“When are people going to figure out that I really don’t know what I’m doing?” This question runs through my mind at least once a day. “Fake it til you make it”, is a phrase I hear. I know I’m making it, so when will I stop feeling like I’m a fake?
I suspect it’s because I’ve recently launched my coaching business and all of a sudden I feel like I’m standing on new ground. In some ways, I am, even though it’s taken a while to get here. As I look back I can see my many years of learning, practice, and commitment behind me. At the same time, I feel somewhat like Frodo in Lord of the Rings, at the pinnacle of his long climb up Mount Doom, just before he attempts to throw the ring into the maw of molten lava below. Standing with his stalwart friend, Sam, exposed with no protection, wind howling, Gollum doing his best to keep Frodo from destroying the ring, and the ring itself exerting its own power. In this scenario, Frodo doesn’t feel like a hero. Just like I don’t always feel like I’m up to the challenge of coaching others. “I don’t know enough.” “I’ll run out of things to teach.” “I’ll lead people in the wrong direction.” “What I have to offer won’t be helpful.”
Then I breathe and ground myself. I ask myself, “is that really true?” After a pause, I remember that I have a strong background in writing. I can draw from my years of work as a counsellor, my ability to listen deeply. I can offer suggestions based on the almost 7 years I’ve spent in a coaching mastermind. While there may be moments where I might lead in the wrong direction it’s nothing that a conversation and checking in with the person I’m working with can’t shift. As long as I stay open to feedback and I’m willing to be vulnerable, it seems to me there’s always room for learning to happen, for both me and my clients.
Perhaps that’s what the coaching relationship is really about – both of us co-creating a journey together, exploring new ground, providing feedback to each other along the way. At least that’s the type of relationship I seek to build, and I expect I will attract clients who have that desire to venture into the unknown.
Let me walk with you as you embark on your own creative journey.