When I first opted to go for certification coaching so that I could be a professional Life Coach and NLP practitioner I was not sure where to start. After all I had spent all of my thirties and part of my forties as a female paramedic until the stress of doing so much shift work compelled me to retire early. Although I knew just about everything about taking care of the human body in an emergency I was not as savvy when it came to dealing with human emotions. One thing I did know is that relying too much on your emotions to make decisions could lead to disaster in an emergency.
I am a person who likes to get things done. I am only interested in results that have a positive high impact. I was attracted to attending a transformational certification coaching weekend that by the end of three days would have us conducting our own supervised coaching session. One of the most important aspects of a certification coaching session is that it asks you to make an intensive investigation into what makes you tick. All of the attendees were put through simple exercises that helped us understand how we let negative beliefs define us, how we communicate those negative beliefs to others and how we often give permission to others to treat us with less respect than we deserve.
The certification coaching weekend was not like a regular classroom dirge filled with PowerPoint presentations and the endlessly droning voices of guest speakers. Instead it was very interactive with trainers giving us demonstrations of coaching skills through role playing and practice sessions. It was fun, informative and I learned a lot about myself, especially when it comes to the fine art of validating what other people are feeling. You see, as a rescue worker, I was trained to stuff my emotions in and not show empathy because it was part of the job. You had to tune a lot of anxiety, grief and shocked reactions out from the family or loved ones of the people being rescued or you could not complete your job. During my transformational weekend I learned that it was okay to validate another person’s feelings in a coaching session as often it is that acknowledgement that will help spur your client on to greater change.
I also learned that as daring as I always thought I was as an emergency worker, that I rarely stepped out of my comfort zone to take new risks. I was always telling other people what they wanted to hear to keep the peace. I learned how to ask “purpose” questions, reframe situations and accomplish the shifting of long-held beliefs that were holding me back emotionally in life. I still refer to the manuals that I received that weekend when dealing with the five to six clients that I currently deal with as a life coach every month.