Life Coaching – My Coming Out Story

2020 wasn’t the year I expected.

Pressing pause on how I navigate the world gave me an opportunity to really look at some of the ways that I think and behave.

I recently found myself slipping into an old faithful thought-pattern of mine. It goes a little something like this:

Step 1. Start something new

Step 2. Realise how cool it is

Step 3. Go into unreasonable panic mode about what other people may think of it

Step 4. Never speak of Step 1 again

Does the crippling fear of what others may think of you sound familiar? Read on.

I decided to take my desire to understand what it is to be human and run with it by enrolling on a life coaching course.

Animas Centre For Coaching gave me an opportunity to feast on the juices of psychological theories, and learn a style of coaching that is so damn cool.

The coaching I deliver works on the principle that we all have within us an instinctive knowledge of how to ‘do life’ in the most enjoyable for and awesome way for our individual selves.

Life happens, and we may get distracted, lost, or even forget who we are.

Through a series of powerful conversations, life coaching helps recover the knowledge that we all have within us. Peeling back the layers of bullshit to reveal a clear path forward to a truer, more authentic, and happier self.

You set the agenda. I facilitate a safe and creative space for your self-exploration and growth. You create the change.

My journey to becoming a transformational life coach could not have happened without my own self-exploration and growth.

After I received the happy news that I’d successfully passed my diploma… I started to ruin it for myself.

I started to wonder:

  • What will my friends think?
  • My colleagues?
  • Social media?

And basically, every person on the planet that I’m yet to meet! (except for my mum, she loves everything I do)

They’ll laugh and say,

  • “What the f@*k’s a life coach?!”
  • “Get a real job!”
  • “Who are you to tell people how to live?”

They’ll presume I’m arrogant, smug and that I think I have it all figured out. They’ll expect me to pedal

  • 10 step programs to success,
  • Easy to follow diets for the body of your dreams,
  • Meditation as the solution to all ills,
  • 3 easy hacks to defeat your inner saboteur

I was so afraid that people would think I was ‘that kind’ of life coach, that I was talking myself out of the very thing I’m destined to do.

That’s when it hit me…

I had experienced the same fear and self-doubt when I was first coming out as gay.

My ‘coming out’ was unceremonious. I was ‘in’ one day and ‘out’, the next. The natural evolution of a gay boy in the late 90’s; a seamless transition from straight, to bisexual, to gay. Set to a soundtrack of Eternal, Steps and Britney.

I remember vividly not wanting to be ‘that kind’ of gay.

I was content being the type of gay person that others were comfortable being around. I did not flaunt my gayness (even though I was desperate to pierce my eyebrow and dye my hair blue).

My ‘modest gay’ vibe was championed by those around me. “I had no idea you were gay”, they would say, proudly congratulating me. “You’re gay, but not too gay”.

Thank goodness. I am saved. I am normal enough!

I had created some form of odd ‘anti-identity’. I didn’t define myself by who I was, I did so by proclaiming who I wasn’t!

And here I am, almost 20 years on, making imaginary excuses for when people find out my new filthy secret – I’m a life coach!

  • “I’m a coach, but I’m not ‘that kind’ of coach”
  • “They’re so ‘coachy’, it makes me cringe”
  • “You won’t even know I’m a coach. I’ll coach in secret”

Perhaps I’ll watch my coaching programs in the dark, with my face pressed up against the TV screen, and the volume so low I’ll miss all the dialogue, the same way I used to watch Queer As Folk in my bedroom aged 15.

It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?

Yes there are other kinds of coaches. Some are more directive than I am, some give advice and offer 10 step programs. And that’s fine. There’s room for us all.

My fears were based on other people’s opinions of me… And that’s out of my control. What’s in my control is my ability to give less f@*ks. Try it. It works.

I’m proud of the work I do with my clients when I commit to my own coaching style. And I’m happy for my clients to read this and know that no, I don’t have it all figured out. I never will. But I’ll always keep peeling back the layers of distraction and bullshit to remember what I know to be true.

It’s my life’s work

Author: David Francis
Pronouns: he/him
Titles: Gay, Queer, Life Coach

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