WENDY J. COPE
I have over 25 years helping others identify and emerge from defeating beliefs and actions.
Rising up from the challenges posed by addiction, inner-child (a.k.a. adult-child) syndrome, co-dependency, compulsive eating, or a sabotaging belief systems is what I specialize in. Life is too short to be unhappy and live in the past, even when it is on an unconscious level, but many of us do! Without help it is difficult to emerge from a limiting belief system and develop healthy, positive attitudes and behaviors that lead to achievement and successfully living the life you want!
My Education & Training
I hold a Bachelor's degree from Hawaii Pacific University in Justice Administration and have 25 graduate level credits in professional counseling from Walden University. Later in my career, I completed a career switcher program and hold a professional teacher's license in Virginia and Delaware. Additionally, I am a certified hypnotherapist and reiki master. I am presently training with the Coach Training Alliance and while I will complete this module in February, 2019, I am committed to personal-growth and life-long learning in the coaching profession.
Why I Became a Life Coach
I was a rebellious teenager. Very rebellious. To say my childhood was not idyllic is understated, but seriously, who's was? Regardless of what things looked like to the outside world, we all have our stories. The story itself is important but more important is the meaning we have attached to our stories and the way it affects our lives.
This is where my story brought me:
By the age of 20, I was a full=blown alcoholic and drug addict who couldn't stand herself. But for grace, I ended up in a recovery group and started the long and sometimes painful process of healing. Getting sober saved my life: physically; mentally; emotionally; and spiritually.
To paint a picture:
I was 20, working in a bar using a fake identity because I was underage. I didn't have any real "friends" but I did spend a lot of my time with a 45-year-old junkie with a criminal record as long as my arm because my addiction needed him. I weighed 205 pounds, smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day and couldn't make a sentence without using "F — -"as the noun, verb, AND adjective. Lovely right? (not).
That was over 30 years ago.
I have chased healing and recovery ever since. The first several years were rough. I didn't have low self-esteem, I had negative numbers self-esteem. I was lost with no sense of self. The only thing I had to change was everything. I worked (several) 12 step programs. I went to therapy for years. I read every self-help book I could get my hands on. I helped others. I prayed. I meditated. I did yoga. I ate veggies…I did whatever I could grasp. Life got so much better. Unbelievably better in every way.
The new picture:
I was able to recover from compulsive overeating and lost over 40lbs; Eventually, I quit smoking; I upgraded my circle of friends and I could even get through a whole day without dropping an F-bomb (most days 😉). I went back to school and got a bachelor's degree. That was the first time I had actually "finished" anything I started in my life.
I started to pursue my dreams. I escaped poverty, traveled to 18 different countries, I met and married the man of my dreams. Of course, that is the "outside" stuff that came as a result of the "inside" work I had done. I had worked hard to gain self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-respect; I had healed old wounds from the past; I had successfully turned around what could have been a total disaster of a life.
Life was good. Incredibly good. Until it just wasn't anymore.
Something was missing….
Life was good but I wanted more. I felt like I had settled my whole life and I didn't want to settle anymore. I had come too far to settle and rest at good, but I had no idea how to move forward.
I tried therapy again because that was in my comfort zone. I had been doing it off and on for years. I have nothing but respect for the mental health profession but the creature of habit that I am, I went even when it just wasn't working anymore because it was what I knew, and it was safe.
Why wasn't it working? I think it was because the deep healing was done. I wasn't pissed at my parents anymore and I had (mostly) learned how to feel my feelings without medicating with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, food, shopping, love or sleeping. I had done so much therapy that there were times I felt like I was coaching the therapist and they should give me the co-pay. True story.
I had become masterful at navigating from crisis mode to survival mode. I simply sucked at moving from surviving to thriving. I had to try something different because I didn't want to just "exist", and I was determined to break through this invisible barrier and thrive.
Fortunately, I found a way out.
Life Coaching picks up where therapy leaves off…
I had considered working with a life-coach year prior but to be completely honest, I didn't think it would be worth it and it might not even work. Therapy wasn't exactly working anymore, but insurance paid for it. Now, let's be clear, I would easily drop a few hundred bucks on a shopping spree for things that I didn't need but would bring me about 48 seconds of glee. I did have a problem investing in myself. Ironically, that thought process itself was part of the problem.
So, I was skeptical, but I convinced myself that for less than what I spent on a massage, I could at least give it a shot. That is the mentality I had before taking the first steps in what has become the most profoundly life-changing experiences I have ever had.
I learned at the core of my "stuck-ness" was old faulty and limiting beliefs. Ones that I had no clue I even had. So deeply embedded in my thinking they weren't even conscious. Until, with my coach, I slowed down. Way down. None of these ran in my "conscious" but like peeling layers off an onion, when we explored what was behind the conscious thinking, there were some pretty damning beliefs about myself and the world running behind the scenes.
I'll share a few of them with you here:
Old Beliefs about my self-worth:
I'm a good wife/daughter/sister/friend when I DO things for people.
I need to excel at something simply to measure up. If I was the same, I was less than, if I was better, I was ok. I never believed (really believed) like I was good enough at anything.
Confident people are so cocky and arrogant. Having true self-confidence will mean I am conceited.
Old Beliefs about taking risks to fulfill my dreams:
What I dreamed of was not rational but lofty and whimsical, therefore childish.
I don't have a Ph.D. so no one will take me seriously.
It's better to have the security of a job that I'm barely content with than be vulnerable to try what I truly am passionate about. * * (even in a situation where I do have a safety-net to catch me if I fall).
Old Beliefs about money:
Spirituality and money cannot exist together.
Rich people are selfish and greedy. Translation: If I have a lot of money, it will mean I'm selfish and greedy.
Spending money on my well-being was a waste because there was no instant or tangible return. (cliché as it is, the old "I'm not worth it" belief)
Coaching picked up where therapy left off. It offered a real solutions-oriented approach to changing negative beliefs that did not serve me into ones that empowered me. Simply observing experiences with adult eyes and deciding the message was either never true, or true once but no longer serves.
In 12 weeks, the change was profound. Like, 5 years of therapy profound. It was almost like being lost in the forest, wandering in circles for hours but not realizing, a quarter-mile in the right direction will take you straight to a road.
Worth every cent. Exponentially worth every cent.
Finally, really happy and really unstuck. Finally living my dreams. Life just keeps getting better every day. It's not all rainbows and roses but I have found a true sense of wholeness and happiness. I know what I am truly passionate about and have a deep sense of purpose.
I continue to use those same strategies in my daily life and to help others to find what works for them.
Sadly, I think many people live their whole lives, cradle to grave, never knowing their true calling and purpose. Afraid or simply "content". Content is good but when you know great exists and you can create it, why settle?
If any of this resonates with you and you think you'd like to work with a life-coach to reach any of your goals, I strongly encourage you to. I offer a complimentary discovery session to you to decide if we are a good fit or not. Even if you chose not to work with me, I fully encourage you to try coaching. A web matching service like lifecoachlibrary.com will match you with up to 3 coaches so that you can find the best connection.
Life coaching changed my life! I believe it can change yours too! All you have to do is WANT it and TAKE ACTION!
Get a Complimentary Coaching Session
This complimentary session is a free, standard 60-minute coaching session. It's important to come with an agenda or an idea for what you want to get out of coaching so you can make the most out of this first session. This offer is for first-time clients only. Limit of one free session per client.