You might have seen that I shared this story over on Instagram recently ….
I talk a lot about how being coached changed my life. But I don’t often share the details…
Around the time I turned 40, I looked around and realised that I’d built an (apparently) amazing career, but I hadn’t built a life. I was working 7 days a week, almost every week, in my corporate role. Why? To overcome an inner critic who told me I was a fraud (and that I was going to be found out at any moment). I had no hobbies (whereas my hubby had heaps). And I was endlessly counting the days until our next trip to France.
Then there was the fact that my role as a mum was downsizing. Our son was starting to live his own life and I’d been filling up the increasing space with my job. And it was all leaving me feeling exhausted and dissatisfied and seriously questioning my life choices.
So I looked into coaching
I realised that this was not what I wanted my life to look like. Not even a little bit. And as a result, I started working with a coach to help me to build more confidence in my career and creativity into my life.
That decision started a journey that I now know as ‘following breadcrumbs’. You see, when I was young, I liked to write. And as an adult, I loved travelling to France. So I started blogging about France. And then, because it’s so fabulous, I started writing about French style. My love of French style led me to becoming a Style Coach. And that taste of coaching saw me becoming a certified life coach and, ultimately, discovering self-belief coaching.
In the meantime, my confidence grew as I tried and learned new things. And my coach supported me to go for bigger corporate roles, build boundaries and deal with all of the behaviours that are triggered by self-doubt. As a result, my career exploded and became easier – two things that I’d never imagined happening at the same time.
Today my life is a perfect blend of my day job, writing, coaching, creativity, growth and Distant Francophile.
All thanks to the fact that I reached out to a coach….And that’s where the tale ended on Insta.
But there’s more to the story (and the chapters are called intention, investment & accountability)
I shared the story because I’m super excited about the fact that I have 5 coaching spaces opening up soon. An intensive course I’ve been doing for my own growth is coming to an end. And that means I have more time available to take on new clients – something I’m thrilled about. Seriously, I feel like there should be confetti and balloons. Because I sincerely believe that having a coach makes it easier for you to learn to do anything – from perfecting pull-ups to mastering another language, right through to changing your life.
However the truth is, coaching alone isn’t a magic wand. And lives can be transformed without a coach in sight.
Because, as one of my favourite coaches says, ‘Coaching only works if you do’.
So what other ingredients went into my transformational mix.
Well, there were plenty. But the key ones were intention, investment and accountability.
Let’s start with intention
The first of these ingredients needed me to get intentional about building a life that was both full and fulfilling. I had to reach the point where I was no longer prepared to float along, letting work (increasingly) and motherhood (decreasingly) dominate my life. I had to give up on wishing and hoping as strategies. And I had to intentionally choose that I wanted things like creativity, growth and service (as well as fun and vitality) to be part of my day to day experience.
Intention has a different energy to simply wanting something. According to the Oxford Dictionary an intention is an aim or purpose. And therefore intention requires a commitment. I had to commit to my choices and take purposeful action in order to bring more life into my life. I had to break old habits – no more automatically opening the work lap-top on Sunday afternoons. And I had to choose to spend time doing less familiar tasks that really stretched me. I’ve tried so many new things – copy writing courses, French lessons, floristry courses just to name a few – in order to find what lights me up creatively. And I needed to be ready to fail in order to get to where I wanted to go.
Which brings me to investment
Doing all of those things required investments. Yes, I invested money in both courses and coaching, but I also had to invest time and energy too. Things like blogging, learning to run a website, and coach training took hours of work and pushed me out of my comfort zone.
But as Warren Buffett said in 2019 – “By far the best investment you can make is in yourself”. My investments bought my intentions to life and I know that without me spending the time, energy and money there’s a good chance I’d be stuck back where I was, feeling frustrated and dissatisfied with what I’d done with my potential and my life.
And finally, lets talk about accountability
Time for another definition here. According to my dictionary to be accountable means to be responsible; required to account for one’s conduct. And if you want to leverage your intention and investment, it’s important that you manage your conduct and do the things you say you’re going to do.
But sometimes this is hard – as anyone who’s promised to themselves that they’re never eating peanut M & Ms ever again knows. Often we’re our own worst enemies when it comes to holding ourselves to account. Our protective behaviours kick in to protect us from risks like failure and discomfort. And in doing so, they keep us from moving forward.
There are many ways to build in accountability. For a long time now, I’ve chosen to work with a coaches, either 1-on-1 or in group or mastermind settings. They definitely provide supportive accountability – and the fact I’m paying for it also motivates me to act. But you could use a friend, colleague or peer as an accountability buddy. Or you could opt for one of the many task tracking or project management apps that are out there. These tools use gamification to make doing what you say you’ll do more fun. And even just keeping a daily journal to track your plans and intentions can make a big difference.
I know for sure that intention, investment and accountability changed my life. Here’s the thing though. Now that I’ve coached dozens of women both in my corporate world and my coaching practice, I know that my circumstances weren’t unique. Whenever you’re clear on what you want, make the right investments and hold yourself to account, things will absolutely shift.
I’d love to know. Have you ever thought of intention, investment and accountability as life changing ingredients? Have you experienced their impacts in your own life? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
And until next time – stay fabulous.
Warmest, Janelle xx
P.S. If you’re ready to get intentional, you’re prepared to invest in yourself AND you think a coach would help you stay accountable, I’d be honoured if you’d consider taking one of those 5 available spaces and working with me. Whether you want to deal with a single challenge, or you’re looking to invest in your future, both of my one-on-one packages are built around the intentional combination of clarity, mindset and action. You can learn more here. No matter where you are on your journey, I’d love to support you in building a fulfilled and fabulous life xx