I Knew I Wanted to Make a Difference Through My Experience and Assist Visually Impaired People to Move Forward | The Coaching Institute

I Knew I Wanted to Make a Difference Through My Experience and Assist Visually Impaired People to Move Forward

I have been legally blind for the last 10 years. A few years before joining TCI I felt that there was something much bigger waiting to happen and a real passion to contribute and to help other visually impaired people to step out into the world. One phone call to TCI enquiring about the program and within a few days I was enrolled and booked in for my intake weekend which I did with the AMAZING Joe Pane in October 2013. I have to say I was initially nervous walking through the doors on the first day of intake. Within 15 minutes I was comfortable and I knew I belonged. I was definitely in the right place with a group of people who were like-minded and absolutely amazing and have definitely become lifelong friends.

Prior to becoming a student at TCI I was unemployed. After losing my vision, my life as I knew it came to a complete halt. Everything I knew and all the certainty faded away. My car, my job as preschool teacher, my independence and my marriage. The familiar became unfamiliar, the certain became uncertain, relationships changed, and being rolled in and out of surgery for years on end was all I knew. There was one thing in me that kept pushing me through, and that was my drive, my passion, my strength and my willingness to never give up.

There was something more. I knew I wanted to make a difference through my experience and assist visually impaired people to move forward but I just could not figure out how. After doing my research and coming across TCI I made the call. I spoke to them about how I was feeling, my visions and aspirations. I can honestly say that the conversation I had with the awesome TCI team gave me the courage, clarity and the feeling of certainty that I had not felt in 10 years. My personal transformation began as soon as the phone call ended. I had always known who I was and what I stood for…. but WOW! After the FOCS intake weekend and all the teachings through TCI I learnt what it was to truly let go and took knowing who I was and being the best version of myself to a whole new level. The strong, passionate, confident and caring women that had always been but never acknowledged, started to shine through and I was becoming who I wanted to be.

Being or becoming visually impaired can build an immense amount of fear and limiting beliefs in one’s self. Through my personal experience and leanings, I niche in working with people who are visually impaired. I assist them in overcoming their fears and limitations and provide them with the strategies and the mindset to have self belief and live a fulfilled and abundant life. Giving vision to the visually impaired is what it’s all about!

I joined a quality living program with Vision Australia which ran for 8 weeks. At the end of the 8 weeks I was approached by Vision Australia and was asked to become a support leader giving me the opportunity to connect and work with their clients one-on-one or in groups on a range of issues, along with working with them on a referral based partnership in the future.

After having a conversation with the priest from our church, he expressed to me the issues that people were bringing forward and the amount of value that I could bring to the community. It was then he offered me the opportunity to work with the people of the community to help them grow and have the mindset and strategies to help achieve their goals and to help work through their issues. Again on a referral basis.

Of course I said yes to both!

The future plans for myself and “Vision for life” is to continue working with visually impaired people to allow them to realise and create their vision for the future and to gain the belief and confidence within themselves to achieve it. I also plan to take this message international and bring awareness to the visually impaired and non-visually impaired that you do not need sight to have vision for life and that anything is possible if you believe. 

“I never needed sight to see…. Never…. I just needed vision and belief” - Caroline Casey

Having said all this, I would like to express my sincerest and deepest THANK YOU and gratitude to everyone in the TCI community for their phenomenal dedication, encouragement and support. Sharon Pearson, Joe Pane, the Wow team, staff and awesome students again thank you. This is by far the most amazing community I have had the privilege of being involved in!

Mariane Barakat
- ICG Credentialed Master Practitioner of Coaching
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