What is Life Coaching?

Life seems to be passing you by, and still things aren’t quite right.

Life is busy. We spend our time planning lessons, or fire fighting problems, or racing to meet deadlines. While we (just about) cope with our daily lives, we generally do so on automatic pilot, almost sleep-walking through life. We are constantly reacting to what people say or do, or to that little voice in our head, which cajoles, criticises, takes offence..It’s exhausting, and it makes it very difficult to truly feel happy or at peace.

Our natural state

However,  most of us can also remember at least one moment where we felt very different. It might have been watching the sun rise, or when we held our child in our arms for the first time, or when we climbed a mountain. We felt connected to everything and everyone and at peace with the world. That is our natural state, and however bad you might feel at times, it’s always in there, waiting for you to notice it again.

Removing the blocks to happiness

We don’t need to learn how to be happy, we simply need to learn how to remove the blocks to our inner peace and happiness. It’s simple, but not necessarily easy. It takes hard work, honesty and courage. But if you want to truly change your habits, your work situation, your relationships, I’m here to help you learn how to live your life in the most connected and fulfilled way you can. I trained as a psychotherapist as well as being a qualified life coach, so I’m confident about dealing with whatever is holding you back.

How I can help

I specialise in working with education professionals because my thirty years’ experience in the field means I will often ‘get’ what’s happening for you workwise, whether it’s the stresses of lesson preparation, the precarity of being a freelancer, being stuck in the middle as a manager, worrying about losing funding,  concerns about your students or the difficulties of living in a different culture.

 

What Is Life Coaching?

Helping you to 'wake up' .

Making the decision to start life coaching means ‘waking up’ to your life and starting to examine what aspects you are happy with and what you would like to change.

Giving you a different perspective.

Very often people have spent their whole lives making certain assumptions and seeing things a particular way. Coaching can help you to step back from that and see things differently- which can be transformational in itself. 

Helping you to face your unconscious beliefs, fears and emotions.

If making changes was simply a matter of setting goals, and carrying them out, no-one would need a coach. It is rarely that easy, because there are usually quite deep-seated unconscious beliefs and emotions that we need to look at before we can move on. I can help and support you through this process. 

Guiding you through exactly HOW to make changes.

Change can be difficult, and my job is to guide you through it, giving you techniques, tasks and lots of support along the way. 

 

Supporting you in making those changes a permanent part of your life.

The unconscious rarely feels comfortable with change, and it’s very natural to backslide. I’ll be there to make sure that’s only temporary, before you get back on track and making more and more progress every day. 

 

Why is change so difficult?

I was facing a difficult time at work and was questioning my ability to deal with it. I was uncertain where I wanted my future to be career wise. I also doubted my own ability to change. I’d had counselling before and didn’t realise how different coaching was. As I started to work with Rachael and focussed on how I behave at work and how that was affecting my mood, effectiveness and happiness and that of others I started to feel empowered and that change was possible. Rachael worked with me to rediscover my strengths and to recognise the choices I have and the power to make them. I feel not just more confident but almost renewed. I also got promoted!

Liane, Coaching client, 2018

What happens in a coaching session? 

There really isn’t any specific recipe for what happens in a coaching session. It depends on what you want to achieve and how you prefer for us to work together. It can also change over time as you learn more or your perspective changes. However, here are some possible things we might do:

Focus on specific goals you want to achieve, examine what's stopping you and make plans to which I can hold you accountable.
Discuss something which has happened in your life and, through my questioning, start to see it from a different perspective.
Become more aware of your inner thoughts and emotions, through discussion, or, if you are comfortable with this, visualisation or meditation. Through awareness, make more informed choices.
Through an outside, experienced, perspective, start to spot patterns of behaviour in your life that no longer serve you, and discuss exactly how to make changes.
Learn practical techniques to help you deal with life in a more balanced and effective way.
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Case studies

I work with clients on a wide range of issues, but here are some case studies to give you a flavour of the kind of work I do.  

Overwhelmed by work.

‘’When I first made contact with Rachael, I was working an excessive amount of hours and struggling to balance work and home.  Probably like many freelancers out there, I found it hard to say ‘no’ and set boundaries for myself.  It basically all came to head when I contemplated cancelling a family party because of my workload.  I was naturally apprehensive – I had created this mess myself, but Rachael’s approach put me immediately at ease.  As we worked together, she questioned and challenged my beliefs and kept me on track.  Our sessions gave me the guidance and accountability I needed.  Rachael has helped me achieve what I set out to do and more – I am now working fewer hours and more focused on the type of work that I value and enjoy. “  SW

 When I first started working with this client she told me that she had been thinking about contacting me for quite a while, but had felt that she should be able to sort the mess out for herself. She had previously managed to cut down on her workload, but somehow she kept finding herself back in the same situation.

So what changed when we worked together? We did focus on practical strategies, and I kept her accountable and gave her moral support. However, I believe that what made this time different was the work we did together on her deeper beliefs and mindset. Previously, no matter how hard her logical brain tried to create a better working situation, her subconscious feelings about saying no, what she deserved, or what her priorities should be just kept sabotaging her best efforts.

We know that more than 90% of our thoughts are subconscious. The brain loves a short cut, and so we mostly run on automatic programming set up long ago. Most of the time this helps us to function smoothly- like the way we automatically manage all the different tasks involved in driving without having to consciously think about them. However, when the programming is faulty, it can keep us metaphorically driving round and round in circles.

That’s where I come in. I can help you uncover, challenge and ultimately change that programming, no matter how many years it’s been in place.

Changing the habits of a life-time.

‘I knew that I would benefit a lot from life coaching with Rachael, and I was sure that I would be satisfied if I just took away a few valuable ideas, and had the chance to talk some things over. It took me a while to actually make the decision to sign up, because my difficulty was with habits that I was deeply ashamed of – mainly cigarette smoking, but also binge drinking and comfort eating.

 I didn’t expect to actually manage to tackle any of my bad habits (particularly smoking) during the 3 months of the package, but I wanted to try to find at least the hope of changing them, because my situation had started to feel very hopeless.

 I believed that everything that I wanted to change about my behaviour was somehow all tied together – like lots of different coloured embroidery threads, twisted and knotted with the beginnings and ends difficult to locate. I went for years, not getting to grips with even one of these threads, just tangling all of them more and more, and becoming increasingly self-critical.

 Once the coaching began, I was amazed how quickly I started to notice big changes in myself. Sometimes I had to be brave, but I felt very safe with Rachael. The way we worked together made me excited for change, and there were plenty of laughs along the way, too. I was finding a new appetite for life, for my work, for creativity.

 I never imagined for a minute that I would actually untie all the threads, but I have. Even more important than that is that I now have the tools to cope and find my way back if I lose my way again.

 Thank you so much, Rachael. Saying thank you doesn’t really seem like enough when you have literally given me back my life.” 

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Want to see how working with me could help you? 

Contact me for a free initial session