During the month of March, which is Women’s History Month, #DawsonWritesAmerica will be placing a spotlight on WOMEN MAKING HISTORY, a series acknowledging the very best of us.
Spend just five minutes with Bridgette Simmonds and it’s guaranteed that she will see your greatness and you’ll feel better about your life. Since childhood, she has been such a cheerleader for others, her friends and family dubbed her “Positive Polly,” always seeing the bright side and encouraging others to do the same. She also did exactly what her parents suggested in order to achieve the American dream–go to school, get an education, get a degree, get a great paying job. A Bachelor’s degree in Marketing set her up for success in corporate America. Except it didn’t make her happy. It didn’t leave her fulfilled.
Her mother reccomended she read a book by author Dan Allender called “To Be Told,” which is “all about what you’re created to experience in life,” according to Simmonds. The book also said to follow the threads that seem consistent in her life, she recalls, and what was consistent was that people, no matter what age, always sought her out for advice. Always asked for her thoughts on what they should do going forward. Looked to her for upliftment, to feel better. To be encouraged. That realization pushed Simmonds toward her purpose.
Well, it was that, and being laid off after years of working the corporate gig and becoming comfortable. It humbled her, and also caused her to think back to that calling. The Florida native went back to school to get her Master’s in Psychotherapy, hoping that would scratch her itch to help people. It didn’t. There was something more out there that was calling out to her.
That something was becoming a life and business coach. Today, with that Master’s degree, and Professional Coach Certification from the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) designation from the International Coach Federation (ICF), plus a Certification in Energy Leadership, Simmonds has officially met her purpose in life head on.
“That first hour at iPEC, it gave me what that Master’s degree wasn’t in terms of who I am and how I wish to serve people,” she realized. “Therapy tends to meet people when there’s some form of dysfunction or breakdown in their family and attempts to return them to functionality. Coaching meets the person on that continuum where they’re functional, and that’s cool. That’s acceptable. But they have this feeling that there’s more to them and more to life and they want to go from functional to optimal, from ordinary to extraordinary. I loved that part of the spectrum of a human. It just fits who I am better.”
HOW ARE YOU MAKING HISTORY?
“I AM MAKING HISTORY BY MAKING SURE THAT EVERYONE THAT ENCOUNTERS ME KNOWS ME AND VIBES WITH ME AND MAKES THEIR OWN HISTORY. I AM MAKING HISTORY BY BEING A POSITIVE FORCE AND REMINDING PEOPLE OF WHO THEY ARE AND OF THEIR INNATE POWER, THE GLORIOUS MIRACLES THAT THEY ARE AND THE GLORIOUS MIRCALES THEY CAN CREATE. ONE PERSON AT A TIME. ONE MOMENT AT A TIME. ONE POST AT A TIME. I AM MAKING HISTORY BY UNLEASHING PEOPLE THAT FEEL TRAPPED AND AFRAID TO GO AFTER EVERYTHING THEY’VE EVER DREAMED OF.” –BRIDGETTE SIMMONDS
After graduating in 2014, Simmonds started her own business, branding herself as Bridgette the Go Coach, which comes from Henry David Thoreau quote “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.” The Go part is critical, according to Simmonds, “because oftentimes we don’t go in the direction of our dreams, or in any direction. We don’t take any action.” The Go Coach offers her clients proven ways to embrace their unconquerable power, including personalized one-on-one sessions that could last from three to nine months, group sessions, which allow clients to transform their lives with the support of their tribe, and mini-sessions of one-on-one time designed to explore where they might feel stuck and come up with an actionable plan to get un-stuck. “I make sure to meet them where they are, and see what they’re saying. And see beyond what they’re saying and what they’re not even saying, and then offer them some other possibilities beyond what they currently can see.”
One of the most impactful sessions Simmonds offers is the Vision Board Workshop in a Box, which was boarn out of a challenge by her coach to create a workshop that would help her stand out in the coaching world. “Most vision board activities are people gathering with magazines and cutting out things that they like, or that appeal to them, Simmonds concedes. “I wanted it to be more expansive than just that, and through my research I created a curriculum that I conduct. It’s not just cutting out pictures, it’s helping the attendess understand what a vision is, how it works, and understanding that when I sit down to gather these photos, what emotions I need to evoke to find the images I need to draw me to the future I’m desiring.”
The visions that come to Simmonds repeatedly in her dreams is speaking, and expanding her audiences and her reach, helping as many people as possible to embrace their power. She’s also currently collaborating with fellow life coach Chris Williams to spearhead the first ever Men Con in Atlanta this August. The conference will provide tools and coaching for Black men to recognize their power and assist them in realizing their full potential.
When asked how she’s making history, Simmonds was just as positive as ever. “I am making history by making sure that everyone that encounters me knows me and vibes with me and makes their own history. I am making history by being a positive force and reminding people of who they are and of their innate power, the glorious miracles that they are and the glorious mircales they can create. One person at a time. One moment at a time. One post at a time. I am making history by unleashing people that feel trapped and afraid to go after everything they’ve ever dreamed of.”