Julie wrestled with canceling her personal discovery session. The mental commentary in her brain went something like this: ‘I don’t really need support. It’s probably best that I work through this on my own. I can manage my life with asking for help’.The truth is, Julie was deeply anxious about sharing her private story and struggles with a stranger.
When she registered for her appointment, she clearly stated that she was struggling to find meaning and purpose in her personal and professional life. She hoped to receive support from someone, who’s lived through the ‘how low can you go’ limbo and the uncertainty that shows up during the first stage of a life-altering transformation.
This self-sabotage scenario happens a lot in the counseling and coaching world. It’s perfectly natural to get cold feet and want to bail on a first session. Anxiety makes an entrance when we choose to step outside of our comfort zone. Frankly, anybody who wants to change, grow and transform their life is going to feel a bit apprehensive at first. I often hear, “I almost cancelled our call today,” from my new coaching clients.
Here are some examples of the self-sabotage pre-call thought process:
‘If I cancel now there is no harm since I don’t have an established relationship with this person.‘ ‘If I run now, I don’t have to face what I’m up against.’
‘What was I thinking? I’m FINE. I don’t need any support.’
‘I can’t make this kind of personal investment in myself right now.’
If you choose to reach out to a coach, counselor or mentor for accountability, an unbiased opinion, or simply to be heard; your soul is nudging you to get some perspective from a professional who is trained to support you. There is a reason you were attracted to their work and scheduled an appointment. Asking for support does not make you weak.
You owe it yourself to follow through on your original instincts and show up for your appointment. If you don’t click with the person, you never have to talk with them again. If you come away feeling supported, recharged and hopeful about the days ahead, you’ve found a good match. New clients regularly tell me how happy they are that they didn’t bail on our call after our first session.
I recommend the following steps if you think you may be ready to work with a mentor, life coach or counselor.
- Get clear about what you wish to change in your life.
- Find an expert who resonates with you and read client testimonials.
- Ask for a referral from a trusted friend or family member.
- Reach out to two or three professionals for a low-cost, or free discovery session to see if you are a good energetic match.
Julie did follow through on her discovery session after canceling the first appointment. I’m happy to report that she has moved beyond the discomfort of the first stage of transition and is loving herself up with lots of compassionate self-care before moving into the exploration stage of her new life.
If you are in the throes of what feels like a significant life-changing transition, have the courage to ask for help. Then show up and see what unfolds for you! You’ll be glad you did.