A Personal Journey to becoming a Coach by John Young

Introduction by Michele Armstrong - As a trainer of professional coaches, I am priviledged to walk alongside many great people as they embark on their journey to become better equipped to support others in realising their ambitions and dreams. One of our most recent coaches-in-training blew me away with the depth of learning that he encountered on his journey, that I asked his permission to share his personal reflections in the hope that they may inspire you to begin your journey.


My personal journey began with my own experience as a coachee.

I would have described myself then as a lost individual trying to make ends meet, trying to please everybody and be everything to everyone. This left me in a sad state, feeling trapped, stressed and pressured.

The Turning Point

I was browsing Facebook one evening and saw a post from a learning coach in search of a case study for 12 weeks.  If I am honest I never knew what coaching was or what it was supposed to do, but I had a 6th sense that it was for me so I volunteered myself for it.

My coaching journey was a massive success in terms of getting me on the right track and into the right frame of mind to be the person I wanted to be and achieve what I wanted to achieve. Through this experience I wanted to give back what I received (I mean I am a normal guy right?)

If I suffered so much who else was suffering?

Who else kept their desires to themselves?

Who needed help in the way I needed it?  

I made the decision to invest in my own development and applied to become a coach. I had many years of experience working with people and helping them change their lives through Personal Training and thought it was fitting that I could support people in more ways than one.  I’ve helped them train their bodies now I would have the skills and know-how to help them train their minds.

The Learning Journey

I am now a learning coach and I guess I always will be.

I am currently experiencing what it’s like on the other side, being the coach this time.

I have had 3 client case studies all on excellent journeys of their own and I am a part of it. It feels amazing. I feel like I have started to give back what I received.

The engagement and connections that occur through the dance of a conversation have been incredible often leaving a buzz after a session.

I have also experienced the challenging side of coaching. The side where you yourself can be so engaged and focussed on your clients journey that you can experience, what I like to describe as, cloudiness in the head.  This is where you almost take it all away with you after a session and then you find yourself reflecting on the conversation - and the reflection can be tiring. It’s all learning.

How did I manage this? I managed through meditation. The meditation allowed me to process all these thoughts/concerns and let them go leaving me to focus on the things that matter at that point in time. Meditation allows me to keep structure and balance to my life.

This made me realise there is more of an art to coaching than just a series of powerful questions resulting in great outcomes for your clients.  You must train your mind, becoming more powerful as a coach and practice your levels of listening. You must experience and acknowledge your own self-1 and self-2 (Gallwey, 1986) and learn when to be brave in order to challenge your client in the correct manner.  

Growing Self-Awareness

As a learning coach, I have begun to recognise differences in my own behaviour, mind-set and even persona. I often find myself correcting my own thoughts into a more positive manner.  Instead of complaining, I find a something to appreciate in the moment to avoid a negative mind-set. I recognise when self-1 (my critical self) is taking over and believe in self-2 (my authentic self), stretching myself every day.

I have noticed that subconsciously I connect with people on a different level just by my choice of words and questioning. Most importantly I have a vision now - a vision of where I want to be and what I want to do - and have been putting the steps in place to get there.

On reflection, I have come so far since beginning of the course, I have learned so much about myself and about people, allowing me to grow as a person.

I have applied a lot of principles to my own life; pushing me and challenging me in ways I never thought to be possible. Before my journey began I was a stressed and tired individual but now I have a new-found energy and reason to get up in the morning.

I accept that there will be challenges in life and often not easy… but I know there is a way to overcome every one.  You just ask yourself - or be asked - the right question to help you become aware that you have a choice. There’s always a choice; easy or hard, the choice is there. I am aware of the choices I make. I trust in my decision and act upon it.


Moving Forward

Since starting the course, I have been promoted at work and know I couldn’t have done it without the benefits of the coach training. I look forward to my future journey and aim to become a fully established life and executive coach within the coaching community.

JOHN YOUNG, 4/09/17

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