My school was one of those places that liked achievement. It had rigorous discipline and didn’t really understand the term ‘pastoral care’. The idea that emotional welfare was also important was alien to them. University in the mid-1990s was the same. You either sank or swam. From an achievement point of view, I swam. Straight As, sports teams, music, undergraduate and graduate degrees at a top university, and a prestigious graduate programme in management consultancy followed. In 1997 the world was my oyster. Yet I was desperately unhappy. I had the money, the champagne lifestyle, the high flying career, but it came at a price. Until my mid-30s, I worked like a trojan: long hours, lots of stress, parties at the weekends and sometimes during the week too. I got the shoes, the handbags, the houses, the cars. But I was still unhappy. I never really got to grips with the fact that I’d never dealt with the emotional trauma, the disappointments and the lack of care and understanding that I’d experienced in my life. I’d chased the wrong relationships, the wrong jobs and was not only exhausted but thoroughly unsatisfied with life.
In an attempt to find fulfilment, I became an adventurer, travelling the world and visiting over 60 countries. I climbed mountains, jumped off tall buildings, swam in icy seas, rode horses across the Namib desert and Mongolia and having decided that horses were not enough of a challenge, once rode a camel in a rather nerve wracking race. Although I won the camel race and the memory of it puts a smile on my face, it still didn’t fulfil me. I had some amazing experiences, visited some incredible places and met many wonderful people, but I was still searching for something to fill the aching chasm inside of me. I was totally burned out, physically and emotionally exhausted.
So in 2012 I decided to leave financial services. I wanted to work with people to help them reach their potential and be fulfilled and I was learning more and more how to do this. I trained as a personal trainer and very soon became the go to person in West London for specialist work with those who needed a bit of extra help – those with health problems or disabilities, post-natal, mental health issues and so on. Around the same time, I discovered the Alexander Technique and started the teacher training programme. The personal development work and intensive training that I was taken through in those 4 years was life changing. I left a long term relationship, bought my dream cottage in a picture perfect part of London and finally started to live. Along the way, I learned how to deal with the different types of burnout (including what was going on with myself), what works and what does not and how the approach needs to be tailored for each individual.
I still live in that dream cottage and am living the life I chose. It hasn’t all been plain sailing and I have encountered some rough seas along the way, including injury and severely trying personal circumstances. I also faced the danger of burnout again but this time I had the skills and resilience to ward it off. I feel I can face anything and to deal with it in a reasoned, calm manner that no longer compromises who I am or what I need to do.
I love coaching because it brings together everything that I love: working with and helping people, intellectual fulfilment through a practical application of knowledge and empathy, helping people unpick what is really going on with them and guiding them to reach their goals. In my spare time, I am working on another love of mine – a doctorate in medieval history (hence the imagery you see on this website!).
To discuss how I can help you, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07957 417718.