After graduation with TCA in 2017, our accomplished Life Coach, NLP Practitioner and writer, Gabriela Brandy left her job and launched her own coaching practice. She has since been able to make a living as a writer and coach, whilst also being able to travel, create, teach, inspire and connect with amazing people all over the world. For Gabriela, coaching isn't simply a set of techniques to learn, but a way of life and that she couldn't have got where she is today without it. As Gabriela points out, 'That's the thing about coaching. It's always there for you - if you're prepared to take a moment and look."
We hope you enjoy reading Gabriela’s remarkable journey.
I was managing a retreat for writers when I first discovered coaching. At this point, I’d been working with writers for a decade, but felt something was amiss in the support offered to creatives to enable them to stay on track with their projects. One day, I received some staff training from a Business Coach. I remember the moment she said, ‘coaching is non-advisory.’ I felt my heart and mind expand to meet this concept. It was a profound sense of rightness.
I signed up for The Coaching Academy’s free foundation weekend. I was struck by quality of the material and the exercises and, more significantly, how well the coaches presented themselves. Their mental resilience was admirable. It was clear that coaching wasn’t simply a set of techniques to learn, but a way of life that would bring about the necessary strength I’d been looking for in order to achieve my big dreams. I’d always wanted to have my own retreat – a place where ambitious creatives, who rely on writing to achieve their goals, could come and develop their writing skills and mindset. I was certain that coaching would provide the methods by which I could help writers, including myself!
Right from the start, I agreed to be my ideal client! I knew that if I was aligned with coaching and its results, then I would have the courage to help others. At every stage in the diploma, I’d check to see how much I was ‘showing up’. If I wasn’t achieving results, this was a sign to shine the spotlight on my state of mind, my approach, and my attitude to my goals. This last part was THE most essential learning for me – both working hard to clarify my dreams (which was an ongoing process throughout my diploma) and ensuring, at every step, that the way I saw myself matched that future me. How could I achieve my potential, if I couldn’t even imagine it?
I dived right in and began my practice sessions immediately. I loved how autonomous we were able to be on the program. This space gave me the arena in which to view myself with honesty. For example, there was no one else to blame when I didn’t study! I learnt how to hold myself accountable and this has given me huge confidence as a Mindset Coach. Knowing that I can do it, that the work is possible and produces fantastic results, means I approach every new client with a positive, ambitious perspective. This really holds a note for them to tune themselves to. As a result, my clients are thriving.
Two months after completing the diploma, my long-term boyfriend walked out. Without a doubt, my coaching mindset was the one thing that got me through that devastating time. It meant I had the resolve to stand alone in the home we’d built and say to myself: ‘How can you see this as an opportunity?’ The fact that, despite my heartbreak, I had the presence of mind to ask a powerful question did actually make me laugh at a time when I most needed it! That’s the thing about coaching. It’s always there for you, if you’re prepared to take a moment and look.
Soon after, I left my job and launched my Coaching Business. I began running a monthly event in London offering Life Coaching for Writers, which has grown over the last twelve months so that I now have the budget for a guest. Last month, I interviewed Booker nominated Sophie Mackintosh. When she said how delighted she was to have been invited, I knew I couldn’t have reached this point without the GROW model and the way it guides my life, on a daily basis!
I’ve also become a qualified NLP Practitioner in this time and I now call myself a Mindset Coach. I work with writers. My clients are novelists, poets, and also entrepreneurs and practitioners – those for whom writing plays a role in achieving their dreams.
I have recently expanded, and now run an online group coaching program. I also launched my own YouTube channel last year – one of the first videos I made was on the principle of ‘starting before you feel ready’, which has guided me at every step in this massive journey.
I love making videos and find that it’s an excellent way to attract new clients. Each week, I take a typewriter to a new location and film something fun and inspiring. They are called my #writenomatterwhat videos! I wanted to be able to show anyone thinking of working for me that my principles do work because writing is such a pleasure. I couldn’t have got here without my experience of coaching and the way it always challenges me to shine brighter. My knowledge of coaching and NLP has also enabled me to remain focused on my own creative projects as my business has grown. I have written two books since I started my training and have interest from a publisher now.
I’m not sure I have a favourite coaching question, but I have themes I return to, for example, I often work with clients on their identity, helping them get clear about the way they see themselves. I love the ‘aha’ moment when they realise that, no wonder they’re not writing regularly if they don’t actually see themselves as a writer!
I want to continue to expand my group coaching program. When I reach my goal of 200, I can begin to refurbish the site I’m living on, which is a significant step in my dream of running my own retreat!
There isn’t a single person I don’t want to recommend coaching to! I’m also aware that it’s important for people to find their own way. If someone asks me whether they should train as a coach, I usually say that once they find a strong reason to embark on the training, they’ll be able to answer that question themselves!
If you’re considering the diploma, because you’re looking for something, it helps to first get clear on what it is you hope to find. For those in training, or coming to the end, I would always say, check your goals. Any time, I find myself in a place of frustration, it always comes down to one thing: my attention has slipped from where I’m heading. It might be that I’ve started to focus on a recent setback, or I’ve fallen into a habit of negative thinking – my dreams are just too big! But as soon as I wake up and begin to picture my retreat, my growing group program, and my novel on the shelf in Waterstones, I can feel the relief flood back into my body.
Remember who you truly are, because that’s the person you’re becoming!
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Dawn Breslin is a leading light in the field of coaching and personal transformation. Through her work as Best-selling Hay House author, inspirational keynote speaker, TV & Radio presenter, and media consultant for some of the world's leading brands, she has inspired thousands of individuals to heal, re-energise and transform their lives. Dawn had now taken her passion and years of experience into a new coaching niche - Harmonizing Coaching: we interviewed Dawn about this growing niche and how she turned her burn-out into a breakthrough.