On many occasions in my life, I have been told that I am an ‘open book’. I love to share, perhaps a little too much. There is something hugely cathartic for me about getting it all out there.
For example, my parents divorced when I was six. I was the first person in my class at school to experienced that, and I’m also an only child and so had nobody to talk to about it. So, I told a girl in my class what was going on. She cried and ran away, but I felt better for releasing some of my pain.
The healing power of listening and conversation therefore, has been part of my blueprint from a very young age. For this reason, when I found coaching, I knew I had found my home.
My body and my mind don’t want me to keep quiet. They want my truth to be spoken. On that front I feel very in tune with myself. Sometimes I have a good old sob because I know that I will feel better afterwards. I can’t always pinpoint where this need to cry comes from, but I just embrace it.
In part, sharing helps me to process my stuff, but there is another strand to it. I want to let people know that it’s OK. By ‘it’ I mean everything that they are thinking, and/or going through. It’s okay to be vulnerable, it’s okay not to have it all figured out, and it doesn’t need to be shied away from.
I wondered for a long time why I am the way that I am. Where did this need to wear my heart where everyone could see it come from? One thing I didn’t ever question however, was why it felt so good to be this way.
This thing that I do, this way that I am, these are my strengths. They are not my weaknesses, despite what some people have implied to me at various points in my life.
Now, I use this in my coaching. I coach in a very raw way. Nothing is off limits. I am totally comfortable with tears from my clients. I also use my natural gifts as I see them, on the public platforms where people get to know me.
I do Facebook videos and Instagram stories, and I am brutally honest about my struggles and challenges. It is the only way I know how to be, and people that watch them often comment that it’s refreshing to see someone being really real. I don’t do filters, or flattering lighting. I don’t think it’s healthy. I think we need to start letting who we are really shine through, and if we’re not sure who we are then we need the courage to find that out too.
Courage means telling the story of who you are with your whole heart. So that’s what I try to do, every single day.
If my clients can see me dealing with my ‘stuff’, leaning into it and not resisting, then hopefully they will permit themselves to do the same. Allowing myself to be seen, enables others to follow suit.
We all have our gifts, our strengths and our natural talents. It can take a long time to find them, but they are there. I totally believe that people are capable of rewriting their stories, I wouldn’t be a coach if I didn’t. But I also totally believe that within us we have our own secret weapons, our own super powers that help us walk our own path in the most fulfilling way that we can.