When I woke up in my hostel bed on September 5th 2014, the first day of my Foundation of Coaching Success (FOCS) weekend, I had a massive urge to stay in bed. I had been “playing” with the thought to enroll at The Coaching Institute (TCI) since May 2014, quit my job as managing director of a media company in Germany in June and went to Australia in August. On this morning I had been terrified to meet all those people, who must be much more fun than I am, are smarter and braver than me and speak perfect English.
After entering the building I tried to mingle and asked two ladies whether I can join them in the conversation. Five minutes later one of them (thank you, dear Margaret MacDonald) offered me a home for a couple of weeks during my stay in Australia! “Or come to visit us next year, love, by then we will be moving into a new home near the beach.” Seriously?! What a relief! My non-perfect English was not an issue, everybody to whom I have been talking to has been just curious about my German background (actually, I am German-Russian, as I was born in Russia and grew up in Germany).
The following 3 days were full of “AHA-moments” thanking Joe Pane. I made the decision to upgrade to Master Practitioner on the first day but hesitated until Sunday. “Am I really doing this?!” I did. It meant real commitment and again I felt uncomfortable doing this step out of my comfort zone. I was not playing anymore, I was about to become an adult.
My journey leading to the enrollment at TCI began - as for many of us - because I wanted to be able to help myself. After a painful separation 6 years ago out of my despair, I for the first time considered to get help of a coach. 4 years later, after another disastrous relationship I tried out again different coaches and two psychotherapists. Not one of them was able to help or in some degree pointed out my unhealthy relationship pattern.
Germany is the third biggest market with respect to active coaches (8,000 coaches) after USA and UK. And yet when I started to look for a coaching school it was clear for me that I would join an English-speaking community. According to a study conducted in 2013 an average coach in Germany is 50 years old. The elder generation in Germany often has difficulties with English language and as a consequence has seldom access to knowledge and up-to-date research which is of so vital importance for the mindset of a successful coach.
Until I decided to quit my job I had been quite successful in the traditional meaning of success. I got promoted several times within an international media company. However, the fear of being found out and of not being good enough was my constant companion. Fear of not being worthy of the love of my mother was the driving force behind my success. “When my job title is fancy enough and I am earning such and such salary, then she will be proud”. It never worked out, but I kept the strategy and continued to feel resentment against my mother… The revolution began when I have accepted the concept of responsibility introduced by Sharon: freedom through responsibility for our own choices.
I returned to Germany in November 2014, started my website www.entrepreneur-coach.org to target international entrepreneurs in Germany and immigrants, wanting to start their own business.
I made some mistakes, such as spending money on unnecessary events or wannabe-mentors in Germany, holding myself back and playing my old pattern of self-doubt and fear from time to time. Every time I was in this negative state I would write to Lauren Kehoe, my triad-coach and WOW-staff-member, who became a dear friend, or listen to one of Sharon’s webinars. That enables me to do another little step forward.
I had some successes, very personal moments of joy and excitement, like scheduling my first workshop, doing public speaking before strangers for the first time or getting feedback from a client who made awesome progress on her journey.
My plans for the near future are to get my Master Diploma and to continue doing what I am doing, step by step, taking action every day. I remember Joe saying on the first FOCS day: “Living your dream is not for the faint hearted”. I get it now. And I am proud of myself for daring to do it.