Susannah, our founder, was honoured to have been a special guest speaker at the re:Entwine retreat in Washington DC in May 2018, an entire weekend focusing on personal and community resilience for young adults. The aim was to help build a generation of future leaders to live a life of action with global responsibility at its core.
Rather than addressing the conference directly she was interviewed on stage about my journey and experiences as a female leader and coach. To keep it spontaneous she declined to know the questions beforehand but as she sat down in front of the audience she began to doubt herself. Her heart started to pound and she suddenly felt conscious of being flown all the way across the Atlantic to inspire a group of already inspirational young adults and began to doubt she could add any value to them. She took some deep breaths to calm herself, reminded herself of her own advice to others as a coach, and remembered that this wasn’t actually about her but about what would be useful to the participants.
One question that stood out for her was ‘What keeps you up at night?’ Her response was ‘very little, she sleeps very well except on the odd occasions when one of her children is sick or can’t sleep.’ She didn’t think much of it at the time but the deep intake of breath of everyone in the room was obvious. She suddenly felt very sad. They all started putting their arms up to ask the same question – how? How do you remove worry and stress?
She couldn’t give them a simple answer other than ‘don’t worry about the things that are out of your control’.
She used to be just like them but I had forgotten. Since starting her coaching journey she changed so many aspects of her life and doesn’t think there is one solution. “Everyone is so different that what worked for me won’t necessarily work for them”. That’s why coaching must be bespoke and is about getting to know the client to find out what works for them rather than creating a generic process.
What worked for her? She changed the way she worked by listening more to others; She takes time to consciously appreciate life, her family and friends; She meditates daily and (tries to!) practise mindfulness. Most importantly, she has become more accepting of herself and how she is around others. It all contributes to being able to sleep at night. She didn’t change overnight; these have all been small changes over the last few years. But suddenly life doesn’t seem so overwhelming and so feeling relaxed means she can get to and stay asleep.
This is just some the feedback she received from her appearance in Washington from the course leader: ‘I am so grateful that you joined us. Your experience, insights and energy created a space for powerful learning and introspection. I particularly appreciated how present you were throughout the weekend, providing so many rich opportunities for participants to learn with you and from you. You are an inspiration to us all.’
A participant came up to her on the last day and said that they ‘wanted to be like me when they grow up.’ She wasn’t sure how to take this…
It doesn’t take long for coaching to help improve your life in so many ways so get in touch and we will help you begin your journey http://fourpeakscoaching.com/contact/