Today, I’m talking with my former client Julia. We are going to talk about her experience with life coaching. She started working with me in the summer of 2017 during her transition from the CCA to Grauer School.
Life coaching experience in a nutshell.
Erica (life coach):
Julia, I remember some of your goals were self-discovery, improving your study skills. You specifically wanted to work on organizational skills, you were interested in gaining clarity around your future and career, and also expanding your friend group because you were moving from one school to another. Could you just share a little bit about what was going on for you at that time, and what led you to coaching?
Julia (former client):
Before I went to CCA I was actually homeschooled which was a huge factor in the troubles I was having in high school. I jumped into a big school not knowing anybody and was just having a hard time feeling included and meeting people who I would really get along with. I had a really hard time with it at CCA and started seeing you, Erica.
I just really was having a hard time with the classes at CCA. Too many people, too big classes. I saw Grauer as a smaller school closer to that homeschool style that I had. But I really wasn’t sure if it was going to be a good fit. When I came to you, you helped me look at the pros and cons of both and encouraged me to take a leap and go to Grauer which was one of the best decisions I ever made. I learned so much there, the school was amazing and I made some really good friends. It was just a great experience! I don’t think I would have done that if I hadn’t come to coaching.
Some of the most helpful coaching tools
Were there any specific coaching tools and processes that you found really helpful?
I remember you would have me write down my specific goals in detail, which is something that I never thought to do. But the fact that I was writing it down on paper and visualizing that and really putting thought into those goals, actually helped me achieve them. So when it came to studying skills, I wrote down “I’m not going to procrastinate anymore.” Seeing that written down every day on a sheet of paper really helped me achieve that goal of not procrastinating and working on my study skills. That’s definitely something that really helped me. I don’t normally write stuff down like that, so seeing it written down made me feel like I should do this. It really had a huge impact on me.
Gaining clarity in the paths of life
I’m curious to know how you see it, how did the life coaching experience change for you as we went from the middle to high school and then to the beginning of college years.
So when I started it was really about friendships and fitting in, and just being a more confident person. Towards the end, it really was more about college and getting a job and what my career path was going to be. And it really made me feel like this is something I could actually achieve. I could go to Mira Costa college and I could also achieve my dreams, which is what I’m doing now. All that help that you gave me with resumes and planning out my college path and doing some research with me on my career path really made me see how easy it is if I put in the work. I always thought it was something I couldn’t achieve being this young of an age – I want to be a holistic chef. But it really is achievable which is incredible.
Life changes inspired by coaching
Would you share a little bit about what you are doing now?
My ultimate goal is to become a naturopathic doctor. That’s a very long-term goal, but my short-term goal has always been to work in the food industry and become a holistic vegan chef. The first step to achieving that was getting a job at a restaurant that I absolutely loved and I learned so much from working there. From there it kind of just took off, I started meeting people in the industry who loved what I did and who loved my ideas. I just remember you telling me “You can do it, it’s possible”. I kind of just started putting myself out there on Next Door and Facebook groups saying that I do catering, I make cakes, all vegan and gluten-free. I’ve had such an incredible amount of people come to me asking for more information on this and my dream pretty much came true, because now it’s practically my full-time job. As a freshman, I thought I could never do that and now I’m doing it as my full-time job making cakes and catering people’s parties.
Life coaching helps to make the right choices
That’s awesome, Julia, that gives me the chills! I’m wondering if you can say a little bit about how coaching did impact some of the career choices that you made, some of the school choices that you made, and then some of the social choices that you made because we focused on those three areas over the course of our work together.
Literally yesterday, I was thinking about this. I really was not finding people who are the same or who share the same passions and have the same interests as me. When I started coaching I really started to think I need to find people with the same interests as me, I need to find people who support me, who love what I’m doing and I did just that. And that is a huge part of why I’m doing what I’m doing right now. I’m in my little ‘friend tribe’ of people who love what I do, who want to see me succeed, and who want to help me along the way.
School-wise, I was torn between going to a four-year college and a community college. I didn’t know anything because I’m the first kid in the family to go to college. My parents didn’t really know much about the whole process. Since you are alumni of the community college, you really helped me realize that I could be so successful with a degree from the community college. There’s such a huge stigma surrounding it that people who go to community college usually aren’t as successful and they can’t become a doctor one day. But you really showed me that if I couldn’t find what I wanted, I could go to community college. I ended up going to community college, and it is amazing. I’m so glad I made this decision, so I get to stay home in San Diego and work on my job in my company and be with my family and still get the same if not better education.
And career-wise, I had so many questions about how I am going to do this one day. You just helped me look at the baby steps to get there.
Confidence is a game-changer
Overall, we work together… Gosh, just about three years, and I’m so grateful that we still have a connection, we stay in touch. How would you describe the biggest change that you experienced as a result of your coaching?
I would say confidence. I really was not a confident person. And that’s not even what I went to you for but that’s the biggest thing that I got from it. Knowing that I am amazing and I’m loved by people and that there are people who are supporting really helped me become a confident person. I think about it all the time. If it weren’t for coaching I don’t think I would be doing what I’m doing today and I don’t think I would be as confident and I don’t think I would love myself as much as I do and have all the amazing friends in my life.
A word for those who aren’t sure about life coaching
Yeah, so amazing. Thank you, Julia thank you so much for sharing your story! It’s just, it’s so awesome to see you thriving and doing what you love and having so much clarity and obviously so much confidence! Is there anything else that you might want to say to other teenage girls who may be interested in coaching or just curious about what it is?
My mom discovered you through Grauer (my younger sister went there) and she signed me up without telling me and then told me “You’re going to coaching with a life coach”. I was so mad at her and I didn’t want to go. Really, she forced me to go. And I’m so glad that I did go to that first meeting because it was so life-changing. I’m thankful for her for really pushing me to do it even though I was so against it. And I’m so thankful for you for finding her through Grauer and now being in my life because it was such an amazing experience. I definitely would not be where I am today if I had not done the coaching. Anybody there, who is not the biggest fan of the idea of a life coach, do it! It was the most amazing thing that I ever did in my life.
Julia, thank you for sharing that! I appreciate you acknowledging that in the beginning, it wasn’t necessarily what you wanted to do but you showed up anyway and you started to see the ways coaching can help you in your life.
I’m very glad that I did it. And my sister, too. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to do that and I said “Do it, you will not regret it! You will love Erica, you will love having a life coach and just having her as a part of your life.”
Thank you so much, Julia, I really appreciate you sharing, and I look forward to staying in touch!