“Good things come to those who wait… great things come to those who get off their ass and do anything to make it happen”
How life coaching found me
At the end of 2017 I came home from a horrible, soul crushing day at work. My dear friend had died a little over two weeks before and I was feeling there must be so much more to life than the way I was currently living. All I could think of at the time was that there must be a way for me to get out of this job and do something different but I didn’t know where to start.
I have a (not so secret) obsession with all things Disney and was planning a trip to Disneyworld for my family. Through this obsession I had discovered the magic of the podcast. When I was feeling overwhelmed I found comfort in listening to these podcasts to transport me to a different place.
On that day I suddenly realised if there were podcasts on Disneyworld there must also be podcasts on mindset, life and spirituality. I can’t even remember what I put into the search criteria but I was absolutely guided in that moment because what came up was a podcast called Awaken Radio. The podcast I listened to on that day was “How to manifest your desires by following your intuition”. The beautiful, calm voice of the podcast host was Connie Chapman. I felt an instant click of connection and as soon as the podcast finished I googled Connie Chapman and found out she is a life coach.
If I’m really honest I hadn’t even heard of life coaching at that stage but when I read her website I realised this seemed like the answer to all I’d been searching for. I had been guided to her for a reason and I felt very strongly that my life was about to change. I contacted Connie immediately and arranged a chat with her. In just that first session I felt like I’d come home to myself. The excitement was overwhelming. I just knew that this was it. So I signed up for one of Connie’s coaching series and the transformational work began.
My Experience of Life Coaching
If you are like me and have never heard of life coaching let me tell you a little bit about my experience. Life coaching is like having your very own personal cheerleader. Somebody who believes in you so strongly and knows that you are capable of doing anything you deeply desire. A life coach doesn’t do the work for you though. Connie helped me find the clarity I so desperately wanted, she helped me see my fear for what it was, she gently guided me to understand my deepest desires and go after them. It was my responsibility to show up whole heartedly to every session with the intention to do the work and dig deeply within myself to transform my life and transform my life I did. When I look back over how my life both internally and externally transformed in just six short months I was so grateful to Connie and proud of myself.
My Life Before Coaching
At the time I was guided to Connie there was so much that was unclear to me. The death of my friend to breast cancer began the journey towards self transformation. The lessons had begun. I realised that life is too short to be held back by fear. I started saying to myself and others “how would I feel if I was told I had a terminal illness, would I be content with where my life is now”. The answer kept coming back a resounding no but I didn’t know what to do with that. I was desperately unhappy in my job but started to have a glimmer of hope that I could do something to change that.
Beginning the coaching journey
Before our first session Connie asked me to answer some questions for her to help both of us understand what had brought me to coaching. My answers then are like a window into my soul. I feel I want to share one of them now even though it is very personal to me. The question Connie asked was What has brought you to coaching? and my response was:
“The recent death of a friend far too young and many conversations with her before she died have made me realise I want to be living my life differently. I’ve always been interested in living from the heart and trying to be my best self but now seem to be able to start on this path without it being just another thing I have to do. I find myself working for a company with values completely opposite to my own and doing a job that does not fill me up or make me feel good. I’ve been drawn to helping people and teaching my whole life but haven’t really understood what that could look like for me. My friend told me when I leave my job my whole world will open up in front of me. When I saw your website I just felt excited like this is the beginning. I can feel my beautiful friend cheering me on and for the first time in my life I am trusting the excitement I’m feeling and I just know this is my time to do something amazing”
When I read my words I can feel the excitement and the lack of clarity all at the same time. At that stage I was still very much stuck in fear about leaving my job and had no idea that life coaching could be in my future.
The Life Coaching Series
Very early on in my coaching with Connie she guided me to the realisation that life coaching was where my heart was drawing me to go. So with her support I started making small steps towards achieving my desire. She sent me the link to the Beautiful You Coaching Course. The moment I opened the website my heart said a huge yes and I knew I’d found it. I immediately signed up to enrol in the May 2018 course. My practical head based thinking told me May was better for me than February. February was too soon, I wouldn’t be ready in February and if I picked May then I had an extra few months where I wouldn’t really have to be in action. So lesson number one – “listen to my heart instead of my head”. One day I felt a huge pull to change to the February course. I went on the website and the February intake was now full. I had missed my chance. I decided then and there that if my heart was telling me February was my time then I needed to listen. So I put my name on the waitlist. Less than a week later a place came up which I immediately took. I haven’t regretted starting in February for one moment. I resigned from my job in February and was able to throw myself heart first into studying.
The wonderful thing about Connie’s support was that she is practical at the same time as she supports you to go after your desires. So she encouraged me to be practical about my employment situation. She was incredibly supportive of leaving the toxic environment I was working in but I needed to make sure I could support myself and my son. So I started a bookkeeping qualification at the beginning of our coaching together. I am a qualified accountant but bookkeeping feels more supportive for me in the other things I want for my life like flexibility and time to spend with my son. I also began looking seriously at my money and slowly came to realise that I would be ok if I left my job.
The action I took towards life coaching felt right and inspired. Anytime I took action from a place of panic or fear things didn’t seem to work out. After one particularly difficult day at work I lost sight of my desires and decided I needed to just find another job. I came home and started desperately searching through Seek for any jobs that might be suitable. The panic was palpable and of course there didn’t seem to be one single job that I would be suitable for so that made me panic even further. When I came down from my spiral I realised there was a lesson in that moment. Perhaps this felt so difficult because it wasn’t aligned with my desires.
Through all this action the fear was intense. Almost every session I would tell Connie that I knew I needed to leave the job before I could really move my life forward but I just couldn’t bring myself to overcome the fear that would arise in me. Little by little Connie helped me change my mindset and see that through the inspired action I was taking I could do it and I would be ok. The huge break through for me was when I realised that the biggest fear holding me back was the fear that I would fail. I would show the world who I truly am and that wouldn’t be enough, I wouldn’t be enough. That lesson was the click I needed. It would still be a couple of months for me to finally feel ready to leave my job but by the time I finally said those words “I would like to hand in my resignation” I was so ready and knew it was right. Those words felt like a celebration to me. I felt exhilarated and excited and so proud of how far I’d come. There is no way I can fail if I show up as who I truly am. The outcome may look different to what I saw in my mind’s eye but the journey itself is success.
A Life Transformed
So here I am truly living a life transformed. I am now a qualified Beautiful You Life Coach working with my own clients. I am not just OK I am thriving. I have found my passion is to work with women in their 40s looking for support to transform their own lives. While there have been massive changes to my external world it is in my internal world that my life has truly transformed.
So how has my internal world changed:
- I now know I am capable of overcoming enormous fear to live the life I desire. While I still don’t really know where this adventure will lead me I know I’ll be ok because I’ve done it before and I can do it again. Everything will be ok;
- If I listen to my heart instead of my head I will be guided to where I need to be. Whenever I’ve tried to rationalise or think myself through a situation I feel stuck and everything feels difficult. When I surrender and really listen to my heart the action feels inspired and flows;
- It is important to take action but the right kind and sometimes no action is the best action you can take. Action that is aligned to your desires and dreams and feels right is guided action for me;
- I have let go of the outcome and am trying to live every day in that moment. Enjoy the journey not just the destination. When I get really committed to achieving a certain outcome I find it harder to be in the flow of the moment. I have an amazing vision of my life coaching business and what that will look like but if it doesn’t end up like that then it will be something just as wonderful;
- I have started to see every challenge as an opportunity. If a challenging situation is presented to me then there is either a lesson for me to learn or the roadblock has been placed there to gently guide me back to the path I am meant to travel. I am learning to bring myself quickly out of my head and into my heart to remind myself that all will be ok.
I will be forever grateful to Connie for her guidance and the transformation she has helped me make for myself. It makes me even more excited for what is to come. Guiding somebody else to make a transformation in their life is exactly what my heart is telling me is right.
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Way to go Shauna. The future will be bright.
“Destiny belongs to those who follow the path of the brave”. You are brave, my friend.