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Coaching to Flourish #074: Lessons from Accomplishing Big Goals

May 19, 2023 by Coach Training EDU

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In Coaching to Flourish #074, we celebrate Raj’s huge accomplishment of becoming a Master Certified Coach (MCC)! Host Raj Anderson and CTEDU founder John Andrew Williams discuss the process of aiming yourself towards big goals and lessons learned from big accomplishments. The motivations of your goals, the quality of the questions you ask yourself, and the discernment between dreaming and doing are all discussed in depth. Enjoy this celebratory episode!

Coaching to Flourish #074: Lessons from Accomplishing Big Goals
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Live Transcript (Edited for clarity)

[Raj Anderson] Welcome everyone to the Coaching to Flourish podcast. Sorry, we're just composing ourselves. This is what it's like behind the scenes. We were having a laugh about what's happening after the podcast. But welcome everyone to Coaching to Flourish. I'm your host, Raj Anderson, Executive Life Coach and Coach Assessor, and I'm here with John Andrew Williams, founder of Coach Training EDU. How are you, John? 

[John Andrew Williams] Doing well. It's a beautiful day here. It's so pretty. I got up super early. Lots of energy, been rocking it. I got up at five o'clock and started cranking and I feel - what is it, 11 o'clock 11:30 now, 11:40? It’s been a day. So I feel like I've already crushed it, and I still have a lot to go. So it's good. It's very good. 

[Raj Anderson] What's giving you this burst of energy at the moment?

[John Andrew Williams] I don't know, but maybe magnesium. I've been taking my vitamins. I mean, it's silly but it's true. I got blood work done a year ago, and talked to a couple doctors about it, and they're like, yeah, this is the thing. And you know, it's really important. I was just talking with it with some buddies and how I can really feel a difference. It's wild how different it feels when - I mean, it's just the importance of going and getting these things done. I've been taking them regularly now for like a week, so that's the energy for me. 

[Raj Anderson] So, regular supplements.

[John Andrew Williams] I wonder when it's too much information to share a professional basis, you know what I mean? Because people do this, right? It’s knowledge and awareness. A lot of it is, the stress, it’s a troubleshooting game. It's very similar to finding the right diet. There's no real blanket answer for everyone. It's, where are you? 

And this is what I love about coaching too, there's no blanket answer. It's what, do you need to do for yourself? And it's really looking at each of us as an expert in our lives. And yeah, we use experts get blood work done. You know, do your homework. Get the expert knowledge and then apply it. This rinse and repeat type process. 

What helps me a lot too is very much a growth mindset. Like, try it out. You know, let's try the thing - and you know, that worked well, it didn't work well. And then try something else. For me the term is rinse and repeat. That's what we use a lot here. But anyway, that's how I'm doing. How are you doing, Raj? How's life? 

[Raj Anderson] I'm great, John. I'm great, thank you. We were chatting, I got my MCC credential from the ICF, which I am super excited about and super proud. And I'm just thinking about, how do I continue to celebrate and what's next on the chapter.

[John Andrew Williams] Congrats. That's a big deal. That's a really big deal. I didn't know how out there you wanted it to be or not, but, Congratulations. Huge. Congratulations, Raj, on getting it. What’s the after? What was the after feels?

[Raj Anderson] I'm still in them, I think. I think I'm still in it and pinching myself, really. Because this is something that, you and I have chatted. This has been on my vision board for a number of years, so something that I've been working towards. And you'll understand this, coaching is so important to me. It's my life's work now, it's so fulfilling. I mean, it's been a lot of hard work. You know that yourself, you're an MCC. The number of hours, and the training, and the practice and the dedication. 

And I already was overwhelmed with just emotion and tears. I cried after the exam, just with the relief that that part was done. And then when they sent me the email, I was just overwhelmed with joy. I think it was just tears of joy and accomplishment. It's just such a feeling of accomplishment. My husband was joking with me, and he's saying, are you Yoda coach now? And I said, well, maybe a Jedi. You know, I'm working towards being Yoda.

[John Andrew Williams] That's awesome. What did you learn about yourself in the process? The biggest learning? 

[Raj Anderson] What did I learn about myself in the process? Well, other than learning that there is still some inner critic that was showing up at times. You know, feeling like an imposter, an inner critic. I don't think that's all bad actually. I think some of that is very useful for me personally, because it helps me to stay humble. It helps me to not be complacent and not take things for granted. So it helps me to continue to grow, it pushes me in that growth. 

And also that recognition of, ‘Wow, I'm really resilient.’ I'm resilient and I am resourceful. And the power of when you put your mind to something, what you can actually achieve. Because when this was on my vision board years and years and years ago, I could have argued myself out of it. Or I could have thought, well, this is so far out of reach, this isn't gonna be possible. 

So I think it's the consistency, and the tortoise in the hair it is for me. You know, I am the tortoise. Just steady, continuous steps, and then this is it. It's here.

[John Andrew Williams] So what was the capacity you built up? You know what I mean? What was those steady steps?

[Raj Anderson] The capacity that, there's actually limitless space for capacity when you allow that space to take place. I think we talked about this last week when we were talking about potential, and not limiting potential, and not limiting that space to grow. Actually I thought about your words the other day, when you were talking about being in flow and enjoying the experience. And I think because I did allow myself to enjoy the experience and the journey of getting to MCC, it feels more meaningful. 

A coach asked me the question today, how will you celebrate yourself? And actually, this feels beyond celebration. It's hard to explain. It doesn't just feel like, I made it, it's a check mark, I can just check it off. It's encompassed my whole being.

Notice how John's turned the tables and he's questioning me. I love it. Thank you, John. 

[John Andrew Williams] It's such a big deal. It's such a sweet milestone in a coach's journey, to get the master certified coach from the ICF. Just the sheer number of hours. The detail in which the ICF looks at the MCC application is wild. 

When I went through it, I submitted two calls. One of them did not go through. They, they rejected one. Said, not there yet. One they said, yes, the other one said no, you have one more try. I remember feeling the pressure of getting another coaching recording that I know could be MCC level. It’s not easy. Each of these calls you're recording, and then there might be five minutes of the call where you go, why did I ask that? Or, why did my client go there? Or, you know? It's just all of it. It's pretty heavy. And my third call, it went through. 

And I remember feeling in the middle of the third call, I've shared this story before. I remember feeling in that third call a sense of, I don't care if this is good. You know, I don't, I don't care if someone outside approves of this or not. I know for myself that this is an amazing coaching session, and that I'm changing this person's life in this coaching session. 

And at that point, that was my internal MCC moment. Realizing yeah, I know this stuff, I know that I know this stuff. And I was thankful to be pushed as hard as I was. I’m curious Raj, what similar moment sticks out to you in your journey? 

[Raj Anderson] Listening to you, it reminds me of, there was a time probably about three years ago where I really wanted the MCC. And I don't really think I wanted it for necessarily the right reasons. There is status that comes with getting the credential. There is that status, there is the credibility around it. And I think I was in a place of really wanting it from a place of ego and a place of status, and pushing myself in that space where there was still growth that needed to happen.

And I think because I had all of those external things and all of that ego taking place, if I had submitted things at that point, I wouldn't have passed some of it. And I don't really think I was doing it for the right reasons that are the right reasons for me now. So I actually had to surrender at that point and think, why is it that I want the MCC? What am I really trying to accomplish by forcing it? Because I could have rushed some of it along. 

I really probably didn't need to take the time that I did take. And Coach Training EDU was very supportive, and I did all the trainings through Coach Training EDU, and we did mentoring together. I probably didn't need to leave as big a gap in some of it as I did. Yet I think leaving that gap, and allowing myself to continue to practice and lean in.

And I think MCC is not just about your skills of coaching others. There is a huge journey of self-discovery as you work towards MCC, isn't there? What do you think about that, John?

[John Andrew Williams] It's just fun hearing you, hearing your energy when you're talking. I could keep going, but you know, we're on a podcast. 

[Raj Anderson] Well, what words do you have for others who may be in this credentialing process, whether it's ACC, PCC, or MCC? 

[John Andrew Williams] Yeah, I think what you're speaking to is very powerful. The idea that you're doing it for - what's the reason you're really doing it? What are you really after? And I think we each have our own journey with this, with coaching and where we're at with it. It's such a big bar to clear, like the MCC especially. 

But all the coaches who are going for the MCC, they already know it. I feel like it's a different game. The MCC feels like, you already know that you know this. And it's kind of a deep breath. Like okay, am I going to take the final thing? Am I gonna do this to the completion of knowing that I know it? And so going for an MCC, there's always an element of like joining that rank. It feels like a doctorate of coaching in some ways. You join the ranks of the MCC. 

Part of it is, you know it when you're ready. And I would use it as a milestone, like a tool, like any other tool. It's a milestone, and it does change a perception of yourself too, how you see yourself. Yeah, it's bringing me back. 

A lot of it too is, one of the perspectives I really enjoy are  similar to like a thought experiment, but from a question coach standpoint, is thinking about a goal, right?

You have a goal. And even having that goal - the next step is, what actions does the goal prompt is one measurement of the quality of the goal. Like for instance, let's say you're a high school student, you have some AP tests coming up, or IB tests. You're trying to get to a certain grade, right?

If the goal is sometimes too big or too much stress, the actions that it might lead to are procrastination, they might lead to avoidance, they might lead to feeling all those inner critic negative thoughts. So that might be a sign of goal quality, let's look at goal quality and maybe shift the goal quality. Because other times I think what people do is they'll grab a goal and then they'll go for it and they'll say, okay I wanna go for it.

But then the goal prompts things that are not that useful, things that are more challenging, more difficult. And then you look at the other side of it, sometimes goals, when you have one, they start prompting really healthy or helpful action steps that are like, okay, this is really good for me, regardless of whether or not I get this goal.

For me, the MCC process was like that. It was, this is really good for me to look at my coaching. How I coach, and to take a deep dive into it. The action steps that I took, from the beginning of deciding to get it to after the MCC, were all very hard. It was humbling, empowering, the whole gamut of emotion. And I'm very fortunate to go on that journey. 

That's all I would share with other people who are in that credentialing journey as well, is asking yourself, what's the action evidence of the goal? If that makes sense.

[Raj Anderson] What's the action evidence of the goal? 

[John Andrew Williams] Yeah. That's the key. That what I feel like, yeah. Good. Grab the concept. Got it. 

[Raj Anderson] And what about self discernment? How do coaches apply that? 

[John Andrew Williams] I think one thing I feel like is really helpful is both dreaming and doing. It's both. It requires both, dreamers and doers. And the dreaming part is lovely. The doing part is - it's almost like we need two separate selves. Like, the dreamer part needs to tell the doer part what to do, and the doer part needs to tell the dreamer part to chill out. So I feel like both, you know what I mean?

I often do this too. Cause when I was establishing my practice, I was working mostly with students, it was after school. So I had a very clear sort of structure in my day, where from the hours of let's say three to seven, I would stack clients back to back. So I could work with maybe four or five clients really tight in those four hours.

And then up until three o'clock I knew, okay, I have a coaching session that's coming up. But between the morning time to three, that was admin time, that was marketing time, that was learning time, that was website building time. And that was more of the, we'll say, the doing time.

And then when I would hop in the car to go, or hop on the bike to go to client sessions, that was dreaming time. So I very clearly - I would listen to my vision recordings, I would do my gratitude practice. I had a very clear demarcated, on my calendar time to dream. And then I had very clear on my calendar time to do. It's the doing and the dreaming in the same day - that's the key. That was the key for me, to both have the motivation to keep going when things were hard, and also just to keep going even when things were good. I had a very strong structure with that. 

[Raj Anderson] I love that John. It's really being intentional, isn't it? That intentionality with creating space for dreaming, and also the doing. And I think this does circle back round to, I know we were joking at the beginning around your boosts of energy that you have and the supplements, but yet even that is that intentionality in self-care, isn't it?

When Ashley and I talked a few weeks ago, we actually talked about managing energy as well, versus what's the difference between managing energy and managing time? And to be an effective dreamer or to be an impactful doer, we also do have to think about how we protect energy, conserve energy, boost energy. It’s all connected. 

[John Andrew Williams] Yeah. Especially when you're an entrepreneur. Like when you're thinking about establishing an independent coaching practice, or you're taking this on, even part-time. Anytime you are a hundred percent commission, you're in a growth mindset, almost like a growth-income mindset versus like a fixed income mindset. Which is, you have a job, you show up, you do it. And that's important too, that's valuable work. 

And there's something to be said, oftentimes I dream about having a stable paycheck. You know, if someone were to gimme an interesting contract. Or even with myself, I think, what would the number be? It's an interesting question. But really truly, there really wasn't a plan B. Like we never really had a plan B. It just was okay, plan B was to make plan A work. That was plan B. So you know, it's very cyclical. 

The thing about the growth income mindset is every disruption, it costs money. Every low energy, it costs money. Disappointments are unavoidable, but it becomes not about your mood or emotion as much as it's about, okay, what needs to happen to get this mission accomplished? What needs to happen to get this project going? 

And oftentimes, you know, I need my head space to be good in order for it to go. Not like, oh, I need to keep pushing, keep pushing, keep pushing. Like, that works, sometimes that's the answer, but not all the time. That goes back to, we're talking about before, it's such a unique answer at different points of time. Which is why I love coaching. Because when you're working with a coach, you get to process all this out and then it becomes really clear. Okay yeah, that's my action step this week. Cool. See you next week. Let's do it again. 

So that's where I'm coming from with this. And I feel like yeah, MCC, Raj, it’s nice. Congrats. It's a nice milestone. That's really sweet. Especially in May. Like, are you kidding? That's good stuff. That's such good stuff.

[Raj Anderson] Thank you, John. Thank you. And I can't believe we're on time. So what message would you like to close us out with today? 

[John Andrew Williams] I feel like it's to you, and your MCC wisdom. In your newly minted MCC wisdom, please, let's close this out. 

[Raj Anderson] I'm thinking a conversation I was having with Ashley earlier about Yoda. So I guess the words of Yoda, it's do or do not. There is no try. And it's like what John is saying, you gotta dream and you gotta do. So, small steps. Be consistent. You'll get there.

[John Andrew Williams] I love it. I love it. Thanks Raj. See you. 

[Raj Anderson] Thank you, John. Thanks everyone. Take care. Bye.

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