How a life coach changed the way I see my future

I’ve never been one for coaching. I’m not a joiner and I don’t really take kindly to being told what to do (I know, shocking!). And I’ve always thought of life coaching as being somewhat similar to Amway or Scientology – you kind of have to get a bit crazy and join some sort of sect that then owns your children and requires you to sell cleaning products to your cousins. But, long story short: I have a life coach now. (I also have a running coach. Apparently I can’t blow my nose any more without someone telling me how hard to blow, and then applauding the contents of the tissue.) I ‘met’ Katherine Mackenzie-Smith from The Beauty of Life online and she just seemed so damn sensible and inspiring and just like she really has this life figured out. When Katherine suggested we work together, she found me at a point in my life where I had just finished breastfeeding baby number 3 and I just felt ready after 10 years of babies and breastfeeding and pregnancy and all that stuff, I was ready to start thinking about what I want out of this life – you know, for ME. So I took it as a sign and keenly agreed to give life coaching a try.

Katherine Mackenzie-Smith
Katherine Mackenzie-Smith

Up to this point, life coaching always seemed like something other people did and it sounded quite fabulous and indulgent – sort of like a weekly pedicure, or having your hair blow dried at a salon when you haven’t broken both your arms in a threshing machine accident. Here’s what I expected I have to admit I had no idea what to expect and went into our first session completely unprepared. I was open to chatting about my life and I thought we might set some goals and talk about what matters to me. But I really didn’t expect were:

  1. Katherine asked me some really hard questions and she didn’t let me get out of answering them, and
  2. The results I achieved in six short weeks were freaking mental.

Here’s what happened First I filled out a questionnaire which covered what my big crazy dreams are, as well as some more short-term realistic goals. Then Katherine and I talked on the phone for an hour every fortnight. Katherine was also available by email all through the six weeks – plus she emailed me homework and questions to consider along the way. I know I was the one doing all the work – and Katherine reminded me of this on a regular basis. But the act of having someone there who actually gives a shit whether you tick off those things on your to-do list is incredibly powerful (and there were a few times there where I actually only did something because I thought I can’t go back to Katherine and tell her I haven’t done it – I don’t want to get in trouble!). And Katherine helped me realise those big crazy dreams aren’t so big and crazy after all when I break them down into bite-sized chunks. For the first time in years, I allowed myself to give a lot of thought to what I want and why I want it, what is actually stopping me from achieving what I want, and whether the assumptions I was making were reasonable enough to let them stop me. (They’re not. Duh.) And working with Katherine has allowed me to not only imagine how it would feel to achieve those big crazy dreams, but to plan for them and break them down into tasks that I can do. This is not The Secret or any kind of oogedy-boogedy manifesting shit, this is real life and real steps to help you achieve the stuff that you want to achieve. My god, I am in fucking love with this process! Achieving shit is awesome! 140508 life coaching its impossible So have I achieved everything yet? No, but I have ticked off a few things that have made me very happy. And my entire mindset has opened up and my confidence in my own abilities has grown exponentially. The kicker here for me is that all of the things I want to achieve at this point of my life are career-related. I’m not going to go into them yet because I’m a bit superstitious, but watch this space and you will see me doing some cool stuff over the next while. So now I’m signing up with Katherine for more coaching and I am confident the investment I make will come back to me and then some as I achieve things in my career I would otherwise still be writing lists and daydreaming about. Oh, and her fees are tax-deductible anyway. Win! Would you consider life coaching? What big dreams would you like help to achieve?

Written By

Carolyn is the editorial director of Champagne Cartel and a freelance writer. In her spare time she is a long-distance runner, peanut butter enthusiast, and single mum to three incredible humans.


  • I find life coaching really interesting. My husband is watching numerous Tony Robbins DVD’s at the moment, which is centred around the same kind of themes. Goal setting. But more than anything ACTION. So in short, I think life coaching can be amazingly helpful if you’re brave enough to make changes. My husband is about to quit his job and we’re going to open our own business. Hopefully Tony Robbins pulls through!!!

  • I have always wondered what a life coach actually does. I admit I used to think it was kind of indulgent and how hard must it be for someone to get their life together – but now I think it is a brilliant idea, really really cool xx

    • Oh, Son, it can be very very hard for someone to get their life together – trust me! A bit of a kick start is a great thing for someone like me. I’ve got it all going in somewhere in there but I need help channelling it all in the right direction. 🙂

  • I really want to try life coaching…as in getting coached. But I feel like I am not there yet…I need another year in the trenches of parenting before I can devote the time and energy necessary to make changes. I just know if I did it now, I would be making excuses about not having time and blah, blah, blah. But I will do it!

    • I think timing really is key – you’ve got to be ready and I agree – sometimes the whole parenting thing takes all the energy you have! I hope you find that time and energy to spend on the stuff that’s important to you soon. xx

  • This is awesome, Carolyn!!! Even before I had kids, I thought there was real value in having a life/career coach. I have done a couple of leadership and women in leadership programs through work which were kind of like mentoring programs. There was no one on one though and I can really see the value in having that one person encouraging you and pushing you to reach for your dreams. Now that I’ve had kids and am kind of confused about what I want from life, I think I need a coach more than ever. I am so happy to hear you are doing this and really hope that you continue to kick ass at it x

  • This is amazing and inspiring! Well done for following your plans. I’m blown away by your confidence and amazement shining through for your life coach and your progress. This is such a shining endorsement of her.

    • Thanks Sarah! I think it’s important to say that I don’t always feel confident. Today, for instance, I am really not feeling awesome at all but I know that on these days I just need to keep on swimming, until I feel that confidence come back. And also, having someone else keeping your perspective healthy can be so helpful.

  • Carolyn, I love your no BS approach to life! And to read how you first felt and then all the amazing things you got from it (and it is all you! Own it, lady!) Thank you so much for the endorsement, but honestly just seeing the incredible momentum you created for yourself through our sessions was so inspiring!

  • Tax deductible? How does that work??? I reckon I could do with some life-coaching, as big things are about to happen around here and I kinda feel like I am drowning in all the possibilities. But at the same time I don’t think I could add one more thing to my plate, even if it meant that clearing the plate would become easier or more manageable. Ask me again in a few months time though because it sounds awesome!

    • I know exactly what you mean, Kylie! And I reckon you have to feel really ready for it, otherwise you may as well save your money. It’s tax deductible because if you are using it for your business it’s classified as career coaching. If you wanted to try her out, Katherine is offering CC readers a free half hour session (see her previous comment.)

  • Thanks for sharing this over on the blog Carolyn. I really appreciate it. You have given me something else to think about. It’s all about moving forward!

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