Big topic today.
(And a few cuss words, so be warned…)
I read an email from Tonya W. who said:
“I’ve been following you for a while now, and your messages & content have always been super real & resonated with me on a deep level. But the thought of actually emailing you never crossed my mind.
I suppose I have an inferiority issue (he’s so busy & well-known he’ll never reply), but I decided to say fuck it today.
Emails from you have literally been exactly what I’ve been dealing with.
My deadly 3:
1) Opioid addiction
3) Comparison & not good enough.
I just decided to surrender & take the synchronicity & run with it!”
Tonya goes on to ask a really powerful question:
“Is it possible to help others while YOU, yourself are still healing? I’d love to coach. Help others with addiction & empowerment. I’ve had coaches, but it was difficult when none could ‘relate’ or sometimes even empathize with what I’ve been through. I guess really; I’d just love to hear your thoughts. I really value your opinion!”
So, first things first, Tonya… this is really me… I really read your email, and this is NOT an April Fool’s joke.
This email is for you.
I should also share that Tonya mentioned she is clean and sober and our of a toxic relationship now for five years.
And second – congrats! Sobriety is the #1 most important thing.
Keep working your program and keep doing all the things that got you here, still one day at a time.
I’m so happy you’re sober Tonya.
And, let’s dive into your question.
What I love about this question is that it is full of integrity.
The idea that I must be healed before I heal others is true.
However, we must define “healed.”
My hunch is that what you meant was…
“Must I be FULLY healed before I can help others…? Is there a perfect amount of healing where I will be “enough” to actually coach?”
The answer is… no.
I would suggest banning the thoughts of “fully,” “totally” and “completely” from your mind.
This thinking seems like it’s a high standard, but it’s actually perfectionism in disguise.
I think it’s a very righteous thing that you want to do a great job for your future clients and make sure that you do right by them.
However, the arrival point you are asking about does not exist.
When you are one day sober, you have one day more than the addict who is still suffering. Part of the 12 Step Program is to help others and be of service.
And, I would much rather you extend a helping hand to someone who needs it, who isn’t sober yet, but needs that hope, than to wait.
You see, as you make progress, think of yourself on a continuum. The people “ahead” of you are your mentors, and the people “behind” you are your clients.
What I mean is this…
You always have a chance to serve.
There is always an opportunity to help others.
Don’t wait until you feel “enough” because we never quite get there.
In fact, when you serve others, that is how you expedite your own healing.
One of the most amazing things about doing what I do is that I get to learn from my clients, I get to grow.
When you step into serving others in the way that you are asking about… your work, your business is also your therapy.
I think it’s amazing that you’ve sought out mentors Tonya.
No one does it alone.
When you mentioned that you didn’t feel like you could relate to certain coaches, that’s okay.
There are plenty of teachers and plenty of clients.
There is more than enough to go around.
You are getting clearer and clearer on the values you have as a client, and this is helping you get clear on the values you will have as a coach.
The trauma that you’ve been through is a big deal.
And, what’s an even bigger deal and super powerful is that you are choosing to turn that trauma into power, that hurt into service and you have a strong desire to serve others.
What’s even more powerful is that the trauma that you’ve been through has given you empathy and a certain understanding about what it feels like to go through what you went through.
This makes you especially qualified to serve others who have been through what you’ve been through.
Your experience, your strength, your resilience and your results are enough to help someone else right now.
Don’t wait. People are in pain. People need your help.
And it’s not always obvious.
Many times the people who are in the most pain suffer quietly and never share what’s going on on the inside.
I recently had a colleague of mine take her life. It shook our community.
You never know what people are going through, even someone who you think has it all together.
Your desire to be a coach is rooted in the desire to serve others.
Follow that desire and keep your eyes peeled for who God sends you each day to serve.
When you focus on serving others, you will have more than enough confidence to help them.
And… keep your education going. Invest in yourself.
The best coaches have a coach. The best coaches have a mentor.
Keep sober. Keep doing the work. Keep serving others.
Education is important.
But you don’t need any more education to start making your difference right now.
So, start now. And keep growing.
The world needs you, Tonya.
I’m so proud of you.