Embarking on a new journey

Can I embrace the chaos in my head and in my life? Can I live with ambiguity for a longer time period, knowing that it will persist for quite a while? 

This question put to me some time ago while participating in a Zen Buddhist workshop about psychological flexibility stuck with me.

Change takes time. I need to step away from the urge to move fast, and instead set my own expectations. I myself determine what I want, and only need to live up to that.

I already have moved beyond the point of questioning myself whether I can really do it, because I know I can. Why shouldn’t I, honestly? 

What’s so exciting about it: the learning experience, the insights gained and the inevitable transformation. By applying it to myself and others I can really make a difference. The required technicalities will be figured out along the way. 

Finally, I am moving closer to my purpose!

Aim for the sky, but move slowly, enjoying every step along the way. It is all those little steps that make the journey complete. (Chanda Kochhar)

My preference for people enablement was always there, hidden beneath the surface. It came up more than 10 years ago for the first time, when I realized while attending an internal company training, that enabling others is something I really enjoy. I acknowledged this insight, but did not act on it, because at that time there was no need for changing anything. I wasn’t ready to step out of my comfort zone.

Since then, this topic surfaced time and again. During the last 2 years after starting to support a new team in a different business area, I noticed more and more how happy I felt whenever I could enable others.

It was enablement in a very broad sense: presenting and explaining processes, developing concepts and finding solutions together or sharing my knowledge. 

Advising colleagues on how to deal best with their daily challenges, on communication and setting boundaries. Some conversations were very personal. I often recognized my younger self in them with all my struggles, expectations and frustrations.

It always gave me energy and a sense of accomplishment. It made my day whenever these little islands of useful activities were incorporated into my daily agenda. The feeling to have helped someone just a little bit is priceless.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

It is no surprise that only when encountering uncertainty, we become open to new opportunities, We notice things that were always there but we did not pay attention to them before. But now we do.

The human factor is and always has been the most important and most valuable to me. Looking back, it runs like a red thread through my past roles and activities up to the present moment. I realized that what I want to do more of is tied to enabling others and helping them grow.

I reached out to colleagues in a people development role to get their advice and to talk things through. The idea of becoming a coach began to cristallize and got stuck in my head. 

Coaching is different than mentoring or giving advice. What fascinates me about it is how a coach can enable the client to find their own answers and take action.

Starting to research different coaching institutes and tracks I decided – considering the broad area of highly interesting educations – that I definitely want to do more than one. 

It’s your road and yours alone, others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you. (Rumi)

Would I be any good at it? Could I really be successful at it while working on improving my own communication skills? The voice at the back of my head was there, but not loud enough to hold me back. 

Doing what I enjoy and consider so worthwhile is not going to be necessarily easy – but that is not the point nor could it ever be an obstacle. Embarking on this path feels like the only worthwhile option. 

Encouraging others to uncover their full potential, to become aware of the solution that lies inside them. Giving them an impulse to change perspective and free themselves.

Everyone has a superpower

Of course, we all have our own struggles in life and we do not have to be perfect. We are real people dealing with real life.

In fact, our struggles are our super powers because they make us human and authentic. What we go through in our own lives shapes our self-awareness, enabling us to help others approaching their challenges better.

The education itself will be a big learning experience and a personal transformation for sure. Doing what really matters and is so much needed in the world is a very strong driving force for me.

You are your only limit

Now I am wondering why I didn’t realize earlier where my journey needs to go. But it proves once more how important it is to allow ourselves the time it takes to figure out our own special path to follow. Finding clarity and direction is a process.

The answer always lies within us – by being open and exploring we can uncover it and bring it to the surface. How happy I feel since this door opened is a clear sign that it’s the right thing for me to do.

And of course, I do not have to figure out all the next steps ahead straight away. They will become clearer to me once I start walking on this new path with confidence and joy.

The key to realising a dream is to focus not on success but significance, and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning. (Oprah Winfrey)

Discovery, awareness and choice – that is what coaching is about. 

Discovering yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, your struggles and their root causes, becoming self-aware, and deciding how to move forward.

Find the answer that lies within you.

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