My Story of 'Develop and Grow'
For as long as I can think back, I have always been searching, asking the big questions and enjoying dialogues about them. Nonetheless, I followed what I thought was expected of me, worked hard, performed, achieved success (school, university, top job, fiancée, posh apartment and car) and yet still felt unhappy and wondering: Is that it? From the outside I looked highly successful, on the inside I felt broken, unfulfilled and disappointed. I felt deeply depressed but also saw absolutely no way out. Doing anything different felt like admitting defeat, becoming a loser. I couldn’t think of anything else that would make me feel any different and felt completely stuck.
The stress and unhappiness resulted in a cancer diagnosis when my daughter was only 18 months old. This was a massive wake-up moment for me although I still clung on and returned to my high flying job for a while (albeit part-time) before I finally found the light and the courage to choose a different path. The choice was difficult but my deeply felt response to a powerful reflective coaching technique around the question ‘Imagine yourself age 90 looking back at your life, what would you like to see?’ brought me the definitive answer. Maybe this was the first time I had actively got a glimpse and felt sense of what truly mattered to ME! I finally had clarity about what I truly wanted from my life and a sense of incredible joy overwhelmed me. My chosen path was the harder one of the options I had considered but I couldn’t stop smiling. Being able to make such a clear choice and commit to my path so whole-heartedly made me feel proud of myself for the courage and for venturing beyond my comfort zone and for the imagined joy of reaching out to people and experiences that would never be accessible to me in the other scenarios. It instantly felt like a fun and meaningful life path, rich with experiences not all good, in fact I even pictured myself failing on several occasions but dusting myself off enjoying the new connections my situations would bring and the personal growth I would gain as a result. This scenario felt so right to me even if logically (using traditional pro/con lists) it was the wrong choice and I had to endure endless comments from friends thinking I was mad to give up my promising corporate career and final-salary pension at such a reputable company. I was never to know whether they were right and it did not matter.
I left my high flying final salary pensioned job and ventured into the unknown feeling deeply happy and excited for the first time in long time. In a leadership workshop I had attended earlier that year we had been asked to define our life mission in a multi-day process and mine resulted in ‘Adventure with integrity and passion’. I hadn’t done anything with this then, but now I knew, it all made sense. Being on my chosen path into the unknown, for the first time I felt I was aligned with my mission and despite all the uncertainty I felt so excited and elated.
I was lucky to hear about a coaching school that opened their doors in the town I lived in at the time and while I had come across it while searching for support for someone else, I instantly knew this was for me. I enrolled, completed both the co-active coach training and the full certification and haven’t looked back since. It was hands down one of the best decisions I ever took in my life both personally and professionally and inspired me to travel further, adding further coaching qualifications and personal growth adventures since. With my new skills and the help of my own coach, I was able to clarify my own values thoroughly and affirmatively, putting them into language that resonated with me. This personal value compass was to become the compass for my life going forwards, helping me to live the vision I had chosen for my life.
It allowed and allows me to constantly create and live one dream after another. It allowed me establish a
coaching practice in Dubai, a 2-year life style experiment in the Alps, a country-side life in Scotland, another Master degree, a PhD acceptance, new job and freelance opportunities at key European business schools supporting personal growth in students and now my own community of SilkeyWay* soul surfers. Surprisingly, not only the highs feel good, the lows feel part of my unique adventurous journey and I am open to turning them into new opportunities by treating my life like an artsy movie or story that’s in continuous creative development. I am loving the journey. Life feels exciting!
Through my passion and 20+ years of experience in coaching in this empowering and transformative way, I can help you, too, to become a Personal Leader and start surfing your own SilkeyWay*. If you are up for it, I can’t wait to meet you.
Want to learn more about about Personal Leadership and the SilkeyWay?
I have written a whole separate page about it. You can find it here: What is Personal Leadership and the SilkeyWay of Life?