What I’ve learned from my own coaches + mentors

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Someone recently asked me to write a post about what I’ve learned from my coaches, sort of like a “coach’s coach” post. I’m really open about the fact that I love and adore being coached, and I always want to go through life with my own mentors and support systems in place. I clearly really believe in the coaching model – there is no way I would be where I am in my life and business without the mentors that I cherish.

At this point, I like a LOT of support in my life. Growing my business brings up more personal and professional challenges than I ever thought it would, and I am just overall fiercely devoted to my own growth as a person. Having people who really know me, get me, can show me my blind spots and deeply care about me living my happiest life is one of the most important parts of my life.

So without further ado, here are a few significant lessons I’ve learned from my coaches in the past several years:

  1. How to be more of myself in every part of my life: I really believe that if you’re going to hire a coach or work with a mentor, one of the most important things to look for is if that person is devoted to helping you find your OWN answers, as opposed to them telling you to do it their way. I seek out mentors who help me dig deep into who I am and who give me “permission” to do things in the way that’s right for me, even if that’s unconventional or off the beaten path. I did really intense work with a relationship coach in 2012 and she helped me show up in relationships as more of who I really am, I’ve learned to find my own way with food, and now I work with a coach who is constantly asking me the really hard questions to help me discover more of who I am in my business. I believe one of the most beautiful gifts you can give someone is permission to be themselves, and this is one of the most precious gifts my coaches have (and continue to) give me.

The lesson: We all have blocks to showing up as our true selves. Layers and layers of fears and insecurities and ideas of how we should be. As we peel back these layers, life becomes way more fun. We live in a way that makes us happy and feels right for us. We show up with other people without the masks. This is tough work – I think we will all always be working on this- but it’s so important. 

2. The storms will always be there. It’s not possible to remove suffering, but we can learn how to manage the ebbs and flows of life. One of the biggest ways I’ve grown in the last few years is that I’ve gotten really comfortable with the uncomfortable. Growing up, I wasn’t really taught how to handle the lows and unpleasant feelings, so I always tried to avoid these feelings and numb out with food. I have such an appreciation for how I’m able to deal with – and sometimes even thrive within – the storms now. One of the reasons I’m able to do this is because my mentors don’t try to “fix” my storms. They don’t slap on a solution and positive thinking. They’ve taught me how to be IN it and how to feel it all. I’ve learned how to be okay with a storm, while still looking ahead and knowing that sunshine will eventually come. Real life and resiliency is not about escaping when life gives you a storm, it’s about hunkering down, being in the storm, developing exceptional self-care to get you through it, and learning from it. This is also what gives you confidence – knowing you can handle the storms and that you’re okay.

The lesson: Storms will always happen. If we live our lives trying to avoid the storms, and avoid suffering, we’re setting ourselves up for failure, and honestly for a much more superficial experience of life. Let the storms be a part of your experience, and learn to exist and take care of yourself within them. 

3. To actually ask myself the really difficult question of “what do I want”? I heard once that this is one of the most difficult questions for most people to answer and it certainly is for me as well. It’s so easy for me to take what life is putting in front of me and go along for the ride. Oh my business has been moving along just fine, I’ll keep doing these things that work. Oh this guy and I are moving along just fine, I’ll keep hanging out. Oh I’m really exhausted all the time but I guess this is just the way my life is so I guess I’ll just keep making the same choices and plugging along. As a coach, it’s easy for me to look at a client and see exactly where they’re settling, being reactive, or living in a way they don’t really want to be living, but I have such a hard time doing this for myself. My coaches wake me the EF up when I really need them to. I always push back, because frankly, creating a life we WANT is often times way harder than settling for what is in front of us. It takes so much courage and energy, but we ALL deserve to fight for ourselves in that way. That’s deep self-respect, and I am so grateful that my coaches continue to push me to edit my life to be more aligned with what I want.

The lesson: Make sure you’re taking time to really think about what you WANT. Not just what’s currently happening, but what you actually want. Take time to ask yourself the questions. Let go of what’s not working, and fight for what you want. 

4. That in order to move forward, being vulnerable is necessary: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cringed at a suggestion from one of my coaches. I’ve realized how easy it is for me to stay in my little bubble, with all of my own assumptions and thoughts racing around in my head, shying away from things that feel scary, brutally honest, or difficult. My coaches have pushed me to have some really awkward, vulnerable conversations with people, to put myself out there in my business in ways that were uncomfortable, to put my heart on the line because that was the only way I would get clarity and be able to move forward. Coaching has helped me take vulnerable action. Send the email. Have the hard conversation. Ask the question, straight up. Find out. Take the risk. Go where it’s uncomfortable.

The lesson: Take action when you need to. I saw this post the other day on Instagram that I loved. It said “Don’t complicate life. Missing somebody? CALL. Want to meet up? INVITE. Want to be understood? EXPLAIN. Have questions? ASK. Don’t like something? SAY IT. Want something? ASK FOR IT. Love someone? TELL THEM.” Less thinking, more action. Just go for it.

5. Radical self-care. I love teaching about supreme self-care because it’s the backbone of my life. It’s what supports me. It gives me strength. It connects me to myself. The better I get at self-care, the more inner confidence I have, the more courageous I feel, and the better I know myself, my needs and what I want. Without it, I’d feel like I was passively ping ponging through life feeling depleted, dull and lost (as in, how I used to feel before I knew what Self-Care was). My coaches and mentors have all taught me and continue to teach me profound ways to care for myself and what that looks like. They’ve taught me SO much self compassion. How to go easier on myself. How to put myself FIRST. How to know what I need and then give that to myself. How to connect to others from my heart. How to learn what my deepest fears and insecurities are and manage them the best I can.

The lesson: YOU are your number one priority. Whether or not you work with a coach, I would really encourage you to create time and space to put yourself first. Take care of yourself. Nurture your dreams. Get to know your fears and what’s holding you back. Find ways to feel supported. Learn to be compassionate with yourself no matter what. 

My coaches and mentors have seen the most honest, real and vulnerable parts of me. They’ve helped me work through some really hard moments, including times when I’ve felt a lot of shame (which is one of the most important things to get support around). I am so grateful for their support and wisdom.

I hope you got something out of this post, and that this was interesting to you! There is always so much to learn about ourselves and as you can see, I’m pretty passionate about my own growth.

Let me know if you have any questions!

And because I know you’ll ask, here are a few of the coaches I’ve worked with in the past 10 years who I’ve really loved:

Cora Poage

Kavita Patel

Jennifer Kass

Jenn Racioppi

I’m curious, what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from your coaches and / or mentors and / or anyone who you look up to?

Lots of love,

Jamie

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  1. I loved this, Jamie! Thanks so much for sharing your lessons, I think these are all really important topics to bring up.

    One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to embrace imperfection. I was taught to strive for perfection, and nothing less. I went through most of my life feeling like a failure, even when I was “ahead” of my peers, and actually working really hard. Once I got permission to be flawed, and that it’s actually beautiful and raw…it was life changing.

    • YES I love this so much. Embracing imperfection is so important, and something I also work at all the time. Thank you for sharing! xoxo.

  2. Jamie, this post is SO good. I love everything you shared here, especially *to not complicate things* (“Don’t complicate life. Missing somebody? CALL. Want to meet up? INVITE. Want to be understood? EXPLAIN. Have questions? ASK. Don’t like something? SAY IT. Want something? ASK FOR IT. Love someone? TELL THEM) AND *to feel our difficult feelings.* The sunshine is at the other side like you said, and it’s not our job to “fix” anything. We can feel through it. How empowering. Thanks girl! XO

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