A few years ago, I was asking myself towards which direction I could shift my career. I remember that it was winter time, that it was dark and grey and that I was feeling extremely tired. Actually I was exhausted, very lonely, discouraged, feeling very down and I was hugely missing the human side in my work. I was struggling every day at work and I was struggling every day at home. Back then, I was working in IT and I was feeling drained. Drained of energy, drained of motivation, drained of perspectives, drained of my resources. Everything seemed an effort. Back then I was not aware that due to repeated work excesses, I had dangerously exceeded the boundaries of my safety limits, that my inner resources were running low in the red zone and that I was dangerously approaching the last stage of a burn-out: the collapse.
I knew myself as a fighter and I was perseverent. But too much use of your strengths transforms into a weakness or more to the point, it becomes damaging for you. I was unable to let go and unable to change much of my life-style. And I had not much control over what I could change in my work. Or at least this is what I was perceiving.
I knew myself as a fighter and I was perseverent.
Looking for answers and knowing that I was needing help, I went to see a coach, trying to find out towards which direction I could take my professional life. It was a career coach, whith whom I followed a pre-set program that consisted of a series of sessions combining coaching with expertise, targeting a career change. It was not coaching per se, but a mix, following a certain method, but that was enough to open my eyes that I was working in the wrong place. Well, deep down I was sensing that my competences and talents were not appreciated and that I was giving too much, compared to what I was receiving back. My emotional response was telling me exactly this, but back then I was unable to understand my emotional outbursts.
In any case, I knew that I could no longer continue like that. And I remember that during one of those coaching-expertise mix sessions, I thought to myself… hmm, maybe I could do this one day. In that moment, a seed was planted.
But it was too late.
Not long afterwards, after various medical tests, a doctor wrote the diagnose of burn-out on a piece of paper and then an extremely long journey of darkness began. I did not know when it would end and I did not know up to which point it would change my life. And although for a long time I did not know when and where I would work again, I knew that I wanted to work closely with people, to be there for them, to support them through all my talents. I just did not know when, where and how.
To cut the long story short, in March 2020, I decided to make the big step towards an official coaching traning, accredited by the International Coaching Federation. I had previously followed coaching attitude trainings, I had read books and articles about coaching, coached some of my friends and I had even designed and delivered a coaching attitude training, so starting a long-term certifying coaching training seemed like a logical progression.
During a whole year I learned a lot not only about coaching, but also about people and relationships. As ultimately, what supports people move forward and get in touch with their inner resources, are not just the performance centered techniques, but ultimately a good trusting and compassionate relationship, a connection to another human being that fully trusts that you will make it.
As per Coach Federation, “Coaching is partnership (defined as an alliance, not a legal business partnership) between the Coach and the Client in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the client to maximise personal and professional potential. It is designed to facilitate the creation/development of personal, professional or business goals and to develop and carry out a strategy/plan for achieving those goals. “
Coaching is not only about knowing and using techniques and models that facilitate change, but also about presence, active listening, compassion and non-judging. As a matter of fact, there are many people who self-proclaim themselves to be a coach, on the basis of an expertise in a certain field. Nevertheless, during a coaching session, a coach is expert only in the process of coaching, whilst the client is the only expert of his or her reality.
You don’t go to a coach to tell you what to do with your life, be it pesonal or professional. You go to a coach to support you to find your own answers, your own paths and to accompany you on the path that you choose to walk.
So, are you ready for a walk? Are you ready for a change?
Please share this to support me on this path and to support that friend/relative/colleague who is now in need of support.
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