It’s 08.30 and I’m ready to get out of the house. I have an important appointment at 09.00. I feel restless, but don’t immediately understand why therefore I also feel stupid. I mean, I’ve been through so many challenges in my life, and interviews, and meet-up-a-stranger moments, and relatively risky adventures, and I still get nervous with an appointment like this. Damn. I put red lipstick on. Red lipstick always helps. Will it go well? Will I waste my time? Will I like her? Better I hop on my bike and just go.
As I am cycling I mentally review what I want to tell her. We are going to talk work, which is one of the topics which both excites me and scares me the most. We are going to talk goals and how to make them happen. How to turn ideas into action. Above all, how to do this without having a nerve-wreck. I come to the realization that I am actually about to become vulnerable in front of a stranger. Oh, that’s it after all. That’s the reason why I am nervous. I am going to meet a coach, and my blog project (my baby) is going to be the main subject of the conversation. Heck, I would love to be able to sustain myself from my creative activities and have my blog as my main creative outlet. This meet-up might play an important role in this project. Actually, now that I think about it, this is quite amazing. When I arrive at the meeting point, at the Oosterpark, in Amsterdam, my mood is already quite brave, and seeing this cheerful face awaiting me, just makes the worries fade out. But wait, did I just say I met a coach in the park? YES, I did.
Once I heard of the possibility of doing walking sessions on this first coaching experience of mine, I didn’t think twice. Talking while you walk in the park, amongst all the greenery, the fresh air, plus the feeling of cadence and flow you are immersed in, and the meditative and relaxing effect of the whole thing! It all seemed ingredients – if not for success -, at least for a morning spent in a pleasant fashion. I had also heard good things about the coach I was assigned to (let’s call her Maria). So when I felt that there was a good empathy click between her and me, I was happy to have trusted the suggestion I got at the coaching office, as for a suitable professional for this journey.
The first session with Maria ended up being great. I talked and talked and talked (good sign). She immediately started thinking along with me, showing enthusiasm about my plans, and I was told about some exercises we would do the following session. I was looking forward to it. Let me tell you: everything was flowing just right in my life, or at least, so I felt. I was about to quit my job and embark on a summer adventure, where I would finally have time to fully dedicate myself to writing and creating content to Amsterdive. And then BAM, it hit me like a hammer. I HAD to slow down. And this happened between the first and second sessions with Maria. It got me worried. I am aware that a coaching process can be highly goal-oriented which I was afraid would add up stress, and become counterproductive, given the fact that I find myself in an exquisite sort of burn-out phase. I decided it was better to be totally open and write an e-mail to my coach letting her know the current state of affairs.
And there we were, a couple of weeks later, having the park as our office again: the nature as the keeper of my aspirations and, at that particular moment, lots of stress, too. Once more, I talked, and talked, and talked, the ultimate sign of how Maria made me feel at ease. There were no exercises, nor goals, nor pressure. The focus of the conversation had shifted. This time, we found ourselves talking mindfulness, and how to incorporate it into work and daily life. It was unbelievable how, in such a short time I told Maria so many personal stuff. She was very supportive, but what really made me happiest about her was the fact that she understood my needs from the e-mail I had written, and wasn’t afraid to adapt our session in order to meet them. I had to hug her at the end of the session.
Having been contacted by GORTcoaching to participate in this experience has proved to be a surprisingly valuable gift. Not only because self-development is one of my areas of interest but because it became clear to me that they have a lot of experience with people in creative fields, and that they also understand the specificities of relatively new professional activities such as blogging (oh, relief!). To feel understood and taken seriously in what I do was extremely important. I have to be honest and say I had never thought of searching the help of a coach before. I am a big advocate of the DIY spirit, of self-teaching and/or just asking for the help of a friend, the trial and error approach. Although my philosophy didn’t change, I now see in a clear light how the two mindsets can complement each other. Actually, the support of a professional with Maria’s degree of expertise can potentiate my DIY skills. Having someone at your side helping you to release your potential – in a smoother, more focused and efficient manner – is nothing short of amazing. Especially in those times when all the twists and turns, try-outs and obstacles start getting heavier, making you lose clarity of mind. Hey Maria: we’ll meet up again.
Might you be interested in trying coaching as well, be sure to give GORTcoaching a shot, and schedule a free orientation meeting. They can help you in different fields such as life, career, management, burn-out, and also expat-coaching. Let them know that you are coming from the way of Amsterdive by mentioning it in an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will get a surprise gift 😉