Hi, my name is Michele, and I was gifted a health coaching session for my 50th birthday. Yes 50… ugh! Honestly, I was a tad annoyed about it, I mean really? The discussion went something like the text above.
So, remember that last line, “I want to forget work”.
Right at that time I had started a pretty big job, it was with a major emergency service, at a level that was the highest I wanted to go in my career. The new job involved:
The pressure was enormous in this role and for the first year I really don’t think I got anything right or achieved even part of the impact I was used to achieving. Consequently, my entire wellbeing was suffering. I wasn’t sleeping at night, the black bags under my eyes became blacker, my menstrual cycle was all over the place to the point I couldn’t leave home two days a month, and the migraines were beyond words, I would often cry, and I gained 20 kilos, my family were yelled at often (by me), I wasn’t a very happy or nice person.
I spent hours reading books on leadership, myself and my collegues were put through a battery of personality tests, we had exhaustive team building exercises, I spent more time away from home than at home to try to build relationships with my teams and a cohesive and effective culture.
I listened to everyone else but myself. Ultimately, I had finally lost all my confidence in myself; I hit rock bottom.
The day arrives of my coaching session, I jump on-line with health and wellness coach Nikki for some holistic coaching. I had a whole hour.
So, we started, Nikki immediately made me feel relaxed, she didn’t go like a ‘bull at a gate’ and go straight to the point. Nikki asked a few questions to start off; we walked around the globe until the ‘ah har’ moment hit me and I completely saw where I was . At first, I wasn’t even aware we were hitting anything. I didn’t realise, but minutes into the session I was so deep in thought about what we were, well I, was talking about, I had lost complete track of the time.
Nikki asked and gently probed, I answered and thought and thought, I pondered options and found solutions. During the session I said things I wouldn’t have said at work. I shared examples, and we talked about what I wanted, how I would get there, what it (success) looked like, and I got to express my feelings in a beautiful trust-filled moment. Through Nikki’s curiousity-led and insightful questioning I got to see a different world available to me and my teams. I began to understand my team’s point of view, why the culture was like it was, and my place in changing it for the better. We travelled the Michele work crisis globe. It was beyond wonderful, to be honest with you it makes me want to cry just writing this today.
The thing I really want to share with you is that all of it came from me! With Nikki’s guidance we explored the real issues, I didn’t get caught up in ‘my story’, she asked just the right questions, she knew nothing about me really, but being such a great coach she empowered me to deep dive in areas I had never considered, all in a completely safe environment where I was exploring these areas myself. The light bulbs that went on, wow! But, the crazy thing is I wasn’t getting the answers from Nikki, they were coming from me!
I was exhausted by the end of the session; it really was a mental work out. I was super excited to get back to work, I felt fresh and renewed, I was filled with positive ideas and strategies, and keen to implement my new plans. I slept well that night, and the rest of the week.
Remember I said “I want to forget work”? I did forget work, I wasn’t ‘worried’ or “fretting” about the week I had to return to work. Instead, I was at ease and excited for the future. As I had come up with the solutions I knew exactly what I was going to do, it was very empowering, and yes it worked. Three months on and the changes had started.
Ally McDonald-Bull; Wellness Coach
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