The story below was submitted to my coaching community, a glimpse into how I chose the path to do what I do; my lifelong interest in relationships, life, and how to create the life you want!
It is brief, it is personal and it is part of a journey that I look forward enjoying for a long, long time…
Editor’s Note: I’m truly honored to introduce Charlotte Stichter. She has a diverse background combining traditional Counseling, Sport Psychology and a degree in Strategic Interventions from the Robbins-Madanes Training Center. Charlotte’s story gives us a very special glimpse into her life journey – one with great meaning and a purpose dedicated to helping others. I think the title says it all. –Tom Eng
Charlotte’s Website: www.InspiringResult.com
You can’t change without doing.
Growing up I was mostly like the other children but there was a little something that differentiated me from them. I didn’t quite feel like I belonged. I felt that I was destined for ‘more’ – Not necessarily in a grandiose and pompous way but in a way that spurred me to dream outside the box. For example, at 10, I had dreams of having an estancia (a private ranch) and riding horses on Pampas (the vast plains of Argentina).
As a child I enjoyed watching people interact. I spent much time thinking about why someone would say or do something and how the other person would respond. I enjoyed sitting by adult conversations and taking in their dialogues, something that followed me through adolescents and into adulthood. I watched my parents grow apart, both such lovely wonderful people. Or rather my father grew and my mother probably wanted to but was stuck in a sea of old limiting beliefs and always a “should have, and when we…” attitude.
As a teenager, I made friends with a wonderful woman who was 15 years older me. She was the mother of 4 children at the time and we became very close. There was something so ‘big’ about her. She looked at life in a way that separated her from other people I had met thus far. It was like she wore a pair of very practical rose colored glasses. A few years down the road, pregnant with their 5th child, her husband decided he wanted out. He had met another woman and was not interested in exploring how to stay in the marriage. The strength, humility and dignity she showed through this separation, despite being completely vulnerable gave me insight to just how strong a woman can be. It was done in such an unusual way from other separations I had witnessed and heard of and the children were truly as protected from a nasty divorce. Slander was not in the cards, she always said, “don’t be angry with him, I chose him to be the father of my children. What he’s done is not right but everyone deserves to be happy”.
Years down the road, I was going through great grief when losing my mother to cancer, re-evaluating my situation. What was it that I wanted to do with my life? I was living with my boyfriend at the time on a beautiful estate, had my horses, and was studying to become a nurse with aspirations to transfer to become an MD. Life seemed good, especially to outsiders. Meanwhile I felt a panicky feeling of “this is not enough, this is not for me, not now!” I felt there was so much more out there for me to explore. There was more that I could give. I had a need to grow, to be great, to not get stuck! An overwhelming feeling that sometimes still strikes me and gives me a jolt of affright ~ this very feeling is also what snaps me out of whatever pity party I may be throwing myself when life just seems like too much of a challenge; life hasn’t always been easy. I have experienced loss, heartache, fear and despair. But c’mon, how realistic is it that it would change sitting around moping? I have used these experiences to grow and draw from when helping others.
However, at the time I wasn’t capable of recognizing this, what later I can see has been a pattern, and once again this wonderful woman was there for me, had been all along. She didn’t give me answers. She didn’t give me ‘safe advice’. She gave me courage to follow my heart. To be brave, to dare to take chances so that I would never look back saying “I wish I had…”. “What is the worst that could happen when taking a leap of faith? You get a ‘no’ and you have to find a different way. Try to be clear and communicate”. These words still ring true to me and I am forever grateful for her friendship.
So I packed my bags and bought a ticket to the US. Left Sweden with no real plan other than “I will figure this out…”. And I did. I realized that people liked my advice, they liked my input and mostly, they would share. I found that from the day I landed people would share their stories, their problems, their troubled relationships and I thought to myself, I need to know what to do with all this. I felt I knew people, I could understand their stories without them even sharing too much. I knew I understood relationships and that I could help by providing tools to work through whatever sticky situation was at hand. I enrolled to get my degree in psychology, focused on counseling and loved the positive can-do-aspect of sport psychology. “You can’t change without doing” became a motto of mine, I wanted to respect and recognize the past of my clients but the approach I liked best was moving forward.
Most of us know this guy named Tony Robbins…Voila! When he became a household name, I realized that he was working in a way that I had dreamt of – marrying counseling psychology and sport psychology.
That was when I entered the wonderful world of life coaching. I am a Life/Relationship Coach and what a wonderful journey it has been!
Remember, you can’t change without doing.