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Coach In The Spotlight - Lildonia Lawrence

THE COACHING ACADEMY BLOG

My academic background is in Psychology and prior to becoming a coach I had always worked in support roles within caring organizations. I decided to do my personal performance coaching diploma in October 2010; at that time I was working two jobs and was also running my own dance fitness business in the evenings and weekends. Doing both was tiring- I knew something was going to have to give but I felt a constant conflict between two arenas which I loved: dance fitness and psychology & support work.

My academic background is in Psychology and prior to becoming a coach I had always worked in support roles within caring organizations. I decided to do my personal performance coaching diploma in October 2010; at that time I was working two jobs and was also running my own dance fitness business in the evenings and weekends. Doing both was tiring- I knew something was going to have to give but I felt a constant conflict between two arenas which I loved: dance fitness and psychology & support work. I was working too many hours, feeling tired all the time and finding it hard to fit in social activities along with my professional commitments. I didn’t want to give up on my career but I loved running my business. After numerous conversations with friends & family and a lot of pondering I decided that I wanted to find some way to fuse my two interests.

I came across a link to the coaching academy’s website and it was almost as if the universe had sent me a sign. Coaching was the missing link! I booked onto the initial two day seminar in London and after attending I had a gut feeling that I was onto a good thing. By the end of the second day I was convinced that coaching was for me and I signed up for the diploma in personal performance coaching, small business coaching and also 10 CPD days. I thoroughly enjoyed the training and found so many tools and tips to use within my sessions. After each accelerator day I was excited to go off and consolidate what I’d learnt and try it out with my clients. Being able to attend accelerator days as and when I could make it was really helpful. It meant that I could study at my own pace and choose which order I took the days. About a month before qualifying I took the plunge and handed in my notice at my main job to focus on integrating coaching into my existing business.

Now I work within organisations and also within my own private practice. I’ve always been passionate about health and wellbeing and my coaching niche of wellbeing coaching came about very organically. Now I coach people in areas such as weight management, confidence coaching, relationships and stress management. The best thing about being a coach is seeing clients make positive and lasting changes. I value client feedback highly and I love hearing how the coaching process has had a lasting impact on people’s lives. I have had a business mentor for years and after a session with him I am buzzing with inspiration and am excited to get on with my action plan. The thought that I can help someone have that feeling gives me a real sense of self-satisfaction. I LOVE coaching and after a great session with a client I am on a high for the rest of the day. My favorite coaching question is “and what if you didn’t?”. I use it to examine a clients “shoulds” i.e. “I should be working out every day” or “I should be pushing for a promotion”. It’s amazing how often our “shoulds” are imposed on us by others or by what we think we should do rather then what our heart desires. I ask myself “and what if you didn’t?” at least once a week! For people who are looking at coaching I would say...do it! The fantastic thing about coaching is how versatile it is.

You don’t have to go off and set up your own coaching business, you could coach within an organization or use your newly acquired skills within your current role. For coaches in training I would recommend getting your coaching sessions started as soon as possible. I found my last few accelerator days particularly relevant and I think that was because I was coaching regularly so could combine theoretical work with experiential coaching sessions. For coaches who are about to qualify I would recommend having an action plan in place for when that certificate arrives. During your training start thinking about that you want to do with your diploma, how you want to use it and what your niche will be. For people who are in a similar situation to myself I would recommend practising what we preach and self-coaching. Becoming a coach has been amazing for my professional life but also for my personal life and self development.

Life is a journey with so many ups and downs that I find self- coaching extremely useful in helping me to plan the direction of my life and business and also to identify limiting beliefs that are getting in the way of my progression. Once I identify them I find it much easier to eradicate them and move forward.