My thanks to Neil for telling his coaching story in his own words and giving me permission to publish it here:
I was in my early fifties, a solicitor with a successful career and with a great family and friends. On face of it I had everything, except I was unhappy and had lost the ability to appreciate and enjoy my life.
Work dominated my life to the exclusion of almost everything else. If I was not working then I was worrying about work and my answer to any problem was simply to work more hours. I could see that this was a counterproductive vicious circle and that my judgment and, in retrospect, my health were suffering. I felt that all aspects of my life were out of control and relationships with family and friends were suffering. I had no picture or vision for my future, as I could not see beyond the challenges of the next week.
I made the usual resolutions to work less and to rekindle other aspects of my life, but this worked at best for a few weeks until, at the first problem, I reverted back to how I was before. I knew that I had to do something about it, but what?
I knew Janice through her practice as a hypnotherapist and was intrigued as to whether coaching with her could offer a solution. I had no preconceptions as to what it involved and what I would achieve.
Janice first helped me to identify what was important in my life and the goals that I wanted to achieve. These included achieving a healthier work/life balance and spending more time on my other interests. We then worked on breaking down those goals into manageable steps that I felt comfortable with.
The great thing was that I felt in control at all times and set the pace of my agenda. How it differed from my previous attempts to make changes was that in our coaching sessions I was held accountable for the progress that I had made in the steps I had set towards achieving my goals. This was not in a prescriptive judgmental way, as one of the things that Janice explained was that even the best plans have to adapt to circumstances and that the key is making overall progress even if the path is not always straight.
The breakthrough for me was an exercise where I was asked by Janice to imagine what it would feel like to have achieved my goals by writing a letter to a friend to describe my new life. This felt odd at first in that I seemed to be praising myself for what I had not yet achieved. However, it opened my eyes to what my life could become and from that moment it became alive to me.
Did it work? Perhaps the best way of answering this is to refer again to the letter that I mentioned earlier. In that letter I described my life as I wanted it to be; my work in perspective and not the only thing that defined me. More specifically I set out my intention to retire before 60 and to follow my passion for gardening by moving to a house with a bigger garden.
Well, I have now retired before my 60 birthday and I have the house and garden of my dreams. I have to pinch myself at times to know that it is real and as to how closely my life has followed what I described and what we worked on in our coaching sessions. Through Janice I also now have techniques that I have been able to apply to other areas of my life such as planning and shaping my new garden. Above all I feel calmer and more in control of my life.
The first year of landscaping my new garden, is underway.
Without hesitation, as I would never have achieved what I did without my coaching with her. One of the things that I learnt in my professional career was that we all from time to time need expert assistance if we are to make the changes that we desire and that it is not a sign of weakness, quite the opposite, to acknowledge this. Janice has the expertise and passion to help you do this. What I particularly appreciated was her calm, reassuring style and no doubt drawing on her other skills as a hypnotherapist.
Retired (happily) Solicitor