sure she wanted to write again, but didn’t know if her old passion would still light her up. Or if she could even write the way she used to.
Over our months working together Stacey made huge leaps forward in her work, her life and mostly her confidence. She started writing daily and was working towards putting together an updated portfolio so she could go out and get some real paying jobs as a freelancer. She gained clarity around whether she even wanted to write anymore, and was fired up to keep moving forward on her goals and professional dreams. She was even talking about her ideas for a novel, something she hadn’t talked to anyone about in years.
I listened as Stacey grew from talking reluctantly and with hesitation about her work, to boldly declaring that writing again felt like she was coming out of hibernation, that she felt happier and more alive than she had in years.
But there was something different in her voice that night. She sounded defeated, deflated and not like the confident and energized woman I talked to a month before.
As Stacey’s coach I knew I had to act fast and help her uncover what was going on. After a minute or two of a quick catch up of the past month I asked directly:
“What’s going on Stacey? You don’t sound like yourself. I know I can’t see you, but I feel like I can see a big weight on your shoulders. What’s up?”
With that simple question there was a huge sigh on the other end, and I could hear the tone of relief in her breath.
Turns out something was wrong, but Stacey couldn’t even clearly express what it was yet. All she knew was things hadn’t been going well for the past couple weeks and it was weighing on her, just like a big weight on her shoulders.
Over the next hour of our call we got to the root of what was going on. Stacey saw how the shift to summer vacation for her two kids had shaken up everything she had been working so hard on, leaving her feeling like she was back at the bottom of an impossible to climb mountain. Together we came up with a few simple shifts to get her back on track with her work.
By the end of the call Stacey’s voice sounded lighter and I asked her:
“How’s the weight on your shoulders?”
“It’s still there, but it’s like I know I can lift it off now. Actually, it even feels a bit lighter.”
We scheduled another meeting in a month. A few weeks later I received this note with her payment.
“Thank you so much for turning things around for me on our last call. I felt ready to quit on everything that night, and really thought it was going to be our last call. But you helped me see how I can keep moving forward even when life gets confusing. And, I’m happy to report that I’ve written three articles that I’m really proud of since we last talked!”
This is why I love my job. Honestly, if Stacey had decided to take a break from coaching that would have been okay. But giving up on her dreams? That would have broken my heart.
Those three articles? They are so much more than words on the page. They are Stacey taking three big steps forward towards fulfilling her dreams. They are an amazing woman owning her brilliance and sharing it with the world. That is why I do this work.
You can learn more about Brigitte’s Story Crafting Practicum Blog Hop here. There are 22 beautiful souls sharing their stories. On August 1 Brigette will open it up to all of you too. I’m happy to share links to yesterday’s contributor, the talented Inna Aizenshtein, and tomorrow we will hear from Hilary of Dean Street Society.