As coaches and as people, the most common misconception we have is that we should be perfect, or need to have it all figured out, before we can be of help to someone else.
My experience is that nothing could be further from the truth.
We all have experiences that feel like failure to us, and in some ways they probably are: a job gone wrong, the end of a relationship, a missed opportunity; but if we are honest, these are the very experiences that have ultimately made us better human beings, have opened our hearts and minds and allowed us to connect more deeply with ourselves and with others.
The end of my marriage has been both my biggest failure and my biggest teacher. Although it has taken a toll on me in many unexpected ways, it opened me up to insights and understanding that have made me a better person and a more compassionate and effective coach.
I learned to let go: of belongings, a home, a lifestyle, financial security, and even of what I thought my relationship with my children should be. After initially trying to hang on to as much of my old life as possible, I realized just how much of a burden many of these things had become and how little they had to do with me, my values or how I truly want to live my life.
Coming out on the other side of anger, frustration and depression, I have learned that I will be ok, even though I do not know what the future will hold. It has given me that certainty that only comes from firsthand experience: that it is never too late and that, for better or for worse, nothing lasts forever and, precisely because of that, so many things are possible.
This sense of empowerment, excitement and wonder is something I share with my clients. With compassion and respect for their struggles and fears, and with the joy and honour of being part of their journey, I join them and sustain them in their search for the hidden gems of opportunity, happiness and beauty that are within their reach.