One Step At A Time
27th October 2018
Yesterday I had my first Pro Bono Coaching session. Pro Bono stems from the Latin word pro bono and means 'for the public good' or 'work undertaken without charge'.
We have those type of coaching sessions within our studies to practice with 'real' clients but at no charge to prepare us for the 'real' coaching world. These are sessions that are as close as it can get to real coaching sessions without having the certification of a health and nutrition coach but giving us students the opportunity to practice our learned skills and knowledge on proper clients. Before I started this practical unit I was a bit anxious and nervous to even start this unit. I do not enjoy being put on the spot, doing presentations and standing upfront large crowds and talk, as I have the feeling I have to succeed, do everything perfectly, meet expectations, get graded for it and this makes the whole thing very non-relaxed. I do, however, enjoy connecting with different people, getting to know them and their story and talk to them. This is more in a non-representational way, open and freely, hence I have no issues doing that at all.
But anyway, back to the practical coaching unit. I am now almost at the very end of this unit, just finalizing my last and 4th assessment for it and I have to say: Out of all the units I have done so far in this study THIS unit has been the one I have enjoyed most! After all that I have been so nervous and anxious to go and get it started and put myself out there – the result now amazes me. But how did that happen? Well, I know I had to do this unit, one way or the other, there was no way past it if I want to reach my goal to graduate with a certification of a health and nutrition coach. And it is the unit where we come face-to-face with what we actually aiming to finish up with: coaching people.
I think the fact that we are put on the spot and getting graded for those practice session and for most of us, we do not want to make mistakes and be perfect or at least very close to it, this makes this unit in the beginning for most of us students a unit to avoid until the last bit where we can't escape it anymore as we need it to finalize our studies.
So, from knowing I had to do the unit anyway sooner or later, I figured: Don't postpone it, get the bad stuff out of the way first! And as I progressed through this unit with still the anxious feelings and thoughts in the back of my mind I just simply put one little step in front of the other. Adding on one more little step and one more step. I gradually progressed through this unit, got better, got to know my weak spots and where I had to improve and have to make changes, worked and reflected on it after each practice session I had by writing in my reflective coaching journal. My confidence level grew more and more with each session. I came to accept that yes, in my current state I still make mistake, I still don't know everything and that I would like to know, and I might not have an answer to every question I will get asked by clients. I started to accept that this is OK. I knew that with more practice and each little step I took further and further things will change – change to the better. And they have. I am amazed at where I am at the moment, how much more confident I go into a new session to practice now, I am amazed at the way I suddenly now put myself out there – offering myself for free coaching sessions with fellow students and 'real' people alike. Because I know this is the only way for me to get where I want to get: To be a passionate health and nutrition coach helping people out there to support them on their journey of well-being and be a part of positive change in their lives. I have managed to get myself out of my comfort-zone by gradually doing little baby steps but continuous steps towards reaching my overall goal.
There are three distinct sayings which have helped me along the way:
One is my daily mantra:
“There is magic in the beginning of anything. Don't worry about getting it perfect. Get it going.”
One is from the ancient Chinese philosopher and writer Lao Tzu (601-531 B.C.):
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
One was sent to me by my best friend:
“By the way, I'm not perfect and I do not work on it!” (Translated from German)
I live by those sayings these days and just go for stuff.
Now, getting back to the beginning where I had my first Pro Bono session yesterday:
It was such a great session – for me because there was a lot of learning curves involved in it that I got out for myself and also because I realized how much more I have progressed since I started my practice sessions. And reflecting on my weak spots and mistakes I have made I must say I was pretty proud on what points I have achieved. Secondly, my coaching client made it a beautiful session on the other side: Seeing someone having a realization and/or creating their own vision statements and goals and then working towards it by just the mere guidance from the coach through questions-asking is a wonderful moment to witness. She has inspired me to write this post and I think she might enjoy reading what I have written now as she could probably relate to it quite a bit :)
So remember: If you want to change something (habits, situations, behaviour etc.) or want to reach a goal:
Don't go cold turkey - take little baby steps – one step at a time. By going small you will go big in the end – and succeed.