I had worked with Jules before in delivering valuable training to my teams, as well as observing her coach my teenage daughter through a particularly challenging time.
Quite honestly I don’t know why it took me so long to work with Jules on MYSELF! Having taken a decision like many others to move away from a high pace and often stressful corporate role, I wanted to shift my focus and transfer my skills into a new sector.
I began coaching with Jules several years ago. At that time I was starting my nutritional therapy business ‘Nutrition in York’ and had been a single Mum for a few years. I’d never had much self confidence and the little I did have had been badly bruised by a divorce. I knew I needed to work on my confidence issues in order for my business - and love-life - to thrive! Jules guided me through the coaching process and helped me identify the factors that were holding me back from expanding my business, recognising my own value and worth, and keeping me in a cycle of negative thoughts.
I was sat next to Jules at my best friends wedding reception. I knew of her but we'd not met.
We were chatting about what we both did and she said one thing that must have sparked nerve. I wanted to make a change in my life but didn't feel brave enough, I didn't have the confidence. I'd buried it deep inside as it was easy to carry on with things as they were. At the time I was still working as Design Manager on the cook and dine range at George Home. After all, I loved my job in so many ways, developing so many new ranges with the team, leading the creative vision, inspiration and sourcing trips.
Harriet and I started working together through an unusual root. She had been offered coaching as part of a collaborative project she was working on. But as often happens when someone is offered coaching as part of work, and as she shares, she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Whether she needed it or what it would bring to her life. She was doing “fairly well” (as she puts it) with career as a blogger, influencer and mum of 3. Why would she need coaching? Often when we stop for a moment and take stock we can see what is really going on, rather than the ‘getting by mode’ which many of us live by daily.
I made one of the biggest steps in my career at the back end of 2008. I left full time employment as a senior designer in one of the top 100 design agencies in the UK to go it alone… to set up my own business, to step out into the unknown and the unchartered. Fuelled by my passion, creativity and experience built up from working with clients, large and small, for nearly a decade, it felt like my time. I had mustered the confidence, finally, to believe in myself and launch my own design agency; United by Design. Since 2008, it has been a rocky, bumpy, rollercoaster of a ride.
What a day with Jules can do! I always thought I had a good level of self-confidence. I am an approachable person with a great circle of friends and family around me. What’s not to feel confident about?! However, when entering a business networking event after having a break with networking for a few months due to workload, I felt excited but also a little anxious about walking into a room full of people without knowing anyone. I made it! I walked in, smiled, picked up a drink and walked over to a couple of people who I introduced myself to.
Sometimes we know that something needs to change, but we are just not sure what or where to start. That was the point T had reached when we first spoke. Due to the nature of the work she is unable to disclose her name, but wanted to share the impact that coaching has had on her. I first came across Jules through a recommendation from a friend of mine who had been coached by her. I had previously been coached by two different people and had been underwhelmed by the impact it had on me. I decided to pursue it again to try to address specific issues I had recognised.
When I first spoke to Jules we didn’t get on.
Here was a confident, successful, intelligent, passionate woman; so being a man in my mid 30s I took this as a personal challenge and a one-sided competition ensued. One I should add I wasn’t even aware I was having, such was my self-awareness at the time.
Fast forward nine months and we were sat reviewing our last six months coaching together when Jules shared with me that she was surprised I ever agreed to coach with her because, in her words, “I thought I pushed too many of your buttons”.
They say you can’t take a step until you’re in the right head space - and that was literally true when it came to committing to working with Jules. Having first met her back in 2008 on a business development course, it took several years and a lot of personal changes and challenges before I was ready to commit to one-to-one coaching with Jules. But when I did, my dreams came true. When we met, I’d left my old life in retail management and started training as a complementary therapist, although I’d taken a part-time job in an office to supplement my income while building the new business.
In today’s article, I want to share with you Chloe’s story and how she overcame adversity to complete a 100-mile race. I worked with Chloe as part of her career development plan to help her gain further clarity on what she enjoyed with work and what else she wanted to do moving forward. Coaching also benefitted her in other ways. Here’s what Chloe had to say about her runner’s journey….Something I didn’t expect to gain from coaching was a different perspective on myself AND my running.
Have you ever noticed how much you put other people first? In fact, if you wrote a list of the ten most important people in your life, would you even be on there? When I have done this as an exercise in my workshops, you'd be surprised at how many people put the neighbour's dog before themselves! It's common for me to be approached by adults at the end of a talk asking how they can help their under confident daughter/son. Parents want the best for their children and they don't always like my response to their question - 'How can you help your child? By learning and developing authentic confidence in yourself.' What better way to lead than by example?
When I first got in touch with Jules I was in a good job with a good salary. I wasn’t bored, but I didn’t love it either. I felt I needed something more but I didn’t know what. I found myself feeling regularly anxious at work and unconfident regarding my skills. I was losing sleep over spread sheets and feeling like a failure. I contacted Jules not quite knowing what to expect. Her warm tone and non-judgemental comments made me feel at ease and safe to explore what was really going on in my mind.