It was mid-October back in 2018 and we were driving back to Romania, after spending the last 4 years of our lives in Bratislava, Slovakia. We were pretty silent on that road trip, neither me or my partner weren’t feeling very chatty.
I remember exactly how I was feeling. The image of me looking through the window, watching the cereal fields being left behind one by one as the car moved passed them, it’s still so vivid in the back of my head. What I felt was a strange mix of sadness for closing a big and interesting (to say the least) chapter and uncertainty about what’s coming next in my life (what I am going to do back in Bucharest, will I get a job, will I get my life back or it’s not there anymore, etc) and massive excitement that I was finally going home.
I remember the excitement and the hope the most because I somehow was strangely reassured by .. let’s call it intuition or providence .. that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be doing and that everything is going to be okay. I remember I even posted this picture on my Instagram account to mark the moment :
But this was about 1 year and a half ago. I knew I was on the verge of something, I wanted more out of life. I didn’t know what it was at that time, but I knew something needs to be changed.
My turning point
Around that time I contacted Andrei Rosca. I knew him from years before, when I attended one of his Social Media trainings and I knew he has a lot of business knowledge. At that time I wanted to open a business, so I wanted him to help me put it together.
But little did I know that Andrei was not a business consultant, but a coach. So he didn’t give me the answers I was expecting from him, but instead, he asked me a lot of questions regarding my motivation and the process behind it. What happened during these sessions was incredible.
I soon realized that I did not want to make money, but I wanted something else. Something I never had before in my life. And that was meaning. I realized I wanted meaning in my life more than everything else and we started to work in this direction.
Looking at my list of business ideas, there was one which stood out to me: I wanted to help students and young people make a more informed career choice, by choosing a college that suited their needs and personality.
And so it all began. I went back to Andrei and I told him:
‘I was reading for the last 5 days everything there is know about coaching, consulting and training and I know what I want. I want to do what you do. I want to be a coach.’
And that was T0 moment for me. From that point onwards, I started to build in this direction ever since and never looked back. It was probably the hardest decision I had to make in my life, but I still congratulate myself to this day, for taking it. I took a chance on me that day and decided to give it try.
The Journey. Looking back where it all started
The journey was and it still is difficult, full of risks and uncertainty, obstacles, but the most important aspect which comes above all these is that I get to do what I love every day and feel immense satisfaction.
I get to guide and help people with their personal development and in return I get meaning in life. Now, more than ever, I feel that my skills, experience, and knowledge are well put to work, by serving other people.
My personal development journey started in 2013, around 7 years ago with a call to the emergency room. A colleague found me in the bathroom, on the floor, struggling to breathe. I was having a panic attack.
Even though at that time I thought I had low calcium or a hypoglycemia episode, that moment changed my life completely. Until the ambulance came, I was feeling already better, but someone in the HR department mentioned that what I experienced was a panic attack and advised me to try and find a therapist.
I went to see a therapist a few months after (! not a psychiatrist. I didn’t want to take any pills, but to overcome this naturally). Therapy indeed helped me manage and understand my emotions, label them correctly, listen to my own body and its signal, understand how I got to the point of having a panic attack, and how to overcome it. Because, if you ever dealt with anxiety and/or panic attacks (they are linked), you know already that it’s not a one-time episode and then it’s out of your life. It comes and goes in repeated times.
I stopped having panic attacks a few months after, but then I never stopped the therapy and personal development. I continued to lift some heavy rocks from my chest, started to read only non-fiction, personal development books until I got to the point where I changed to life completely, the ways I see and understand people, the way I see my future. I dropped all the impossibly high standards that I was guiding my life on, started to trust people in general, and be more open to experiences and accepting failures.
Therapy had a tremendous impact over me and I will say this over and over again. In therapy, I’ve built a strong emotional, centered foundation that today allows me to coach and guide other people without imposing my beliefs and view of the world on them.
I truly believe that all coaches should have their own continuous self-development journey, to understand their own childhood experiences, behavioral patterns and to become emotionally centered before starting to guide other people.
There, in Andrei’s coaching room, I connected all the dots together and realized that:
- I was always passionate about Psychology, trying to understand myself and others.
- I was reading Carl Jung and Freud in high school and was amazed by their books. To me, at that time, I felt that they were describing a parallel universe. It was so interesting and unique.
- Psychology was on the shortlist of my college choices
- Always had this thirst for knowing more, reading more, understanding life and what there is to it
- Relied on psychology to understand why clients’ choices to buy or not to buy a product or a service while working in Marketing
- Felt the immense transformation therapy had over my life
- Wanting to give back and make my own contribution to the world by helping other people as well
I knew I couldn’t be a therapist and help people that way, so I chose the very best next thing. Coaching.
Coaching, while not helping you overcome childhood traumas and other behavioral patterns rooted there, is the best tool to jumpstart your career and gain more clarity and focus about your life. A coach can help you look at your current life, draw some new objectives, and help you reach those goals.
Coaching is the preferred tool of executives, managers, entrepreneurs, IT people, and other creative people, but also anyone else who would like to develop themselves, by reaching the next level in their career or improving their life quality by changing their habits and their views of the world. It is more accepted and embraced in more developed countries like the US and West Europe, but it’s starting to become very popular also in Romania, especially in corporate environments.
In over 1 year of coaching, I’ve met and coached more than 29 people, with whom I had, approximately 5-6 sessions each on average. It started really slow in the first 6 months, as I had to build my new identity from scratch.
Everybody I knew was identifying me with the person I used to be, and not with my new role as a coach. But this too came slowly, as I started to also meet my new self and identify with it more and more.
In 1 year since I started in March 2020:
- I had coaching sessions with Noela, a High-Potential Coach whom I love, (www.noelaz.ro), and continued coaching and mentoring sessions with Andrei until late autumn in 2019. Yes, I invested in 2 coaches at that time because I wanted to learn from the best and everything I could. They both contributed massively to my growth and I cannot recommend them enough;
- I started out coaching people with no charge;
- I emersed myself into developing my coaching skills by attending a coaching school, reading a lot, attending offline and online training, peer to peer coaching,
- at the end of Feb 2019 launched my Coaching Facebook page and made it public;
- in March 2019 I started to have my first paying client and started to mentor 5 students in their final year, helping them prepare for their first job
- in May 2019 I launched my new website based on a blog platform I had in the past and started to get more clients in the next coming months;
- 40% of the cases were about a job change, business development, or status change, like when you are going through the adjustment period of a new role, like being a new manager or becoming a freelancer.
- in the winter of 2019, just as the year was ending, Andrei and I started a conversation about having a coaching center together.
- mid-Jan 2020 we found a house to rent that suited all of our needs: 2 separate coaching rooms and a training room for future training sessions and workshops
- in March 2020 we opened the coaching center
And here I am today, 2 months after the pandemic started, back in my office, writing this article. When we were ready to launch, the international health crisis started so we had to postpone all of our in-person training, but I am sure things will now start to improve slowly and we will have a full house soon.
Looking back at my last 1 year and a half, I am proud to say that everything I do and receive back from my new career choice, comes as validation and reassurance that I made the right decision.
In case you are also going through some changes in your life and feel like you might benefit from some extra support and coaching, send me an email and we’ll start from there. The first session is always complimentary.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or on any social platform.
The full version of the Infographic can be accessed here.