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Part Seven - Just Journalling.....

In my last post I talked about reflections and my eureka moment when being coached. It is fair to say there are a number of ways to reflect and Barefoot Coaching encourages you to do this daily, but it's not all about looking backwards.

The beauty of how Barefoot do it, is they they gift you the time to do it. Half way through a session they will stop you, tell you to turn your cameras off and just write whatever you are thinking and feeling In that moment. They also encourage you to do it before you start each day and after you finish each session. Before and after you have coached people, and whenever you have a thought or a light bulb moment (however little) get it down.

As a 15 year old girl I probably wrote a diary of sorts, but in honesty it was a time when nothing of much interest was happening in my life. As soon as I was able to work weekends, go to bars, concerts etc the diary got left collecting dust in the bedside table. Fewer and fewer entries, as living in the present moment of my life took over, and rightly so.

There are however photographs, sadly not all great. We all remember the anti-climax of going to collect our developed photos from the shop and hurriedly flicking thought them with growing disappointment. Maybe one or two good ones out of a 36 photo roll. So not as many pictures as I would have liked, but they all arouse a time and place somewhat like a long-ago smell. For the times there are no photos, I have broken memories and stories, but they work...sort of.

Then of course came the camera phones, now we have so many thousands of photographs, edited, perfected, but we never look at them. My 'recents' currently add up to 35,152 photographs.....thats a lot of memories. But they are tucked away, and I rarely look at them…. I have no idea where to start!

Facebook then swept in, and every now and then will pop up a post of yours from the past which conjures up a special moment you'd forgotten about. But I rarely post personal pictures anymore. Now my children are grown up enough to have friends on social media, my responsibility to them overrides this, so the past memory pop ups are now drying out.

(Can probably get away with this one from 5 yrs ago!)

So when Barefoot asked me to journal my experience, I was curious. Would it start to feel like a chore, another burden to add to my workload or even would it simply result in pages of irrational and irrelevant ramblings from a middle aged maniac.

But I was happy and keen to start using my new hard-covered notebook, and getting into a rhythm of jotting down my thoughts would hopefully answer the curiosity. I was so excited to start the course, and I so wanted the experience to be a success, I would have painted my face green if they'd asked me to. Give it a go I thought....(I started in pencil however, to counter-balance the first page notebook anxiety!)

Thank god I did, being able to look back on my journey and witness from a distance the change in my coaching style my thoughts, beliefs, understanding of tools and situations has really been an eye opener to my own coaching ability and how I want to show up as a coach.

Watching how obviously I moved through the four stages of competence, a tutors dream. I started my journey, with an early excitement and eagerness wanting to ’finesse’ my existing ability when I was absolutely unconsciously incompetent. Then the realisation I actually knew very little, and the self reflection that took me to rock bottom, the shock and horror of the consciously incompetent stage. Gradually as I learnt more and practiced my new found skills daily, in all interactions even with my children, I moved into the unconsciously competent stage. And finally as I completed the last page in my notebook I could see the confidence and calm of being happily in the consciously competent stage.

So journalling is great for reflection and looking back on experiences, but coaching is mostly about growth and change, and being present - and this is actually how journalling helped me. The journalling you are taught to do in coach training is so cathartic, it actually helps your wellbeing, encourages no, demands you to process thoughts and clear your head of noise. You sleep better too.

And so my next lesson in becoming a 'real' coach was discovered - Even if you never look back on it, never read it again and reflect on your words, the act of getting your thoughts down on paper and out of your head is itself autotelic and very, very good for you. (As is writing a blog btw)

I will be encouraging my clients to try it.

You should try it too…..

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