Sometimes life goes too fast. Worse, we can lose our way and lose our
sense of purpose. Thanks, then, for goodtalk which helped me to refocus. Before lockdowns and confinement, I had already decided to shift a gear and slow down. I was struggling with a busy management career and gave myself some time to rethink what it was I wanted to do with my life. I’m 38, and I’m not getting any younger.
And in a story familiar to millions across the UK, Covid-19 meant my plans quickly had to change. While I’ve mostly coped well, I still have the occasional wobble.
Sometimes I lose confidence and question the direction I’m headed in. Ever the self-critic, I question whether I’m having the impact I hoped to. I freelance, but while my income is okay, I am a competitive sort and get caught in the trap of needlessly comparing myself to people in other — incomparable — jobs.
Coming across goodtalk was fortuitous because I knew I’d reached the point where I needed support and, frankly, the challenge that comes from talking to a qualified counsellor or coach. I was wasting time wondering why I was procrastinating and not achieving some of my goals.
One immediate and significant benefit of goodtalk was how straightforward and flexible it was as a platform. I quickly signed in and scrolled through the available psychotherapists and counselling options. I’ve benefited from counselling before, but on this occasion, I was looking for a pick-me-up session — guidance, if you like, to better motivate myself for the months ahead. And soon enough, I came across a coach with years of experience who seemed just what I needed.
There wasn’t too long to wait, either. The coach I opted for had good availability and I was able to access his available appointments like I might search a colleague’s diary on Outlook. And when the day came, I was thrilled how accommodating my coach was. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I was located outdoors, at a cafe. I wanted the anonymity of a text-based conversation. While we had booked a video session, my coach was brilliant at moving formats and fulfilling my request. Zoom provided the perfect space for my coach to provide thoughtful prompts. He took time and care to understand what was going on in my life, what I might want to address, and how I currently see the various obstacles holding me back. Right away, I could tell how professional and experienced my coach was because he asked me the right questions to get me thinking. He also seemed to intuitively grasp who I was and it was so rewarding to hear him pick up on various things I said — he really seemed to ‘get me’.
That takes years of experience, but perhaps most important of all, I felt my coach listened to me. He was warm and non-judgemental and even though we were texting one another, he was approachable. It was noticeable what care he took to answer all my questions. And rather than leave me hanging, he surmised from the information I provided what choices I might now want to make. Ultimately, he empowered me to make these choices and that was why by the end of our coaching conversation, I felt centered.
For the first time in weeks, I had the clarity and sense of direction I was looking for. I plan to book a second — longer — session. And based on my first experience, I know it will be a goodtalk.
Andy was Head of Policy at a leading charity and graduated from the University of Cambridge. He is a goodtalk user.