When I decided to consciously let go of my ICF Credential, little did I know that this deceptively simple decision would lead me through some complex inner work to a profound freedom.

Here’s the Back Story . . .

I earned my first life coaching certificate in 1999. Then a second one in 2008.

By 2011, I had fulfilled all of the requirements necessary to qualify for a Professional Certified Coach Credential granted by the International Coach Federation (ICF PCC). So I proudly filled out the paperwork to obtain one.

When it came time for me to renew that credential in 2014, I was happy to do so.

But when it came time for me to renew it again in 2018, I couldn’t make myself fill out the paperwork.

I thought that maybe I was just feeling end-of-the-year fatigue, and a little anger at the ICF for doing such a poor job (I felt) of advocating for the interests of life coaches like me. I thought that maybe I’d change my mind and decide to renew it, in time.

But I didn’t change my mind.

Six Months After Passively Letting My ICF Credential Lapse, I Dared Myself to Consciously Let it Go

To consciously let my credential go, I needed to acknowledge that:

  • I was more than a little angry at the ICF — and I needed to let that anger go.
  • Coaching is not my profession, but a talent and skillset that I’ve honed and now employ via the Brilliance Game.
  • I don’t need to affiliate myself with the ICF in order to offer my coaching services.

But These Were Just the Surface Acknowledgements

Once I addressed them, I uncovered a deeper issue — a yearning that had been distracting me and holding me back from living out my creative potential for decades.

A yearning that led me to invest a great deal of time, money and energy into earning professional certificates and credentials that I didn’t ultimately need. This yearning was simply: to belong to a recognized profession.

I felt sad as I acknowledged that, as hard as I had tried, in 20 years I wasn’t able to find an existing profession that didn’t ask me to leave out three-quarters of who I am.

I felt compassion for myself as I acknowledged that my human need to belong had led me to try to force myself to fit into four different professions.

I Took a Deep Breath . . . and Let Go

Then I embraced the freedom of expression that I had already created for myself through my invention: the Brilliance Game.

To celebrate and honor my letting go, I replaced my framed ICF Credential with a Brilliance Game Certificate.