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Life Coach at Large: The graduate

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Emma Ranson Bellamy
Emma Ranson Bellamy reflects on what she has learnt in the journey from ‘fledgling’ life coach to ‘graduate’ while confessing to her own concerns about public speaking and revealing her tricks for overcoming the fear.



It’s been a long hard slog but I’ve done it. I’ve completed the diploma in Life Coaching with Coaching and Mentoring International (CCMI) in just over six months. My spell checker informs me that in this time I wrote over 55,000 words in all including assignments, reflective essays and my journal. It has been worth it.

In half a year my life has changed beyond all recognition. I have gone from having few options to having many, from feeling quite depressed about ‘my lot’ at times to having so much enthusiasm and energy that I can’t sit down.

So why am I telling you all this? I promise it’s not to boast but to share with you the influence that a few people have had, which ignited a flame instigating a change which has manifested my ‘now’ fantastic life.

When I received my certificate and congratulations of my fellow graduates I had to make a short speech. I have a love-hate relationship with speaking in public. The actress in me loves it but she has to fight past the shy girl with a stutter.

And in order to ‘just pull it off’ I have to meticulously prepare my presentations or speeches with carefully written words which never start with a vowel (in case I sound like an automatic weapon) and well rehearsed punch-lines to audience researched jokes. If I ever meet you remind me to tell you of a time when I told a joke where the hero was an audibly challenged country and western singer to the manager of a charity for the hard of hearing!!

I wanted the speech to come from the heart to mark the event of the graduation. This did not need to be rehearsed and timed, just plain speaking, simply put and strongly felt. I was fortunate that a number of people were present on my journey to coaching, including my mentor, my very first coach, a coaching partner and two of the trainers from the course I attended back in June.

The rest of the audience of around 70 people were unknown to me, including a large number of students who were starting out on their first part of the course and whose brains were visibly full from an intensive two days of full on learning.

I was the first up out of a graduation parade of fourteen. A good thing because I could listen to everyone else’s speeches with a glass in my hand and know that it was over. I remember every word I said and could repeat verbatim even though I did not write it down or do much preparation. I was just so happy and felt very proud of myself and wanted to share my new reality and heart felt feelings with the people that had helped me on the way.

It got me thinking about Shultz. The originator of the Peanuts cartoon, the beagle with attitude. He said: “The people who make a difference in your life are not the one’s with the most credentials, money or awards. They are the one’s who care.”

Have a go at this short quiz to see what I mean for yourself. You don’t need a pen and paper – it will take a matter of seconds:

  • 1. Name the last three Nobel peace prize winners.

  • 2. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

  • 3. Name any Wimbledon champions.

  • 4. Name the last three World Cup winners.

  • 5. Name any of the Oscar winners of the last year.

How did you do? I’m assuming that you found it quite tricky. Was it because your memory is not as good as it was? Or was it that even though these people are top class and the best in their fields, they have not touched you. Yesterday’s headlines becomes today’s fish and chip paper – to be passed into the realms of mindless trivia.

Try this one and see if you fare any better:

  • 1. List a few teachers that had an effect on you at school.

  • 2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

  • 3. Name five lessons you have learned and the people or situations that taught them to you.

  • 4. Think of someone who last made you feel appreciated and worthwhile.

  • 5. Count the people on as many fingers (and toes) as you can who you enjoy spending time with.

There is so much fame and celebrity in our lives. We are given to believe that because we read about these people in the newspapers and watch them on TV that they are somehow more important than us, our families, friends and colleagues. Scratch under the shiny, gilded surface and we see that celebrity is nothing more than a veneer and the people that really matter are those that touch us, effect us and admire us for what we are.

Coaching question: What will you be remembered for by future generations?

Another from Charles Schultz: “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”


HR Zone members’ offer
Emma Ranson Bellamy is offering HR Zone members the exclusive opportunity for some coaching. Simply contact her at the email address listed below for your chance to be selected to sit on the couch. Applicants must include details of the topic they’re looking for coaching on, together with reasons and a brief outline on what they’d like to gain from the session. Selected applicants must agree to have details of their sessions replayed as part of the editorial series, names may be changed to protect identities.

Emma can be contacted at [email protected] to see her website visit: www.emmaransonbellamy.co.uk

Other articles in this series:


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Annie Hayes

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