How My Coaching Journey Started

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

~ Cynthia Occelli

After completing my university degree I worked as an Occupational Therapist (OT) for several years. I enjoyed the human side to my work very much however after a few years I was losing my enthusiasm and wanted to find something would allow me to help create lasting change in people’s lives. So, I left my current job to get another job which I thought would make me happier. It didn’t.

This experience challenged me greatly as I had spent many years studying and thought it would be my ‘forever’ career. I felt something was wrong. I was wrestling with an internal struggle hoping the disconnection with my work was just a phase. It wasn’t.

It was important to me to search for a level of engagement in my work life that would get me up each morning excited at what the day might hold. I decided I needed to leave the profession which created an empty hole in the career quadrant of my life. The timing was terrible as my husband and I had just taken out a mortgage on a block of land. I felt vulnerable, scared and an overwhelming sense of worthlessness. I had identified myself solely as an OT, so in leaving the profession I was forced to question who I was now. How could I contribute to the relationship now that I’d lost my ‘identity’ (and income)? I went through a transition where I felt every single cell in my body was changing and I had no control or guarantee it would lead to a positive outcome.

After months of research, talking to everyone I knew, meeting with career counsellors, organisations and more importantly trusting that this uncomfortable experience would help me find my purpose and passion, I finally attended a Life Coaching Information Night. It was a life-changing experience for me. I’ll never forget the feeling of jumping for joy as I left the night truly knowing that I’d finally found my path in life.

Looking back now I acknowledge how much it challenged me at that time in my life. Leaving my career as an OT opened a huge hole that engulfed me and from that I found the blank canvas that I needed to grow myself. I now understand that change and growth is a very normal part of life and certainly a critical life lesson that I needed to work through to be more of who I was. Trying to be someone I wasn’t and pretending to enjoy my work wasn’t something I was good at and it took its toll.

Being free to be me I am more able to serve others with engagement and joy. My work energises me and I’m so grateful that night reignited my spark and gave me a measure of what being fully alive really feels like. There were heavy days in the process however, and for me, the whole experience felt like the journey of the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. It shed the layers of who everyone else wanted me to be and gave me the space to embrace who I really am in the world.

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