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The Path of Personal Growth

When I first started coaching I was socially awkward, I lacked the ability to connect with people, and to be honest that ability to connect has been the hardest part of coaching and the one of the hardest things to do in overall life for me.

I have always felt I have possessed the technical knowledge needed to succeed at my career. I also feel like my ability to manage a class and clients in those classes has always been one of my strengths. The thing is none of that matters if you don't have clients to coach. 

My largest weakness when I first began coaching (as mentioned before) was (and still is) the ability to actually break through to the human standing in front of me. I struggled to connect with them on an emotional level. I struggled to have a what Patty would call a "real conversation". I struggled to have fun with people. I thought I would be able to blow people away with my technical knowledge and my passion for coaching. 

I think part of the reason for this is how I perceived the world and how I thought humans should be with one another. I thought cut and dry and no nonsense was the only way people should be. Anything else seemed fake or ingenuine. I remember a time when I was pipefitting, my foreman asked me a question, something along the lines of "How's the job going", and I replied in a monotone and sarcastic way "Oh, it's just great". His reply was "The sarcasm's got to stop"... I was laid off not long after. I remember one of the first times I met Patty. He asked me "How are you with girls?" again, I replied in a very unenthusiastic way "Not very good". He chuckled, as only Patty does. 

As many of you reading this might know, I can be very stubborn. Unfortunately I lack to give you a good reason as to why.

I mention this because I was very resistant to change how I approached people and how I talked to them. I struggled to be vulnerable and I struggled to take what people were telling me seriously. I thought my peers and my co-workers simply wanted to change me. 

I interpreted this as them thinking I wasn't good enough. When I should have taken it for exactly what it was. A chance to grow and be better. I did eventually begin to take some of their advice and their mentoring. When I did, things started to change. I began to find myself coaching more, I began to make more money, I began to become a better person because I was happy at work and I was happy at home too. 

Now, this is not to say I am in the clear and have rid myself of some these ways of thinking. 

Yes, I am still too stubborn. Yes, I still struggle to connect with even the most important people to me, and yes I can still come across as very cut and dry. 

Looking back now there are several people I wish I treated differently over the course of my life. The more people I get to know the more I realize that my first assumptions are never right. Never. 

I have a habit of taking these assumptions and using them as fact. When what I should be doing is making no assumptions and making an effort to break through.

My mission moving forward is to end the assumptions, break down my walls and share more about myself, and in return I hope to get know more people in this amazing community. 

I used to think others were holding me back. Fuck was I wrong, I am the only person holding myself back. 

Daria, keep challenging me to answer my own circle questions. Matt, keep asking me what's going on. Simona, keep encouraging me to smile more. 

Coach Tom