Updated: Apr 24
About a year and a half ago, I scrolled through Psychology Today looking for a therapist to process some of my anxieties regarding relocating to Maryland. I am not sure when my intentions changed, but I ended up reaching out to a fellow Norfolk State University and therapist to collaborate on facilitating mental health workshops. We met and I left the meeting agreeing to sublease her office space.
That was not what I was expecting. During our conversation, we talked about life and career. I mentioned I wanted to start coaching. She asked as others colleagues and friends have, What it is about coaching that inspires me to want to pursue it instead of continuing my career as a therapist.
Several years ago, I sought out to hire a business lawyer. I shared my idea and discussed the best way I should organize my business. He liked my idea. But questioned why I was choosing to coach. He said “why would someone want to be a nutritionist when they trained to be a surgeon." For context, he was not shaming the career of being a nutritionist. He couldn’t understand why, after all of the years of education and training, I would want to coach. I sat there thinking: But what if with all of the training and experience, your heart is somewhere else.
In 2019, I opened A Rhaea Hope, LLC and (you guessed it) provided outpatient therapy. For over a year, I have helped my clients find their inner strength in order to confront and make sense of difficult situations. I have enjoyed being part of their journeys and I am thankful for the opportunity.
As the world paused due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, I have had time to think and consider my own path. When we reopen, do I want to go back to my status quo, or do I utilize this, moment to pivot and follow my heart?
Although this pandemic is unprecedented, my fears are the same as when I first opened my business: Will I be able to find enough clients to sustain my practice? With so many people unemployed due to COVID-19, is this the right time for me to transition from a service that allows me to bill health insurance companies to a service which would solely rely on my client's ability to self-pay. Even as I write this I question whether this is a good idea. Maybe I should wait. But I continue to remind myself that the journey of life is fluid and ever changing. Therapy will always be there. I am taking a leap of faith and transitioning from therapy to resilience coaching.
So what is Resilience Coaching? Resilience Coaching is for people who have encountered one or more life events that have caused them to feel stuck in the same routine. They believe they are too far along one path to make any changes. The toll of the daily grind sucks up both their time and energy. They hope in time it will go away; however, over time it intensifies. Relationships, self-care, and personal goals are lost in the process.
In other cases, Resilience Coaching would be beneficial for people who are having difficulty managing multiple life demands, stress, and need help with navigating challenging situations.
My role, as a coach, is not to help clients recreate the life they used to have. Instead, I will help them build self-confidence to allow them to hear their inner voice. Clients will build their capacity to remain flexible in thought, behaviors, and emotions when stressed. I will help them move forward with enough resources to deal with life and work challenges. During uncertain times, I will assist clients change their focus from what is not working to what is. Life’s challenges aren’t meant to break us apart, but to build the strongest parts of ourselves.