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The 4WRD Interview Series: Life Coach Lisa Petsinis

Lisa Petsnis

In celebration of Women’s History Month and the launch of 4WRD’s first interview, we wanted to start our series highlighting an amazing life coach, Lisa Petsinis. Lisa Petsinis is a life and career transformation coach for women. She works with them to define their vision, achieve their goals, reach their potential, and lead fulfilling lives. Many of her clients feel stuck and are not getting the results they want. She partners with them to uncover their brilliance, explore ways to do what they love — including landing their dream job, and create more joy, meaning, and success.

Lisa gave us a fascinating perspective on goal-setting and her experience as a life coach. Check out what she had to say in our interview.

4WRD: Why did you become a life coach/interested in goal-setting? Tell me more about your path to becoming a life coach.

Lisa: For years as an HR Director and internal coach, I worked with people to develop themselves and grow their careers – among many other things. After years in the same career, I became a little restless and I wanted to do the parts of the job I loved the most and work with people outside of the corporate context. I took several career assessments, embraced mindfulness, did a lot of soul searching, and hired a life purpose coach. She helped me narrow down my options, create a vision for my life, and grow my confidence so that I could make the changes I wanted in my life.

Once I decided to become a coach, I researched accredited programs, took the training, and got mentoring, and then established a foundation for a coaching business.

Fast forward five years, and I am coaching women to create their own life visions, uncover their purpose, get their dream job, and realize their goals and potential!

My interest in goal-setting is a long and natural one. I did performance and development coaching for years as a certified HR professional, and I helped my employers and their leaders develop strategic goals and plans. As a life and career transformation coach, my clients are the experts and I work with them to create awareness and enhance the quality of their lives. I bear witness to their goals and dreams, and it’s an honor to be part of their successful realization.

4WRD: Who is your biggest inspiration? Who is your #1 supporter?

Lisa: I am inspired by everyday women who bravely go for their goals and dreams. I’m particularly impressed by young people like Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg who so early on connected with a purpose and are blazing trails. It is both a skill and a gift discover what you’re meant to do in this world and contribute in a way that changes lives.

Perhaps my biggest inspiration and #1 supporter is my teenage daughter. She is insightful beyond her years, and she is proud of my achievements large and small. I strive to be a great role model for her and instill in her the confidence to be authentic, dream big, and create a life she will absolutely love.

4WRD: Let’s talk about goals. How would you define goal setting?

Lisa: I define goal setting as the process by which you define what you want and how to get it. I distinguish goals from aspirations and dreams. I love the concept of aspirations because there is an additive hope element; you desire to achieve the goal with your entire being. Dreams are magical images or ideas in your head that you have for your life. Goals require action and dreams sometimes do not.

4WRD: What would you tell those struggling to find their purpose?

Lisa: For all those struggling to find your purpose, give yourself some compassion. I’ve been there myself, and now that I’m a certified Life Purpose Coach, I have a formula for guiding people through the process. If you want to find your purpose, start by reconnecting with who you are and then explore ways to bring your gifts to the world. It is ok to come up with something vague at first. Experiment, play with the language, and over time get clearer on how you want to contribute and make a difference.

4WRD: How would you encourage those who are losing momentum and motivation to achieve their goals?

Lisa: I find that when clients lose momentum and motivation, there are a few reasons for it. Sometimes, people get distracted by other shiny objects or even their cell phones. If this happens to you, revisit your original why and validate that the reason for the goal still exists. Sometimes you need to adapt the goal or the subgoals, in this case, and put in place habits that will keep you on track.

Another problem can be that the goal result is not that clear. I use a lot of visualization in my practice and encourage you to envision with crystal-clear clarity what success looks like. Often adopting a regular visualization habit can support goal attainment.

Finally, it is easy to lose steam if you doubt yourself. Affirmations are a great tool, as well as reminding yourself of your strengths and abilities.

4WRD: What’s one challenging goal you’ve set for yourself and what was that journey like? The good, bad, and ugly.

Lisa: One challenging goal I set for myself was to build a thriving coaching business in which I can help others reach their potential and live their purpose. After 23 years, I left a successful corporate HR career and jumped feet first into self-employment. I gave myself permission to take my time with it and didn’t expect overnight success. I planned out the major milestones and then acted – sometimes in the face of obstacles and naysayers (after all, not everyone is going to understand your aspirations, but when you want something badly enough, you find a way to make it happen!)  I went back to school to become an accredited coach, took other courses that I thought would enhance my success, set up systems for myself, and I worked hard.

It was important for me to become credentialed by the International Coach Federation, which is the gold standard for coaching associations. That meant taking the required courses, obtaining the required grade on a challenging exam, and obtaining mentoring and the necessary coaching hours. I took other programs, too, such as career counselling, and life purpose coaching, but this was the biggest accomplishment.

It’s not always easy going it on your own. For example, when you’re starting out, you must be a jack-of-all-trades, and that means fixing your computer when it goes down or learning how to build your own website. You create your own success. Some days that’s scary and other days it’s exhilarating! I aim to follow my own prescription, though, and that has meant creating a clear vision of what I want and what success looks like, breaking down my goals into manageable and enjoyable parts, ensuring I have support, and adopting a winning mindset.

I am still on the journey and setting goals and targets for myself each year.  Despite the ups and downs, I wouldn’t go back. I’m proud of taking the leap, finding my voice, and helping others to go for what they want, too!

4WRD: What goals have you set for yourself in 2021?

Lisa: The pandemic has caused people to re-examine their lives in many ways, and I’m feeling more of a pull toward wellness in its many forms in 2021. I’ve outlined the outcomes I want to achieve, as well as the experience of wellness more generally. I’ve laid out a solid plan, enlisted support, and I am working to build specific habits into my day. While I anticipate some hurdles, and the need to persevere as our lives slowly return to normalcy, I am confident about controlling what I can control and achieving what I’ve set out to do.

“Anything is possible. No matter the obstacles, you can figure it out; you can overcome them if you believe in yourself.”

4WRD: What is one goal setting tip you would give to people just starting their goal(s)?

Lisa: My number one tip for goal-setting is to discover your why. When setting a life goal, be sure it’s a meaningful one, and not based on somebody else’s dreams or what you think you should do. Why do you want to earn that degree? Why do you want to lose 25 pounds? What will achieving it get you? Be clear about the goal’s desired outcome and challenge your assumptions about the goal itself as well as the means to achieving it.

I encourage my clients to dream big. If I could choose a motto to live by, I would say that anything is possible. No matter the obstacles, you can figure it out; you can overcome them if you believe in yourself.

Looking for a life & transformational career coach? Visit Lisa’s website to learn more, sign up for her newsletter, or set up a discovery call to jump start the changes you want in your life, beginning today. 

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