Beginning of the end
I have always been studious, hardworking, and committed. I always felt a sense of reward in what I do and was happily waking up to go to work. Until it wasn’t the case anymore. I became very disconnected from my work as I felt like I had lost my bigger purpose. I was spending more time at work fighting and solving senseless issues than improving people’s lives. It felt like my energy and my strengths were badly used. Overall, going to work was more draining than boosting. However, I had the limiting belief that to be professional, you need to do more, and make sure to do what your manager asks you to do. So, I kept going. And I believed it would get better. Until it didn’t.
Health at danger
I started to notice the impacts of stress increase. I was overly sensitive, I was sleeping poorly, I gained weight, and I got diagnosed with IBS-Irritable Bowel Syndrome, due to stress. This was for me devastating news. I felt helpless and stuck. I felt I couldn’t change my work, I couldn’t see any way out, and therefore I would never improve my health. Life became too much, and all the unimportant things started to create great anxiety, frustration, and sadness. As I went to my doctor for information, she requested me to stop working immediately as I entered the phase of burnout. After a wave of guilt, shame, and despair, I finally understood it was time to refocus on myself, starting with my physical and mental health.
After 6 months of resting, recharging, and soul-searching, I managed to make peace with myself and the world. I could see the good in life again. I could start to believe that somewhere there is a job for me, that I would like and that would serve people. I had no idea what, but I had hope. It was the most wonderful feeling and it kept me going. It took a few more months to agree with my company that we were no longer a great match, and for the best of both of us, I would go on my own way. I got offered the best opportunity, to work with a Coach for my “outplacement”.
The coaching journey
This is how I came into contact with Dorota and asked her help to succeed in my career transition. I knew it would be too hard to do it alone and I still had doubts and questions, so I didn’t hesitate long. I was ready to move into action and get the machine rolling again! Dorota’s website attracted me right away (I mean, look at that pink!) and her professionalism came across clearly. After an introduction discussion, I felt in good hands. No tricky questions, no judgment, and a great listening. I decided to go on a journey with her, not only to change my life, but mostly, to get to believe that I can change my life.
We decided to start with one session per week, but quickly I asked for more.
She accepted to go for two sessions in a row. It was intense but productive. I was coming with doubts and insecurities, and every time, I left with convictions, action plans and a big smile on my face. I finally started to have a sense of clarity, direction, and purpose. It finally all made sense.
The biggest revelation (and guilt reliever) was via the values mapping exercise. Through the exercise I discovered my life values and work values. Moreover, it also enabled me to compare my work values with the ones from my team, boss, or employer. I finally understood that it was not my fault! I wasn’t doing anything wrong or not good enough. I was just not fitting with the new values of my company.
It gave me the understanding of why my whole body and core were sounding the alarm. Fighting who you are and what you believe in only causes dissatisfaction and negativity.
From that I realized that the way to feel fulfilled is by honouring my values. After that, we started working on my skills and strength. It also helped me understand and believe in what I am good in and made for.
I want to be …
Then, I could finally say: “I know what I really want: I want to be a Coach, and I will become one.” Together with Dorota, we worked on the plan to make it happen, what were the constraints and my deep desires in life. That is how I got to jump into my new life!
My biggest success? I did it! I was committed to following my inner voice, and I achieved what I had planned. I held my course, worked hard, and step by step built my way.
But to arrive there, I had to go through a very difficult phase. I had initially planned to find a transitional job before fully jumping into coaching. My idea was to find a job and train on coaching in parallel, in the evenings or weekends. So, I spent weeks searching for jobs I would like, that would fit my past experiences and my newly revealed interests. As transitioning to a completely new career was very scary, I reinsured myself with this idea of transition. I firstly saw it as something that would ease the process. I feared people’s judgment. My own achiever saboteur was pressuring me. I was scared to let go. I was worried about my finances, about the unknown. Mostly I was afraid of doing all this and yet failing.
My biggest success was to say no to a safe job at renowned company and let go of people’s approval. I had to realize that going into another job that doesn’t interest me 100% will not help me feel good and wake up happy every day. It will only take my time, my energy, and my motivation away. It was the hardest thing, yet the most rewarding, to overcome my fears and to recommit on my life mission. I want to be a Coach and help people be happier in their lives.
The importance of asking questions
By going through the process of Coaching with Dorota, I learned the way (and the importance) of questioning myself and reframing my mindset. Moreover, I got inspired by one of my favorite books, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield: “The resistance is what is between the life you live and the unlived life within you.” This made me realize that all my fears were the expression of my own resistance against doing what I was meant to do. I know why and I know how. It was time to make it happen, stop giving myself excuses, and kick out what is in the way.
Happiness & fulfilment
So, once I had this idea growing in my mind, I had a long discussion with my partner. (I am so lucky and extremely grateful for his incredible support and trust.) I shared with him my thinking process, my feelings, and my plan. I remember saying something like: “Actually the fame of having a notorious position or earning a lot of money is irrelevant. What matters is that I dedicate my energy to be successful at what brings me happiness and fulfilment. Only then I will raise my profile.”
It felt like a weight lifted from my chest and my heart. I could finally sleep again.
The move & certification
Since then, I moved to a new country and established myself as self-employed in Switzerland. I have finalized my Coaching training, enrolled many clients all over the world, and I can call myself a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, and certified by ICF. I am about to be certified in another program, called Positive Intelligence Coaching, so that I can expand my methods. I have created my website (check it out! www.annelaurecoaching.com) and I learned new marketing skills from scratch. I am now organizing Feelgood retreats with a wonderful group of ladies in Basel. I am co-founder of a networking platform for French speaking self-employed in German-speaking Switzerland.
And I have many more ideas bursting in my head for the future!
My biggest take-away of my journey is that we can do anything we put our mind to. But, to put our mind to something, we need first to listen attentively to our souls. Once our brain and our heart are connected and aligned, everything feels harmonious, and things flow.
My advice for anyone who is struggling or feel stuck would be: don’t keep on forcing when it feels hard. Take a step back, and tune inwards. Feel the emotions fully, allow yourself to question your life. You are not to blame; you are doing your best in the wrong environment. Ask yourself in which environment you would thrive? What is really blocking you?
I am convinced that coaching is the best way to help us take the time we need to reflect, and to take the right actions to progress and grow.
If you are reading this, you are already on the right path, congratulations! Keep the momentum, be proud of yourself and enjoy the ride.
Take good care.
Anne-Laure Poulet, Happiness & Mental Fitness Coach, Founder of https://annelaurecoaching.com
Photo credit: Anne-Laure’s private collection.
Do you also feel, now is the time for a career change? Schedule your free call with Dorota.