My personal story of becoming a life coach
People always ask me why I became a life coach in Pittsburgh. I am passionate about helping people and I think that comes from my difficult childhood. I always joke, I had so many issues, I needed a U-Haul. Growing up, I had undiagnosed learning disabilities so tasks such as learning how to tell time, diagraming sentences and the multiplication tables were impossible for me to learn. To make matters worse, I had undiagnosed petite mal epileptic seizures so it often seemed like I was daydreaming or not paying attention when in actuality, I was seizing. This was in late 60s and 70s so I was labeled “lazy” and put in the “slow” groups. To make matters worse, both of my parents struggled with mental illness and were often unable or unwilling to work so we struggled financially during the best of times and we lived on subsidies the rest of the time.
I vividly remember losing our home when I was in the 7th grade and having to move to a run-down rental in a poor community. I was humiliated and afraid it would get even worse and started having issues with food. To say, I was marginalized, fearful, felt alone and was heartbreakingly unhappy would sum it up nicely. When I tried to talk to my high school counselor about college, I was told in no uncertain terms, college would never be an option for me. The idea of my moving out of poverty and having a better life was never seriously discussed with me and didn’t seem likely.
But as life so often does, things changed for me. After getting married at age 18 and having Scott, my oldest son, at 19, I ended up divorcing in my early 20s. For the next 8 years, a lot of great things happened. I got the opportunity to go to college and while I never made the Dean’s List, I did graduate in 4 years. I remarried, moved into an affluent community and had a long-awaited second child. Life should have been really sweet. In the Monique’s Checklist Of I’ll Be Happy When…,” I had checked off a lot of boxes.
The problem was, I wasn’t happy and I really didn’t know why. The worse part was the guilt I felt because I wasn’t happier. The fear I lived with was “If I wasn’t happy now, how could I ever be happy?” I struggled with anger, anxiety, depression and a lot of fears. Fears of being left, not being enough, losing what I did have and making mistakes….it really was overwhelming.
It was in my 30. That year I began what would be a 10-year journey of self-discovery that included hundreds of books and self-study, therapy, intense meditation, and countless personal development programs including some from a life coach. As I approached my 40th birthday, again, a lot had changed. While I was able to have two more beautiful sons, the marriage had deteriorated and was no longer a happy one. Financially, we were not on solid ground and issues with my birth family were tumultuous at best. The toll of poor choices, infertility, health problems and my husband’s infidelity had left their marks. The strange thing was, I was personally happier and felt more empowered than I had ever been in my life. During those 10-years, I was able to clearly see how my fears, my negative self image, as a result of my childhood, and my beliefs about myself were all something that I had control over. I had learned the power of my beliefs and thoughts that had driven my behaviors and choices and as I changed those things, my life changed. My first evidence that becoming a life coach could be my calling.
Life was opening up for me in a whole new way and it was exciting, even when the ground beneath me was dramatically shifting. It was during that time that I realized my passion for helping people. Up until that point, I had assumed that I was relatively unusual in that I had carried my past with me and allowed it to spoil a lot of good in my life. As I began to really observe and listen to what people were “saying” both literally and through their actions and choices, I could easily see how so many people, who seemingly had everything, were really struggling…anxiety, stress, fears seemed to be normalized. For the first time, I could see that it wasn’t just me, too many people were suffering the way I had and I felt an immediate need to help others.
Over the next year, I went back through everything I had learned in the past 10 years and got trained in a personal development program and started teaching classes and workshops. From there my business as a life coach grew. Requests for having me as a life coach started coming in so I got certified in Emotional Intelligence and later went on to study innovation and business and expanded into executive coaching. I am a huge proponent of life-long learning and development so last year, I traveled to the Imperial College in London to work with the world renowned, Marisa Peer, the developer of Rapid Transformational Therapy.
Most people don’t need a therapist, they just need a change.™
Coach Monique is a certified Emotional Intelligence Life Coach. She helps her clients get the CHANGES they want with emotionally intelligent and innovative tools, techniques and strategies to get RAPID RESULTS REAL FAST! Call 412-400-2085 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your CHANGE TODAY.