I have been a teacher for 16 years. The relentless pressure of the role was making me feel like a failure and in an effort to prove myself to be ‘good enough’ to everyone else, I had slowly become a workaholic. I was working through my evenings and weekends and every other part of my life was put on the backburner. I felt consumed by it all and just could not see a way out.
I was thinking about leaving teaching and having a career change and so my sister recommended getting a coach. She already knew Denise so I got in touch and we had a 30-minute chemistry session and she was just amazing. I loved her vibe and her positivity so I knew she was the right fit for me and that coaching was going to be very valuable.
Coaching was completely different from what I expected. Mentoring is all about someone giving you guidance and helping you formulate a path forwards whereas Denise simply asked questions and patiently waited for me to come up with some answers. I now realise they were all the right questions! I went into it with a very open mind because I was ready to make a change and I found the life coaching elements and the business coaching elements to be a really positive experience. It could not have come at a better time in my life.
Coaching helped me to review my skillset. After working in teaching for 16 years, I thought I was pigeon-holed and could never get a job doing anything else but coaching helped me to assess what I’m good at, what I need to work on and it made me feel more confident. Before the coaching, Denise had given me a questionnaire and part of it asked me to evaluate what I was good at. At the time I didn’t feel like I was good at anything, so I found it very challenging but before our final life coaching session, I had written my CV, a supporting statement and already applied for a job – which was remarkable for someone like me who usually puts things off.
From a professional perspective, what Denise helped with was increasing my self-belief. She really believed in me so just talking to her, reviewing things, reflecting on things and understanding the psychology of my "inner chimp" really helped me to realise not just that I want to be good at my job but that I am good at it.
Coaching has helped me to give myself permission not to work all the time. I’m able to invest in myself. I have time to talk to my family and see my friends again. If I want to watch TV, I can put my marking bag away and just chill out. I feel so much happier and I feel like I’ve got myself back.
I really would recommend coaching (and already have).