Alexandra is an award-winning media consultant, MBA candidate at Antioch University Santa Barbara and current Life Coaching Trainee at Erickson International. As a girl on a mission, she is currently adopting her daughter, Fatima, from Senegal and aspires to sprinkle love wherever she goes. Her favorite things to do are traveling the world, telling stories and inspire, empower and transform other women’s lives. Her favorite mornings start with self-made cacao-mint-maple syrup mousse and hot yoga for breakfast. She believes kindness is the vehicle to change the world, one smile and one action a time.
First Lessons From My Leap Into Coaching
I want to be brutally honest. Most of the time I feel overwhelmed by the continuous input of all the so-called spiritual gangsters, marketing gurus, sisterhood know-it-alls, make-your-seven-figure-income-business-now-what-are-you-waiting-for! type of advertisements that my Facebook feed is consistently overflowing with. After all, it feels like I am at Wholefoods while trying to choose between 22 types of jams or 57 shades of dark chocolate!
I know, I know….it might seem like a first world problem. If we have food on the table, a job to pay our bills, a place to call home and some real friends to surround ourselves with, then what priority does ‘personal development’ have on our agenda? Do we really need it? In my case specifically, I simply was looking to feel inspired and felt an intense desire to contribute to this world in a way that would make sense to me, but I didn’t know exactly how…
After much comparative research, I stumbled upon Erickson Coaching International and I decided to take the deep dive and become a coach myself! Rather than learning by osmosis, I instinctively understood that taking MASSIVE action would quench my sense of overwhelm. And, yes, nothing could have been closer to pushing me towards real growth than starting to walk my talk. Not only did I feel that my Erickson enrollment advisor was able to truly connect with my concerns and questions, I felt that what they were teaching was going beyond the ‘one fix for all’ or ‘just be positive’ type of messaging I had seen all across the board. There is nothing that I dislike more than the so-called happiness-mandate!
Fast forward – 6 weeks into The Art & Science of Coaching program – What can I share with you that might inspire you or help you in your personal development journey? And, how has it catapulted my own growth?
- I learned to identify my own critical inner voice, how NOT to run away from it, and to actually invite it into the light and learn more intimately about myself. Whoa! That was quite the ride. I learned that in many areas of my life that negative little voice was demanding me to keep playing small and live life using the script she had carefully set for me!
- I learned that I wasn’t ready to let that ‘commission in my head’ run my entire life and let myself be limited. So, I learned to re-write and re-narrate my story with a new voice without walking away from the old one or pretending it didn’t exist. So, rather than saying: “You’ll never find paid clients. Who is going to pay you?!”, I started saying: “I’d feel so good having paid clients and sharing my passion and gift with them. I am sure I can find people around me who are willing to show me how they did it.” Another was: “You are too late; 41 is way too old to start your own business!” and I re-wrote it to: “One is never too old or young to learn and share their gift. I can, and I will contribute to this world in my own very unique way!”
- I learned to accept the beauty of our complete range of emotions and that ALL of our emotions are here to teach us something. None of our emotions are ‘good’ or ‘bad’, rather they are guests that come through us, only to teach or tell us something.
- I learned that endless curiosity is the true key and condition to creating the life you want. This may sound abstract; however, it is not. In the sessions that I started doing with my clients – while still being in training – I quite often would come to a moment where I would want to go from ‘listening’ to ‘advising’ as I would ‘judge’ their situation. It took me quite a bit of force to hold myself back and instead continue listening and asking more questions, each time a little deeper. I have not only been astonished but completely blown away but what would surface while doing that. And I realized, we all really need to shut up and listen more and listen deeper to assist ourselves and others in their journey of growth.
- I learned the importance of small action steps to point myself and my clients towards those things in life that are within our sphere of influence. What are the things you have power over and you can do now? Realizing that the list of actions is rather infinite, I started feeling incredibly empowered. It doesn’t mean I necessarily had the discipline to always immediately implement…. but that’s another story!
Our ability and willingness to be vulnerable, flip it around, and make our vulnerability work for us; the realization of how powerful that is, and how it can be used as a vehicle to empower our lives and that of others – this is what I truly consider to be the engine of personal growth and the life we want!