This guest blog was written by Jenai Lieu, for ChangeMyLifeCoaching.ca.
Sitting there at my desk, pressure was building inside of me as I stared blindly at my computer screen. The deadline for my article was weighing heavily on me as it loomed closer. It was one of the many stories I had to write for work. It is my job to write.
I sat there with the little cursor on the computer screen blinking at me.
Despite five years of university earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, tutoring high school students on how to write grade-A essays and helping foreigners earn scholarships in North America by teaching them how to write in formal English, I still couldn’t call myself a writer.
All I had to do was finish this 500-word article by the end of the week, but the idea of not being good enough to call myself a writer was paralyzing me from even forming a sentence.
I struggled a lot during my first year at work.
In fact I still struggle.
How well should my writing be before I can call myself a writer? How often should I dance before I can call myself a dancer? How knowledgeable must I be before I can call myself a professional?
For as long as I could remember I dragged this feeling of lack with me, like a piece of dead driftwood tied to my foot. In every area of my life this dead weight called ‘not being good enough’ was a constant reminder that I could never support myself and reach my goals.
So I never dreamed of what was beyond me and I stayed in the safe confines of comfort.
Funny thing is, even though I was living my safe and comfortable life, something inside me was stirring, yearning for me to figure out my true potential. Essentially something inside of me was calling me on my bullshit and refused for me to hide in the safety of comfort any longer.
Everyone has this little energy inside them, pushing them to figure out what they are truly meant to do in their lifetime. Some people call it their core self, others call it their inner child. When I first met Christopher, he told me it was my inner voice speaking to me, and throughout my life I chose to ignore that voice in exchange for comfort.
But you can’t quiet that voice, and the more you suppress it the louder it becomes.
My voice eventually knocked me off my feet. It took in the form of depression that plagued me for over five years. I didn’t know it then but it was one of the greatest things to have happened to me, because it forced me to retreat within myself and explore what I really wanted for the first time in my life. I realized that the life I was living was not meant for me. That I was meant for something different.
….but then I was stuck again.
I knew what I didn’t want. I had an idea of what I wanted…sort of. Taking the first step towards change is always terrifying. Doing it alone simply numbed me to the core.
So when my friend invited me to a meeting about finding my dream job hosted by some life coach named Christopher Lawrence, I was intrigued but highly skeptical. Before the meeting I scoped out his website called Change My Life Coaching, which sounded kind of floofy to me. I looked into life coaches before and I always got the feeling of being baited by those glowing professionals in expensive suits, charging crazy amounts for sessions.
I read Christopher’s biography, and after the typical section listing his certifications and experiences, there was a little blurb that caught my eye:
From being a high school drop out and recovered drug addict to successfully dealing with anxiety and depression, Christopher has learned to hear his own voice.
That was a surprise to me!
What professional with a reputation would include such damning information in their biography…on their company website nonetheless! I knew I had to meet him after that, and I’m really glad I did.
I can’t say that there is a lot of people I’ve met in my life where at first glance I felt completely comfortable with them. Christopher is one of those rare people. When I first met Christopher it felt like I was hit by a ray of sunshine. He simply glows with compassion, maybe a bit too strongly. I remember shifting my weight back and forth nervously under his intense smile. It felt like he could see through 27 years’ worth of my flaws. But then I remembered reading about his struggles. Behind that bright smile was history of pain and courage. Knowing this helped me open up to him about my own life.
For me, investing so much into coaching is a hard decision. I never committed to something like this before and I didn’t know if it was the right for me. I didn’t know what I was going to do until I met one of Christopher’s clients at his meeting. She understood my dilemma about how big the commitment coaching was, but then she said something that struck me.
“Yes it’s a big investment, but it’s an investment on your life.”
After that I just knew that I had to make coaching work. For so long I was searching for my purpose and yet I was holding myself back from making change. For years I was searching for that right person to help me on my journey and Christopher just clicked. It had to happen.
I called up Christopher and expressed my interest in coaching with him, and the first thing he says to me is, “You’re a writer right?”
When we first met I told him that I was a Communications major and wrote stories for my job. I hesitated over the phone and forced out a strained “Yes.”
I could hear Christopher getting excited and then he offered me the opportunity to write blog posts for his website. I was shocked.
For my entire life I couldn’t call myself a writer and yet this guy I met just a few weeks ago, whose never read any of my writings, trusted me enough to write for his company website.
My insecurities were screaming at me to decline and run away, and yet I couldn’t help but recognize the trust that was placed upon me from this stranger. It was all I could do to trust him in return. To trust that everything was going to be okay and that I was good enough.
Behind every spotlight of personal success, lie the immense support and guidance of those who care about us quietly behind the curtain. Christopher has become one of those people for me, to help me take those first small steps across the boundaries of my comfort and into the abyss of finding my true calling.
I hope reading this blog proves as useful to you on your journey as it is for me writing it. So here goes to taking the first step towards change…
Jenai Lieu is a writer for a Calgary-based organization that provides training and education for people in developing countries to meet their water and sanitation needs. Jenai has a Bachelor of Arts, Communications Degree from the University of Calgary. She is currently exploring life’s intricacies and can be found dancing somewhere in Calgary, getting lost in the Rockies or enjoying a nice cup of hot tea in the comfort of her house.
Jenai has been asked by Change My Life Coaching to write one “New Client” blog a month while she is working through her coaching program and transitioning through her life. We have not screened or edited Jenai’s blog for content that may conflict with Change My Life Coaching’s values or programs – the intent behind this project is to have you, the reader, see an authentic experience from a real life-coaching client.
If you would like to provide positive feedback and encouragement to Jenai on her journey please email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.