How did I decide to become a life coach and create Empower Life Coach? Well, I knew deep in my heart since I was very young I had a calling or a purpose. I always wanted more, but did not know what more was. I had worked hard since my teens with the usual babysitting jobs, day camp and retail jobs. I received the most satisfaction working with children. I can recall some very difficult experiences that were presented to me, and I was able to handle them with very little turmoil. This was well over 20 years ago, but I remember it like yesterday.
One of my first sitting jobs was in this quaint little condominium complex in Ridge, New York over by the racetrack (which is now no longer there). It was only a weekend gig, but the children were great. (the boy was a toddler and the girl was about 7). Fortunately the parents went out almost every weekend so at age 14, I started received a somewhat regular check every week. The children generally went to be early, but as the older one (about 6 or 7) got older, she developed a fear of the dark. She would need to sleep with her bedroom light on and the hallway light as well. One night the bulb went out in the hallway, and I had no idea where the replacement bulbs were. She began to cry and was scared to even come out of her room. I needed to think fast. I did not want her to stay up all night crying, so I came up with a bedtime story on the spot.
I began to talk to her about these two friends, best friends actually the sun and the moon. Just like we got tired – they did as well, but they always had their best friend around to cover for them so they could rest. We talked about the weather also. You see the sun and the moon have feelings, and get sick just like we do. See it is pretty simple. When the sun or moon are feeling under the weather, maybe have a little cold, they do not shine as bright. When they are said, they may cry and that would be why it rains. And of course when they get sleepy and want to close their eyes for some rest, their friend covers for them until they wake up.
She soon began to see the dark is not a bad place, it is simply the sun resting. But since they are different they cannot shine exactly the same, so when the moon comes out to brighten the night sky it may look a little different from the sun in the daytime, although in actuality they are both doing the same thing. That night she slept not only with the hall light off, but her bedroom light off as well. Every time since then that I had been back, she slept with the hall and bedroom light off.
I had another family I began sitting for during the week when I was 16, and this story was not as pleasant. The parents worked nights, and had been looking for a new babysitter. They found me through a neighborhood placement agency. When I got to the house, the children’s room was a mess. It was a boy (9) and girl (6) which shared a room. I could not even see the floor, I knew I had some work ahead of me. We did the usual things a babysitter does, I made dinner for them, helped them with their homework, played games but the second night I decided to try something different. We were going to play a game.
Each of them were to tell me 3 things they lost in their room. The rules of the game were to pick up each thing along the way they came across and out it back where it belongs. The winner, is the sibling who finds all three things first that were lost. But, if you are caught putting something back down and not putting it away, automatically the other sibling will win. The prize was say up staying up 30 minutes later. Now at that age, do you remember how exciting it was to be allowed to stay up past your bedtime?
In the end, their room was spotless and neither of them found all three things. As a matter of fact I do not think either of them found more than 1 item. I agree to let each of them stay up 30 minutes later for doing such a great job. Since the boy was older, he had a later bedtime anyway. So after his sister went to sleep he told me how much better he liked me than the babysitter before me. He went on to tell me that I was nicer, and I played with them, and even helped with homework. Apparently she did not cook either and gave them frozen dinners that were still cold. In my mind I agreed, she did not sound like a very helpful babysitter. But there was more. . .
He told me he did not like when she put him to sleep. I asked him why? He said “She used to make me hold up the book and read it out loud while she played my thing”. I was speechless. There I was 16 and this young boy is telling me his previous babysitter molested him. This was something I was not ready for. I had no idea how to handle this. My only reference was, what would they do if this was on TV? That was all the background I had, I was not trained to handle something so sensitive. After all, I was only a 16-year-old babysitter on her second night working. He told me that he never shared this story with anyone before, and began to cry. He had clearly had held onto this for some time. All I could think of to tell him was he did the right thing by telling me, and that he did not do anything wrong. I sat with him until he fell asleep and called his parents and my parents right away. The parents of course were heartbroken as she was the daughter of a friend of the family. They thanked me for talking to them, and allowing their son to share such a difficult story with me.
I started to see a pattern. People were immediately comfortable with me, and trusted me. This was a gift and not something that everyone can do. I knew I needed to go farther with this and I was ready. So of course at 16, I thought I knew everything. I did what any other teenage girl would do after watching “Desperately Seeking Susan” with Madonna, I bought the newspaper. I proceeded to circle all the child psychiatrist positions in the paper in red permanent marker( just like the movie). It didn’t stop there. I then proceeded to call and apply for these jobs. Can you imagine what the person on the other end of the phone was thinking? Needless to say I was not called for the interview.
Later on in my adult years, I moved up quickly into management working in financial crime. It was a stable career choice, but not at all fulfilling although I did enjoy the challenge. When my job relocated to Arizona, I began searching for a new job. Suddenly working in banking was not the stable career it was once known for, and banks were merging and employees were losing their jobs.
I decided to use my skills in financial crime and utilize them as an asset investigator at a law firm. I was hired and glad to continue a job in the investigation field and expand my learning while broadening my experience. Unbeknownst to me, an asset investigator was a fancy term for a legal collector. With a voice of a sixteen years old, although I was 25, how could I possibly do this. I certainly had no experience as a collector, and did not want to spend my day arguing with people. This was not for me. I am the happy-go-lucky, friendly and loving person who at one time wanted to become a child psychiatrist. What ever happened to that dream?
I knew things would get better, and I knew one day I would go back to school. At this point I had no idea when that would be. I did not feel that pursuing a career as a psychiatrist was really what I wanted, I did not know what I wanted.
11 years later in a career that was going nowhere, I started a deep journey of exploration. I knew there was more out there for me. I always had a personal interest in human behaviors and self-improvement books. My mother had been diagnosed as bipolar when I was five years old. Because of this, I had been exposed to mental illness throughout my life. I wanted to understand it, studying human behaviors became not only a personal hobby but a means for survival. This has contributed greatly to who I am today, and I believe also why I was able to handle various situations presented to me through my life.
Being a long time follower of the known Life Coach – Tony Robbins, I felt a passion when he spoke. I always thought this man is brilliant, he has all the answers, I never knew that is what a Life Coach was.
I went to an introductory workshop/women’s groups, and once again found this woman to know just the right thing to say for each and every scenario. I was captivated by her questions, and deep compassion for the group as a whole. She presented a way to move forward, taught us how to step into an action plan, and gave us the tools to let go of what was holding us back. Once again, I found out this woman was a Life Coach.
I needed to find out more about this “Life Coaching” thing. It connected to my soul, and I felt like this was something I could do. I began to research schools immediately, where I found a holistic approach to Life Coaching and they were doing a sample weekend program in a few weeks. I signed up right away. There was no hesitation, no second guessing, I needed to find out more about this new career that I keep bumping into.
After taking the weekend course at The Open Center, I knew without a doubt this was for me. This program was different from other programs I explored. I enrolled in the Coaching for Transformation program for the next class.
My life has never been the same since taking this program. Not only am I feeling confident and alive, in the first time in a long time about my career I have grown on a personal level reaching goals and dreams I never knew possible. I no longer feel the voices of doubt or fear controlling my every move. I move forward with confidence and strategies that have made me stronger than I ever imagined possible.
I feel that what I have learned through the years is what makes me who I am today, but becoming a Certified Life Coach recognized through the I.C.F is what has allowed me to become what I dreamed of since I was a child. I did not know then what it was, but when the day came that I found it, there was no turning back. I have the same passion today and love of working with people as the day when I was sixteen calling help want ads to become a child psychiatrist.
Through the years I stayed curious and open to explore my passions and found the career that fills my heart. My goal is to help others experience the same joy I feel in pursuing and achieving my dream.
Amanda Scocozzo, C.P.C.
(347) 913-LIFE (5433)