Rewind back to April 2016 and things were going OK but mostly life wasn’t all that crash hot. Physically, I was in the best shape I had ever been after dropping 10 kg. But that was about it. My mother and I were either arguing all the time (especially over money or my desire to travel) or we just wouldn’t bother talking to each other at all. I was struggling so much with my new role at work, I was starting to consider quitting it all to go travel for a year. Things in the dating department weren’t going terribly well either, especially after the last guy I had dated left Australia altogether. By this point I was starting to wonder what the hell was wrong with me.
During one of our rare moments where we weren’t barking at each other, Mum said something quite insightful: “You know Korii, it’s really good you have a personal trainer to help you with your fitness. But it’s also important to work on the mental and emotional parts of your life too.” She then told me how one of her colleagues had gone to see a life coach here in Perth and maybe I should look into it.
And that’s how I met and ended up working with life coach George Helou and completing the EP7 Programme.
What life coaching is all about:
A life coach is someone who can help you with developing tools and techniques to deal with situations that may be causing you stress and disempowerment in a more positive, resilient way.
In the same way that athletes have coaches to help them perform on the field, a life coach’s job is to help you perform at your optimum in the game of life, push through the challenges and create a winner of a life that has essentially been shaped by you.
Life coaches work with people from all walks of life – from high-flying CEOs who are struggling with the stress of being up on top all the way to someone who may be experiencing major personal issues or uncertainty about the direction in which their life is heading.
How I once saw the world – taking a good hard look at myself through personal assessments:
During our coaching sessions we would use a tool called personal assessment to assess the way I’d act, think and feel in situations where I felt disempowered. Then we would use this information to understand the beliefs I had in myself that made me act, think and feel a certain way.
At one point we were assessing myself in a dating situation. I noted feelings of being frustrated, drained, unattractive, disappointed, rejected, disheartened, lonely. I honestly thought that I was destined to a life of loneliness and so I might as well give up. On dates, I was putting up a front and constantly worrying whether I was doing the right things to gain and/or keep a guy’s interest.
We worked on unravelling the beliefs I had in myself when it came to dating guys. I kid you not, these are some of the beliefs I had:
- “To have a true and loving partnership, you need to forget your opinions and views and just agree with your partners so they will want to be with you.”
- “Being passive and hiding my spark and my passion for life is going to be very attractive to men who just want a minion.” (When I saw these words appear in front of my eyes, I just wanted to give myself a good hard knock to the head. Korii – are you SERIOUS?)
Breaking down in tears as I saw these words on paper, I had never felt so confronted in my life. But the shock was exactly what I needed to finally wake up.
Using personal assessment is something I now do whenever I am confronted with a situation where I don’t feel like I’m being the best version of myself.
It’s interesting because at work, we generally do self-assessments as part of our performance reviews. We write about what we’ve done well at work over the year and where things could be improved. But it’s not something we generally do in our personal lives. And yet I like to think that our personal lives are just as important as our professional lives and deserves just as much attention, if not more.
Determining the values and principles required to life a life of purpose and empowerment:
A lesson that resonated with me from life coaching was the whole idea of building a foundation based on the values and principles required to serve my purpose to my emotional well-being. Principles such as compassion, kindness, respect, creativity and alignment, just to name a few.
It is something I have talked about in a previous post where I quote “If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.” It is absolutely vital to think about the kind of person you want to be, the things you will stand for, and the things you will not tolerate in others and yourself.
The power of narrative to reinvent a new version of myself and embracing my vulnerability:
In addition to personal assessment, another useful tool that I gained from my sessions with George was the use of narrative to recreate a version of myself for a particular situation where I previously felt disempowered. I’d write about the situation in a way where I now exhibited empowerment in my actions, thoughts and feelings. I’d write about how thankful for how far I’d come from the disempowered version of myself and the new beliefs I held.
I will be honest. I struggled with this a lot. While the personal assessment had been successful in opening my eyes to what was, I wasn’t quite ready to imagine and believe in what could be.
I also held a lot of fear of being criticised for the narrative work I did manage to do and was very reluctant to share this with George – the one person in this world I could trust to totally not judge me at all. This was a prime example of how I was trying to measure up and saw vulnerability as a weakness rather than a place of strength. What I never realised is that when you embrace your vulnerability, it creates such a powerful connection with others in your life – you’re not putting up a front; you’re just being yourself. And there is nothing more beautiful than someone being their complete, utter self.
After working through this with George, I went away and gave a good crack at narrating new ways of being. I have never had so much fun creating a world where I am an empowered warrior goddess who can do absolutely anything and truly believing in this world for myself.
How I now see the world:
As clichéd as it sounds, I feel like the world truly is my oyster now. The amount of opportunities and good things that have happened to me over the last few months has been astounding. Having the courage to start this blog stands out for me in particular. There is also another humungous change coming in my life, (watch this space -all will be revealed very soon) – something that I would not have had the courage to embrace six months ago.
Making it clearer to myself what I want out of life has also been a game changer. By making this clear to myself, I now know I can only attract people and opportunities that align with my values.
I have become a lot more present and engaged with each and every moment. I mean, I took myself out on a date to a RUGBY GAME and not once did I feel uncomfortable about being alone: I was having too much fun just being out and enjoying the game.
Nothing much stresses me out anymore, not even work. It is so heartening to know that in this life, there really isn’t much to worry about. Not constantly feeling like I have measure up to everyone else has also made a huge difference on my mental and emotional health.
My relationships with others, especially my mother, have improved drastically.
I also finally truly believe that I will one day find a wonderful partner with as much spark and passion as myself and we will both embrace this in each other. In the mean time, I am very content with just enjoying my life as much as possible.
Sure, I still have my bad days and life isn’t always a breeze. But I now have the resilience to meet any challenge that comes my way and comfort in the knowledge that whenever I find myself in a version that no longer serves me good, I can easily recreate a new version of myself.
However, not only have I achieved a change to my life, I feel like I have also gained a friend for life in George. Everyday I am thankful for having a coach and a friend who always believed in me and was so determined to make sure I started to believe in myself.
At long last, here’s to discovering world worth rushing into!
About the EP7 Programme: EP7 is all about becoming Empowered for Purpose in 7 Steps, which you can learn more about here.
The 7 steps are as follows:
- Empowered Identity
- Personal Assessment
- Living on Purpose
- Environmental Alignment
If you are based in Perth and are thinking about trying out life coaching for yourself, get in contact with George Helou. The first session is actually free, which is a great opportunity to see if life coaching and the EP7 programme are for you.