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“Self Awareness – The ability to realistically ‘see’ ourselves and be aware of our goals, beliefs, values, drivers, ‘rules’ (our ‘oughts’ and ‘shoulds’) and our self-talk (both positive and negative- inner gremlin and inner angel!)”

(Relational Dynamic 1st Coaching Handbook, D. Barnard 2016)

Last year I was delighted to be awarded a bursary from a-n Artist Information Company, to train as a coach. At various points between September and December 2016, I would jump on the pendulum train up to Lancaster from London. Upon arrival I’d check in at the Travelodge and make my way to The Dukes Theatre to meet an extraordinary group of people embarking on an extraordinary journey.

RD 1st stands for Relational Dynamics, placing understanding of self and others at the heart of the coaching process. The principle being that it is through achieving a deeper understanding of our own emotional intelligence, drivers, beliefs and values that we become most effective as a Coach (and as a Human Being).

Training with Deb Barnard and Rivca Rubin was a profound and transformative experience. Not one of us emerged from the course the same person we started, we had begun a journey inwards; feeling safe and inspired to become very curious about those blind spots and unknown areas of the inner realm. We found you can travel  very far in an open and supportive group, old habits quickly gave way to new patterns of thinking and being.

I’m now five months into my new existence as a Creative Coach. So what’s different? What’s new?

Lots of things are new! I spend far more time in the exciting zone of possibility than ever before. I enjoy the variety of coaching in different ways, in different places, with different people.

One new role is supporting Btech art and design students at Tower Hamlets College. I wrote my coaching discourse on the potential of coaching as a support for young people in educational settings. I feel strongly that the most important way to support the younger generation to be prepared for the unknown future that lies ahead, is to encourage self-reflective questioning. In my opinion this is the best way of connecting with what is unique about you and your experience and that in this competitive time; self knowledge is priceless.

I’m also coaching different artists in my local community, Hackney Wick, London. I recently attended the exhibition of one of the artists I’ve been working with and it was a brilliant experience to see the ideas in our conversations realised to such a magnificent degree!

I’m delighted to be coaching some individual MA students from Goldsmith University and also to be offering coaching support to young women 14-19 in Tower Hamlets as part of my role at Dream Of Life C.I.C.

There is so much I could talk about, one thing I want to share today; is an observation that spans across all these different conversations. The observation is about the key ingredients needed for change. Exploring the question: How does an idea become reality?

In my experience during a coaching conversation an important seed is planted containing the blueprint of how to progress an idea forward. However the seed is not our idea alone, it also crucially contains our will, our determination and our commitment. The seed once planted, needs water, in this case the water is action, for nothing happens without the grace and flow of action.

‘Fiery Will and the Grace of Action’ an unstoppable combination, that can and does thrive even in the most challenging of circumstances.

We can cultivate our will to succeed by stripping back and getting really present to what is important about our goal. We can invoke the flow of action by visualing the path towards achieving our goal. Sometimes the most effective approach is working backwards until we can locate the very first step of action.

This might sound obvious, but often the first step is overlooked, I think because it’s often a tiny mundane step that can sometimes feel like a galaxy away from the final idea. Yet it is the first step none the less that leads to the second step and to the third and all the way to fruition.

A coaching conversation will help you to identify a chain of action, and this is when it begins, when the action has a coordinate, and the first step has been pinned into time and space; an agreement, an accountable arrangement. From that first moment, things move, things change, it make things real. It makes things happen. It makes thing grow. Sometimes effortlessly.

For artists the stakes are getting higher and higher, we feel pressure from every angle and especially financial pressure. It can feel harder to take risks and harder to act on some of the more challenging ideas. Yet often the idea with inbuilt risk is the idea we feel called to.

If you know there is an idea that only you can bring to life. I urge you to give yourself the gift of a coaching conversation.

If it was easy to transform our ideas into reality the world would be a very different place. Working with a coach can make a huge difference. Coaching totally accelerated me onto the path I wanted to be. It was incredible powerful to hear my voice create solutions as new thoughts and new perspectives collided.  If you take the step to book a coaching conversation you will hear a powerful voice of resolve, of resourceful problem solving and the voice of leadership.

And it all comes from you!