When I decided to go back to school to become a life coach, I made a commitment to myself to do what I needed to do to make this goal a reality for me. Coaching is a funny business, not yet regulated by most state licensing boards, anyone can call themselves a coach and there is nothing stopping them from doing so. Scary, huh? That’s not my style. When investigating becoming a coach I worked with a couple of coaches myself first in order to determine that this is the path I really wanted to be on. I learned about and joined the International Coaching Federation an independent governing body that has made it their business to define guidelines, professional, educational and ethical standards to regulate the field. I researched educational programs that were approved by the ICF and structured their programs to meet these professional standards and found Mentorcoach, a program geared primarily toward professionals who already had a background in the helping professions; human resources people, teachers, social workers and psychotherapists. And I followed their program, taking the courses I needed and beginning my practice following the ethical and professional standards that I was instructed in.
It has been a pretty long process and a difficult one at times. Being a single mom, I have needed to work a separate full-time job in the meantime in order to pay the bills while I take the courses I needed and get my business started. There are times when both time and money have been squeezed to the point of strangulation in order to make this happen but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Of course it also helped a great deal that my children and friends have been supportive and encouraging in this process. Additionally I am energized and excited about the work I am doing, the people I am meeting and the things I am learning. It was the right choice and I am very happy about the journey I am on as I work my way toward my goal.
At this point in the process I am gathering all of the bits together as I prepare myself to take the final certification exam this fall. Letters of recommendation are being collected, hours of coaching tallied and coursework, mentoring and supervision documented; all the various bits coming together for the final push needed to become certified. It’s exciting and incredible to be here. When I got my Master’s degree in psychology, years back I felt a similar sense of accomplishment but at that age my responsibilities were not as significant and my ability to focus on that singular goal was less taxed by the other demands of my life. This, this is a big deal, I’ve worked hard for it and I am damn proud of myself to be so close to completion.
Of course, once I get there I intend to continue toward higher levels of certification, pursuing further education and doing the bits necessary to attain those levels as well. There is so much more I want to learn about and do. But for right now, for this moment in time I want to savor the view a bit. To take a moment to reflect back on all that I have done to get me to this point and to enjoy the view forward with the promise of certification in close sight, shining like a little ingot of gold on the horizon.
I figure if you are going to spend your life helping other people work toward and attain their goals then you ought to be able to do it yourself. Sometimes people get discouraged along the way – feel like they will never get there and give up on the process. But for today I want to say that indeed if you keep your eye on the prize, and continue to push forward you can reach your goals. And then after dancing around a bit you can set yourself a new goal to work toward – something that inspires you and pulls you forward. Celebrate your successes and keep on truckin’ you never know what the next bright spot on the horizon is awaiting your arrival.