When I began my journey with The Coaching Institute back in February 2014 I was still recovering from a critical illness that nearly took my life. I had spent almost a year in bed; in constant pain and more ambulance trips and operations than I can count. Through my illness I have no doubt it was my choice to look for the positives, remain grateful and focus on achieving small steps to move myself to wellness that aided my recovery.
Despite my decision to remain positive a year of pain and a new baby who barely slept took its toll and I was diagnosed with Post-Natal Depression. I’d hit the lowest point of my life just weeks before my intake weekend. No amount of positive thinking seemed to help in pulling me out of what felt like a black fog where breathing seemed like hard work.
In pain and unwell but determined to change my life and to help others do the same, I left my 10 month old baby girl and my 5 year old little boy with my partner in Perth and boarded a plane for Melbourne. Excited and unsure all I knew was that I was determined to change!
The Foundations of Coaching Success weekend went by in a whirl; I met amazing people and learnt so much. I’d only just begun but I knew I’d found my place in the world.
My first year as part of The Coaching Institute was all about finding my feet. I jumped from one thing to the next, I did procrastination, I did overwhelm, self-sabotage, self-pity, I did excitement, I studied, I tried new things, lots and lots of new things, lots of shiny things and not so shiny things. I felt like I was drowning, then swimming, then drowning again. I grew as a person, I grew as a coach and I knew no matter what I would not give up!
At the Foundations of Coaching Success weekend Joe Pane spoke about niche, other people from my intake had their niche sorted so I felt that I should too. Such a rookie mindset, that because someone else has you should too but that’s where I was. Joe said that your niche should be a problem that you’ve already solved for yourself and I remember thinking that breathing felt like hard work, what problem on earth could I help others solve?
So I create a business called “Your Life Balance” which was about assisting and inspiring women who are working either in their own business or in a career and are trying to juggle everything. What it really became about was helping these women to stop feeling guilty and to start to love themselves. What I really needed to do was to find this for myself.
I was never truly passionate about “Your Life Balance” though it struck a chord with many women and I know that I was able to make a difference in their lives.
In the middle of 2015 my beautiful friend Claire Whitelaw Brown who I met at the Foundations weekend and who I did Meta Dynamics with, referred a client to me, this client was my first child client. Prior to this I’d been asked by parents to work with their kids but I’d shied away from it because it didn’t fit my “niche” (another rookie error). I realised with this first young client that this is where my passion was, as Joe would say, I found my song and now I was going to sing it!
Within weeks of this first young client I had more parents bringing their kids to see me and my business “Skillz 4 Kids” was born. As a former teacher I have a deep passion for changing the lives of young people. I began running professional developments for teachers in schools as well as workshops for parents and educators to give them the skills, tools and thinking to support and encourage their young people as well as running a coaching practice where I work one-on-one with young people and where appropriate their parents as well.
I’m on a mission to change the lives of young people and to ultimately cause a revolution in our education system. I believe that a system where we have to drug our young people to fit in, comply and to feel ok about themselves, a system that is churning out people to fit into 9 – 5 jobs and to live lives of quiet desperation, a system that’s selling the lie that happiness is found in what you have rather than who you are is a system that is in desperate need of change.
I truly love what I do with a passion. Just yesterday I smiled to myself, after a day of working in a business that I love, doing something that I’m deeply passionate about, something that I know will made a real difference in the lives of many, I was chilling out with my kids. While laughing and playing with them I realised, I’m truly living my dream.