Cheryl Ginnings is one of the coaches we found and we did a little interview with her. She impressed us with her wisdom and warming kindness. Here is what she said.
Meet Life Coach Cheryl Ginnings:
Name: Cheryl Ginnings
Pillar: The Spirit
Who is this coach for: People who care for someone with special needs and want to learn how to overcome their challenges.
How they can help: By using her expertise, experience and wisdom to guide them through their challenges, sharing 5 powerful lessons to follow and using her deep empathy to make others feel seen.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these Pandemic times?
We are doing well.
There have been a lot of changes to make for ourselves and our friends and families, but we are doing fine.
We have sadly, lost several friends the past year and half, not all related to Covid, but being unable to be with families during their times of sadness and not able to visit during times of illness is hard for us.
Also, not being able to have funerals for many of them was sad. No closure for all to gather together.
Missing the events that are just a natural part of life have made the time frustrating, but we wanted to be safe, also.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your clients? Did it affect you at all?
I have seen a lot of fear and anxiety, especially from those who are dealing with or caring for someone, not wanting them to be exposed. Also, a lot of anger that people cannot get all the services they need.
There are so many depressed people and I am aware of how that has made our young people more vulnerable to depression or suicide.
I believe we handled it OK. I actually had 5 surgeries during most of this time and needed to be home more.
A few months ago, we took a month off to go travel and spend time in time shares. We had some weeks built up from not being able to use those weeks for a while. That time away helped us.
What are the biggest lessons that you learned in this pandemic?
I believe that many things have been assumed that are not proven.
We need to read what we can and take precautions to prevent ourselves and others being exposed, but it will happen to some anyway.
For us, we still take precautions, but no longer feel the need to stay in all the time.
When we are with groups we are not used to be around, we are even more careful, but not to an extent that we live life in fear!
We need to have some sense about what situations we are in, but not live in fear and anxiety all the time.
Tell us about you, your career, how you started with your coaching career?
My life has always been in a minister’s home, so helping others has always been a very important part of life. My father was a minister and my husband has been a minister over 50 years.
When we had our firstborn, he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and we had a very difficult time.
Our friends, the church, and others in our lives watched how we dealt with the problems and challenges that we had.
They started coming to us as a young couple saying that they knew since we had problems, we could understand theirs.
I taught lots of classes for children, then teens and women, and wanted the classes to relate to real life and how our spiritual lives are affected.
Then I started being a speaker who was invited to many places across the country, into Christian colleges for special events, and for special days for women’s events.
I love doing that, but always aware that people live in a world of problems and they want to know how to deal better with the challenges.
These events morphed into helping families with special needs children and knowing that we had to face all the problems ourselves.
I knew what it was like. I was hearing the same problems that we faced and wanted to make a difference.
Then, helping with our parents also, we have gone through a lot that helps us to understand what others have experienced.
All of this seemed to lead from one event to another.
I wanted to do more and got certified three times to keep understanding more about how to help others.
What was your biggest obstacle that you had to overcome in your life that made you who you are today?
I believe that having a special needs child made me learn how to become bolder and speak up, not just for him, but for others who are overlooked.
I am more aware of others dealing with challenges and want to be a voice for those who do not have someone to speak up for them.
I have several tips that I try to teach those who are caring for someone that can make them stronger and more powerful.
I want them to understand how important it is to be bold in their voices and not let people walk over them or ignore their needs.
I actually went back to finish my degree after my youngest was in third grade. My major was Communication and they had me do extra work for an honors degree.
I was asked to produce a video about why communication breaks down in families with special needs children.
I interviewed doctors, therapists, families, educators, and anyone that would let me ask them questions.
I was excited to produce 28 hours of interviews which led me right into a special room where there was an editing machine. Then I was told to make those hours into 28 1⁄2 minutes.
It was used on TV and at two Universities.
The Coaching Style:
How do you innovate with coaching your clients?
A few years ago a radio station called me from NY and wanted me to be a radio host on a program because Autism was on the rise.
I laughed and asked how they found me, and they said, “Cheryl, you do know we can read anything you put out on social media, right?”
That was a tremendous learning experience. I hosted a weekly program live every week and interviewed people about caring for family.
I wanted to know what gave them the courage to do it, and what lessons they learned that they wanted to pass on to younger people.
Even while my son was in the hospital 10 weeks and three surgeries in three hospitals, I never missed my program. I felt it was one way to help others who needed to know they are not alone.
It has grown from radio, to interviews, articles about issues we deal with, and answering questions on Quora with about 300k readers of my answers.
It helps me to know that people are actively looking for answers to the questions they have.
I wrote a book about caregiving from the interviews I had with others. It is on Amazon: “It Takes Courage to be a Caregiver”
What’s unique about your coaching approach?
I believe I am a very empathetic person who can relate to others.
I know they have different lives, but so many problems we face are more similar than different.
The fact that I am a loving and hugging person, makes others feel at ease.
My husband used to laugh at me and said I could talk to the fence post. He was meaning that I am at ease with others and am able to put others at ease.
What benefits do your clients get after working with you?
One of the sweetest things that one said was that she thought I had a lot of wisdom. I hope she was right.
If so, I believe I had good examples from parents and family members who are long suffering and patient with others.
Caring is very important and it’s making people think that you are not just judging them. (Coming from a minister’s family, I think some look at us like we are just judging them.)
Do you use any specific tools to be efficient with your clients?
I have several tips that I share:
1. Be bold, find your voice!
2. Live one day at a time!
3. Attitudes may be the only thing you can control!
4. Knowledge, go after the knowledge you need and do not depend on others!
5. Encourage others every way you can!
If you had a super megaphone that, when you speak into, the whole world will hear your message, what would you say?
Learn how to speak up for what you need, and for those who have needs but are unable to speak. Speak in kindness. Treat others as you want to be treated.
We all have the same needs: to be loved and have others to love. Learn to be content. Life will be easier.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your life?
I know that we are all here to be examples for others and to live a godly life.
I am a Christian and know we will all die one day and the most important thing is to love others and treat others as we want to be treated.
Even when I had to travel back and forth to help care for my parents, I would need to go back home and help with my own family.
I knew that if my mom died while I was away, me being there might not make a difference.
I have to live life as if I might die any day. I want to be a good example to others and help those who are needing help that I can help.
I realize that I have been so fortunate to have people who have loved me and our son and without their love and support, I could not have done what I have done.
We all need one another.
When you see families who are caring for someone, check up on them. Offer to sit for an hour or so to let the caregiver go out alone to get groceries or just sit and relax a while.
They feel alone and most people never ask them how they are. They are more concerned about the person they care for.
Your final thoughts?
I am starting a course to help caregivers because NYU asked me to do one. I also realize that families need to understand what to expect when they begin caring for parents. There are about 90 million caregivers and more are home without pay than paid. So that will be something new people can expect.
If you are struggling, find someone to help you. If you are in need of help, it is not smart to do everything on your own. Even finding support groups online, or someone you can text back and forth is important.
Learn to treat others with kindness and find ways you can support others.
If you have someone with special needs, find their strengths to focus on.
Avoid trying to always correct their weaknesses. They may never need to know some of the things that others focus on, even in good faith. (For instance, my son could not learn time or money, but that is never important. He will always be cared for totally.)
Learn to forgive others and yourself. You do not need to carry burdens of guilt around all your life.
Where Can You Find Cheryl Ginnings?
If this interview resonated with you than make sure to visit Cheryl’s website at http://cheryl-ginnings.com where you will find everything you want to know about her.
She also has another one dedicated to her coaching for special needs, if you are interested in that go at http://cheryl-coaches.com.
She is planning a group coaching to help families learn how to manage the changes they are going through as a caregiver. If anyone is interested, they can send her a message at [email protected]. It was an honor having this interview with her.