Happy new year! I hope 2020 is off to a flying start for you. But if it’s not, don’t worry. Let me tell you how I turned round a bad start to 2019 and created opportunity.
A year ago, a few months after moving to a new country, I hurt my knee. Badly. I took a wildly unimpressive tumble while skiing and ripped two ligaments.
Despite prompt assessment and scans, due to some bad medical advice, I was off my feet for weeks before I started rehab and recovery.
Reliant on travelling to the UK for the majority of my income and living in a country where not many people in the medical services speak English and where we had, at the time, an extremely limited support network, I spent a few days in a bit of a state. Camping out in front of the TV worrying about money seemed to be all life had in store for the next few months – or move back home.
But once the initial pain and panic subsided, I realised it was not the end of the world. I knew I had to reframe and shift my mindset, so I had a few coaching sessions to help me figure out what I needed to do and work out the best way forward.
I worked with a business coach on how I could flip the situation in my favour. I pushed back all the bookings that required me to be in the UK and redesigned my consultancy business model. I began to actively promote my business and my skills on social media platforms and sought out opportunities for work that I could do remotely. I began developing online courses for my clients.
I asked for help and advice from neighbours and friends. (My wonderful neighbour who it turns out is an emergency doctor went so far as to come to all of my consultant appointments with me to translate and make sure I was getting the best attention, despite us previously having only spoken to say hello in the car park!)
I needed something to do beyond work and family life since I could no longer ski, so I decided to start singing again. I met my wonderful vocal coach who encouraged me to start performing and take chances I never thought I would.
I had the option to have surgery to repair one of my ligaments or to get fit and strong with daily rehab from my physio. I went for the latter, more challenging option, worked hard and got fitter than I have ever been in my life. (I can’t say I have sustained the daily workouts but I am still far stronger than I was a year ago and I know how fit I can be if I put in the effort.)
And I had time to reflect and have coaching to help me figure out what I really want out of life. For the past couple of years, working towards moving abroad and then settling into our new home had been my focus. While I enjoy my business and have a wonderful family life, I knew there was something more for me. So, I reflected on what really makes me tick. What do I love doing? What really energises me? And how can I bring that into my daily life?
A year later, I have trained as a coach and launched my coaching business and am once again helping people to be better and feel better, something I was missing from my days as a clinician. My consultancy business is more successful than it has ever been with less day to day effort and travel for me. And, I have performed solo at a few gigs and am now moving towards making music and singing a bigger part of my professional life.
And I’m happier. More relaxed and more present with my family, despite being busier than ever. More fulfilled professionally and creatively. I have met some truly kind and generous people and have a new network of friends and supporters in my new home country. And I’m looking forward to all of the challenges ahead.
All because I hurt my knee.
So how can you reframe challenges in your life and turn them into opportunities?
Coaching helped me and it can help you too!