I started working with a life coach in my twenties almost by accident. I had a job I loved, but it wasn’t going anywhere. I wasn’t in a relationship, and my friends seemed to be finding “the one” getting engaged and married. And although I wasn’t in a hurry, I knew I wanted kids someday.
I suspected something was wrong with me. Was I too picky? If it wasn’t me, why hadn’t it happened already? And what could I focus on in the meantime to make a difference in my life?
I decided with my coach to pour all my time and energy into my career while investigating (and trying to be patient in) other areas of my life.
It’s funny to look back on now because I only found my coach because she was my friend’s mom. I didn’t know how a life coach could help me. I didn’t understand what kind of work we would do together, and like many people, I thought I could do it all on my own.
Isn’t it wild how when we start school, a career, or a family, we learn as we go — our progress requires a beginner’s mindset — yet when it comes to everything new after a certain point, we think it should be automatic?
No one expects us to know everything from Day 1, and despite billions of people also going through it, there is no playbook.
Yet we think there is a best way or that we should instinctively be good at everything that comes next, especially if we’ve succeeded in other areas. But it only sometimes translates.
Take academic or early career success. Many people start a family thinking, “I got this. How hard can it be?” because seemingly everyone has done it, but as they move up the corporate ladder, build businesses, grow their authority and expertise, and juggle life at home, they realize that they need upgraded skills, a more extensive toolbox, and new resources as they take on more.
Client A wanted a job at Google. She was already a big deal in a tech-adjacent industry, but the lack of flexibility was stifling her desire to be present with her family. I coached her through the interview process. It was brutal, round after round, panel after…