Case Study: Can coaching transform your life? — Practical Health Coach
After passing my Practical Skills Assessment with the Kresser Institute I needed to accrue a prescribed number of hours in order to become certified as a Functional Health Coach. I was looking for people who were ready to transform their lives! I’m part of a Facebook group dedicated to women’s fitness and considered that these ladies would be an excellent group to ask for volunteers as they’d all already demonstrated a commitment to change just by being part of a fitness group.
There was a great response to my request but some people fell by the wayside when we were trying to firm up a time to talk. In part this was due to the difficulty in reaching across international time zones and in part due to fear of the unknown. There I was, a stranger on the internet, offering free health coaching to other women on the internet. I mean, what even is health coaching and why might you want or need it?
I was incredibly grateful to the courageous women who showed up and were willing to be open to the concept that coaching could possibly help them. Kelly was one of those women who volunteered.
Living in Lockdown
At the time we were just starting to come out of lockdown, but we were all living with the fear of what our daily lives would look like in the short-term. Here’s what happened when I met Kelly…
My first impression was of a woman who was open and curious about coaching. She’s travelled all over the world and clearly loves being able to experience different environments and cultures. Lockdown had prevented her from taking an epic three month journey across the world with her family.
She was ‘stuck’ in a beautiful part of Australia. We talked about the things that she loved to do on her property, and how lockdown didn’t prevent her from going for walks or building fires and roasting marshmallows with her young son. We focused on what she could do for herself over the next week that would make her feel better. As we talked, and a plan formed she became more animated.
She talked about the death of her baby four years ago and how incredibly difficult this was. She talked about her time in the NICU. Coaching is not counselling. A simplistic definition is that coaching focuses on the future, while counselling supports the past. As a coach I’m not trained to support mental health issues.
As we completed our call Kelly had a short list of actions to carry out over the next week, and we agreed to speak at the same time in seven days.
Let’s be clear a week is not a huge amount of time. And yet… when we reconnected it was almost like a different person was looking at me in the Zoom room. She was so happy, she was practically glowing. The woman from our prior meeting was nowhere in sight. Kelly had smashed all of her action items out of the park. Exercise? Check! Following a keto diet? Check! Spending time with her husband and son? Check! Writing books? Check!
The process of coaching is sometimes described as holding up a mirror. Through gentle but challenging questions I held up that mirror to Kelly. She didn’t recognize the woman in the reflection. In my experience as a new coach most people really struggle if that image reflects someone they don’t recognize, or worse don’t like.
Excuses… or courage?
This is when people start to make excuses for how their life’s going, or they try to blame somebody else. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s a normal human reaction. The most difficult thing that you will ever do is to be responsible for your own life. It takes courage to own up and accept how things are. There’s the danger that you could start down a rabbit-hole questioning every decision that you’ve ever made.
Kelly didn’t do any of those things. She took action. She methodically addressed every little thing that we’d talked about. While she’d already started to write a series of children’s books, her actions that week took her to a completely different level. It was really happening now! She’d found a publisher, she was figuring out her marketing, she had a publication date.
Transformation happens when you take action. The ‘magic’ of coaching happens when you stop moving away from pain and actively move towards joy. By making these tangible steps towards joy Kelly was literally transforming her life as we spoke.
Since our sessions together Kelly’s continued to take great strides. In addition to the children’s stories, she’s working on a book for parents of children in the NICU which gives practical tips for making it through that incredibly stressful time. She’s also speaking out and talking about this subject to help others. Her work will continue to create a beacon of light and hope for both new and bereaved parents.
I’m writing this with Kelly’s full permission as today she’s a woman on a mission who’s found her purpose in life. You can read about what it felt like to be a practice client below. If you’d like to see if I can help you, book time to talk here https://practicalhealthcoach.uk/work-with-me/
It’s incredible to think that all of this happened because of a one line response to a Facebook post. Find out more about Kelly here https://kellymareeauthor.com/
Kelly’s side of our coaching story
I have been working with Laura Krippner for the past 5 months, little did I know that just a few sessions with Laura would change my life completely!
We both felt it would be beneficial for people to understand the process and the benefits, from both points of view, and how the power of coaching can drastically change your life in such a short period of time. So I want to share my story and have asked Laura to share her side of my story too, what we both learned, how Laura uses her skills to help people, and how impacting lives through coaching is such an incredible thing.
A change of plans
I work incredibly hard, as a multiple business owner this is just the norm for me. The harder I work the more money I can make, which means more holidays, and every holiday is the reward for sacrificing my soul to the daily grind.
Earlier this year we had planned a 3 month trip around the world, to reward ourselves for all that hard work and to visit family that we hadn’t seen for so long. My heart was so set on this trip, hours of planning went into it, thousands of dollars was invested in the tickets, there were also life goals on my list that would be ticked off, something that was so very import to me and my mental health.
In walks COVID, the killer of dreams, the canceller of plans, throwing the whole world upside down and throwing our trip into the bin. I was devastated! I had suffered so many years of PTSD and depression after losing my son Oli, and spending 133 days in hospital with Oskar getting him strong enough to come home, at the same time building the furniture removals business that we had just started 2 weeks before the twins were born. I deserved that trip!
I slipped back into my black hole of despair, I mourned my travel like it was a child, I cried, felt sorry for myself, spent days in utter sadness, with all the memories of the trauma and loss in the front of my mind again, that was a very dark time and I couldn’t see the light.
When a saw a post from Laura on a Facebook group, I was willing to try anything and put my hand up immediately. I didn’t know what her course was, what it would require from me, or what to expect from the sessions with her, but it felt right, and I always trust my gut instinct.
The first thing I noticed about Laura was her soft voice and calming mannerisms. She put me at ease immediately. Then she started to ask me questions that no one had asked me before. Questions about MY mental health, about MY physical health, about MY dreams and aspirations, about MY future. I knew I could tell her anything and everything, and that’s exactly what I did: poured my heart and soul out to this stranger that was willing to listen, that cared about ME. The proverbial light bulb went ding! And I never looked back.
Putting a plan into action
By the end of the first session I had a plan of attack, and it was put in motion the moment the session ended. I wanted to be an author, I had always wanted to be an author. To write full time, to inspire others and to make a difference in this world. This was my purpose, and at that moment my dream was born.
I wrote three children’s books for Oskar in a week, found an illustrator the next week, and found Ocean Reeve Publishing the month after that. It all fell into place so fast! This was the journey I was supposed to be on, the one that I had put on the back burner for so many years, this was my fate. To create a legacy for my son Oskar and honour the memory of his angel twin Oli, to help raise awareness about infant loss and support bereaved families, and to raise money for the Precious Wings and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital foundations, who helped us through the hardest time of our lives.
If you had of asked me a year ago if I needed coaching, I would have said no way! Why? I have successful businesses, a beautiful family, a wonderful home, money to travel whenever I wanted, everything anyone could ever ask for. But something was missing from my life, I didn’t have a purpose, everything I did was not for me, it was for someone else. Money and success means nothing if you aren’t happy.
After just a few sessions with Laura my whole life has changed, I am now on a completely different path, one I would not be on without that coaching. The opportunities and experiences that have presented themselves have only been because my entire mindset changed. The more I give, the more I get back, the more I help people, the more I heal. It’s a positive cycle that is so welcomed after years of negative cycles, and it’s possible for everyone.
The power of coaching is life changing, empowering, it shows you how to take your life back and focuses on YOU, about what YOU want, no one else. You can’t know true love until you love yourself, you can’t help others until you learn to help yourself and you definitely can’t live the life you want if you aren’t living it for YOU.
I am so grateful every single day for the incredible journey I am now on thanks to coaching and in just a few sessions it’s possible to think differently, feel differently and change negative thoughts into positive ones.
A very special thank you to Laura for her patience, kindness and faith in me. It has changed my life and I know how many other lives that will be impacted by the coaching she offers.