What is Capacity?


I have recently gone on an interesting journey. One that was unexpected and quite enlightening. If you already know me, then it is obvious I have more certifications than I need, but I love learning. So, when I saw a new certification called Certified Capacity Coach, I was intrigued. My certs all surround resume writing, career coaching, interview coaching and assessments. What would I do with a Capacity Coaching cert, and what the heck did that mean? I will answer those questions throughout this article.

Admittedly, at first, I was a bit dubious. My coaching is definitely outcome focused and I border between coach and consultant. There is no “get the crystals out, light the candles, and sing Kum Ba Yah” in Karen. Regardless, I just dove in and gave it a shot. The first three weeks were rough, and I was still not sold. It felt a little “hippy dippy” and that was not my style at all. But when I allowed myself to see past my bias in my feelings, I discovered a very unique skillset I was about to add to my coaching. 

Some things were inherent to my coaching style already, but I never thought about them as part of my “style” until this coaching class. I learned to ask myself the question “what is it like when you don’t have all the answers?” Certainly, I knew this in dealing with coaching clients and in my own life, and was willing to admit it and go looking for answers. However, I never thought about various situations where it may have led me to feel inadequate or worried as to my qualifications – or as I call it – the Imposter Syndrome. This is where my classmates came in, coaching me to see the worth in feeling those emotions, and how to leverage them with my clients. While I have never been afraid to admit to a client that I have weaknesses to bolster their trust, in my personal self-assessment, I probably made it “less than” it was or used it to bash myself depending upon the situation.

Now I am set free to say, yep, I screwed that up, and here is what I learned from it, and that is just fine. After all, mistakes aren’t there to create problems, but to teach us, expand us, and better us going forward. Giving myself more compassion in my personal life will enrich my coaching and my writing, as I am probably hardest on myself with my writing of blog posts for my own site. Meanwhile, I have truly engaged my “Controller” to clear all the clutter, both in my home/office and mind, cleaning up and clearing out excess paper and stuff. With the help of my fellow coaches I have developed a more targeted set of goals, combined with compassion that doesn’t allow the Controller in me to sabotage my forward motion, and won’t allow “fight or flight” to constrain my progress.

So, what does capacity mean? It means FREEDOM. The freedom to be more connected with clients.  The freedom to be compassionate to myself and not just my clients.  The freedom to always frame failure as learning.  And the freedom to go after loftier goals that can actually create more capacity (or freedom) in my life. FREEDOM means peace, it means being more productive, it means more clarity, and most importantly it means a more abundant life. 

Oh, and as a side note, I write articles and then make myself crazy with rewriting, rereading and sometimes not posting for months (or ever). I challenged myself to write this new post on the subject of Capacity in one morning, did so in 45 minutes, didn’t initially review it, just wrote it and sent it out to my class. I even read it back to my class as well the same day (again without reviewing). Now comes the goal of only reviewing once prior to posting on my blog. Update: I only reviewed once, a couple of months later, and posted. Freedom is a blessing!

Karen Silins is a multi-certified, award winning resume writer, career, business and personal branding coach working with individuals and small businesses. After graduating with degrees in education and vocal performance, she made her own career transition into the Human Resources realm. Karen left Human Resources to become an entrepreneur and help jobseekers, executives and fellow entrepreneurs achieve their goals. She keeps current regarding trends in the resume writing, coaching, HR, small business and marketing industries by working daily with individual clients on resume development and career coaching, executive/career management coaching, consulting for small businesses in business plan development, marketing, blogging, hiring and overall HR processes, and providing 20-50+ seminars and workshops annually to a variety of organizations in the greater Kansas City area. She can be reached via her website at www.careerandresume.com.