What got me into coaching? Well how about if I tell you how much it doesn’t feel like a J.O.B but just what I love to do?
I was born at a time of tremendous economic and social unrest. My childhood was marked by bleak economic prospects, a broken social fabric and dire opportunities for even the most capable of people. My parents worked their fingers to the bone, made worse by my father’s illness, to provide for all of us. There was a lot of tension at home as parents did everything they could, worked all the hours they could to give me, and my siblings the opportunities in life they never had.
This experience made me realise that I had to grab life with both hands, to honour my parents’ sacrifices and struggles, and my successes and progresses were up to me – there is no free lunch.
Unless I stepped up, nobody would do it for me. I had to take responsibility for my life, my decisions, in order to achieve the life, I envisioned for myself. So, at a young age my mindset was growing into a flexible, can-do way of thinking which eventually led to me helping others to overcome their own challenges and negative thinking.
My parents instilled a strong work ethic in me, and encouraged me to work hard, have high standards for myself and others, and to make the best of every opportunity and I set out to grasp life and from a young age. I decided to grab the steering wheel and become the pilot – not the passenger – in my own life.
So, I studied had and I got my degree, the first in my family, and worked my way down to London where I began a corporate career eventually working my way up to board level in corporate communications. I had a clear plan and plenty of drive and moved from job-to-job – building my career path, but also enjoying life with my family, friends and my passion for travelling and scuba diving. I was working hard – but life was going to plan!
When I was on the company board, there weren’t many women in the upper levels of management, and I realised how challenging it was to learn to adapt to an environment without guidance from people who had already done it before.
I also worked with leading firms in UK, EMEA and global roles for the UK, AstraZeneca, Abbott Nutrition, DHL and Freud Communications in government affairs, media relations, crisis issues, advocacy management, internal engagement & employee communications, large-scale change programmes, and product launches – leading teams around the world, on some major global projects.
In my late 20s, I had started to wonder if life was all about my career, and wondered about my overall direction. I think I was starting to realise that working hard wasn’t enough, or the only route to success. That other components were needed for happiness in other areas of my life.
Basically, I had started to feel that I was on a treadmill. Things didn’t feel right, I had hit a brick wall but had no idea why, or what, was wrong with my usually sunny disposition.
During that time, I found out about coaching through a friend of mine, and even though I was not sure what coaching really meant decided to find a coach who could help me.
I had tried a few people, but it was one lady who stuck out in my mind – I was blown away at the mindset shifts she helped me achieve. The breakthroughs were evident in all areas of my life. That was the start of my ‘deeper self-discovery’, a journey that continues to this day, exploring different options for my life and living on my own terms. It was my first experience of the power that coaching has to transform lives and bring out the best in people. I became who I was born to be – not just one dimension of myself and I found my day-to-day happiness with myself and my life was increasing!
Not long after, at the height of the global credit crunch but I still decided to become a freelancer and set up my own business as I wanted to take control of my life and time – to travel, earn a good income and have head space for myself to think about my next career step. Sure, I was successful ‘on paper’, but something was still missing.
It was great for the next few years – I was able to work in good roles but also take time out to travel to some amazing places – with my dive kit, on extended travel breaks. I saw parts of the world no-one else did – and sure that worked for a while. I was free, I was happy.
The Photocopier Moment – Aha!
But after a while, I realised something else needed to shift. The coaching had made me become very in tune with myself, and I realised that life is a series of chapters and guess who the author is – yes ME, or in your case – YOU!
Simply put, I felt I wasn’t being my authentic self. One day, standing at the photocopier I thought, ‘I need to go further’ – it was like a thunderbolt – there was no going back.At that point, I remembered the coaching I had received in earlier in my 20s, and reflected on what a wonderful and transformative experience it had been.
It completely shifted my thinking and outlook. It left me feeling in the flow, full of purpose, clear about my goals and itching to act on them. I had gained a confidence that I never experienced before! Ever since then I had felt like a new and improved me – on point, and on purpose!
That’s when I realised that that was what was missing. Being in the flow, living life on my terms, true to my goals and to who I am.
And it was obvious – my coach had said it; my friends had said it – but I could not see the wood for the trees – coaching just hit me like a thunderbolt – this is what I want to do. It had a lot of similar characteristics with my previous roles – helping people, dealing with crisis, being solutions focused, a good listener – so it made sense. There was a pattern and this was the next natural step!
I’ve been coaching people for around five years now and I love it. I believe that having undergone several major transformations and changes in my life, from what was a difficult start in life, that could have ended up very differently – that it is more than my certificates that allow me to help you ‘see the wood for the trees’ and find what makes you ‘you’ and what you love to do.
I’ve been there, I can do it, and so can you!
Working With Me
I am a seasoned personal, life, business and career coach. Born with an entrepreneurial spirit and an insatiable drive to help others find their happiness, I founded my coaching business after a successful career in PR to help people find purpose, meaning and direction in their lives and careers.
NLP practitioner, two diplomas from the Coaching Academy — Personal Performance Coaching Diploma, and a Corporate and Executive Diploma (both Merit).
Additional CPD certificates from the Coaching Academy in the following areas:
Behavioural Coaching (ACT), Confidence Coaching, Financial Coaching, Holistic Coaching, Mindfulness, Personal Branding, Impact & Image Coaching, Neuroscience, Reinvention Coaching, Resilience coaching, Transactional Analysis, I also have a Diploma in Positive Psychology.
The Coaching Academy has several external, professional and academic endorsements and accreditations and is Europe’s largest coach training organization. The accreditations currently are:
- SFEDI Awards Approved Centre
- Association for Neuro Linguistic Programming (ANLP)
- ICF – International Coach Federation
- The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)
- Approved supplier for Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Services (ELCAS)
- CPD Standards Office
The Academy is also the first coach training provider to receive the prestigious Provider
Training Excellence award from the Professional Development Consortium.
I am also qualifying, and completing my practical portfolio for EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). This is a counselling intervention to reduce pain, stress, anxiety and negative emotions. It draws on various theories of alternative medicine including acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming, energy medicine, and Thought Field Therapy (TFT). This technique, known as ‘tapping’ is very effective, more information can be found here.
Sarah is located in Hemal Hempstead, Hertfordshire, coaches through the UK and has international clients.
I recently started working with Sarah to help me focus on a new path and rebuild my confidence after a period of tough personal challenges. Fifteen minutes into the first session I knew I was in good hand! Sarah is reassuring, she comprehends the blocks and challenges quickly and began with some basic tools to help me start managing the first next steps. I am still a work in progress but already I am starting to formulate a clearer picture of what I want to achieve and how to get there. Working with Sarah makes me feel confident that I am going to get to where I want to be.