The Initial Nerves
Along with the usual anxious fluster I feel in my armpits when I get nervous, I can feel the sweat building just under my eyes, and a similar heat building around my temples. My voice cracks slightly and I take a couple of awkward half-step-side-paces back and forth. Realizing that I look like a 4th grader about to pee his pants doesn’t remind me to take a breath and re-center, it only exacerbates my nerves.
What the hell am I doing here?
Remembering the Reason I am Here
Nearly ten weeks after completing the 1.0 Wellness Coach Training Program, I have finally found the motivation to get out the door and go meet some people who might be interested in hosting an introductory workshop for me, or that might be able to refer me to some clients. Equipped with fliers, business cards, and a few talking points, I step out from behind my computer and leave my home office to ‘hawk my wares’ in person. I feel industrious, confident, and eager … there’s nothing quite like the thrill of getting your idea out into the world.
I enrolled in a coaching program to strengthen my skills for training leaders. While I plan on continuing that work, an idea to coach new dads about the goals they have for fatherhood – how they want to be a partner during the pregnancy and birth and how they want to strike balance in their life with a new member of their family – emerged towards the end of our class. So today, I’m stopping by a birthing center, boutique baby supply shops, and a couple of businesses that offer classes, yoga, and supplies to moms. I feel like these are the places that new families are likely connecting with for support.
However, the self-doubt creeps in as I drive to my first stop. What if there are already a dozen other coaches offering them the same thing? What if I don’t actually have the skills or experience to coach new dads? What does it mean for me to be a man walking into an organization clearly designed to support woman in this male-dominated culture? What if I mess up their kids’ life? What if-
The Reaction I Didn’t See Coming (but the One I Had Hoped For)
“That sounds amazing!”
“Huh?” I respond, stopping my pitch mid-sentence.
“I think that would be an incredible resource for our Dads. We have a meet-up group already, but I know some of them would love something like this.”
“Oh, cool, well let me give you some more information …”
The sweat is still lingering (it’s too late to do anything about that), but my voice eases a bit and the half-step-side-paces reside. I share my fliers, talk about following up, and thank both of the women I’ve been talking to for their time. As I get back into my car and head towards the next stop, I smile. This is possible. I just had to take the first step forward.
– Matt Gray, Coach Training EDU Graduate