Coaching gave me my power back! Are you comfortable with power?

Prior to July 2014, you won’t catch me having coaching conversations with anyone, either face to face or online.

I grew up living life as a victim, constantly reacting to whatever was said or thrown at me. I couldn’t comprehend the power of the human spirit: as Victor Frankl once said, “Nothing can destroy the human spirit.” I grew up timid and afraid and, not knowing how powerful I was. I grew up living a life of fear, constantly worried about the future. It felt almost like a terrible long nightmare.

I must admit this fear and feeling of powerlessness did come partly from me watching how my parents lived their lives. Watching my dad struggle as a man to take care of his family was a feeling I didn’t want to experience. Knowing the kind of man my father was, it was rather sad and unfortunate for him it seemed, when he could no longer provide due to loss of employment and my mother became the breadwinner in the family and to see my dad lose his power completely and surrender to his inability to help his family—to even support his wife—was dreadful, to say the least. Conversations about money always brought negative emotion into the house.

Nothing can steal hope faster than a mind already programmed to accept defeat. I know there are circumstances we may find ourselves in where we cannot control the outcome, but we can certainly choose how we respond to it. We can wallow in self-pity and blame everyone around us for where we are. Or we can choose to rise above it, knowing there is always a way out of a difficult situation. We can choose to fight for our freedom and demand nothing but the best from us. We are not as powerless as others may see us or, more importantly, we are not as powerless as we see ourselves.

The feeling of powerlessness is an idea that has now become the norm for most people. We forget we have a choice to make in life—win or to accept defeat, to live as a victor or victim. Living as a victor doesn’t mean you don’t have fears or emotions; it means you won’t let them stop you. It means you can still feel down, but you won’t let yourself be stopped by your emotions.

The moment I recognised this truth, I began to apply it to my life daily and gradually it changed my life around. I am forever indebted to the coaches and teachers that have helped me so far; I still remember the wise words from a mentor, Natasha Ediale, who believed in me. Natasha was the leader of a gospel music group I used to belong to. At one of the regular rehearsals we attended on the weekend, she looked at me and said, “What you feed your mind with will continuously grow and bear fruits. You can get rid of the weeds and plant good seeds that will germinate into fruits that will feed you and others around you.” Those words stayed with me, and I realised it was my duty and choice to control the thoughts that stayed in my mind. Deciding to empower and protect your mind is power in itself. And that power lies in everyone. You are truly powerful. I am learning to disown my own sense of powerlessness on a daily basis.

I used to be afraid to use the term ‘power’ simply because I never knew what it was and what it truly meant to be powerful.

The coaching experience is one that enables the client to look within and find answers to questions. That in itself is powerful. It’s empowering as a coach to be given such an opportunity and privilege to share such an experience with the client. It is tremendous power within for the coach to hold themselves to the highest calling of guiding others, to find their truth as opposed to appearing as the answer for all of the clients’ questions.

It takes courage for us as coaches to spend time with the client in each session, serving them. We are simply powerful people interacting with influential people.

I enjoy coaching; I don’t have to be superman or wear a cape to make a difference. To every coach on the frontline, I celebrate you and cheer you on. Keep showing up! Adjust your seatbelts and get comfortable with power.