I work for a great company, one that offers a unique benefit, a life coach. My company employs a full time life coach that employees can use free of charge at any time and for any duration. Crazy, right? Crazy awesome! A little over a year ago I started working with Eric, whose official title at my place of work is the “Dream Coach”. It sounds kind of gimmicky and maybe a little cliché but boy he is anything but. Working with Eric changed my life, and I don’t say that for shock factor or to add drama, but more so as an honest description of my coaching experience. Because who I am today is quite noticeably different than who I was a year ago, and if I trace back to when my outlook on life started shifting it was right after I started working with my coach.
I’ve loved writing since I was little, when I was around ten I wrote a “book” about the Titanic. This consisted of approximately 20-30 pages of lined paper that I wrote by hand and then hole punched and put in a binder with Titanic scrawled across the front in sharpie. English classes and term papers came pretty easy to me throughout high school and college and whenever I had a choice of electives I usually chose something writing related. Pretty sure I was the only Econ major to ever take Shakespeare on Film as an elective…I digress. For about a year I’d had this thought in the back of my head that it would be so cool if I could get an article published in Verily Magazine, an online women’s magazine that I read every single day. But I didn’t know where to start, so I decided to give this Dream Coach guy a shot and see if he could help.
I started meeting with Eric every other week. Our coaching sessions lasted anywhere from half an hour to almost two hours, depending on what we needed to get done and how much time we scheduled. At the end of every session Eric would ask me what I was going to work on, when I would have it done, and let me know at what point he was going to follow up with me. I remember at one point being annoyed by the process and staring at my computer thinking man, I HAVE to get this done tonight because I know Eric is going to call me tomorrow. But that’s exactly what I signed up for; I signed up for a coach who was going to challenge me and push me and help me accomplish a goal. And the next day when Eric called and I had completed the big item on my to do list, I felt great. A couple months after we started working together I had submitted my first article, a couple weeks after that I got an email from an editor saying they were interested in publishing my work. I worked with one of the editors who helped me clean up and add some more depth to my piece, and in a few more weeks I had a published article on the front page of a website I had visited every day for the last two years. I was so proud. I am still so proud, because I put in the work and I went after it without a guarantee of success.
Fast forward to now and I’ve been working with Eric for a little over a year. I’ve published two articles, have a third one in the works, and I’m getting paid to do something I love, write. Recently I had the incredible opportunity to share my story with the rest of the company in a very unexpected and different way. I’d been talking to Eric about wanting to expand my skills outside of writing, maybe do some photography or video editing. He asked if I would be willing to share my story with the rest of the company in the form of a video, a video that I would have total creative control over and be in charge of completing. This project was scary and intimidating, but so exciting!
The timeline was tight and we had to have a completed video in about two months. I scheduled the filming days with a crew my company works with and we got a lot of footage…A LOT OF FOOTAGE. The video was supposed to be somewhere between 2-3 minutes and I had over 3 hours’ worth of footage to go through. Ya’ll, I worked my ass off on this thing. My roommates can attest that for several weeks I did little else but come home from work, edit my video, go to the gym, edit my video, go to sleep. The process was slow because it was my first time using video editing software so I had to learn as I went, but the more I learned the more fun I had! There were definitely some moments of swearing at my computer screen and wondering how in the world I was ever going to finish on time. But somehow, with some great advice and encouragement (shouts out to Craig and Brandon) I got it done. And it’s far from perfect, but I am so happy with the video I created. I shared my video at our corporate summit in January and it was the coolest experience to watch it up on the big screen with everyone else. It is an incredible feeling to bring a vision in your head to life on screen.
If you’d like to watch my video debut you can check it out here
A coach gives you permission dream. He gives you permission to say your crazy dreams out loud and by doing so you breathe life into something that was trapped in your head. I like to think that we all have this secret box in our heads and it’s labeled “DO NOT OPEN IN FRONT OF OTHERS.” It’s a box that holds all of our dreams, aspirations, goals, and fears. And we never want to open it in front of anyone else because of the “what ifs”. What if people laugh, what if they think my dream is stupid, what if I fail, what if I never actually achieve anything I dreamed. Working with a coach gives you a safe place to open that box, start to unpack and talk about those ideas until they don’t seem so crazy or far-fetched anymore. In fact, they start to seem realistic…and attainable.
It is a very special power Eric has as a coach; to be an objective, thoughtful, clear-thinking partner and give you the permission to say whatever is on your heart or in your head. His coaching has taught me how to pursue my dreams with intention, clarity, and confidence. I wake up every day knowing that there is no limit to what I can accomplish if I put in the work and never stop dreaming.