Today I am sharing the coaching journey of a client of mine with you. She had reached a point in her work life where she couldn't continue and “function” like she did before. You will get to know how we worked together and what happened during our coaching journey.
My aim is to show that we all go through similar life transitions. If we are able to face and work through them, they will be a vital part of growing into our authentic, best self.
How to navigate an uncertain, unpredictable life
All of us experience so called life disruptors. They can lead to massive changes and transitions during the course of our (work) life. In the excellent book “Life Is In the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age”, Bruce Feiler explains that we go through three dozen life transitions in our lives. One every twelve to eighteen months! Examples range from getting your first job, getting married, getting divorced, getting a diagnosis, losing a job, losing a loved one, becoming an empty nester and so much more.
My generation and the younger generations grew up differently already. We no longer accept choosing one path, career or relationship, and then settling for the rest of our lives.
Constant, unpredictable change is the norm in our VUCA world and it influences our personal lives, too. You or someone you know is going through one 'life-quake' right now.
I especially work with empathic women while they are in the middle of such life transitions. Usually, they look for answers for their lack of purpose at work. They feel stuck in a work situation that no longer feels meaningful. During the coaching sessions, we also discover other areas of life that are interdependent with a fulfilling work life. These include relationships, health, finances and so on.
When life is crushing like waves over your head
I would like to share an example of a client of mine. We started working together back in September 2021. She described her state back then with the image of waves crashing over her head. Like many women, she had reached a turning point around her 30th birthday, where she could no longer continue as before. I like to call this 'the quarter life breakthrough'.
Health issues and a painful breakup forced her to slow down. She didn’t have the energy and motivation to push through anymore. She didn’t feel like her usual sunshine self, who would “always” be appearing happy and cheering on others.
The lack of purpose and orientation also spilled over into her career. She began to question if she had chosen the right field or if it was time for a reorientation there, too.
Where the coaching journey begins
The first calls we had, I sensed that she was feeling defeated and lacking trust in herself. In her own words, she described it as “having no more courage and life force to make things happen”.
Step 1: Identifying your own needs again
When we started working together, I mainly focused on reconnecting my client with her intuition and embodying her personal truth in all areas of her life, where she had felt stuck. I do this with embodiment and mindfulness practices like guided visualizations.
It took my client some time to engage with her heart and feelings again. Like many empaths, she had been conditioned to not feel her unpleasant emotions. She was neglecting her own needs to accommodate those of others and give without being asked.
Learning how to feel again and not to over analyze with the monkey mind is a vital part of this journey.
The coaching journey increased the self awareness of this client. And with it, her confidence in setting clear boundaries, taking better care of herself and emotional well-being too.
My client shared that she is still practicing taking responsibility for herself and her needs now. She doesn’t identify only as the happy person anymore. She knows she is not only valued because she can cheer others up, and is always “functioning”.
But if she doesn't take care of her needs first, she will not be able to have the desired impact to make a difference, for example at work.
Step 2: Facing the inner dragons
During the coaching process, you will come into contact with yourself again. You will learn things about yourself that have remained unexplored and undiscovered.
Many people are afraid of exploring themselves. They are afraid of coming across things in themselves that are foreign to them. This is often because these have been suppressed for so long.
That's why for me real coaching means stepping outside your comfort zone. It's willing to be honest with yourself and to confront yourself with your inner dragons.
Part of the coaching, as my client described it, was to “open the dark basement of her house”. This means facing her own wounds and fears. The more we confront ourselves with our emotional injuries, the more we can integrate them and stop feeling victimized by them. We also looked at behavioral and thought patterns that no longer serve her.
Empaths often have co-dependent patterns since childhood. They tune into what people around them need and feel responsible for rescuing others. It also feels good to help others, to feel needed. But it can be a very toxic cycle if your self worth is linked to how much you can do for others.
In my client's case, it only worked until she didn’t have the energy anymore due to health issues, and was in need of help herself. The coaching sessions helped her to identify what she wants from life again, independent of anyone else’s desires. As a result, she felt that she has become more resilient in dealing with disrupters and difficult situations.
This process can be painful and not easy. It’s also harder to do it on your own. If you work with a trustworthy coach, she will take you step by step through this by your side.
Step 3: (Re)defining your personal WHY
The next step of the coaching journey is to start (re)activating your personal WHY. We look at your core values and flow state. This includes becoming aware of your strengths, potential and superpowers as an empath.
Magic happens when you are able to look beyond your current situation. Then, you can experience your whole being again - what your essence is all about. Motivation and direction comes from connecting again to your unique, authentic purpose. Then, diving into new possibilities of who you would like to become on that path.
Part of the coaching are tasks between sessions that challenge you out of your comfort zone. They help you to put your aha-moments during the sessions into practice in your day-to-day life.
After identifying your values for example, the question is how much do you live up to them at the moment? For example, at work or in your personal life. How can you close the gap from where you are right now to who you would like to become?
For my client, this was one of the most impactful parts of this process. Asking herself if her current lifestyle aligns with her core values and the vision she has for herself and her future. She started closing this identified gap by taking important decisions and action. For example learning new skills, going to conferences and connecting with people who can support her with her vision.
Coaching - the magic pill when going through a life transition?
Did my client solve all her challenges of her transition within the coaching sessions? Certainly not.
Does she feel more in touch with her intuition again and has the energy to move forward in her (work) life aligned with her values? Definitely.
She shifted her energy from feeling stuck, depleted and without courage. She now knows more about who she is, what is important to her and is taking the first steps to grow into her own strength.
The coaching process often continues to have an effect long after it has ended. It empowers you to continue exploring and growing, with a different awareness about yourself and your possibilities.
I hope you find the example of this coaching journey insightful. Through it, I wanted you to have an idea of what happens during this process. I encourage you to not feel ashamed or retreat when you experience so called life disruptors. They can indeed lead to massive changes and life transitions. Know that this is a normal part of our life and you are not the only one who is experiencing this at the moment.
If you are willing to be honest with yourself, face the things that are no longer working and connect with your authentic, best self, such life transitions can become a blessing on your path.
I would love to support you to get out of the current stuck state to build a work life that aligns with your purpose. Please get in touch with me if you would like to know more about how the heart@work journey works. Schedule a free intake conversation with me.