3 Lessons my Diploma of Coaching taught me about life

Lessons to finish Diploma White Cat CoachingToday, I handed in my Diploma of Life Coaching assessments to The Coaching Institute. Two years and seven months after enrolling in their program “to learn a little bit about coaching”. Oh, boy did I learn about coaching, and so much more. In the process of applying my learnings to my own life, my clients’ lives and my business, there was the matter of these pesky assessments that needed to be handed in so I could officially say “I have a Diploma of Life Coaching”. You see, you can only say “I’m studying for my Diploma of Life Coaching” for so long, before people ask how long you have been studying that same thing for. I am not a shining example of a “Completer-Finisher”. I love starting things, but finishing isn’t as exciting. Unless I’m in a fun run. Or eating cake. Okay, there are a few things I’m really quite good at finishing. My Diploma was like a big piece of delicious cake that I didn’t seem to want to end. Here’s how I finished.

Lesson 1: Make a Decision!

I was loving my learning so much – there were webinars and live trainings galore, and all the people I met and opportunities to apply what I learned almost instantaneously. There really was no time to answer the questions on the assessments – way to kill the buzz! Although, I had downloaded all the assessments and made a token start (yay me!). There were even moments when I thought “I have all the learnings, who cares about the piece of paper?” But I was undecided. I dipped in and out of the assessments but had not committed to completing them. I got an extension for a year as there were some final webinars I had not attended, but had not REALLY decided to go for it. I then decided I wouldn’t bother – I had too much to do – then decided that it  might not have been a good idea to not finish. November last year I made my last decision on this. And that was to JUST DO IT! So, I did. And it felt right. I then told people about it, so they would ask me about it, then I would have to do it. Once  I had made the decision for sure, nothing was going to stop me.

Lesson 2: Ask for Help

… Except for some of the really hard questions! There were some (actually, quite a few) assessments that I found myself getting stuck in. The manuals and resources online were exhaustive, but even so, I was aware of the number of vague answers I had been writing, or, even worse, leaving them blank. It was these blanks that had given me the idea last year that maybe I shouldn’t bother. I reached out to my coaching buddies who had completed the assessments or were in the process, and they were more than happy to help me out by pointing me in the right direction or giving me advice directly. I am so grateful for their help. It taught me that we’re not supposed to go at life alone and there are plenty of people (more than you realise) who would love to help!

Lesson 3: Take Action Every Day

This was hard. I had spent the good part of six months taking almost NO action. I spent a weekend cataloging where I was and how far I had to go. As it turned out, I had done more than I realised, but there was still a way to go. This was not something that could be done as an all-nighter. Not just because of the large amount of content but also because, seriously, who has the energy to stay up all night working on an assignment? 19 year-old me, that’s who. Not 40 year-old me, that’s for sure. So, I committed to doing half an hour three times a week, with a concentrated period of time on weekends. Of course, once I got stuck in, it was  hard to keep to my 30 minute limits and ended up spending more time. The assessments were done before I knew it. Wait, I think I might have made it sound a bit easier than it was. There was a Saturday where I didn’t leave my study between 9am and 4pm and only stopped because my stomach was grumbling angrily. My wonderful husband kept me supplied with tea, water and snacks so it wasn’t all bad. The key here was to avoid distractions – it can be easy to be in my study but not actually doing what I planned to do (oooh, someone new has followed me on Twitter! I must check them out now! etc… etc…).

So, while anxious part of me worries I have left an assessment out or I might not pass, the rest of me is quietly doing a happy dance and feeling grateful I put in the work. Oh, and a bonus lesson… not matter how excited you are about picking up your printing from Officeworks, always cross on the green man. Traffic is dangerous!

Is there something that you need to do? And if you just made the decision, asked for help and took action (every day) you would succeed? Go ahead and so it! And share with your favourite button.