This week's Coach in the Spotlight is Laurie Rees, who, after a long career as an accountant decided to follow her path as a life coach. Today she helps people accept themselves as they are, to be confident and authentic. It's something Laurie struggled with and she found her purpose in coaching. Enjoy her insightful story!
What brought you to coaching?
I found coaching quite by accident. I had taken a few days off from work due to stress, it was summertime (how convenient 😊) and I was sitting in the sun, in my garden listening to a podcast when an advert popped up on my phone. It was for the Coaching Academy’s free Introduction to Life Coaching.
"At that time, I certainly didn’t think I could make coaching my profession or that I’d run my own business, I just liked how it made me feel."
I didn’t have a clue what coaching was or what would be involved but I just knew straight away I had to book on. When I returned to work the following week, I found out my job title would be changing from Accounting Assessor to Recruitment & Development COACH. This was the sign (as often happens) that confirmed my intuition.
That Coaching Academy weekend in Manchester was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. That sounds quite sad, I know, but it’s true. Even though I was terrified to be there, it was just so lovely to be in a room full of like-minded people, to be able to talk about some of the things I’m passionate about, chat about the books we had read.
I’m not keen on small talk and there was, of course, some of that as we got to know each other, though mostly, it was a weekend full of BIG talk. I was lit up! As I was leaving on Sunday, one of the other participants came over and gave me a big hug, thanking me for helping her. I didn’t really know what she was talking about or what I had done, but I floated out of that training room feeling like I’d found something I was born to do. I’m as grateful to her as she was to me.
So, I started the training really as an exploration. I didn’t know where it would lead. At that time, I certainly didn’t think I could make coaching my profession or that I’d run my own business, I just liked how it made me feel.
I felt deeply connected to other people and more connected to myself. I knew instinctively that this next phase of my life was going to be extremely important and beneficial.
How did the qualification slot in with your busy life?
The training fitted in perfectly with my other commitments. It gave me the autonomy I enjoy, to make the training my own. I could order the units in a way that suited me, choose what to do next and when, take my time to absorb the learning and then put it into practice.
Despite the enthusiasm, it was a very daunting prospect. I was almost forced to face my many fears, which I know for sure I wouldn’t have had the courage to do had it not been for this qualification. I’m a very different person having completed this training, to the me who enrolled back in 2017.
What was the most rewarding part of your Coaching journey?
Personally, the training really helped with my communication skills. I was an incredibly shy, sensitive child which had a huge impact on my confidence growing up. I was somewhat aware of my talents and abilities; however, I lacked the social skills needed to fully participate in life.
Often, I felt like I was on the outside looking in, like everyone else had been given the instruction manual for human-hood and I never received it. I’ve since learned I’m neurodiverse and this has been the key that has unlocked such a huge part of who I am. It has helped me enormously with my self-acceptance, in understanding myself, my struggles and my ‘differences’.
"My whole life’s journey has been about self-acceptance without even being aware of it. And now, using a lifetime’s worth of experience, my learning and awareness and my coaching and NLP competencies, I help others with self-acceptance too."
The most rewarding part of the coaching journey for me was the opportunity to meet people, without whom I couldn’t have done what I’ve done. The fantastic trainers, facilitators and mentors, everyone I’ve worked with, my fellow students and coaches, the reciprocal practice coaching sessions and the great friends I’ve made along the way, none of this would have been possible without them.
How did you choose your coaching niche?
When they say your niche finds you – mine certainly did! My whole life’s journey has been about self-acceptance without even being aware of it. And now, using a lifetime’s worth of experience, my learning and awareness and my coaching and NLP competencies, I help others with self-acceptance too.
I help them to get to know themselves really well, be confident in who they are, and to feel welcome. I help them utilise their differences, allow themselves to be more self-validating, authentic and open, to drop some of the people-pleasing tendencies that so often are a symptom of what I like to call – not-enough-itis. I support my clients in understanding their emotions, improving their relationships and in making self-affirming decisions and sticking to them. Mainly, I encourage them to better allow for the heart-centred living that is the foundation for a fulfilling life.
What would you say to someone thinking of enrolling with The Coaching Academy?
I would say GO FOR IT!
It is the best training I have ever done (and I’ve done a lot!) it’s the only qualification where I actually felt like the thing I was training in by the end of it. Thinking back to when I completed my accounting qualifications, I didn’t feel like an accountant at the end of it. With this, I felt like a coach. In fact, I set up my business in that July and I didn’t qualify until November.
I was equipped with everything I needed to get started with my coaching practice. So, if that isn’t a testament to how thorough and comprehensive the training is, I don’t know what is. Of course, you have to put-in to get-out, so the more committed you are, the better.
What are your top tips for those currently in training with TCA?
My top tips for those currently training with the CA are to listen to yourself and what feels right for you. Take as long as you need to absorb the training, it’s not so much about that piece of paper at the end of it and more about enjoying the journey, the learning and the experience.
A good ode to life I’d say. 😊
If you would like to know more about what Coaching is and how it can benefit you and the lives of others, or if you feel that Coaching could be a potential full or part-time opportunity for you, join us in this live training. Choose from available dates here.
We caught up with the thoughtful Simon Alexander Ong, Life Coach of the Year 2019 at the 2019 International Coaching Awards, to get a glimpse into the life of an award-winning coach. We hope you enjoy this insightful interview!
Simon Alexander Ong, Life Coach of the Year 2019, believes that the world needs more people who are dedicated to their mission and passion and has made it his goal to help people become the best versions of themselves. That's why he created this powerful guide so you can build a thriving coaching practice and create the impact you desire.