22 Jun Why do I Coach?
Why do I do what I do?
What fires and excites me??
People often as me a very important question – I often get asked – Why Coach?
Why? – What’s my Purpose!
Why be a Coach?
I usually to hide behind the coach persona – I love to assist people and see them achieve their possibilities – which is true, however there is a deeper definitive reason….
It wasn’t a clear path but one I only realise after having been traveling for more years than I care to recall!!
The journey to training as a therapist/ coach/ hypnotherapist/ NLP/ Buteyko practitioner (as well as other modalities), motivationally is that when I needed someone to explain to me “I wasn’t broken” and “It is possible to change” – well this sort of assistance or understanding, wasn’t available locally when I needed it and if honest, I was lost and looking for yet another new direction in life.
The story began (or so I thought) in December 2011 when I came home for Christmas – at this point I was working away, driving 55K – 60K miles a year and in a very stressful, challenging corporate job (but also enjoyable and with stretch).
I was assembling a wardrobe when I collapsed, literally collapsed, could not stand – I was rushed into hospital with suspected heart attack, but as it turned out my heart was good, but I was not in a good way.
I subsequently had a battery of tests including MRI’s, CT’s, Ultrasounds, Blood tests and, then began the lengthy process of seeing neurologists, specialists, psychologists, you name it I probably had it/ seen them! which, culminated in a lumber puncture – to which I took a very negative nasty reaction and woke up to tubes and beeping machines.
During the next several months I was able to do very little apart from lie in a darkened room with my legs raised, I was even struggling to walk 25m or hold a cup steady. Five months in and the Doctor advised me that this would be my life for probably around 5 years, before I finally end up in a wheelchair and require care, for day to day living.
This was a very dark place for me with varying diagnosis of CFS, ME, MS, or Neurological Lyme Disease (which I had been receiving antibiotics for years for).
I was not until after several months of battling with negative emotions and feelings that I looked for an alternative to the inevitable wheelchair and life as a cared for person.
I started exploring different avenues of recovery all based in the mind/ body field as well as sleep, nutrition and breathing. I focused on the energy I had and wanted to see how I could maximise this!
I attended several courses and workshops looking to piece together a way forward, and even on this journey there was times when I asked myself “what is the point!” and came very close at numerous points to ending it all.
What became obvious to me was that 7:18pm on the 19 December 2011 was not the starting point but the accumulation point, where everything built up to a crescendo that my body just could not physically keep going!!
All the signs were there, I had just been ignoring them – just months prior my – Blood pressure through the roof, eating was horrendous, drinking not excessively but too much, severe tiredness –
having to stop between service stations as I could not keep my eyes open, having to stop walking up the stairs to catch my breath, OCD was increased and self-sabotaging – No – not in a good way
Prior to this through life, there was a trail of major self-sabotage, self-harm, internalised anger, poor choices and over dependency on food, being the fixer and using negative coping strategies. Even recently still at times challenging some of these old not so useful patterns.
Part of the process for me was exploring and understanding the trauma in my life, and it took a while and deep soul searching to see it and although nothing major abusive there was sufficient trauma to affect me negatively, sufficient to create depression, anxiety, a fearful avoidant attachment style, Compound Post Traumatic Stress and Chronic Fatigue/ Lymes Disease and sufficient so at times had suicidal intent, which nearly saw me, so I would not be able to be writing this here today.
I had never identified or dealt with this, because well that is just not what you do!!!
If I was being honest, I was doing the whole –
“Suck it up and get on with its mantra!!!”
I learned to be the invisible boy that no one noticed, build a castle, and hide in it, does not matter what gets thrown at the walls – I would be safe….
Upon reflection there was a great deal of trauma that I had just never dealt with.
In summary without going into too much detail, for I will wait for the book for that however:
I was a hypersensitive child and let us say school was not a fun place!
Bullying by fellow pupils – physically and mentally – being the slow, stupid one, with a speech impediment, who despite being biggest, would not fight back due to not wanting to hurt anyone(I know that don’t figure!) or create more hassle for my parents, so easier to be the daily punching bag – physical was easy to absorb – bruises heal and at least, they let you feel something, – the mental/ emotional hurt was more impacting, added to this the negative reinforcement from teachers all added up, building up the negative self-talk and injustice and unfairness.
Teachers failed to understand that I did not learn the way they taught, aspects of dyslexia – and continuously implied that I was slow & stupid and should re-evaluate my career expectancy! As my expectation of a vet or police officer was obviously above my ability!
Lets just say school and I did not get on and not surprisingly I left school as soon as I could, having missed great chunks from illness – which could now probably be attributed to stress/ anxiety/ depression but not a diagnosis in those days and just not wanting to be there, and skipping school, heading off to caddy, catch crabs to sell, looking for empty ginger bottles, find golf balls – anything to earn some money, seemed more productive use of my time.
Mass unemployment with mass factories being closed made it very difficult for my parents to find employment.
Seeing your parents not eat as they can only afford to feed you and your sister, hiding from the man collecting money under the window, as he peers in…going to school with holes in your soles and dad attempting to fix them with bits of cardboard as they could not afford to replace them…
Having to make choices or not having choices about what you can and can’t do depending on what part of town you come from!
My mother spent numerous and extended lengthy stays in hospital for various operations and conditions, which meant from an early age I learned how to cook, clean and keep house for me and my sister otherwise we were shipped around different places.
Several accident/incidents that affected life choices.
- An accident with a BBQ that resulted in 13% burns to my body, operations for skin grafts that then became infected and required iodine bathing daily for around 2 months! Not fun – advised I may lose fine motor skills in my fingers.
- Tore all soft tissue in my right ankle – which eventually required reconstruction surgery. Told I would never have a career in the outdoors.
- Fell 8m rock climbing – broke arm, dislocated elbow, cracked ribs and damaged my back that as a result of I was suggested to have an operation that could seriously hinder movement, but I refused at the time and still going.
- Losing my best friend, who was more like my brother, to suicide – blaming myself every day for years.
- Bullying and discrimination in the workplace – that nearly broke me.
- Lyme’s disease – requiring years and years of stronger antibiotics, which had health side effects.
- Being off long term and then unable to return to work.
- Very traumatic birth of son observed him being cut out of the birth canal! and subsequent poor health conditions for years – with almost weekly emergency hospitalisation and nearly losing him on several occasions being told it was 50/50, wait and see by morning and then being left to sit by his bed, with nothing you can do but be there…..
- Being headhunted for a position – fulfilling requirement, ahead of schedule – then let go, whilst being owed over £39k and in debt because of promise to pay.
- Loss of baby to very late miscarriage.
- Loss of baby daughter to Pato’s syndrome, at 5 days, 5 hours and 28 minutes old – all I could do was hold her whilst she passed, feeling totally hopeless and useless as a father. Finally laying her down was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life…
So, a synopsis, without going into all events, I’ll save a few for a rainy day and the boring details but suffice to say that over the years there have been a few things I have been dealing with – unconsciously or I should probably say was not dealing with and I was disappearing down the rabbit hole – big time!
On a rather destructive path and at several times considered was it all worth it!
I struggled with self-confidence, self-esteem, and body image, turning to food regularly for comfort and self-sabotage and reached at one point 22+ stone and at another around 14 stone, or exercising and pushing my body to the limit of what it could sustain…..
So why do I Coach,
Without realising there was always something that made me get up, fight a little longer, get through just one more day and for years all I noticed was the negative and focused of giving myself a very hard time and blaming myself, punishing myself for not being good enough, not making the right choices, or failing at things.
I actually seen carrying on as a deserved punishment some days and others, well I was just a coward that could not do what had to be done….would I have the courage today?
As well as all this and despite being told that I would never succeed, the thing is I have never really realised that along the way I did achieve, I focused the internalised energy into other areas, achieved highest marks and grades in the cadets, sufficiently enough that although I didn’t have the academic awards I could have been accepted into the RAF, I did get academic qualifications from 3 colleges and Glasgow University – I have lectured to Masters level in a university, trained in a wide variety of outdoor qualifications to high level, paddled grade 5 rapids, climbed E1 routes, qualified as a youth worker, have gained life coaching and therapy qualifications.
I pretty much have got every job I ever went for and became dam good at it, giving it 150% and passed all but a few qualifications first time that I went for. All this despite repeatedly being told I wasn’t clever and in fact was just a bit slow and stupid (favourite of the deputy head of primary school!).
My motivation and drive ensured that I was successful in scoring one of the two positions at Outward Bound School from a pool of 50+ who all wanted one of the locations in particular, although possibly some humour helped but that I will share another day – Despite being told I would have to give up a career in the outdoors after ankle surgery and only 3 months after my skin graft operations and iodine’s baths, got myself hill fit to pass my mountain leader, which involved carrying an Exped rucksack on the wound! And a month later was employed by Outward Bound, became the youngest Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold Assessor in Scotland, represented Scotland at the commonwealth youth forum, completed my D of E Gold with a broken arm so I could finish it, and so on and on, but what I never realised that if I focus I can achieve, even despite of myself!
Since my fresh-faced days as a youth worker and then at OB I have worked as senior manager in both charity, and commercial settings running teams of direct reports of up to 16, overseen 11 operational sites, ran the largest apprenticeship programme in the activity sector in the UK and sat on numerous government advisory quangos.
I realised that I could succeed, even although it seems that more often than not, I am looking at how I will fail and not be worthy!
I started Coaching as it was not available to me when I needed it, after situations with children support it is offered to the mother but not the father(that seriously needs to be addressed) or people like doctors who do not understand how you felt and the impact of making damming sweeping statements that could shape your whole life – I wanted to understand what was happening, strive to pull it together so I could share with people that they are not broken – no one is broken, and support it with fact not just hearsay. I wanted to not be in a wheelchair, cared for unable to hold my own cup, which at one point I struggled to…
I wanted options, not dictation as to what was going to happen.
Now – I do not tell you this stuff- to feel sorry for me, or another sob story – as that’s not what I want from this, but this is why I do it.
No one see’s this side of me or understands it, as I have never shared it until now or shown how I will push or struggle to make things happen, but maybe it would help to understand the why.
I have had to work most things out myself, and its lonely, and hard but it was all I could do – I was the one everyone in my life, even before a coach who came to sort things, work out things, be the peacemaker, the pacifier, the one to off load onto, look to keep everyone happy, and I became very good at that – there was no one else, and the only person I could talk to was no longer here – and to an extent – I blamed myself for that.
So – What fires and excites me – When I work with a client, and what they present, when they are really struggling – I want them to understand they are not broken and useless and pointless – but there is a psychological and physiological process going on. When someone wants to make a professional, career or business level up, or to improve health and wellness, help them understand and challenge old processes, mindsets, values and limiting beliefs are holding them back, but which are all changeable so that they can achieve.
When you can help someone understand this – that fires me, as there is that moment of realisation in their eyes, that bit of leakage, that they can have a different life and do something differently and then you see them grow and practice and develop and then they:
- reclaim their life’s and have careers,
- go off to college and university when they were told they would not be able to ,
- to have loving relationships and become pregnant and have a baby after being told that would never happen due to years of eating disorders,
- stand on stage and address an auditorium full of students and lecturers when they never used to be able to speak to one person,
- to see people who were at the end of the line, sat in front of you and tell you they were ready to jump, the rope was in the car, and then see them walk down the street, nothing more than a nod a recognition – but they are still here, still working, going home to their loved ones,
- going on to leave the area and fly, getting into college, chasing dreams,
- a 66-year-old woman zombified on medication and agoraphobic, now be travelling constantly, a holiday home in the lakes and had issues during lock down because she could not travel…
to witness all this happen, the magic that people create for themselves, this fires and excites me…
Every client whether they are a client or not has massive potential, if only it can be unlocked and nurtured – and they all deserve a chance to see that happen, as often the disbelief, the feeling that they don’t deserve, they’re not worthy, this, all this stuff they have is not from within them but a story they have created due to their life experience, but what if, just imagine what if we can assist them in turning over the page, in writing a new chapter, how amazing is that – this fires and excites me, all the new story lines, the unwritten stories, the endless possibility of possibility!!
Yes, we cannot help everyone. I realise that, but I have tried… And if it makes a difference to even just one, then it’s worth it….
Hence why during Lockdown I changed my Coaching Model, accumulated all I have learned around the science and art of making change and created an evolutionary development workshop program and trained to be a trainer of NLP, Coaching and Hypnotherapy – as I have a dream to be able to train others to coach and assist others as I do, to create a leaning and supportive community of coaches or people who wish to level up to support others in their change, support in succeeding in their careers or developing their businesses, or having better relationships – the place they do it is not important , just that they want to raise their level of awareness and ability to communicate and connect.
Why – so anyone who needs support to achieve their possible possibilities has it when they need it.
This is me, this is Why I do what I do
Want to know more, then lets chat