Darren’s Story, in his words
A long time ago, I interviewed Sandra for a job. It was clear within a minute that there had been an HR cock-up and there was no way she and the role were suitable for each other. I apologised – better screening on my part would have saved us both an hour of time, and she responded “it’s not a problem….these meeting are always an opportunity for something.” We talked about what she was aiming to do, and what I wanted to achieve as far as the culture of our company was concerned. We found much common ground, and a few weeks later I appointed her as my personal coach and as a fully paid for coach for our whole team.
This was the beginning of our work together, and one of the best decisions I ever made.
Through our conversations, Sandra has helped me to make sense of who I am, my motivations, the reasons behind some of these things, and introduced me to what I now know of as the sense of ‘congruence’.
Ever been in those meetings where something is bugging you and you can’t work out what it is? ever had a year of those, and found yourself increasingly bitter and de-motivated? Ever had a decade go by and wonder if you’ve actually made a difference at all….and lashed out in anger and frustration or descended into depression because you knew the answer was no?
I did all that, and as well as help me to identify the elements that make up that ‘dis-satisfaction’ or lack of congruence, Sandra helped me to understand why those things were so important to me.
I had a very successful career and was being paid a lot of money to do something that I was very good at. The only trouble was that I just didn’t enjoy it. As I got better at the job, and better paid, I also picked up more responsibility, both at work and at home, so the pressure to continue and be successful felt like a fire blanket, suffocating any spark of originality or creatively I might have. To paraphrase a quote in Brene Brown’s book, I felt that my wife, family and colleagues would rather see me die on my white horse than fall off it.
Sandra helped me to find the tools to make sense of all that, to get me to a point where I was confident enough to stop doing what I didn’t like, and was able to be ready and open for the change that inevitably came shortly afterwards.
Our work together has enabled me to make better decisions, based on my whole self, and based on a set of beliefs that I know to be true for me, and entirely valid, irrespective of what anybody else thinks. She’s added that degree of external focus that you sometimes need when you can’t see the wood for trees – always relating it back to my very personal make up.
During our most recent work together, we have used a different model of engagement that has allowed me to ‘ramble’ a little more, to bring together the random pieces into a coherent whole. This takes time for me – my standard defence to emotional probing is disinterested intellectual banter, humour, and an approach to story-telling that makes Ronnie Corbet look like a Haiku master.
With tenderness, compassion and the occasional slap, Sandra steered me to a point where I could finally see my path, and by being flexible in her approach, Sandra allowed me to not only find the right path, but to hone to tools that will enable me to find it again and again.
She also introduced me to the work of Brene Brown, for which I shall forever be grateful.
For those of you out there who know that life needs to change, but need help to work out the direction, Sandra is there to help, and once you make the commitment to be receptive for change, you’ll be amazed how quickly things happen.
For me, it took about 2 months from the time that I decided to commit to making change happen (I quit the job that I hated), to getting a job offer to work in the most amazing business. After all the books on career planning, all the CV re-writes and all the discussions with agencies, I met a bloke on a bus. He was the CEO of a new business and we had a 10 minute chat about what we both trying to achieve in the world, with lots of talk about values and meaning, and no BS. It turned out I was the perfect candidate for a role he was recruiting for.
Without the work with Sandra, I would not have been clear enough about my values and aspirations, and would have probably not have been able to have made such a strong connection so quickly. As James Allen said, “The world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going”, so go see Sandra and get a map! “
Darren P – Hertfordshire
I helped Darren achieve a sense of safety, to allow him to explore his thoughts and behaviours in a non-judgemental space. From there, we were able to explore what he really wanted. I enabled him to achieve clarity where previously there had been fog.
Right before he met his new boss on the bus, we had worked on creating a powerful intention. He wanted to be “110% enthusiastic and %110 committed” to his next career. He realised this meant that above all else he had to work for an organisation whose values matched his own, as well as make a difference. Once he was absolutely clear about what he wanted, he could relax and let it come to him.
That didn’t meant do nothing. It meant he could trust himself to make better judgements and to have the right conversations with the right people. He was able to see possibilities where before there were closed doors. He was able to grasp opportunities and gently push to reveal what was on the other side.
There was no panic, no grappling with what ifs. Instead there was a quiet, unyielding confidence. A belief that he had what it took to find his dream job, even though he didn’t know exactly what form it would take. When the right opportunity presented itself, then he knew. His trust and belief in the process, and himself meant that he had created the right time to be on that bus, with the right person. Who, by the way, was on the wrong bus by mistake and right after they had exchanged business cards, was asked to get off !
Creating an intention and have another person hold it for you as closely as they would hold their own is incredibly powerful. I’ve witnessed many ‘miracles’ both in my life, and that of my clients’ lives as a result.
Sandra Swan is a specialist mid-life career coach. To find out how she can help you achieve miracles in your career, contact her to arrange a free, no obligation chat about your specific circumstances. You’ve not nothing to lose!
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