There are times in our lives when we feel like we need help on what direction to go in. Whether we are looking to change careers, need help with relationships or simply need some direction in knowing how better to make ends meet, it is hard to know where to turn for positive, impartial advice.
Mum and dad can be our biggest cheerleaders as well as our harshest critics while friends and partners may have ulterior motives to stop us doing something we have always dreamt of – after all who wants their best friend to move countries!
So who better than someone who believes in you and who will coach you to take full advantage of your strengths and help minimise your weaknesses.
A recession makes people re-evaluate their lives and look for a way out of a rut and a life coach can help with that, building confidence and helping people move onto their next success in life.
Belle About Town spoke to leading life coach Fiona Harrold, author of The 10-Minute Life Coach and The Seven Rules of Success, about just how a life coach can be an invaluable tool in your arsenal and her new speed-coaching sessions. We also talked to two of her clients who have used a life coaching to forge success and alternate careers.
How can life coaching help people?
“Coaching helps people clarify what they want and helps them to get to the end result faster. It helps you get behind yourself building up self-confidence and self-belief. A life coach is your strongest supporter and your biggest critic, helping you build confidence, belief and the feeling that you deserve to succeed.”
How is it different from getting advice through family and friends?
“Family and friends aren’t objective. You often won’t believe something your parents tell you because they are your parents. Also friends and family may have ulterior motives such as it might be better for you to move country but of course they want you to stay near to them – it is in their interest for you to stay but in yours for you to go and expand.
“A coach cares about a person and what is best for them but without the emotional attachment.”
What areas of your life can be helped by using a life coach?
“Every area can be helped. Some coaches specialise in certain areas such as relationships or wealth whereas others, like myself, are all-rounders.”
Tell me about your on-line ‘speed coaching’ service…
“I wanted to offer a free service – giving back. It is a resource for people who can’t afford coaching. A team of intuitive coaches can assess from a distance what a person is or isn’t doing. You get three to four experienced coaches responding to your questions so it is an amazing service if I do say so myself!”
Why do you think women turn to life coaching more than men?
“Firstly women don’t find it a stigma asking for and getting help and secondly women have more challenges in the workplace. They need to toughen up and not take things so personally. Men are a lot thicker skinned. A large part of my job is empowering women to achieve.
“Culturally women are brought up to be liked. Our survival depended on being chosen by a man and being liked and women are still prized for how they look today.”
What is the most important thing you would want to get across to busy women of today?
“Get support! Men are awfully good at getting support and buoying each other up whether it be on the golf course or with five-a-side football they have automatic networks of support.”
What is the best bit of advice you were ever given?
“I grew up with a dad who was really into self help books and the biggest gift he gave me was making me feel special and that I could do anything. We all have amazing potential we just need the belief to achieve amazing things.”
Are there any good female role models out there for women at the moment?
“American Vogue editor Anna Wintour is a fantastic role model. She runs the most influential magazine in the world and yet is out of the office at 5pm. She is decisive, powerful and full of self-belief. There are loads out there from Alexandra Shulman, Nigella Lawson and Oprah Winfrey to Samantha Cameron and Sarah Brown.”
If there was one piece of advice you could tell Belle About Town readers for a better life, what would that be?
“To go for it! Decide what you want, plan for it, get the support and then just go for it! Don’t dumb down and do not give up on your dreams!”
Learn more about speed coaching and contact Fiona at www.fionaharrold.com
“Fiona taught me that you don’t have to be perfect”
Caroline Goyder is an author and speech coach who went to Fiona to help her to turn her book idea into reality. “I was unsure about whether I could do it and I needed someone to give me a kick, in the nicest possible way,” Caroline said, “I’d seen her book and so I knew that she would be a good person to go to if I wanted to write a book”
And now Caroline’s book, The Star Qualities, is helping other people get inspiration and boost self-esteem.
“The best thing about working with Fiona is that she really believes in you. Simply having someone who believes in you makes such a difference. That support is transformative.”
“Women are very good at putting other people first and not trusting our instincts. Often as little girls we are told that it is better to be quiet and not be pushy and so we then hold ourselves back.”
“You don’t have to get it right every time. Really good role models don’t worry about being perfect in fact they don’t want to be perfect. It makes you more grounded and more textured if you admit that you are not perfect. Just keep moving forward step by step. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
Visit Caroline’s site at www.loud-and-clear.co.uk
“Life coaching gave me the confidence to give other women confidence.”
Gaynor Russell runs a very successful styling consultancy that helps women detox their wardrobe and shop for the right clothes with confidence. But a few years ago things were very different. Gaynor turned to life coaching to give her the confidence to change careers.
“I always used to put myself down because I didn’t have a product to sell,” said Gaynor. “I used to think it was shallow to think about clothes and love clothes but Fiona stopped me in my tracks and reminded me that if you feel better about yourself and you make someone else feel better about themselves that is valuable.”
“Every time I had that doubt she was brilliant. And I have now learnt that I am fantastic at helping others look and feel great.”
“A life coach tells you to get off your arse and get on with it when your friends and family wouldn’t. Fiona gave me confidence, she pushed me, she was great. I would absolutely recommend it to other people.”
Visit Gaynor’s site at www.gaynorrussell.com