Where BIG conversations are born.

Life Coaching


How do I know if I need a Counsellor, Mentor or Life Coach?

I get asked a lot “How do I know if I need a Coach or a Counsellor?” so I amTHRILLED to share this helpful article I discovered floating amongst my coaching colleagues this week. I hope it helps, if you were wondering too! The below was taken from “Counselor, Mentor or Life Coach?” posted by GrowTogether (to read entire article) “My mission for this article is to break this misconception by explaining the difference between counseling, mentoring and life coaching.Ready? Alright, let’s start with counseling… life coaching, counseling, mentoring Counselor Dictionary definition is a trained person that gives: guidance on personal, social, or psychological problems: e.g: a marriage counselor advices on a specified subject: e.g: a debt counselor When you consult a counselor, you are looking for advice. They will work with you on your life problems and get you on your way to healing because they have the credentials and training to assist you in this process by diagnosing your case. Counseling and coaching get confused because they ARE similar.  Even if both of those professionals want to see you take action to reach your outcome, they support you through this development with different techniques and tools. Behavior and emotion observation is an important skill and frame-work used by a counselor to support the client. Even if they are helping them pursue their goal, most of the time they are more focused on the past and problems of the client than the future or solutions oriented. This is the biggest difference between life coaching and counseling, meaning that a counselor has the qualifications to work with aspects of the client’s psychology. If you are in crisis or trauma (depression, emotional trauma, substance dependence), a counselor will be at the right place to have the assistance you need. life coaching, mentoring, counseling Mentor Dictionary definition is an experienced and trusted adviser. When you want to consult a mentor, you are looking forward to learning about his or her life experience and gaining advice from them as an expert. For example, you want to open your first restaurant, and you need some guidance with your project because you never dealt with those responsibilities before. You can then learn from his experience, ask him all the questions that you want about it and observe his expertise. He can share with you all his wisdom and knowledge on the subject. Your mentor has the solution for you because he is the one with all the information and skills that you need. While a life coach has a focus on your personal development (individual), a mentor focuses on skills and expertise. Even if both of those experts want you to develop your best self at your highest potential, different techniques will be involved. If you are looking forward to gaining knowledge, understanding and skills for yourself, a mentor is your key! life coaching, mentoring, counseling Life Coach The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as a thought-provoking and creative partnership / process that inspires clients to maximize their personal and professional potential. The Coaches Training Institute (largest in-person coach training school in the world) defines the role of coach to ask powerful questions, listen and empower to elicit the skills and creativity a client already possesses, rather than instruct or advise¨. Everywhere you look today, people qualify themselves as coaches, even if they don’t have any certification. I decided to give you the two...

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Suck it Fear. I’ve Got This (for now).

This posting is dedicated Verena, a woman and mother I never met, but whose life and unexpected passing will forever keep me moving forward in gratitude, committed to  ‘daring to suck’ at EVERYTHING I attempt or want in my life. I hope her story does the same for you. I started a book club two weeks ago to follow the May Cause Miracles 40 day guide by Gabrielle Bernstein. The book is geared to present small but powerful shifts in recognizing how fear holds us back from living life fully and how to choose love instead. Do the work and watch the miracles show up. With all I’m daring to do these days and being a self development addict, it was an easy sell. The first week asked me pay attention and be willing witness fears that show up and honestly I couldn’t come up with anything – at least nothing obvious. It was like there was a blockage of denial resisting the possibility that I had fear in my life after all I’d done to get away from the bottom of my ‘well’ over a year ago.  By the second day, with all this talk of love and fear, I was coming up with very little, and even bitching about the wording she was using. Then it hit me, ‘ahh, more resistance…  hmmm, I must be close to something because I think this may be my troll (aka ego, inner self saboteur) trying to distract/confuse me hoping I give up and forget about doing the work entirely. Think again buddy. So, I buckled down and leaned in figuring something would show up, and boy did it ever. Whether it was the leaning in or exposing myself to the subliminal impact of the daily messages to raise my awareness but by day three and four I was hit between the eyes with a FEAR cyclone that included ALL moving parts of my life. You see, this month also marked the end of my maternity leave and me grabbing the reins of my new coaching practice, no more back up. This is really happening and I felt the intense resistance of putting myself ‘out there’. The simple question of ‘how am I going to do this?’ opened the door to feed this beast of a storm that included self doubt, frustration and the dreaded unknown around childcare, financial security and future, completing my coach certification, maintaining my commitment to healthy eating / exercise, time, money (or lack thereof). It felt even worse when I heard about other coaches’ success because in would walk jealousy, comparison and ultimately paralysis (aka pity party). On top of this all, I noticed in my current state, my exercise and healthy eating was at an all time low and pulling me back into familiar and self sabotaging habits. I felt panic and desperation thinking “’I’m barely treading water here, how will I ever do this?!!” In the midst of this shit storm, I received a very sad email from my local Mom Meet-Up Group, letting us know that one of the contributing mothers, Verena, had died suddenly. She was a 37 year old local high school teacher, with a five year old daughter who had given birth to her second daughter a month ago and there were no complications following the scheduled C-section. An article in the paper stated she went to bed the night...

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My Adventures in Sucking.

This past weekend I attended the Advanced Speakers Academy in Kelowna, presented by the incredible Hugh Culver and boy did I get my money’s worth! When I was asked to go with my cousin, Mo (a kickass keynote speaker and community engagement rock star), I definitely felt in over my head, to say the least. The part that made me laugh was the literal fact that I was daring myself to suck – in front of a dozen seasoned speakers and doubted my performing experience from high school was worth mentioning… *gulp. I had no idea what to expect and designed an alliance with myself to approach the two days as an open-eyed learner – no faking it till I made it – that I’d be open and honest about my newbie status and would drink in the experience and wisdom I was about to receive. Doing this made it a WHOLE lot easier to walk through those doors. Immediately after introducing myself to the other attendees I felt this reassuring sense of how we are all just people wanting to spread our messages to a bigger audience and make an impact on the world. My nerves began to calm a little bit more. Let’s do this. Hugh dove in with his infectious enthusiasm, humour and ridonkulous experience on the subject and I was fascinated by the world of professional speaking. With every story he told there were invaluable how to’s, tips, tricks and helpful templates and systems to build a solid, organized business as a speaker and facilitator. He consistently delivered ‘one-two punch’ after another. I couldn’t stop writing and was glued to his every word. And then, it was time for us to give it a go… on video. Faaack. As we were handed random numbers I quickly ducked out to use the ladies room and gather myself. It was as if my heart was trying to beat its way out of my chest. When I returned I discovered I was number 11 out of 12… SWEET! And then found out he was going in REVERSE! Son of a…! My head was spinning and as much as I’d tried to rehearse my 3 minute story, it felt as though it was slipping away, one sentence at a time… oh crap. The first speaker began and she was incredible – clear, powerful, articulate and smooth…. uuggh. (AM I REALLY GOING TO DO THIS?!!) Let’s just say the universe decided to hit fast forward and it was my turn. So up I got with a huge smile on my face and a nervously giddy came over me as if the sucking had already happened. Something inside just said “Well, you’re here now lady… just LET GO and enjoy the ride!” I told the story about how I chose my theme this year of “Daring to Suck” – that this past year was one of huge transformation for me as I embraced my passion to become a life/business coach and help others make BIG things happen. I relived the moment I first heard this phrase during one of my training workshops, when our instructors noticed we were trying to make the coaching look “pretty”. I remember she stopped the exercise and said “Don’t be afraid to get messy. Your messy could be exactly what your client NEEDS to have a breakthrough. Swing wide, take chances, look foolish for THEIR sake!...

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Daring to Suck!

In my quest for living a bigger, more purpose-driven life, my theme for 2013 is “Dare to SUCK!” which was a phrase I took away from one of my weekend coach training sessions challenging us to swing wide with our clients and take risks. So this approach is going to be perfect for me this year, where I plan to put myself in situations where I don’t have all the answers and seek to try new things. To expose myself to new experiences, new people and to do it all being unattached to the outcome – meaning I could completely fall flat on my face, in front of a LOT of people… and it not MEAN anything, other than I gave it a go and (hopefully) learned something. The more I think about this, the more I wonder “What the hell are you thinking??!! You know the Universe is listening, right?” That being said, I developed the following strategy to help keep me moving forward when I get stuck and want to retreat (anybody who’s read Scaredy Squirrel to your kids might recognize the approach): Step 1: PANIC! (aka Let Go and Feel it all) – Surrender to the discomfort, messy, ugly cry, frustration of being stuck and say all the irrational crap out loud that I am telling myself. Leave no stone unturned. Exorcise that shit in a big way and clear the way for what lies underneath, which is hopefully, rational thinking and my true inner voice of reason and wisdom that wants more for me. Step 2: Take a deep breath, figure out what I need and (ahem..) ASK FOR HELP! I choose to draw on the richness of experience and wisdom from others around me (friends, colleagues, family) and if it’s not there then I commit to seek it out – research, expanding my network, reading, classes. I choose to be an empowered participant, for the sake of walking into awesome! This step is a toughie hard, especially because I really want to look good, do things perfect the first time and appear to have my shit together, but it’s amazing what happens when I don’t rely on others to read my mind, or better yet, test them to see how well they know me – because they SHOULD know, right? Been there, done that and it’s a dangerous game I no longer want to play. Step 3: TAKE THE HELP, I asked for it! Shut off the voices of resistance/pride/ego in my head, say “Thank You” and open up my mind, ears and take in what I don’t know. I need to remember that NOBODY ever did anything worthwhile or impactful ALONE. Nobody. I will find comfort in this fact and consider tattooing it somewhere I can see it anytime I need to. Step 4: TRUST AND LEAP INTO THE UNKNOWN! Whatever it is I want to do or try, I will take what I know, suck up some fierce courage and TRUST that no matter what happens, trying and failing miserably (worse case scenario) is truly better than not trying at all. And who knows, I might not only inspire others to do the same but inspire MYSELF to keep going! I can also sense some hilarious stories to come from this place and I love me a good story to share J This thought is almost exciting… where I can practically feel...

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My Journey Out of the Well

This past weekend I completed ‘Balance’, the third of five courses in my training to become a certified life coach. As I’ve been living my life bigger and bigger these days, friends and family ask me what ‘grabbing the reins of my life’ is all about and why I am taking on so much since having my second son, Beau, just 6 months ago. Since that time, I’ve started coach training, a social media revolution in my community, a running / exercise program and began a nutrition class. What I respond with is something along the lines of “I used to live in a well” which obviously gets some confused looks, but in a nutshell I use to be very stuck in my life and I’m learning so many others can relate to this perspective. And seeing as the course I just finished was all about shifting perspective, I came across the original journal entry after my first coaching session with Peter back in February that can explain it better, so here it is “We began our session by having me review several aspects of my life and grade them from zero to 10 on how satisfied I was with each section – my health, marriage, money, physical environment, fun, career, friendships etc. When I looked at the completed diagram I clearly saw how much I limit myself in almost all the aspects and how over the years, created a smaller and smaller life for myself. There are areas I’m more satisfied (5-8) in – my marriage, my home, my family and friends – but anything to do with me like my health, work, fun (what’s that again??) and happiness were practically non-existent (0-2). I saw that my life was very safe, cozy and familiar but on the other I feel jealous of others for having the energy and courage to live much bigger lives doing something they care about who are making an impact on the world. So I openly ask ‘why don’t I allow myself to break free … what am I waiting for? What I heard come out of my mouth was automatic and thoughtless, but profound. I am waiting for someone to see me sitting here and tell me what to do! I’ve never felt so stuck … and intellectually I know that I am the only one who can make a change in my life so why  on earth would I expect someone else to tell me what to do? And then Peter asked me to answer my own question, again… (what am I paying him for?? haha ) and then it even got crazier. I responded Because nobody ever does and nobody ever did ….which was made me burst out laughing because it was a childish thing to say but that was where it was coming from. As I explored this perspective, I realize growing up, the topic of dreaming or even figuring out what I wanted to do was not something I ever learned to talk about. I had loving parents and family but my household had its own priorities and dramas that made for a fairly unpredictable environment – so this makes sense. We had too much other shit going on..haha. I know in my heart and head that we were doing the best we could, all of us. The unpredictability taught me work with what was in front of me...

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My Adventures in Coaching.

So part of my journey right now is stepping into my life with both feet  and I’ve recently discovered the next piece to my puzzle, a piece that fills me up and allows me to do what I love in a better way , which is connect with  and help people! Although it felt like the decision to go back to school and train to become a certified life / business coach happened very quickly, the truth is I’ve been seeking it out my whole life. From as far back as I can remember, I would come alive most when I connected and helped the people in my circle overcome a challenge or support them through a difficult time. Roughly six months ago, a close friend turned to me and said “Remember years ago when you mentioned looking into becoming a life coach – Why don’t you?” and even though I’d heard it before, this time it resonated on a deeper level – because she was right, I’ve danced around it for years but truthfully didn’t know HOW someone would become a coach. It all seemed so airy fairy to me. Growing up, I loved watching coaches come on Oprah then religiously watched every episode of “The Starting Over House” and more recently “Breakthrough” by Tony Robbins…glued to every word and life changing moment. I just eat this stuff up!! Whatever they do, I love it. But would wonder… how could I do that? I was good at being a supportive friend that had some life experience which seemed to help me help others, but figured, that’s not going to cut it. So, it wasn’t that hard to let the idea quickly drift away into a sea of reasons why I couldn’t. But this time was different.  I was tired of saying NO and wanted to at least look into it further. So that night I told Scott and the most unexpected thing happened… he said “Really? I JUST met a life coach this week at a networking meeting and she was really incredible. I’ll introduce you if you want.” And even though there was a huge part of me that was hesitant, I said yes and next thing I know, I met the amazing Karen Bresler a few days later. What I thought was going to be a fairly superficial conversation with Karen turned into what felt like meeting someone I’d known my whole life. The language she used, her outlook, philosophies  – it  was like listening to myself and all these TV coaches all wrapped up into one – everything I’d ever been drawn to. The more we talked, the more excited we both got and after telling her how I got here, she enthusiastically (to say the least) ‘encouraged’ (aka TOLD…haha) me to pursue formal coach training. Of course I was thinking this is all happening too fast (little troll)– I had only just muttered the words and now I’m going to do this?? Sensing my hesitation, she insisted I at least experience a coaching session with a friend of hers and I agreed. And then the second angel-coach, Peter Valles entered my life.. What is coaching like? Coaching to me was similar to “therapy” but more helpful in my opinion. I’ve done therapy and it has its place in the world but what I remember is that I was always left feeling better to get things...

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