“Tell me what brought you to seek a life coach.” Is how my first coaching session began. I had been thinking about hiring a life coach for certain places where I am “stuck,” and when Charlie Wallace approached me about some advertising, I decided to find out what she does. I have a garage that is a hot mess, and despite herculean efforts to deal with the stuff, I have made very little progress over the long haul. We set an appointment and Charlie and I sat down to develop a strategy to tame my garage clutter.
Before our session, I asked Charlie how she got involved with life coaching. “A friend whom I had been watching coach for a couple of years had asked ‘If you could do absolutely anything, what would it be?’ I knew instantly that I wanted to somehow be a life coach and help people like she does!” She helped me find a certification program, which I completed, and now I’m certified, am in business (more of a calling, really), and love what I do!”
I asked her what has been the biggest change that has occurred in her life since she received her certification, and she said, “Confidence. I walk in a level of healthy confidence that I have never experienced, and love being able to help someone else experience that, too. I enjoy watching people grow and transition through the seasons of life.”
Every season of life has its own challenges, whether it’s learning to rest in winter in preparation for spring growth, or figuring out how to distribute the fall harvest most effectively. Sometimes we all need help to get through a season – not because we are weak or ineffective – but because we haven’t been taught how. The rough seasons can seem overwhelming! Sometimes we all want someone who has been through similar struggles to come alongside and show us how to get through.
Charlie has been through her share of seasons and brings those experiences to the aid of her clients. She served in the US Air Force, has lived internationally, transitioned from a stay at home mom to being a struggling single mom, dealt with an addict spouse, worked through a recovery program to heal from her past, and believes that it all helped shape the coach that she is today. She has been taught how to use the decision making process to navigate her own life seasons and is able to assist others in navigating theirs as well.
I wanted to know: what is different between a coach and a counselor? According to Charlie, counseling is mainly focused on healing from the past or from an issue, while coaching takes a client who is healthy and is looking to move into a different season of life, or to move past a particular obstacle (my garage). Charlie went on to tell me that, “Sessions are client driven, and coach led. My job is to listen and guide the client to develop realistic and manageable steps to accomplish their goals. I also teach clients the decision making process. I honestly want my clients to outgrow their need for me!”
Although each client is unique, the process is the same for each…whether they are a parent overwhelmed with kid clutter and desiring a clean home, or a Fortune 500 CEO wanting to change the direction of their company. Identify the issue, develop a plan, break the plan into steps, and get busy. It is also important to have accountability, which a coach provides.
During our session, Charlie was the consummate professional, asked excellent questions, was kind but firm, and kept good boundaries. What especially impressed me was her creativity when it came to giving helpful suggestions for managing my goals with regard to crushing the clutter. I am on track, sticking to my daily goals, being accountable to Charlie, and it feels good. If you are interested in moving forward, no matter what the season in which you find yourself, than I highly recommend you contact Charlie. Let her help you walk in the freedom that has been given to you.
Charlie Wallace, Certified Life Coach
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner