How do a Winnebago, a Spartan, Publishers Clearing House and a Teacup all relate to life coaching?

Life coaching is an unfamiliar concept and can be difficult for people to grasp exactly what it involves. Here are four scenarios that will shed light on exactly what I do in my life coaching practice. The clients I worked with have all given permission to share some of their details in this blog post. 

I met a client who needed help to transition from career to retirement. In the previous month, he had ended a long-term relationship and both adult children had moved across the country, but in opposite directions.  
In his process of being coached, we began with reflection work. He took the time to ponder goals and also complete a life assessment. This work opened him up to a lengthy exploration of life, after retirement. By giving him the space to examine different options he was finally able to decide on a plan. A plan which included: retirement, selling his home and traveling to all the places he had always wanted to go, while having the freedom to visit his kids, anytime. All the while…. driving and living in his own, Winnebago.

Another client, a young woman at a big ten university, contacted me for coaching. She wasn’t sure if she should quit school before she flunked out. She had always done well academically but now was struggling with attending class and doing homework. Her GPA reflected the drastic change. Through a series of answering empowering questions and rating different areas of her life, she realized, where she lived and whom she lived with, were affecting her sleep and study habits. While we worked on setting goals, she came up with her own solution. To avoid social distraction, she moved into her own place, located further away from the lure of the parties and friends. This decision allowed her to continue her education and remain a Michigan State Spartan forever.

A 35 year-old woman messaged me for life transition coaching. She had not successfully launched into adulthood. As we went through a thorough energy assessment, it was discovered that she had a long history of being bullied. Although coaching is forward focused, sometimes we look back to clarify a behavior. The bullying she experienced during her school age years had resulted in severe eating disorders. She had been hospitalized but eventually was able to overcome it. In adulthood, there were other bullying incidents, which resulted in job loss and kept her living with her parents. She craved confidence and success, desperately wanting to be on her own. Through customized writing prompts I provided, she found her voice.
For years, her mother entered the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. Every few months the Publishers Clearing House announces a cash prize winner, by showing up at their door, on live television.  This mom bullied her daughter into staying home from work on the day of the announcement. The reason being, just in case she might win the sweepstakes. When I asked my client what would it feel like to tell her mother, “No, I decided I am going to go to work.” She lit up and explained how much she wanted to do this but was afraid. We talked through the fear and role-played the exchange until she felt confident. The time had come for her to let her mother know, she was not staying home any longer!
Although I continued to work with her on setting attainable goals, I also referred her to a psychologist, as I am trained to recognize when an individual may need psychotherapy.

A woman came to me for help with career coaching. For 18 years, she kept putting off the final year of education for her nursing degree. She had never completed her bachelor’s and she did not know why.  We worked on a value assessment and it became apparent to her that her top values were not being honored. After several sessions, her truth came out. 
I asked her, “What would you do if you knew you would not fail?” 
“I haven’t told anyone this before but I would like to open a tea shop.” 
Giving her space to talk about it with someone not tied to any image of who she should be, allowed this dream to pour out of her. We explored the options and she decided to pursue opening a teashop. She first enrolled in several business courses, wrote up her business plan and began searching for teashop space.

While there are a variety of coaching niches, my specialty is life transitions. I am passionate about helping people uncover what has been holding them back and partner with them as they take action to create the life they desire.  
Let’s start on the life coaching path together! What’s your Winnebago?

This blog post was originally published for Breathe Yoga, Chelsea, MI.

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