A huge transformation in my life led me to becoming a coach and drives my belief that coaching can help anyone achieve what they have always dreamed.
In my life BC (before coaching) I had spent nearly 15 years working in the construction industry and found myself at the age of 32 as the Manager of a £4 million turnover company and responsible for 60 employees. When I got promoted to this position I was proud that my hard work climbing the career ladder had finally paid off but at that point everything changed.
The people in my office quickly went from co-workers and friends to employees, the expectations from my bosses rose and with the title, pay rise and company car quickly came misery. I was always a confident, happy, hard working employee but once I started in my managerial role all my confidence disappeared and I started to doubt my ability. The hardest thing was, once my new role began, I stopped being ME. I started trying to be what I thought a manager "should" be like; how should a manager act, what should a manager say, how should a manager behave with people they had known for nearly 10 years?
"I had always strived for perfection in everything I did, whether that be work, relationships, even the housework!! During this period of my life though I let these things control me, who I was, the decisions I made and what I wanted from my life. This affected not only my new role but also my home life."
In my last relationship BC I had high expectations of myself to be the best girlfriend I could be. I had to do the right thing, I had to say the right thing, I had to behave the right way and I had to want what was best for both of us. So who was dictating what the "right thing" was? It was MY expectations, it was MY interpretation of society's expectations, it was MY assumptions of what my partner wanted or needed and it was all driven by my need to be "perfect". Much like my job, I was so driven by trying to create the perfect girlfriend, I had forgotten about ME; what did I want, what mattered to me, was I even enjoying this any more?
Quite quickly my life was driven by stress, upset, extremely low self worth, no self belief and confusion over who I was and what
My relationship ended and as much as I could look rationally at my work situation and say my boss wouldn't have given me this chance if he didn't think I could do it, everything inside of me was telling me the opposite. I had been fighting for years against people telling me that a woman wouldn't make it in my position and for once I had started to believe them. One day one of my best employees handed in his resignation and that was a turning point for me. I was more convinced than ever that if I was any good at my job, or if I had created a team he wanted to be part of, he wouldn't be leaving.
While I was at my lowest point a friend recommended I speak to a coach she had been using to help her. I was willing to try anything and so desperately wanted to be great at my job and a better girlfriend for my next potential partner.
Once I started working with my amazing coach I realised how much I was striving for perfection, which I thought would ultimately make me happy, and was in fact ruining the person inside. I needed to rediscover who I was, what was important to me, what did I like, what did I enjoy and most of all where did I want to end up in life. The first hurdle was conquering the voice inside me that told me all the negative things about myself, my limiting beliefs. A selection of mine at the time were; I'm not good enough, I'm not pretty enough, I'm not worth it, I'm not deserving enough and when you start to truly believe these things it is very hard to get back on top. But I did.
I worked on this for a long time, in fact I'm not sure my work will ever be done, it is a continual process but it does get easier and I now have new beliefs about myself; I am good enough, I am worth it and my biggest one of all I do deserve to be happy.
A few months later I handed in my resignation. I had no new job to go to, I didn't even have a plan but something was screaming inside me saying this wasn't right, that I shouldn't stick with being miserable and I should take a leap!
When I look back now I can so clearly see what was wrong. Yes there were people that made things difficult, yes there were situations
I was dealing with I didn't have the experience to handle but deep down the real issue was that I wasn't being true to who I was.
The minute I started being a "manager" I stopped being me. I wanted to be all the things I thought a manager should be..... the top of my list was a man! (Not something I could have ever achieved without surgery and a huge life change!)
Once I left that job I started to let myself be me again and looking back I had so much to offer that role and that company that I just wouldn't allow myself to give. There were so many goals I wanted to achieve I just didn't have the belief in myself or the support around me to make it happen. If I'd known then what I know now about myself I would have done things differently; I would have stopped trying to be a carbon copy of every previous successful manager and just been me; I would have stood up for what I believed was right and made the changes I knew needed to happen instead of hiding away and never achieving what I had dreamed might be possible.
I continued working with my coach and every time I finished a session with her I felt alive and for that moment everything made sense and anything was possible. And it was that feeling that made me realise this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to help people, I always had and now I had found through coaching a way to do this. Finally everything felt so right. I was meeting people along the way that felt the same as me, had similar experiences to me, wanted to achieve what I wanted to achieve and their motivation and belief was infectious.
It felt challenging and scary and new and difficult but at the same time felt like I was finally in the right box. In fact I wasn't even in a box. I didn't feel the deep down need as I always had to break free, instead I just wanted to fly. Things began happening at the right time in the right way. The more I surrendered to life's plan the more it kept giving me and so it continues to.
So who is the True You? Stop for a moment and listen to what you really want now.
For me it has stopped being about what I can do to be the perfect girlfriend, friend, daughter, sister, colleague or even mother to be and it is about ME being ME. I am at my happiest and strongest when I am me, when I connect to my values deep down inside me, when I believe in myself and when I use that to achieve whatever I want to in life. Since discarding my need to be perfect, since accepting I am who I am and it is in my control to be the best I can be, things in my life have started happening, great, amazing, loving, wonderful, fun, exciting things and I know it is no coincidence that connecting to the true me has made those things happen.
So my mission now is to spread the word, add to the wonderful work of so many coaches and practitioners helping people to be the best they can be and be the happiest version of themselves possible. Imagine if we were all happy, successful, loved, appreciated, motivated, challenged individuals, wouldn't the world be a better place? So go on, ask yourself, who is the True You and are you honouring and living as that person? And if you don't know, don't worry, I didn't at first, but take that first step on the journey and let me help you connect, believe and achieve, just as I am doing.