On the Path

One of the things I don’t think I do well is taking the time to celebrate my achievements. Over the weekend, I received some fantastic news, so I’m setting aside the blog I had planned and celebrating. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to join me, and I hope this inspires you to celebrate your achievements as well.

Friday, I learned I passed my Newfield certification exam and am now a Newfield Certified Coach. This certification is the culmination of my Newfield coach training, which began in September 2021.

Josh's Newfield Diploma

On The Path

“You’re on the path.” I heard this phrase routinely from my Newfield Mentor Coach, Croft Edwards. So much so that it became a mantra for my coaching journey. With Croft’s wisdom, I reminded myself that I had a solid coaching foundation and positive feedback from my clients, and the next step on my journey was practice, practice, and more practice. I’m on the path; I just need to continue following it.

It has taken on a much deeper meaning for me as a mantra. It relates to my current favorite quote from Joseph Campbell:

“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”

I realize now I have been on this path all my life. I first noticed the path in 2007 when I was coached for the first time and was subsequently asked to mentor new managers at my company. The path was waiting for me and has become more apparent every year. I’m on the path, and it’s not a path to a specific destination. The path itself is the journey.

The Newfield Trail

Last year I decided to seek certification with the International Coaching Federation (ICF). There are numerous accredited paths to get there. I was looking for a program that satisfied the ICF requirements and gave me a solid coaching foundation. As I looked at options, two people I trusted spoke highly of the Newfield Network. My gut told me this was my program, and I signed up. In Newfield, I got so much more than I anticipated.

Through Newfield’s ontological coaching techniques, we seek to understand the Observer you are – your Way of Being. This is how you currently perceive reality. Based on your Way of Being, there are a set of actions available that you can choose from, and those actions generate specific results. When you don’t get the desired result, you try different actions to attain a different result. We call this First-Order Learning. Through ontological coaching, we look to generate ontological shifts, which shift your Way of Being – they shift your Observer. With a different view of the world, new possible actions that were not available before become available to you. We call this Second-Order Learning.

Our Way of Being is based on the coherence of our Language, our Moods and Emotions, and our Body. If we want to generate an ontological shift, we adjust our language, emotions, and body. For example, I may be in a mood of resignation and feel there are no actions available to me. By shifting the posture of my body and using language to make declarations, I can shift my mood to ambition and open myself up to new possibilities.

In the first half of our program, we learned these techniques and applied them to ourselves. I had not anticipated the radical personal transformation this would create for me. I grew more in my ten-month program with Newfield than at any other point in my life, thanks to the ontological shifts that changed how I view the world.

In the program’s second half, we learned how to apply these techniques within our coaching. My Newfield learning has made me a much better coach, particularly when I have the opportunity to leverage ontological coaching. Not every coachee is ready to dig that deep, but we unlock our most powerful learning together when we do. 

I want to share my gratitude to several members of the Newfield community:

  • Croft, my mentor coach, and Jane Kerschner, my program coach (and now coach supervisor), I have profound gratitude for all you have done to support my growth and help me flourish.
  • Carol Harris-Fike, your leadership, compassion, and support has served our entire class.
  • Our instructors and Newfield leaders, Julio OlallaVeronica Love, and Alexander Love, created a robust learning environment that moved me profoundly and transformed my understanding and appreciation not only of coaching but how I view the world.
  • Linda Fischer helped me understand Newfield’s value and solidified my decision.
  • And finally, a special thank you to Deanne Prymek, the connective tissue that keeps everything at Newfield running.

I was also privileged to form 30+ new life-long friends throughout the program. You are too numerous to name here, but know I hold you all in my heart and am honored to have shared this journey with you.

What’s Next

As I mentioned before, this path has no end destination. I believe I’ll be coaching as long as I’m physically able to do so. There are a few trail markers I can see not too far ahead. My Newfield Certification allows me to apply for my Associate Certified Coach (ACC) certificate with the ICF, and I submitted that application yesterday. When I reach 500 coaching hours, likely at the end of this year, I can apply for my Professional Certified Coach (PCC) certificate. So watch this space for future celebrations!

If you are interested in becoming a coach and want to learn more about my Newfield experience, contact me anytime.

Schedule time with Josh.

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