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Free-er to be Me!

Free-er to be me. "The results are in". (Non-Election results that is...) As planned, the 3 part course, Free to be Me took place at the Solihull Wellbeing Clinic during the month of May 2017. Even though I say so myself, it was a great success! Success being that the 8 members were a joy to work with and that the course clearly made such a positive difference to all our lives. As I said to the group one evening, "I only hope you are all loving this course as much as me!" I'd like to share with you the key points and highlights from the course as I feel they demonstrate the powerful effect that even a lighter touch of coaching can provide.

The power of just talking to one another

This is also known as Changing State - no coach needed at this point. A quick discussion on what Freedom meant to the group produced the following list - free to make choices; time for me; fewer limitations/restrictions; freedom from guilt; ability to say NO and mean it; personal growth; change; feel the fear and do it anyway; and just do it!

Number Lines

A number line was used to register each members current satisfaction in regard to feeling free to be themselves. They talked about things they already do that support more feelings of freedom. One of the many beautiful things about coaching is the practice of focusing on the positive, flagging up what's already going well. The group came up with: liking your own company; mindfulness; meditation and yoga; planning and organising; communicating clearly; being authentic; getting up earlier; and following creative pursuits. Using creativity and vision to make the goal more real.

Vision Boards

After Week One, the group went away to create individual vision boards to illustrate what their lives will be looking like when they are Free-er to be Themselves. No coach needed for this pairs work. In week two the group enjoyed looking at and discussing each other's vision boards.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there were many common themes and visions: the green of outdoors and nature; leisure pursuits; and scenes depicting peace and tranquility. In addition there were strong messages about valuing ourselves; eating healthily and resting well; progressing and expanding; enjoying adventures; trying new skills. No mention of sports cars, wads of cash, dazzling partners, Gucci merchandise or foreign cruises!

We jotted down some key ideals. To be at work , even f/t work, but 'lighter' more work/life balance. Permission to self to be happy NOW. Make up for lost time. More time to laugh, to play, have fun. More joy. To be 'moving' more, to take on some mentoring, help, learning. Getting honest, Focused, naming and nailing down. Great exercise in authentic action - stepping out of Denial. (Remember, it's not a river in Egypt...)

The Wheel of Life

The group used another popular coaching tool, the Wheel of Life, to 'rate' each area of their lives in relation to how Free to be Me they felt in each of them. There were some surprises there but as one member said, "at least there's no denying where the blocks are currently lying in my life".

Between Week 2 and 3 the group were asked to each take one small action in a low-rated area of their Wheel of Life in order to move it up even the slightest increment. The results of this were way beyond our expectations. One person had approached a friend and asked them to come on holiday - something they'd never done before. Another had planned a holiday with their child. Everyone felt there'd been considerable movement since the start of the course. This was reflected in the rise in the satisfaction numbers that they'd given themselves at the start.

The course was brought to a triumphal close as the group proudly received their certificates affirming that they were now Free-er to be Me! Using feedback to evaluate the course and to look for ways to improve.The group were asked to comment on the following areas: content, resources, venue, delivery of sessions, usefulness. Feedback from the 8 group members indicated that the course had been enjoyable, useful and informative. The majority of ratings were 'excellent' with a couple of 'good' as well. Comments included: 'loved the informal nature of the course, not to mention the humour - was enlightening and interesting'. 'Be happy to recommend Caroline's courses to others'. 'Great mix of people who willingly shared'. 'I found a lot in common with the group'.

Such positive feedback and ratings determine my intention to run further courses here at the Solihull Wellbeing Clinic. Please watch this space for news of future courses coming up. Contact me for more information about coaching opportunities. I look forward to working with you whenever you are ready.

Caroline Gibbs

Life Coach and Listener

Caroline Gibbs is an NCP (National Council of Therapists) registered Life Coach holding an EDI qualification in Performance Coaching along with qualifications in Counselling Skills, Solution Focused Thinking and Psychology. Her client testimonials show the effectiveness of coaching in releasing the client from the blocks that can deny us the freedom we already have:- "I feel more in control of my situation, more empowered to deal with things..." Sarah; "Being guided to find and then work through blocks was hard work but definitely pushed me to move forward..." Laura; "It became quite a cleansing and liberating process and one that pointed me in the right direction towards the happy path I am currently on..." Tracey; It wasn't until I had the coaching sessions that I was helped to recognise my behaviours..." Teresa.

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