One of the key characteristics of coaching is being in a safe and secure environment with no assumptions, judgments or what-not. I have first-hand experience of this just last week (during training) and I can truly say it felt liberating.
Being in the corporate world for 12 years and studying for 17-18 years, it felt like everything about me is defined by what I do at work or in school. At work, people saw me as the go-getter and the reliable employee who makes sure that deadlines are met, processes are working, and work stuff are in order. Back in school, people saw me as the student who got this grade, this award, held this position, and so on. It’s as if people have already created a brand for you, that no matter what else you can do (or have done), in their minds, your brand is set on stone.
I’ve always known who I really am, and I know that I am so much more than all those. And it was only after my experience last week that I realized that deep inside me, all this time, I have been longing to be seen as me… That there is a side of me that I wish other people see as well.
So here’s what happened in a nutshell. I won’t get into all the detail so as not to spoil the experience for anyone who might be joining that training in the future. 🙂 Each person in class, including our facilitators gave us a metaphor/description of our “presence” (this is a term we use in coaching). When I heard all that they had to say about me, I felt an empty space in me slowly filling up. It was refreshing to hear something new, something different…. but more importantly, it felt amazing to hear something that reflects me as me. I felt liberated from the brand that I have (probably) sub-consciously adopted through the years.
This to me, is what a safe and secure environment feels like. And that is one of the beauties of coaching. 🙂