It has been the Elephant in the room for some time now, but I was totally pretending I didn’t see it. It’s so funny that just today a friend tagged me in a Facebook post noting that mercury in retrograde was almost over. The past few weeks I knew I felt like something was off. Mercury may have been in retrograde but blaming that was just another excuse I was making. The fact is, things have been off for some time now, and it’s time to handle it.
I ended 2015 feeling a bit very OVERWHELMED with life. The truth is, I was burnt out, overextended, uninspired, tired, drained and wondering. Over the years, I have heard of people who call themselves Life Coaches, and although I wondered at times what exactly a life coach does, I never inquired about them. To even consider talking with a life coach would mean admitting that despite my best efforts, I didn’t have it all together. I finally got over the fear of judgment and allowed myself to be vulnerable for a bit and checked out Life Reimagined®.
The Life Reimagined program was just what I needed at this time in my life. I knew there were things I wanted to change going into this year, but I needed some help getting started. I had an idea of where I wanted to be, and what I wanted to do, but was caught up in the web of how to get there. I needed to identify the tools that could help me cut the web I was holding myself captive in.
I had no idea when I first logged onto the site just about two weeks ago how much I would gain from this experience.
Life Reimagined is a site developed by AARP, and no you don’t need to be “that age” to use the site; the program is for anyone who is in a space where they need to take stock so to speak of their life. I feel like programs like this are good to do a few times in our lives. I’m in a much different place now having climbed over that 30 peak than I was around age 21 or even 25. One of my areas of concern is my career path, so I went into the program with that focus, but Life Reimagined also has coaches that can assist with areas such as relationships, or weight loss.
Life Reimagined is an online life coaching service that:
• Helps you define your personal mission statement
• Gives you the ability to choose your own certified Life Coach from a team of experts
• Lets you video chat with your Life Coach from the comfort of your home
• Prompts you to create personalized action plans and track your progress
• Connects you with resources and events to help you learn new skills
Once I heard about the site, it still took me a few days to log on and get started. I needed to find the perfect time to sit down and be dedicated to it when I wouldn’t be interrupted. Signing up for the site took less than 5 minutes, the first step after registration is answering some questions to build your Life Map.
As I started clicking around to create the life map I just clicked on cards without much thought. I was on autopilot, clicking cards building the map, sipping on a glass of wine and going through the motions, and then suddenly everything changed. What the heck are you doing, I thought to myself, STOP. Stop going through the motions, stop answering the questions as if you are being tested and picking what you think is the right answer. There is no “right” answer, there is only MY answer. You see part of my problem has been that I was living my life to make everyone else happy, satisfied, proud. My needs, my wants, my desires, my passions, my enjoyments had gotten lost. Suddenly as I answered those questions more honestly things started to become clearer and at that moment, everything changed.
I ended 2015 saying that things needed to change, I could no longer keep floating along. I stopped dead in my tracks, refocused and completed the life mapping with a new sense of purpose. Once you finished the life mapping card game, you see how everything comes together to create your purpose statement, and you can then view your inspiration canvas. I spent two days looking over this and making notes. I wasn’t surprised at the results but reading back my purpose statement made me realize why I was feeling the way I have been for so long, STUCK.
There is a lot you can learn about yourself through doing the first round of exercises on the site, but I knew I needed to go all the way and meet with a coach. I got up from the computer at this point, ate a piece of chocolate, sat on the couch and thought about it for a minute. That moment turned into the next evening because that is how long it took me to get the courage to pick a coach and make an appointment for an online coaching session.
The site gave me options when choosing a coach and after reading their bio’s and areas of concentration, I was drawn to one in particular and clicked to make the appointment. Instantly I had butterflies in my stomach and wanted to cancel, but I didn’t.
“Your largest fear carries your greatest growth.”
The day of my appointment arrived, and it was time for my appointment with my coach. As I sat down at the desk, computer ready, with a pad and pen in hand, I was nervous and anxious but ready. Little did I know at the time how much clarity would come in that one-hour session. During the session, my coach explained the difference between life coaching and counseling, how I could benefit from our time and what we could cover. Five minutes in I felt completely at ease and ready to do the work. We spent some time talking and then going over my life map. My coach broke every section down, and we discussed them. I felt so at ease during this portion of the video session as I was sharing my screen so we could both view the life map. I was talking much more freely at this point after letting go of the anxiety I had about this being a video call. Once we finished discussion I had such a feeling that everything was okay. Before the session, I judged myself for feeling stuck, for feeling like a failure for not having it all together, for being unsure.
My time with the coach left me feeling more “normal” that it was okay to reevaluate life, to take new stock of where I was, and it was never too late for a change. When the session started I was nervous about talking for a whole hour and by the time it was up, I wished it were longer. I had emerged from my “fog” with a pad full of notes, renewed purpose and the tools to make a plan. My coach gave me great sites to look at to assist me in continuing to work on the things we discussed. I ended my session feeling amazing, and ready. My whole outlook changed, and I feel more confident than ever walking into my purpose. Talking with the coach helped me pinpoint a feeling that I had some for some time but couldn’t identify. One thing we spoke about that stuck with me was “Don’t carry the label of your weaknesses,” WOW powerful isn’t it. For so long I have focused so much time and energy on what I don’t do well, as opposed to what my strengths are. I let myself be defined by the negative, some of which may not have even been real, let that sink in. My thought process has been changed by this experience and a new sense of purpose emerged. I have been struggling with whether or not to change my career. This process helped me identify why I no longer found my choice of career fulfilling and gave me the tools to explore other options.
One of my mottos for 2016 is “Believe in yourself & you will be Unstoppable“.
Life Reimagined has been amazing for me, and I plan to book a follow-up session with my coach. I can’t recommend this service enough; we can all find value in a life check here and there. The plans are reasonable, and there are many exercises you can do on the site for free to start. A few days out from my session I have started a new journal dedicated to documenting this new journey, and even started working on a vision board. 2016 is going to be a great year; I’m back in the game, suited up and ready to put in the work.
Have you ever worked with a life coach, or thought about working with one? I would love to hear about your experiences.