My personal journey of transformation
As a coach, I accompany my client through their journey of transformation, supporting them in creating the change they need to live the life they really want.
I would like to share with you my personal story of transformation.
A year ago, the last weekend of August 2020, I made a decision that has changed the course of my life.
A decision based on my intuition, that has put me on a new life trajectory, where love, alignment, balance, joy, self-care, purpose and freedom are my priorities.
My life was very different a year ago.
In 2020, I was living in a studio in Miami Beach with a view on Biscayne Bay. I was a corporate event & meeting planner and traveling all over the US. I had been working in the same company for 11 years. I liked my job, but it had never been my dream job.
I had been in a long-distance relationship for 3 years with David.
On the paper, my life looked pretty good. I lived in a beautiful place with white beaches and endless summer. I had a lot of love in my life: David, my close friends, my family. I had a pretty stressful job, but with many perks: decent money, travels, fine dining, entertainment and interesting encounters.
However, I felt purposeless. I felt stuck. I was unable to envision my future, unable to dream.
I felt anxious. I knew deep inside me that something was not right, that I could be happier, more fulfilled.
I had been feeling this way most of my adult life. My strength has always been to surround myself with loving and caring people. But I had been unable to project myself in the future and therefore to plan anything meaningful to me. I was going along with opportunities on my way following and working at other people’s plans. Not mine.
I have also always pushed myself hard professionally and was successful on the paper.
But all of this created high anxiety and eventually led me to a deep depression 15 years ago.
I take full responsibility for all of my life choices. I have never been a victim. I have chosen to follow other people paths. Yes. It is a choice. I have chosen to stick to jobs that killed me from the inside. I take responsibility for the pain I put myself through.
My mindset was actually responsible for most of the anxiety and deep pain I suffered from. When I think about it now, I can see how totally different thoughts would have given me totally a different experience of life. Life is a journey of learning and growing! I learnt the hard way.
But let’s get back to last year.
The Covid-19 pandemic took us by surprise and changed the normal course of our lives.
It drastically slowed down my life and gave me more time to think. It sometimes take a drastic change to us to move.
I decided to work with a coach in April 2020. The initial goal was to reflect on the possible next steps in my career. It took a much more profound turn:
I gained real clarity on my values, on what was important to me
I actualized that my current life was not aligned with what I said was important
I started opening my mind to new possibilities: I wanted to explore a new lifestyle, a new work-life balance, a new career path. More aligned with who I am, more purposeful.
I have always been interested in personal development, read tons of books, was listening to a few Coach’s podcast. Coaching had been popping up in my mind as an attractive new path for me, but I had discarded the idea because it looked like too much of a stretch for me.
However, being an independent coach was matching all the boxes of what I have identified as important in my work and life through the work I did with my coach:
o my values of love, responsibility, authenticity, freedom, benevolence
o my personal strengths: empathy, acceptance, open-mindedness, trust, courage
o my passion for deep meaningful relationships and for the human mind
A lifestyle with the work-life balance I want where I can prioritize my selfcare and the ones I love
Bringing purpose and a sense of accomplishment in my work by creating a positive impact in other people’s life
The freedom that comes with entrepreneurship and being your own boss
It all started with a first step.
I wanted to make sure I was on the right track. So, I studied coaching online at night after my working hours for a month in August. I even got my first coaching diploma with Transformation Academy! I LOVED everything I learnt. I knew it was the right move for me.
I knew I had to do the big jump NOW. Now was the time to live MY life, on my own terms.
And I took a second step.
The last Saturday of August 2020 I had a beautiful deep conversation with David. I will never forget this conversation.
It was so intense to share my project with David: quitting my job and leave Miami within 2 months, moving with him in the Ozarks, studying coaching and starting my own company as an entrepreneur.
I was authorizing myself to have a vision of my ideal future for the first time of my life.
In this vision I was living in a House with David, close to nature. I was my own boss. I was coaching people and witnessing their transformation. I was joyful, purposeful, energetic, free, healthy and serene.
I could hear this voice inside me, my intuition telling me I deserved it, that I had suffered enough in the past trying to please everybody around me, making compromises, trying to meet other people expectations. I owed to myself to live the life I really wanted, to be ME and live by my own rules and be fully true to my values.
It was very emotional to say it loud. It was a profound moment.
It was coming from a place so deep inside me. My inner truth. My inner wisdom.
David was totally supportive and on-board. It was a go to move in together, it was a go to support me financially if needed.
On Sunday, I shared my project with my parents and what it meant to me. I asked for their support. I got it, although this leap of faith goes against their value of security.
And I jumped into the unknown!
On August the 31st, I gave my resignation to my boss with a 2-month notice, I informed my landlord I was leaving at the end of October. I had not selected a training yet. I had no idea what my business would look like. I just knew it was the right path for me.
I set myself in motion towards my dream future!
I had never imagined I could take this risk, take this chance, put this trust into myself. And I did.
I was strong enough. My “Big Why” was big enough. Yes, I deserved to be happy. Yes, I trusted I will figure it out. Yes, my intuition was my wisdom.
Today, my life is aligned with who I am.
I live my life with intention and by my own rules. I feel purposeful and creative in my work. I am challenging myself to do new things almost every day: designing my website, creating posts, launching an online workshop, networking in my community, learning about coaching and the human mind.
I am creating new strong relationships and developing the ones I already had.
It comes from a place of joy and positive energy. My motivation is to create a positive impact in other people’s life… and It is very meaningful to me.
I am able to control most of my fears and talk myself into positive thinking and action.
I have a clear vision of what I want in my life. I am finding my own balance between:
being organized, setting goals and designing action plans
staying flexible and open to opportunities that aligned with my values and feel right.
It is not easy. Oh No! Entrepreneurship is hard and requires resilience. But it comes with ease.
I NEVER looked back, not once, wondering If I had made the right choice. I know I have made the right choice. Deep inside me. No doubt. Wherever it takes me.
I am going to tell you what I have radically changed. MY MINDSET.
All the changes, the transformation, the way I feel about what I experience. All is related to a new mindset. And working with a coach has been the beginning of the transformation.
I fully actualized how our thoughts create our emotions that create our actions that create our results. With this awareness, I have been working for a year on my thoughts and mindset.
Being coached and self-coaching supported me in:
creating a space to pause and acknowledge I wanted some changes in my life
gaining clarity on my limiting beliefs, my self-talk, my values
reflecting on new thoughts and beliefs that would serve me better
creating a clear vision of what I wanted in my future
taking action, one step at a time, and building my confidence up this way
building commitment and accountability.
Some changes made the real difference.
Developing a growth mindset
The French culture and education tend to create a fixed mindset and a deep fear of failure. So this change is the one I am proudest, although it is still a work in progress:
welcoming change and new experiences with an open mind, as an opportunity to learn (instead of fearing to fail, not being good enough, worrying about all possible wrong …)
Transforming the old “What is the worst that can happen?” into “What is the best that can happen?”
Actualizing that real progress, joy, excitement, growth come when I step out of my comfort zone and putting myself there willingly
Understanding that confidence grows when I take action -> it gets me moving, one step at a time, even when I have low energy and self-doubt
Replacing my limiting beliefs with new beliefs that serve me best. I will have to write a blog on this… the list is so long!
Listening and trusting my intuition
Developing mindfulness. I let my mind worry about the future for more than 25 years. I now have to train it to focus on the present, be present in the moment and let go of the worries for the future. Work in progress.
Living with intention, with my values in mind.
Respecting my own pace and prioritizing my self-care
My work as a coach that makes me feel purposeful and joyful
Being my own boss and the freedom that comes with it: liberating and challenging
On this last day of August 2021, I am reflecting on what I accomplished and experienced over the past year of transformation.
I live in a house with a beautiful garden, and a deck where I have my breakfast or lunch almost every day watching birds and squirrels.
I have strengthened my relationship with David and his daughter.
I have started 2021 with a clear vision of where I wanted to go, what I wanted to accomplish and experience and with clear goals… for the first time in my life.
I have an active life connected to nature, hiking, kayaking, biking, doing primitive camping gardening…
I had an incredible roadtrip, in a van, in March from Las Vegas to San Diego, camping off grid for the first time in the middle of Mojave desert, in a canyon near Joshua Tree National Park… yes, it is as magical as it sounds!
I have been through 4 real seasons in the Ozarks and I loved each of them, after 13 years of endless summer in Miami
I have a healthy lifestyle: cooking healthy food and loving it, sleeping 7 to 8 hours each night, running up to 5K (when it is not too hot!), listening to my body and adjusting my activities consequently
I have been through six months of training and I am a Certified Solution-Focused Coach with Erickson Coaching International
I am coaching clients since January, and I am loving it. Their feedback is bringing me so much joy.
I have followed an 8-week training program in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
I have created my own company, Gaelle Chapon Coaching, in April.
I have my business cards, a website, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn accounts for my company… all self-designed!
I am hosting my first group coaching workshop this week, the first of many to come
I am volunteering for the Humanitarian Coaching Network
I am networking in my local community in the Ozarks and I a member of the Saint James and of the Rolla Chamber of Commerce in Missouri.
I have reconnected with so many people in France and in the USA who I had great pleasure working with in the past, but never had taken the time to contact
I have met so many new amazing people in the coaching industry and I am building my coaching community.
Yes, it has been an extraordinary year. I am so grateful for all the changes I had the courage and boldness to create in my life. Starting with a work on my mindset.
I truly believe we have inside of us the resources to live a purposeful and joyful life fully aligned with who we are. It requires courage. It is not easy. But it is possible if you are ready to take your life in your hands and put the efforts in. You deserve to live your best life. It will require to be your best self.
Ready to take a first step? I am here to share my journey and support you.
For those interested in knowing more about my path, here are a recap of my major life events:
1973: born in Brest, Brittany, France and my mom has her first symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, illness that had a major impact on me and my family
1994: A beautiful encounter with Cedric. We will spend 22 loving years together.
1995: graduated, moved to Paris with Cedric, started a job in IT consulting and software sales, an industry I will stay in for the next 11 years and had what can be considered a successful career
1995 started experiencing high anxiety at work (fear of failing, fear of not being good enough; imposter syndrome, fear of dreaming, perfectionism, you name it…)
2005-2006: depression – a year of roller coaster between deep darkness and too high energy (much more darkness though)
2007: Moved to Miami with Cedric, following his dream. New beginnings. High Anxiety.
2009: started working as a corporate event & meeting planner with Vibe
2016: Cedric and I get separated.
2017: Encounter with David who opened up my World to new horizons
& I made my only childhood dream come true: a trip alone to the Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca… a la recherche des Cites d’Or…. Magical!
2018: Became a certified diver (PADI I), sky-diving experience
2019: Amazing 3-week trip to Bali and West Papua in Indonesia
2020: Worked with a coach, quit my job, move to the Ozarks with David, started a coaching training with Erickson International
2021: creation of Gaelle Chapon Coaching, Solution-Focused Coach certification, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction training,