As a New Englander, I think I’m genetically predisposed to being independent. On top of that, my parents instilled it in me. As a result, I am the ultimate independent woman. Asking for help just isn’t in my DNA. So, when I embarked on this solopreneuer journey, the thought of asking for help never occurred to me. I was fortunate to have some good and trusted friends along with me who were happy to help, but that was the extent of it.
Several years later, I was doing fine with my business, but knew I should accelerate things. I had maxed out the natural skills and knowledge within myself. So, against every fiber of my being, and yet following what I knew to be the best route, I invested in my future by seeking out a coach. After all, I am a coach, and I believe in coaches and their ability to see what we can’t see, ask us the good probing questions, and help us make the progress we so dearly desire.
I interviewed several recommended coaches and their clients, greatly impressed by them all! I ultimately settled on the best one for me at the time. This is an important consideration when hiring someone to work with. All the coaches were skilled and very good at what they do. What it came down to was what each person offered and what I needed at the immediate time. I expect to work with the others later, down the road when I’m at a different point. But for my first foray, for my immediate goals, I selected the coach that I felt would be the best match. It became clear immediately, that I had chosen well! In just the first meeting, my eyes were open to new ways of working, new insights, and new possibilities. I am quickly seeing the impact of teaming with someone else on this journey.
I’m glad I gave myself permission to ask for help. It’s making a world of difference, and honestly, it’s great to have someone along on the ride with me. After all, that’s what I do with my clients. Many are stuck when they come to me. I guide them out of that state, into a new world of opportunities, optimism, hope and yes, results! There is a saying going around these days – Winners have Coaches. Yes, I am a winner and yes, I have a coach! Do you? #dreambelieveachieve
I've heard it often throughout my life. Someone is complaining about their lot in life, the job they feel stuck in, the lack of joy, the absence of a relationship - you name it. But how long are you just going to sit there and complain about it? As Albert Einstein said, "the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same things while expecting a different outcome." I couldn't agree more. And before we get started, let's clear something up. No, life isn't 'fair'. It throws curve balls and obstacles at us at every opportunity. Another wise person said "we are not defined by what happens to us, but how we respond." I have lived by both of these statements for my entire life.
A little history about me. I was born blind in one eye, had to undergo a spinal fusion at the age of 14 that had me in the hospital for a year, was extremely insecure, and made poor relationship choices, finding myself in relationships that weren't healthy for me. So, yes, like everyone else, I've had my share of challenges. But, whether it's my personality, my upbringing (strong New England stock), or something else, I never saw the things that happened to me as anything other than life. It never dawned on me to complain, or whine, or give up. I marshalled on. And you can too.
Here are a couple of tips from someone who knows how life can try and knock you down. Notice I said 'try'. Whether or not you succeed through life's challenges is completely in your hands.
1. Don't give up. I know I said that before, but it's the most important thing. Giving up means things will never change. Wouldn't you rather try and fail, then never try at all and wonder what might have been?
2. Be optimistic. If you believe and you keep trying, eventually things WILL work out. Maybe not as you wanted or expected, but as they should. I've had more than one attempt turn into something other than I desired only to learn it was the best thing for me at the time. Plus, positivity brings positivity. People are drawn to optimistic, happy people. When was the last time you felt yourself drawn to negative Nelly? Put your big girl/boy pants on, smile and soldier on!
3. Figure out what your strengths are. Everyone has strengths. Everyone has gifts. Discover yours, capitalize on them and recreate yourself.
4. What's getting in your way? Ok, it's not easy, but take a good long look in the mirror and figure out how you are hurting yourself. For years, I had a terrible, and I mean terrible, temper. I finally saw how that was negatively impacting my life and chose to do something about it. Today, when I tell people this, they are shocked.
5. Keep your eye on the prize. Know what you want. Visualize it. Some people even create a montage, or a dreamscape - something that reminds them what they want for their life. You'd be amazed how motivating this can be!
6. And finally, to keep this short, forgive yourself when you slip. Very few of us have steady forward progress consistently. You will falter, you will doubt, but don't give in to it. Recognize it for what it is and keep going.
Through all of life's challenges, I have held these beliefs. I've left bad situations, I've ended unhealthy relationships, I've walked away from things that I knew just weren't good for me. What I've been rewarded with is a life that is, in every way, what I want it to be! I do work that I'm good at, that is meaningful, that helps others. I live in the one place on Earth that makes me whole. I have a relationship, a family, and the best circle of friends a person could want. What more could I ask for? Well, for the moment, I can't think of a thing.
So, dream big, be bold, and go for it! I wish you all the same healthy, happy life I have created for myself!
My interest in coaching developed slowly over time. I was aware of it. I'd thought of it as a career. But I just didn't believe I had what it took. Then, one day, one of the clients I worked with in my leadership and development work said, "You're such an amazing coach!" What? Me? Over time, I heard this comment more and more from other people. Then one day, I realized, yes, I am indeed a coach already. I came to it naturally through the guidance of a great mother, a career coach that helped me maneuver through a very major transition in my own life and career, and a boss/mentor/friend who coached me for years before I realized it. These three amazing women were my inspirations!
Andrea made the choice to leave the corporate world in May 2013 to pursue her dreams.