Hi there, and welcome to my first blog post as The Curious Coach.
I’m Michelle, I’m a confidence and wellbeing coach and career mentor by trade. I’m also a mum, a wife and (hopefully!) a pretty decent friend. I’ve worked my whole adult life, raised two children who I think are completely wonderful, though I know that they would roll their eyes at me for saying it. They are both adults now and it never ceases to amaze me how well they seem to navigate life. I have, like all of us, enjoyed incredible experiences and had heart-breaking tragedies. I’ve got through them all in one piece, despite sometimes doubting whether I would. When I reflect on my life so far, one of my core values that has absolutely kept me going is my humour, and after that, my tenacity - more fashionably known as grit these days - and sometime sheer bloody mindedness.
A few years ago, I hit a wall. You know, when everything in your life gets really hard all at once? Relationship, family, work? You juggle and cope with one crisis at a time but when they all land together – boom!
I found myself sobbing to my GP that I just couldn’t stop sobbing all the time and that myself–confidence was shot. Everything felt just too much. I was lucky, I had an amazing GP. He didn’t suggest medication, he suggested yoga. He observed that whilst I couldn’t change the things that were happening that were outside of my control, I could change how I responded to them. So, I went home and after a few more tears, I started to think about how I could do what he’d suggested. I knew I needed to eat better, get to the gym more, get outside more, worry less about work. You know the drill: I needed to take care of my own wellbeing.
Taking care of my own wellbeing
So, I started doing all those things and life did get better, but I just wasn’t where I knew in my heart I wanted to be. I felt like I was watching myself live my life, I didn’t feel fully in it. I spent time trying to work out why I was stuck, and I realised: I wanted other people to hold me accountable, validate me, and tell me I was doing a great job, instead of just being me. I was looking to others, when I should have been looking in the mirror.
How could I become my own best friend? Someone I could be mostly delighted to spend every living moment of my life with? Carrie Bradshaw nailed it when she said
“The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself.”
She was perfectly right. The only person you have to live with for the rest of your days is you. Why on earth would I not want to be the person I would have confidence in and trust the most to make the very best decisions for me?
Identifying the changes I needed to make
I knew things had to change, I had to take a really honest look at the life I was living, the life I aspired to have and how to get there.
I began by writing a true, look-yourself-in-the-eye account of my world, exactly as it was. No filters, no highlight reels, the glorious and the not-so-glorious truth. I had to work out why I would start something that was really great for my confidence and wellbeing, only to let something or someone get in the way and end up doing it half-heartedly. Why did I waste precious hours scrolling through social media when I always felt rubbish afterwards? Why would I eat healthily and train hard, get my body in great shape only to take my foot off the pedal once I liked how I looked? Why would I work hard to maintain relationships where there was clearly no reciprocity? And the really big one, why could I so easily and readily support others to flourish but not myself?
And the answer, because I’m human. Perfectly, imperfectly human.
This is where I got curious about why it’s hard, but not impossible, to change habits. How could I make positive and sustained change in my life? Why would willpower only get me started, but not see me through? Could prioritising my wellbeing give me the confidence and energy I needed to support myself and those I care about?
I started off with 3 things:
- I found a coach who I could relate to and who understood me, helped me to work out where I wanted to get my life to and how to hold myself accountable. I needed to apply my tenacity to the things that would help me build my confidence and resilience.
- I met the most incredible yoga teacher who not only introduced me to the beauty of yoga and meditation but who became a mentor to me.
- I started to read books that would nourish my soul and help me on my journey of self- discovery.
Being my own best friend
And so it began, the last 4 years have been about getting to know me, the real me, and learning to make decisions that will help me to be the woman I aspire to be, living a life I only want to run towards and not away from.
I decided to start a blog alongside my coaching and mentoring practice to give me the opportunity to create a diverse community with fellow women, one where we can share our wisdom and support each other.
My blog is going to focus on all things self-confidence and wellbeing-related. Sometimes, I’ll be sharing stories of my own journey and I hope you’ll get involved and share yours too. I’ll be unpacking topics that affect all of us girls. I’ll be getting curious about the science bits and the spiritual influences of personal development, and hope to give you a balanced view that will help you with your own personal development journey.
In my next blog I’ll be looking at the importance of having a North Star, how it can orient us on our life journey. How do we know what it is, how can we work out what it is for us? And why it is important that we have one.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this today and want to know more about how coaching and mentoring can help, you can find me and links to my website on my FB page The Curious Coach, my Linked In page, The Curious Coach or on Instagram @thecuriouscoachuk.