From Finding Her Voice to Igniting Purpose in Others

For several days in October 2020, social media pages within the coaching community of the Philippines were lit up with congratulatory messages when International Coaching Federation announced the newest Master Certified Coach in the country – Cecilia Schrijver. She also happened to be the youngest and the first female to have done so, making the achievement extraordinary.

To achieve Master Certified level, a Professional Certified Coach must clock at least 2,500 hours. To illustrate what that amount of work and commitment could look like, think of spending half of your every weekday continuously for over 31 months. And because coaching means fulfilling globally recognized standards and distinct, observable skills, an accumulation of hours is only one component of the hurdle.   Performance evaluations and completing the Coach Knowledge Assessment also form part of the credentialing process. It is a journey that requires commitment to stay the course, while having the openness of mind and spirit to learn and be taught, to experiment and to fail, all layered on what may already be a life pursuing previously held goals. 

Cecilia Schrijver has gone through all that and still finds herself giddy, exhilarated, and humbled having spent the last ten years on this transformation. While the MCC credential is the proverbial feather-in-your-cap moment, the journey that led her to being a master coach was intended not for the credential but for the experience that came with and continues to come with it.

From being silent and dealing with trepidation to speak up, she literally found her voice. Cecilia has responded to the many calls of the universe, from participating in a leadership program while still living and working in the UK, to signing up for coach training and acknowledging what she has been “called forth”.  She went back to her mother’s roots in the Philippines and found kindred spirits who like her, believed in making transformational coaching accessible to Filipinos and valued mission-based partnerships, whether with individuals or organizations.  These days, her voice is an instrument to having meaningful and life-changing conversations with her clients.

Cecilia’s turning point in heeding the coaching call was when she made decision to devote time and attention to her personal development.  She realized she had something of value to give, and desired “to help people in hiding and to feel liberation”. She knows what it feels like to be in hiding, and as a coach she offers space for her clients to access who they are and what they want to create.  Coaching conversations with Cecilia ignite what you have and what else you want to achieve.  Through all that, she feels deep gratitude and honor to be able to witness clients find their “aliveness” and love themselves a little bit or a whole lot more. 

Cecilia is more steadfast than ever in her purpose and recognizes that coaches need to keep learning and keep challenging themselves. She reminds herself that she can take her clients only as far as she’s gone.  MCC credential is Coach Cecilia living by her commitment to self-development, to challenging herself and keep working with clients grow to fulfill what they set out for themselves. 

For those contemplating on being a coach, Cecilia stresses beginning with having a real curiosity and genuine interest in learning and igniting that in other people.  It’s having a desire to help people meet their purpose and let their own learning emerge. Being a coach also means holding yourself accountable to learning the skill and honoring the coaching process for the value it brings. And then step back to relish your clients’ journey  unfold before you.

Realizing that “Coaching is a gift that keeps on giving” may sound like a denouement to Cecilia’s story, but really it only leads to more curiosity to experience transformational coaching and discovering one’s voice and purpose.

Learn more about Cecilia and her story through this video where you can also find her message to all aspiring coaches.

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