by Carol Sokolsky
She had an incredible job, one that she’d loved for years, one that allowed her to see the world and experience things she never would have dreamed of. She spent many of her 60-70 working hours per week at 35,000 feet, and loved every minute of it. From the outside looking in, she had it totally together, and was living a life that so many could only imagine.
Her boss asked her to mentor sales professionals, which she loved doing. She listened as each one shared his or her ambitions and dreams, and the specific issues that kept them from moving forward and truly achieving their goals. These professionals wanted to be held accountable. And some just wanted to be better at something they were already doing well. Mentoring and coaching was something she loved to do, because she knew she had experienced enough of the darker, painful side of life to understand the joy that comes when a plan truly comes together!
If you didn’t know her, you’d think her life was anything but broken.
But she was broken…so broken that she often wondered how she managed to get through another day. She had buried her precious 9-year-old son in a tragic accident at Christmas, several years before. She struggled to find balance as a single parent to her remaining son, and felt the pressures of a new city, new life, demanding job, and just the pain of such incredible loss. She found a great mentor – still her coach today – someone that understood many of the situations she had lived through and faced daily. Her mentor gave her encouragement and held her accountable, and she began to soar. Soon afterward she met her husband, the love of her life. They were truly attached at the soul. She loved her husband, loved her son, loved her job…her life rocked…until it didn’t….
After riding the emotional crest, she found herself almost drowning in the waves that just didn’t stop coming. Her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer, which metastasized to the brain, and left them facing a very shortened timeline that ended all too quickly. She had already spent so much time in “Grief School,” with no diploma to show for it! But life keeps moving and she had to do the same thing. Back to work, back to Mom duty, back to life. The demands of the job, when personal life issues were so painful, almost crippled her joy. So she reached out to her coach again, and will always remember his words to her, “A burden shared is half a burden; a joy shared is double the joy.” She stretched herself to be the best she could be, and often she fell on her face, but more often than not she was doing high-fives in the air because she knew she was finding her joy again. Someone was helping her see her life from a different perspective, helping her achieve balance, and holding her accountable for the time-robbers that ate away from those precious 24-hour segments.
Since most people put on a good mask in public, she knew that there were a lot of people out there that were struggling in their daily lives because of many factors…financial stresses, single parenting, addiction, divorce, sickness, and yes, grief.
Even with a great job and a strong plan, many of life’s pressures often steal us away from achieving what we hoped for. They keep us from the family time we crave, and even from identifying where the breakdown is occurring.
We can take a lesson from the corporate world when it comes to life coaches. Many businesses have come to understand the critical need for their executives to engage with a life coach, someone who can keep them focused on the important areas of life as they spend their 80-hour work weeks on multiple continents and in various times zones. Balance – it’s all about balance. Easy to say; almost impossible to achieve.
So, she asks….does she still need a life coach at this stage of her life? Why yes, I believe she does! Not because she particularly needs help in many areas, but because she wants someone to listen, suggest, and hold her accountable in very specific areas. Not everyone wants or needs a coach. But for those who do, don’t be afraid to reach out and let someone help you through a few weeks or a few months. You do the work, by the way; just as a coach doesn’t hit the baseball for the batter, he coaches from the sidelines to help his players be the best they can be.
She is coached and she is coaching! The rewards are amazing in both directions.
For more information about life coaches, we recommend you start over at Linda Kuhar’s blog!
Carol Sokolsky is a newcomer to Tulsa. She relocated from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in October, 2014 after retiring from FedEx Services, Global Account Management. She spent most of her 33 FedEx years as a road warrior, leading a large global management team and serving one global customer for over 20 years. Her passion for blogging began in 2010 as she launched a two-year blog that chronicled the journey of her husband’s valiant fight with cancer and ultimately the end of his journey. Her blog became a book, “Sid’s Journey”. She continues to journal daily on just about everything!