Why I Became a Life Coach

A story of love, strength, and the guiding flame of joy.

Tracy Barbour
Aug 20 · 4 min read
© Tracy Barbour 2016

The hardest question I have ever had to answer is why I became a life coach. The why of anything is not an easy question. The why is multi-layered, unable to fit inside a box, without an elevator pitch, and personal, deeply personal. That being said, I know the why is the question that is on everyone’s lips waiting to be answered.

My why began with writing. It began with poetry. It began with words in a red notebook, words that saved me. These words were my voice, the voice that had been surrendered to expectation and to obligation. A voice that had not seen the light of day for quite some time. A voice that had imploded and lost sight of its ability to lead with strength and love. A voice that cried out in pain yet hoped for joy.

Gaining my voice back didn’t happen overnight. I started with one story, my story of how I chose to get rid of the things that tethered me to an abusive and co-dependent past. This story was about motivation to rid myself of the energy that held onto things. These things were merely a physical representation of what I was holding onto in my heart and what I was holding back from.

As I wrote this story, recounting my steps to take action to liberate myself, I felt a fire inside. I think this fire had started as a spark months prior, slowing gaining momentum until it became a brightly burning flame of red, yellow, and orange. I could not hold back any longer. I began changing, transforming, growing. My voice became stronger and more distinct. My mind was flooded with questions. Questions I eagerly sought answers to.

The one question that continued to remain unanswered however was “What’s next?” I remember speaking to my mother on the phone almost every day and at the end of each conversation, the question appeared. When it did, I felt alone. I felt like I was standing on a mountain top, looking down at all that was behind me and all that was in front of me and all that was anywhere in the realm of future possibility. It was overwhelming. Each time that question was asked and each time I felt like I was alone on that cold mountaintop, my flame would flicker threatening to go out.

“What do you think is next?” my mother asked me. The question was different this time. This time it was about me. It was about what I wanted, my desires. I answered very quickly “I’m getting a pedicure.” Okay then, that is what is next. From then on whenever the thought of what was next would plaque me, I would answer with what I wanted to do in the next minute. I simply did what I desired. Whether it was a pedicure, or reading a book, or even taking a 3-hour walk through the city, I only answered the question with my desires. Leaning into what I desired led to days spent in simple joys.

Simple joys led to exploration. I was learning how to lean into my own resourcefulness for finding joy in everything. One of my greatest joys was writing. I took a writing workshop. I wrote every day, mostly poetry. The red notebook became a purple one and the purple one gave way to my laptop.

From my writing sprang conversations. Conversations that were raw and honest. These conversations were a joyful part of my day. The giving and receiving of energy in these conversations kept the flame alive. I was no longer on that mountaintop by myself. Instead, I was a guiding people to the top, stopping along the way to appreciate every stone, every leaf, every bit of life that resided there together. Once at the top, we held hands and reminisced in the journey to get there. We called out into the vast expanse below us and were answered by our own voices. We built a fire together.

Hi, my name is Tracy and I am a life coach. I ascend the mountains with my clients. I have the honor of being their guide as they take their journey. For every mountain we climb together I discover something new each time. I have the privilege of watching them hear the echo of their own voice that was once like mine, silent yet hopeful and full of joy.


Mentioned in this story:

Tracy Barbour is a trauma-informed, mental health first aid certified Change and Transformation Coach based in New York City and New Jersey focused on helping you make the transition from surviving to thriving in your life, career, and business.

Join Tracy on Instagram

Check out A Thrive Life’s website

Tracy Barbour

Written by

Change & Transformation Coach. From surviving to thriving. Meditating, trauma-informed, domestic violence surviving wordsmith. https://linktr.ee/athrivelife

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