Have you ever stood in front of a crossroad, not knowing which route to choose? Our Coach in the Spotlight this week is Julia Davies, who simplified her life and choices by connecting with her personal values and priorities.
Instead of waiting for ‘one day’ to go after the life she wants, Julia moved to the seaside and balances her blossoming coaching business with continued self-development. Read her inspiring story below!
I worked in London as a scientific editor in the medical communications industry for almost 10 years. Every 2-3 years I would quit my job and escape to the other side of the world for a couple of months. When I got back each time, I’d just get another similar job. Everyone around me had a London 9-5 job, so I never stopped to consider that there were any other options. Then my partner broke his leg badly in a paragliding accident, and everything changed. Shocks like that make you assess what is important to you and how you want to live your life. I soon quit my job in London. Although I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do next, I knew that spending my time in a stressful and soul-less office was no longer how I wanted to spend my days. I set up my own business as a freelance editor. It was the first step in creating a life I didn’t need to escape from.
Life after London
That Christmas, 3 months after I’d left my permanent job in London, we were on holiday in an amazing house in Dorset with sea views and we spent the whole time wishing we could live by the coast. When we got back home to Bedfordshire – about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK – we kept dreaming, and 2 weeks later our house was on the market. I’d always dreamt of living by the sea “one day” and when we asked ourselves “why not now?” we realised it was time to take action and start living our dream life. We moved to Worthing in the Spring and it immediately felt like home.
As a person who constantly questioned every decision and every action, suddenly life felt simpler. I was making decisions and taking action based on my true self, rather than trying to conform to what I perceived as society’s expectations.
The beginning of my coaching journey
When the opportunity came up later that year to attend the two-day Foundation course with The Coaching Academy, I didn’t know anything about coaching but I thought I’d give it a go out of curiosity. Over those 2 days, I learned so much about the incredible power of coaching and immediately committed to becoming a coach myself. Again, because I was listening to my intuition rather than my fears, it was a simple decision to do the coaching training.
The coaching training roller-coaster!
Like many trainee coaches, I had a timescale in my head of when I wanted to complete the training, but it didn’t turn out that way! Shortly after attending my first accelerator day I got full-on flu and took more than 3 months to recover fully. Later that year I was also diagnosed with gallstones and had my gallbladder removed. As I was self-employed, if I wasn’t working I wasn’t getting paid – so if I was well enough to be at my desk, I needed to be doing my freelance editing work. It was tough to stay on track with the coaching training. With the support of an incredible group of coaches in Brighton, the mentors at The Coaching Academy, as well as a couple of other amazing coaches I met on accelerator days, I qualified with a distinction 21 months after starting my training. Some of the coaches I met on the accelerator days are now great friends.
My advice to new trainee coaches would be to keep up to date with your paperwork and get as much coaching practice as possible. I would also advise coaching people who have never had coaching before. Coaching other coaches is useful at the start, but I found I learned a lot more when I coached people outside the coaching industry.
Even if I never coach anyone again, the personal development aspect of the training has been life-changing. I learned that if you define your own success, rather than following what you believe society/friends/family etc expects of you, life becomes simpler. Connecting with your values and your priorities in life makes decision-making and day-to-day planning easier. That questioning voice in your head becomes quieter.
Looking to the future
I now balance freelance editing with my new blossoming coaching practice. Drawing on those things that I’ve learned, I’ve focused my coaching practice on helping women to find more ease and simplicity in life. I support women who have decided to ditch the hustle and busy-ness of London and help them to build a nourishing and creative life in the countryside or on the coast. I find so much pleasure in helping people become more aware of what they want to work towards, to help people trust in their own choices, and to help people make their own rules rather than following what society’s expectations are. I look forward to continuing my own development as a coach this year, with another diploma on the cards too!
If you're interested in finding out more about coaching, just like Julia did, start by joining us in our interactive live webinar. Choose from available dates here.
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