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Coach in the Spotlight - Tansy Dowman


As Life Coaches go, I guess I am fairly new to the Industry. I started my solo career 3 years ago and have been training and coaching one to one since then, but I believe coaching has been in my blood for a lot longer.

As Life Coaches go, I guess I am fairly new to the Industry. I started my solo career 3 years ago and have been training and coaching one to one since then, but I believe coaching has been in my blood for a lot longer.

Like many people, when I left University I was at a bit of a crossroads…what do I do now? So I took the easy route and went travelling on a 6-month back-packing trip around the world. It was a fantastic experience, but when I returned I couldn’t help feeling like it wasn’t enough. I wanted to experience living in another country not just passing through and I wanted to learn and immerse myself in another culture. 3 months later I was packing my bags again and ended up living in a remote part of China for a year teaching English and studying Chinese culture. To this day it was probably one of the richest and most fulfilling experiences of my life (and one of the bravest and most bizarre too!)

I realised then I had a thirst for experience and learning and I wanted to challenge myself and have adventures so that I could look back on my life and be proud of all the things I have done.

A common exercise to use in coaching to establish a person’s goals and ambitions is called the Rocking Chair Test. You imagine you are 82 years old, sat in a rocking chair and you are telling someone your life story. What you have achieved, where you have travelled to, lived, who has shared your life with you, moments you are proud of, the highlights etc. In China I had never heard of this exercise but it was as if I was already working on it to create a moment in life I would be proud of and never forget.

I did of course finally settle down into a job and followed a career in Events Management. I started at the bottom and over 10 years worked my way up to Senior Manager Level. What I loved about my job was meeting different people every day and connecting with them to build and deliver successful events. The event was the goal and I worked closely with my clients every step of the way to make the goal happen. What I also went onto discover as I climbed the ladder and had to manage people, was that I became very passionate about my team’s development and seeing them learn, grow and achieve. I was less enthralled by the competitiveness, sales targets and the corporate world…for me it was about the people and development and the achievements we made together.

Life Coaching is all about helping clients to set goals and support them to move forwards to make positive life changes in any area of their life. It could be work, health, family, hobbies, confidence, relationships etc. The common focus with all of them is positive change or growth. A great coach will connect with their client to help them identify and unleash the potential they have to make those changes and lead a more fulfilling life.

So I was happy in my Events career but the longer I worked in the Industry the more I realised that it wasn’t fulfilling me in the way I really wanted it to. It wasn’t until I got promoted again to an even more corporate world, that I then became very unhappy and could see I was moving further away from myself and what was important to me. So, I hired a life coach for myself to see if I could explore other areas of my life and identify opportunities that perhaps I was unable to see at the time.

That was when the penny finally dropped. On seeking out my values and raising my self-awareness I could easily see that many of my core values were exactly what life coaching represents. I know that the values I could not live without are independence, achievement, personal growth, learning and experience and I had already discovered that I valued other people’s achievements and life experiences not just in the work place but even on TV….. I cry at sporting events when I see people win and their dedication has paid off, (I also cry at X Factor when the families are watching in the wings, but that’s a little more embarrassing!) 

Since this discovery I have been able to see clearly that a lot of my life experiences and the beliefs I hold have been leading me to coaching so it really feels a bit like coming home. I feel at home in coaching because it reflects who I am and what I believe in. 

That is why my coaching technique is very centred around self-awareness and understanding the self. If you have seen my Facebook page or website, you will know I use the phrase ‘Be the Best Version of Yourself’ quite a lot. I love this because to me it shouts out ‘Be you!’ ‘Only you can be you!’ so who is the you on your best day, what makes up all the elements of you, to allow you to be firing on all cylinders, to have that day to remember or that experience that defines you?

A big life moment for me was my discovery of coaching and my journey to become fully qualified with The Coaching Academy. That journey has not been without its obstacles. 2 weeks after I took the brave and exciting step to train to become a professional coach, I found out I was pregnant! In the time I spent training I had a beautiful son (another experience to notch up as rich, fulfilling and bizarre!), moved house 3 times and sadly had to go through a painful family trauma.

To say that the coaching got put on hold a lot was an understatement. At so many points I thought I should give up and get a job back in the events world, but something stopped me and I didn’t. That journey was an experience in itself that has taught me that change doesn’t happen overnight, but if you can identify something that makes you happy you just need to keep it in mind and take all the steps and time you need to get you there…whatever the distance.

So what is the story of you that makes you the person you are today and how can you use the discovery and learning of yourself to make life changes and positive decisions that will create fulfilling experiences and allow you to become your best version?

Try taking the rocking chair test for yourself and see what comes up. You might find out what future chapters you want in your story!