I express gratitude for my clients in nearly every post I make on my gratitude blog. Every day, I am grateful for the depth and quality of work we do together. This month, I decided to do a short series of blogs to give others a sneak peak into what I am privileged to witness on a daily basis. Inspired by a recent celebratory session I had with one young woman, I’ll start with the importance of celebrating success and, over the next few weeks, work my way back to the moments of getting started.

I had exchanged emails with Theresa* the morning of her test. She had experienced a few minor setbacks from a strong case of nerves, but she let me know she was on track with her plan and using all of her strategies. I wished her well, and let her know I would be thinking of her. The first time I heard from her was five days later at our scheduled coaching session.

She had a small smile on her face and a sparkle in her eye. “Well?” I asked. “How did it go?” The energy in her response was palpable.

She shared all the strategies she had used in the moments leading up to the test. We had come up with several points she wanted to remember and record before she began the test, and she had recalled every one. Then she began to share the details of taking the test. What she described matched, exactly, the intention she had set in our last coaching session before the test date. “I had an entirely different experience of myself!” As she talked about one success after another, I noticed the chills running up and down my spine and arms. I was watching a woman, previously plagued with anxiety when taking tests, share how she had navigated the entire test with a calm sense of confidence and clarity. “I learned that I can go into these situations and not feel overwhelmed with nervousness. Before, I really didn’t believe that was possible.”

In coaching, just like in life, the celebration of one completion often opens the door for a new beginning. Before our session was complete, my client was already rolling up her sleeves and beginning to work on the next opportunity. I checked in, concerned that I had inadvertently cut her celebration short by asking questions about her next goal. “No, no,” she said. “I’m on a roll and want to make the most of the momentum. Let’s do this!”

*Client name changed