Ever wondered how coaching works and why you’d do it? Read one woman’s story of transformation

Thinking about coaching? Read one woman’s experience of a personal transformation through coaching.

We’re huge advocates of coaching. Over the years coaching has helped us out of holes, and aim for big ambitious goals (we still have regular business coaching).

So we were delighted when Sandra Peat from SuperHuman asked us if we’d like to publish her very personal account of how coaching has transformed her life.

Please note this is not a sponsored article. Sandra describes her experiences of coaching with the brilliant Katie Phillips from Daring & Mighty (a regular contributor to our site).

But it’s important to find the perfect coach for you. And if you are thinking about investing in coaching we recommend reading this advice first. (We share the link again at the end if you don’t want to click away now.)

What is it like to be coached?

Have you ever wondered what its like to be coached, and more importantly why you’d do it? I thought it might be useful to share my experience of being coached, what happened, what it was like and how it helped me.

While I am definitely not an expert, and all coaches approach things differently, I hope you can draw parallels and learning from my situation. Perhaps it may even inspire you to do it yourself.

I was stuck

I guess that, before I began being coached, I was stuck. I knew things weren’t right. I wasn’t my living life in a way I knew was right for me. I was working hard and ‘achieving.

I had a successful career and a senior corporate job. For a long time, I wasn’t desperately unhappy, but something just didn’t sit right with me. Then I had children and the pressure and intensity of life increased. I suddenly found myself running around like a headless chicken.

I had no time for myself, and I was lost. I knew that whatever had motivated me in the past to pursue success wasn’t feeding me anymore. I was still ambitious, but I couldn’t remember why I was doing all of the things I was doing.

Something had to change – but I was scared

I was so busy that I wasn’t consciously choosing anything in my life. The feeling of dissatisfaction and stuck-ness grew to breaking point. I knew that I had to change.

Being absolutely frank, I was scared. It felt easier to stay the way I was than to dig in a little deeper to find the heart of my dissatisfaction and inertia.

I had been watching Katie’s work with Daring & Mighty on Facebook for a couple of years before I decided start working with her. She’s a coach that focuses specifically on helping women to get to know (and love) themselves, while giving them the tools to connect with what they want.

I was always really impressed with her insight. I felt that she understood, as she had experienced similar feelings and emotion in her life, and had committed herself to working out what she could do about it.

I was skeptical in the beginning

But I was a bit skeptical about committing to work with her. The language she used was a bit foreign and uncomfortable for me at first. It took me a little while to get used to saying “self love” without a smirk.

There were times when she talked about spirituality, it felt a bit ‘woo-woo’ to me (to coin Katie’s phrase!). Yet there was something in the Daring & Mighty approach resonated with me, and I found myself coming back to her Facebook page and blogs, particularly when I was feeling low.

Eventually I decided that enough was enough. I took the decision to make some changes in my life. I left my job and decided to start something new. That decision in itself was incredibly empowering.

However, I knew that I needed to do something more to stop me from going back to living how I had been. I knew that I needed to access something in myself that would help me to understand what I was meant to do with my life.

At the same time, helping me to build the confidence to trust my intuition and listen to myself when things didn’t feel right.

I invested in myself and signed up to coaching

So I invested in myself and signed up to be coached by Katie over a 3–6 month period. It started with a month of soul searching and writing, answering a series of in-depth questions to help understand what had led me to where I was.

I treated it a little bit like a school project so that I wouldn’t be scared off by the questions (and more importantly my answers). But, like most school projects, I left it to the last week before I finished all of the exercises. This document informed the direction of a very intense day of coaching with Katie.

On that day we did lots of talking, digging, meditations and visualisations to really help me access the source of why I was feeling the way I did. Having been aware of some of the topic areas we were going to cover, I was dreading this coaching day.

I was literally shaking on the morning that I arrived at the spa where the session was held. I started the day with gritted teeth determination. I knew that what ever we were going to talk about and go into was going to be painful, but I also have a firm belief that whatever was holding me back would lose its power if I faced it.

I cried. A lot

So I am not going to lie to you. That day was hard. I cried a lot. A lot. But then I felt better. At the end of the day I felt whole lot lighter. Like something that I had been carrying with me for a very long time had been shed. I was emotionally drained and exhausted, but I also felt like I was seeing the world in a different way for the first time.

I went to bed that night glad that I had done it, but worried that the next day I would wake up and things would be as they were. Yet, next day dawned and the lightness stayed with me.

Since then Katie and I have had Skype and the occasional face-to-face coaching sessions every couple of weeks. She’s given me some great tools to stay connected with this new decoupled version of myself.

I am not sure how other coaches do it, but intuitive Katie’s approach to coaching really worked for me. She pushes gently (in a way that is caring and considered) to ensure I got to the root of the issue myself. I can’t tell you how many times I would come to Katie with an agenda of what I wanted to talk about, and then end up in a completely different place. But my coaching sessions were always better for it.

Where am I now?

So where am I now? I am definitely a work in progress, and I wouldn’t say that I have everything licked. But now I know what I want, I care less about what other people think. I judge myself (and others) less harshly.

I am working hard at be comfortable with being more vulnerable. (This article is my latest attempt!).

Through this experience, I’ve discovered that being honest and open makes me happier. I can connect better with the people around me, and the end result is that I love myself a whole lot more.

On a practical level, I am now in the driving seat in my life. I know what’s important to me now, and I am letting that purpose guide my decisions. I have set up SuperHuman — a Strategic Marketing Agency to help brands to better understand and engage with women.

I am better connected with my family. Best of all, I am better connected with myself. I am less concerned about what other people think, and as a consequence I feel I have a whole lot more to give.

Coaching is worth the investment

My coaching experience with Katie was definitely worth the investment. I was worried at the beginning that spending money on something like this would be a bit frivolous (after all, I had just chucked in my job!). But without a doubt, it was worth every penny.

My experience showed me that you have to be ready to do the work (much like a gym membership, the problem doesn’t fix itself just by spending the money, you need to commit some energy to it).

So, if you’re ready to dig deep, and to address the root causes of the things that are holding you back, then maybe being coached is for you. Based on my experience, I can only recommend it.

Think coaching could help you? Read tips on how to find the right coach for you.