One of the most common questions I get when I meet a new client is: How did you become a coach? So I thought I’d take a moment here to answer that question.
As I’ve mentioned before, I was a software engineer for 10 years, and while I was good at it and happy enough doing it for a while, I knew very early on that I was not in the right place — that it was not my end-all, be-all career. I didn’t really “fit” there. I felt like a square peg.
While my coworkers spent their nights engineering things for fun and writing technical books, I baked brownies and read books like Please Understand Me II and The Highly Sensitive Person. I was searching for answers to why I am the way I am and why others are the way they are. (Turns out I’m an INFP and an HSP, and that explained a lot about why I felt the way I did but I still didn’t know what to do with that information or myself).
I kept searching. I looked at graduate programs in psychology anytime the “square peg” syndrome got too bad. And I thought that I would apply someday… if I could get up the nerve to leave my fat paycheck.
But the reality is that I’ve never wanted to be a therapist. Grad school seemed like an easy way to avoid the inevitable: deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up. Still, what was I supposed to do with all of that curiosity about people and psychology?
And then one day, Dan brought up life coaching. Neither of us knew much about it back then, but it was an intriguing idea… what was this coaching thing all about?
When I asked my good friend Google about life coaching, I was overwhelmed with more questions than answers: What’s the best school? Can I just read a book and say I’m a coach? How legit is all this coaching stuff anyway?
Then I mentioned the idea of life coaching in passing to a friend, she said, “You should talk to Lisa, she’s a life coach.” So I had coffee with Lisa and asked her where she studied and what she thought of the profession overall. And what it was like for her to be a coach… and how did she become a coach?
A couple of months later, Dan and I walked into the Fundamentals course at the Coaches Training Institute, thinking “we’ll just try it out”. But I soon realized I had found my “tribe”. The place where I fit. I no longer felt like a square peg.. I was home.
That was over 2 years ago. Since then Dan and I have completed the core curriculum at CTI. And I recently completed their certification program (I’ll be taking the oral exam in October after which I will be certified!).
And that’s how I became a coach.
Now, I get to watch people overcome the old stories that have been holding them back for years. I get to witness as they find their life purpose. And I get to watch them light up with new possibilities… My heart is full and I feel well-used. This is how I know I’m in the right place, doing the right job.
And that is why I am a life coach.
What lets you know you’re in the right place, doing the right thing?
Let me know what you think in the comments.
* Photo Credit: Lubs Mary (Creative Commons)