A passionate bridge player I have a big dream to win a gold medal one day. In my first year as a beginner I would stay up until the early hours playing and replaying card combinations, I read first our small town library, then our nearest small city library and as I moved around the world big city libraries dry. I spent the next 5 years watching and soaking inknowledge at the shoulders of champions.

And I played too. I competed at provincial, national and trials level. I visited tournaments up and down New Zealand, then Australia. I even ventured to international tournaments to get a feel for riches.

10 years later and I knew I wasn't getting any closer to playing for my gold. Something was getting in the way. I believed no-one wanted to partner me. Can you imagine how ineffective I felt at the table? I was constantly on my guard so as not to be shown up as less than perfect, fearful someone would shout who is she to be here. When all the time I really needed to be concentrating on achieving the necessary table result. One thought was holding me captive, superceding all the knowledge and skill I had built up over 10 years. It didn't take rational thought to figure out this could not be helping me get to my gold. Bridge is not a game you can play on your own. A bit like life I guess. But I was certainly doing it the hard way - and alone.

It wasn't until one crisp Sunday morning that I was given a window of opportunity to shift my thinking. While attending an introductory session on the process of coaching, I participated in a performance coaching demonstration. The coach was to ask me a particular sequence of questions designed to "Zap a Limiting Belief". I was game - I didn't really understand the process but it sounded perfect for my problem! Holy wow! 15 minutes and 6 very simple questions later I had identified the source and depth of my thinking, applied logic to illustrate how nonsensical I was being, and blitzed the pesky shadow. And my coach knew nothing about the game of bridge - not one thing!

Together we had gotten rid of the irrational belief that no-one wanted to play with me. I started to play with exciting new and different partners regularly. I had so much fun asking people, and so many people said YES for sure I'd love to play with you, I had to rearrange my playing life. My life took new turns. I started to get involved in aspects of the game I had shied away from before.

Now I could really get serious about that gold. This year, I got myself a coach and my performance results have been exciting already. Does she hold all the cards, or my hand? Never - we have never even played together.

What I get from coaching is strength, support and focussed action. No longer am I at the mercy of my past, other people's boundaries for me, nor beliefs for and about me. Today I have a map to the gold, I live with the confidence that gold is only a treasure hunt away. When and whether I make that journey is simply about resources and action.

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