This week, I’m introducing you to a friend, colleague, and my client Kimberly Dwyer. Kimberly is one of the founding members of Coach With Clarity®, my new membership site for intuitive coaches, helpers, and healers who want to develop a more aligned approach to the art of coaching.
I brought Kim on this week to talk a little bit about her journey into coaching: the trials, the tribulations, and the joys that she's faced as a coach. We’ll also talk about how Coach With Clarity was so important for her and how it served her practice.
About Kimberly Dwyer
(2:30) Kim is a clinical psychologist with about 20 years. She works with children, teens, and adults specializing in anxiety disorder treatment and provides neurodevelopmental evaluations. She’s worked in state hospitals, outpatient community mental health centers, outpatient settings, and started a private practice about ten years ago. Four years ago, she formed a group practice with another provider.
She’s been interested in coaching nearly that entire time. In working with kids and teachers, she saw a need to be involved as a coach but didn’t offer coaching services until she started her own practice. She began by providing coaching courses for middle schoolers around executive function strategies and skills and then offered a class for adults.
All the while, she felt stuck in her clinical work. She wanted to shake things up. And that’s about the time our world collided, and I met Kim, right when she was ready to transition into coaching.
Finding Fulfillment in Work
(5:50) When Kim first contacted me, she wanted a drastic change, and she wanted it quickly. But we dove into what aspects of her current work were going well and what needed to be changed. What needs weren’t being met by her work, and what did she need to feel fulfillment? Even though there were aspects of her therapy work that were rewarding, they weren’t 100% fulfilling, and that’s a big difference.
That’s where Kim and I started talking about coaching.
Kim used a chart called the “Ikigai” (find out more about that HERE) and determined she wasn’t at the absolute center, where all her passions and professional prospects overlap. And while we can often get caught up in this idea that everything is going to perfectly overlap and you’ll find your purpose and your passion all at once, it doesn't have to be that. It’s okay to be fulfilled through other things in our lives, and it’s okay to be moderately fulfilled by our life. We're multifaceted, so we can find fulfillment in different aspects of our life.
For Kim, her fulfillment outside her work comes from embracing creativity: arts and crafts, writing, or graphic design. No matter what she’s involved in, though, she’s there with an intense focus.
Kim reminds me of what author and speaker Marie Forleo calls the “multi-passionate individual,” someone who has many different interests. While they’re all important to you, you can’t do them all at once, or all at the same time. There’s an ebb and flow.
Kim’s Decision to Pursue Coaching
(10:35) Even though Kim had a successful therapy practice, she wanted to pursue coaching. When I ask her why her answer is refreshing and honest:
“There were aspects of it that were an escape from what I was doing day to day.”
Plus, it allowed her to combine her creativity and her passion for service. She could create the website and the marketing and the logo, and escape from her everyday business. It was her exit plan.
But she also realized she needed to set better boundaries on the work she was already doing. She could pursue what she was passionate about, and say no to the things that she wasn’t passionate about, even if her skill set matched those tasks. While she says it felt selfish initially, Kim needed to say yes to herself, even if that meant saying no to others.
We talk about these boundaries and the fear – intuition spectrum more in Episode 17 (listen to it here!)
Perhaps it’s fear that leads us to significant changes, but if it’s in line with our values and our purpose, it could be our intuition tells us it’s time for something new. As Kim says, it’s “a new way to use an old skillset or to…shift into more of a positive growth model.”
Kim’s Coaching Practice Today
(14:20) Today, Kim has a private coaching practice for helpers and healers, mostly mental health folks. She helps them at three different stages of their business: launching a private practice, growing a private practice, or what she calls redefining a practice.
The redefining piece helps professionals determine really what they want, tapping back into what they are passionate about, helping them align themselves with their values and set the boundaries they need in their work.
I love this idea of redefining because so many of us go through different periods of growth and change throughout our lives. The focus is different at each point. Through coaching, both Kim and I guide helpers and healers through defining their values and passions, turning to more of an energetic space around what they're doing.
Starting a business from a place of frenetic energy – solely because you want it to be an exit strategy – isn’t going to work, Kim says. It needs to align with what’s important to you. Otherwise, it leads to “scarcity mode,” where you’ll accept any warm body that comes into the room as long as they can pay. That's a recipe for disaster and for burnout.
That’s why it’s important to have boundaries, knowing when to say yes to a client, and when to say no. When we're saying yes to the wrong people, then we're closing ourselves off from saying yes to the right ones. (Kim shares a great story about when she said yes to the wrong client at the 18:00 mark).
How Intuition Shows Up for Kim
(20:15) So many of us have said yes to something our inner wisdom told us was not the right decision.
Kim says she’s gotten better at listening to that gut feeling, that inner wisdom, and waiting for discernment rather than jumping right into a situation. She says there’s a spiritual element to it, a connection to the soul or the Divine. As Kim says, “you better pay attention to that because there's a lesson in there for you. And I'd rather listen in the front, you know, then have to clean up the mess later on.”
I definitely can remember moments in my life where I did not heed that internal message, and inevitably I paid the consequences later. Kim points out that it’s a natural socio-evolutionary adaptation for humans to care what others think. We want to appease others. But we pay the price if we base decisions on that.
Saying yes to ourselves is not an act of selfishness. It’s an act of self-love. You’re saying, “I care enough about myself to set these limits.” In doing that, you can throw love out into the world because you are taking care of yourself and serving from a place of passion.
It’s about knowing what you want to stand up for, what you want to fight for, and where you want to invest your time and your energy. We don’t have to serve everyone, all the time.
Kim and Coach With Clarity®
(24:00) Besides being an extraordinary person, a talented therapist, and a wise coach, Kim is also one of the founding members of Coach With Clarity, my membership program for coaches who are searching for a more aligned approach to coaching, who want to work on their craft and uplevel as coaches. As a founding member, Kim has witnessed the evolution of the membership program. I wanted to let her share some observations of the program. She’s already a talented coach, with a successful practice, so why Coach With Clarity?
Kim says she knew she would only start a membership program that would be worthwhile. She also knew me and knew that my approach aligned with her own. That’s really important because finding a coach who aligns with your unique view of the world is super important.
Kim says she also appreciates the accountability piece, which is more about accountability to yourself. It’s about saying, “I'm committing to do this, so I'm going to show up and do it.” That accountability reignited her creativity and sparked a passion Kim had around coaching.
As a coach, I think it’s so important to feel connected with the person behind the program. When I started my coaching practice, I spent so much money on courses and programs, and I was not familiar enough with the people behind them. I'm sure they're wonderful people, but there was not a match between their worldview and perspective and mine. It left me feeling like I didn't belong or I wasn't getting it.
For Coach With Clarity, it's equally important to me that people who join feel aligned with how I view the world. Not that mine's the right way, but that we can connect with each other.
Moreover, as Kim says, it’s about moving from a fear-based scarcity mindset into abundance. As I share what I’ve created with the world, I need to have faith that my people are going to show up.
When I started Coach With Clarity, it was crucial to me to cultivate a strong sense of community. I wanted members who were there, saying, “Keep going. You’ve got this.” Or “Maybe we need to reevaluate this point.” It’s about finding people who really have your best interests in mind.
Kim adds, “I think that's one of the things that is super strong about your program…having that network of people, throwing a quick question out to the group and getting some immediate feedback and a variety of perspectives.”
The Three Pillars of Coach With Clarity
(29:25) When I created Coach With Clarity, I did so with three pillars in mind: content, community, and connection.
The content is valuable because we offer guest expert trainings, Q&A sessions, and even observation and hot seat session to see how a session unfolds. Of course, that’s coupled with templates and toolkits and such.
In many ways, the connection and community pillars are where the real value is. Members have access to a community that is supportive and engaging. There’s a lovely back and forth that leads to a genuine connection among the members, but ideally it promotes a deeper connection within yourself, too. It’s about learning who you are as a coach and how you want to show up and serve the world.
Kim talks about the hot seat sessions and how they’re valuable for her. As therapists, we have literally thousands of hours of supervised session before we start our practices. But there’s nothing like that for coaches. Kim says it’s incredibly beneficial to watch somebody who has mastered their craft, how they reflect and take in information. Then we can model that in our own coaching practices.
The experiential component of the membership site will always be my priority. I do think that there's so much value to be gained from watching hot seat session. I learn every time I conduct a coaching session. It is a constant unfolding, and if we're open to it, we're always able to uplevel.
Make It Work Moment
(32:40) In this week’s Make It Work Moment, sponsored by the Clarity Summit (coming September 30 through October 4, learn more about it at ClaritySummit.com), Kim shares with us her insight on determining what is her stuff and what belongs to other people.
Kim says we need to be mindful of setting boundaries, not allowing others to take up all of our energy with their negativity. But, she says, it’s not just about the other person:
“When I don't pay attention to [that negativity] and I allow my energy to kind of get like pulled into this vacuum because of somebody else's low energy or negativity….When I allow it to happen, I'm colluding with that person against myself.”
Kim encourages us to draw the line between our energy and the energy of other people, recognizing where we are letting others invade our own energy, and protecting ourselves from that vacuum.
We’ll talk more about this concept in this week’s Deeper Dive, which you can get delivered directly to your inbox each week for FREE. (Click here to sign up!) You can also find past Deeper Dives at the Wisdom Library on the Work Your Inner Wisdom website.
To learn more about Kim and explore what we’ve talked about in this episode, check out the links below. Thanks for listening. Tune in again next week!
Mentioned in this episode:
- Work Your Inner Wisdom website
- The Clarity Summit, coming September 30. Register online for FREE!
- Coach With Clarity® Membership Program
- Kimberly Dwyer’s website, Intentional Private Practice
- Kim’s Intentional Private Practice Facebook Group
- The Ikigai Chart
- Marie Forleo: The Multi-Passionate Individual
- Work Your Inner Wisdom Facebook Community
- Follow Lee on Instagram!
Until next time, let your inner wisdom lead the way….