Your Certification Exam is Saturday!
In the first two articles of my column, I described “why” I chose to become a Life Coach, and “how” my experiences contribute to my coaching – so I will not belabor those points. In this article, I will cover the “what.” As I sit here and write this, a reminder pops up on my computer. It reminds me that I have set aside all of Saturday to take “the exam”. The exam is not just any exam, it is the final piece of a long list of steps to complete my certification for the International Coaching Federation!
The Foundation of my Coaching Practice
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the closest thing to being an all-encompassing governing body for Life Coaches. To complete and earn a certificate from the ICF is a goal I had set for myself several years ago. The specifics of the certificate requirements are available on the ICF website. As I reflect on my experience in arriving at this point of being ready to take the exam, I feel compelled to share the “between the lines” of the journey. It would be too easy (and boring) to write about a checklist (i.e., step one – find an ICF accredited school, step 2 – enroll…)
So my journey started when I made the decision to become a life coach. I quit working in a cubicle to start, run, and make successful my own company; thus, Warrior2Life Coaching was born. I chose the name Warrior2Life Coaching because of the Yoga pose Warrior2. It is a pose that is easy to get into but takes presence to understand and requires strength to maintain and endure – much like pursuing your goals.
Where My Certification Journey Began
My journey began when I started attending The Coach Training Academy. I have to say that this is one of the best things I have ever done. Aside from LOVING being a student (of anything), it is one of the times of my life when I got to meet like-minded and spirited people. Next came the required practice session. This entailed traveling into a new and exciting piece for me as well. I was used to standing in front of a class imparting “my wisdom” to my classes. Now, it was just me and my client (a practice one at this time). Then came the x number of weeks in mentorship.
A Journey of Grit and Perseverance
The most challenging piece is satisfying the required number of hours of actual coaching, the majority of which needs to be paid hours! This is when my resolve was truly tested. Starting something like a coaching practice from scratch takes a lot of grit and perseverance. There are days I remember wanting to give up because it was getting very frustrating hearing the word NO all the time.
All the beautiful people that were in my life now, either directly or indirectly, encouraged me to stick with it. I am eternally grateful to Steve Keiges of the Coach Training Academy for being my mentor. Every step, and to this day, he has a way of helping me grow as a coach ( I also want to thank people like Benay Dyor and all those who may not know they are my mentors).
What really kept me in my big boy pants, were two things that always repeat in my head. The first was my dad went through something similar. Except for him, he became a real estate agent. He went from a newbie with nothing more than a real estate license to being the number 1 agent in the state of California – he never gave up. The other is a piece of advice from a lecture that featured Condolezza Rice. In her lecture, she said something very simple but effective – “success takes time and constant effort”. There are no shortcuts. So although you may find the steps to achieve your goals difficult, that is what it takes. For me, it comes down to my mindset. I began to truly enjoy this journey once I went from trying to jump directly to the top of the mountain to embracing each step of the journey. As I prepare for my exam on Saturday, I am naturally nervous, but I am also looking forward to the experience!