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I finally found the life coach of my dreams. Me!

I finally found the life coach of my dreams. Me!

Life can change for the better when you stop worrying about the what-ifs.

Here’s what I’ve learnt in the last decade, and through my life coach training journey. Change is always scary. It’s scary even when you choose it.

Fear of failure? Not me. I’ve always been far more likely to be crippled by the fear of success.

What if I can’t cope with the demands of whatever it is I think I might succeed at? What if people think I’m a fraud? What if, what if, what if?

And that’s where I am again now as I add an extra string to my bow, one that is in some ways far removed from what I’m known for doing, but at the same time, strangely congruent with it.

To those who know me professionally, I am “Mandy Collins, freelance writer, editor and proofreader”.

I am a content producer, a retrofitted journalist who wrangles words for a living, and loves it.

But last year I got the opportunity to do something I’ve wanted to do since it was first a possibility. I underwent life coach training with Martha Beck, a personal heroine and interestingly, a life coach and a writer.

Having gone through the training, I’ve now set myself up (for success, I hope) as a life coach – not instead of writing, editing and proofreading, but alongside all those things.

It’s a leap of faith, and the “what ifs” were deafening for some time.

But the last 10 years have been quite the journey for me. It was a Martha Beck coach who identified that I was deep in the throes of burnout – not from work alone, but from my whole life.

She looked at me and said, “You are burnt out, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually,” and in that instant, my life began to change.

I have been taking leaps of faith ever since, but they have been faith in myself: faith in my ability to work hard, to do a great job, to be self-sufficient, to be creative, to be strong.

I took a leap of faith to return to freelancing mid-divorce when my “proper job@ turned out not to be secure at all, and came with less money and more stress than freelancing had ever done.

I took a literal leap of faith paragliding off Signal Hill in Cape Town, despite a crippling fear of heights. Yes, I’m still afraid of heights, but I absolutely loved that experience.

And now I’m no longer “Mandy Collins, freelance writer, editor and proofreader” – I’m also “Mandy Collins, life coach”.

And it’s kinda scary, but my writing work has informed my coaching work in ways I could never have imagined.

So, here’s what I’ve learnt in the last decade, and through my life coach training journey. Change is always scary.

It’s scary even when you choose it, maybe especially when you choose it, because then you have no one to blame but yourself.

I’ve learnt that saying no to things that don’t serve you open up space for things that do, even though, as a recovering “good girl” it’s very difficult for me to say no, to stand my ground, to stand up for myself. But I’m getting better at it every day.

I’ve learnt to ask for help. When you’re as self-reliant as I had become, asking for help can be very difficult.

But then you do it, just once, and people rise to the occasion in ways you could never imagine, and you feel enveloped in the love and support of your tribe.

And I’ve learnt that change is constant. Death and taxes, they say, are the only two absolutes, but so is change.

Some changes are large, some are small; some are decisions, and some are foisted upon you, but change is coming – as it should.

Without change, we stagnate; we move from a rut to a grave.

So I’m taking that leap. I’m giving it my all. I’m trusting myself.

And I’m trying very hard to ignore the “what ifs” and focus on what is instead – the beginning of an exciting new adventure!

Mandy Collins

Change expert, Mandy Collins, believes that the big change equals big opportunity.

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