Over a year ago, I finished Integrative Nurse Coach® Certificate Program (INCCP) with a clear vision for my business. I knew my long-term goal was to own a private coaching practice, while my short-term goal was to take small digestible steps towards the bigger goal. I would coach when I could, grow professionally, learn more about having a business, and earn supplemental income. I took all the logistical steps like establishing a Proprietorship, built a website, researched insurance, and so on. Then, things came to a halt.
I found myself in another certification program less than 3 weeks after my NC-BC exam. The Neurodynamic Breathwork™ (NDB) facilitator program, a longtime dream of mine, became my complete focus and my coaching endeavors were put on hold. After getting certified in breathwork facilitation, I built my website and had the business logistics all set up.
Before I could give out my flyers to local yoga and sound bath studios, I started planning an out of state move. My entrepreneur goals kept getting rewritten and reevaluated until they became a file on my laptop that dropped off my ‘Recent files’, and into the abyss of endless computer folders.
During the time between finishing my program at the Integrative Nurse Coach® Academy (INCA), looking for homes across state lines, and wondering what job would pay the bills, many thoughts and emotions spelling self-doubt, lack of self-trust, words of self-deprecation, and disappointment tried to creep in regularly. The familiar words of ‘You did this program and now you’re not even coaching…’, ‘Why aren’t you at least looking for clients or connecting with others who seem to be doing so great!’ etc. tried to dominate my mind.
Luckily, I dedicated the last decade to self-development, self-healing, and self-empowerment and was able to pop these thoughts like soap bubbles, not giving them any energy. The very suitable Desiderata saying, ‘The Universe is unfolding as it should’, which resonates so deeply within me, easily overwrote any negative self-talk. Nonetheless, the fact that I was not working on my business was still true.
Grist for the Mill: Working with whatever comes, and making it serve my purpose
When things don’t go according to plan, we have a few options. I used to wallow in negative self-talk, gave it energy, tended to it, and unknowingly perpetuated a cycle of self-doubt and disappointment. Now I see self-criticism as an opportunity for growth, a measure of how far I’ve come, and an instrument for self-validation. When my two pro bono clients said they would purchase a coaching package, but never did, I asked myself ‘How can I turn this into something that will help me grow as a coach and benefit my business in the long run?’. A ‘Grist for the mill’, as Ram Das calls it.
How can I use unfavorable situations and disserving thoughts and emotions to reflect, reframe, and grow all the while not ignoring them and stuffing them inside to find me later? Am I just a terrible coach that my clients didn’t want to purchase the package? Or perhaps I just need to improve on how I follow up with them. Or this could be connected to my history of worrying about asking for money for coaching and I need to put more inner work into that. Possibly, putting my focus into the NDB program is more important now than ‘squeezing in’ a paying client. That might benefit my purpose more in the long run and my clients will be better served if I coach them when I am able to give myself fully.
Time, Energy, and Motivation
Irrespective of where our path takes us, if we want results, these three are an investment we need to make. With a full-time job, family, single parenting, and chronic health issues, where do I get the time, energy, and motivation to keep going? One voice in my head says it might be futile and the other insists on nudging me daily.
Back to basics. I know how many hours in a day and days in a week. I analyzed my week and took notes of what I do hour by hour. I rated my tasks as essential (work, meals, sleep), important (family time, me time, cooking) and non-essential/entertainment (watching TV, browsing the internet, shopping etc.). I decided that I would replace two entertainment slots for working on my business.
I came up with a SMART goal of: ‘I will spend 3 hours per week, every Saturday, from 1-4pm on my coaching business tasks’. I also wrote a list of ‘business tasks’ that need to be accomplished, such as engaging with people online, updating my website, writing blogs, creating flyers, marketing, or just meditating on my business vision. Every week I take time to evaluate my progress and rework my SMART goal. At one point I had to take the time down to just one hour per week, but now my goal is 3 hours on Saturday and 1 hour on Wednesday afternoon.
This one is the hardest for me. I have a full-time job, a family, and I am dealing with a chronic health issue that leaves me achy and fatigued majority of the day. I know my energy levels throughout the day and have to plan my work accordingly. I read and meditate during low energy times and plan my work during higher energy window.
I also grade my business tasks from low to medium to high energy demand. For example, connecting with others online is a low energy task and coming up with a marketing strategy or reaching out to a potential client falls into the high energy category. I do low energy tasks during the week after work and high energy tasks on the weekends.
This is where the little voices in my head fight. I know what gets me motivated but I must intentionally connect with that passion regularly. Especially when I would rather mindlessly scroll through my phone or watch TV. Reconnecting with and tending to my passion for coaching and breathwork, feeling the fire inside me when I think about how much I enjoy this work, and how rewarding it can be, is a very conscious effort. Knowing from personal experience how much difference coaching and breathwork can make in one’s life is my primary drive to keep going. How could I possibly keep these gifts to myself?
Vision, Goals, Grit, Hard Work and Self-Validation
Cultivating my intuition and passion and trusting that the right path will unfold at the right time is at the forefront of things for me. However, creating a clear vision, setting and evaluating goals, putting in hard work, building on my resilience, and grit are all indispensable ingredients. I often remind myself how far I have come, what I have already achieved and how it’s shaped me as a person and a coach.
I no longer spend time thinking about why I haven’t established a flourishing coaching business yet, but rather admiring the strong foundation I have built. The decade of hard, courageous deep inner work, getting certified in not one, but two healing modalities, using my personal hardships, and healing journey to empower myself and others, knowing that any challenges I come across are just ‘grist for the mill’ and self-validating truths propelling me forward.
Monika Chudoba, BSN, NC-BC
Monika is a Board Certified Nurse Coach, Certified NeuroDynamic Breathwork Facilitator, and has been a nurse since 2006. Her passion for health and healing runs deep and started when she was a little wide-eyed girl, providing tender loving care to her pets and dolls. She became a nurse after having her 2nd child and worked in Labor & Delivery for 8 years, passionately helping moms have the best possible birthing experience.
In 2012, after experiencing a severe health crisis triggered by a routine medical procedure, she experienced the medical world through a patient's lens and realized how vastly detrimental our healthcare system can be to one's health and mental wellbeing. After seeking help in western medicine, continuing to get worse, she finally turned to alternative methods and sought spiritual avenues to healing through breathwork.
Using an integrative approach, with the main ingredient being deep connection to her inner healer and wisdom, she was able to finally achieve the highest level of health. This experience was so profound that she immediately wanted to learn more and help others, encourage self-empowerment and trust in our God given potential to heal our body. She spent the next 10 years learning about and trying various healing modalities, with a focus on expanded states of consciousness work and its impact on our overall well-being (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual).
In her spare time, you will find Monika spending time with her 2 children, family dog or exploring her inner world.