My parents speak 4 languages fluently.
I speak one fluently, the other 3 are basic.
I had LOTS of opportunities to be fluent in all 4.
But I stopped myself because I was afraid of being seen as a beginner.
I’ll go a step further, I felt ashamed to be a beginner.
It takes courage to fail. With people watching.
It takes courage to keep your goal at the forefront and to keep not getting it until you do.
I decided that stumbling to find my words in front of the fluent wasn’t an experience I was willing to have repeatedly.
I was more committed to managing others’ perceptions of me than I was to the practice of learning and doing something I wanted to do.
It would’ve been awesome to have had a life coach then (I was in my late teens-early 20s) because I’d nip the unnecessary mind drama in the bud and stay working at fluency.
I would’ve gotten something real important:
Girl, you can’t save your ass and your face at the same time.
I didn’t get all this then, but I get it now.
I can still choose to re-learn, practice, and work at language fluency.
To get over myself and be OK with not having my words sound like I know the language inside and out.
To fall and fail over and over and over and over until I get it.
My desire for fluency today is a lot less than it was when I was actively practicing.
But there’s still a whisper of a desire.
And I’m acknowledging it.
And I know what to do about it.
You might be reading this and toying with some kind of new beginning in your mind.
You’ve been at your job for 7 years and you feel confident there.
You’re fluent at your job.
And you could teach other people how to do what you do in your sleep.
The problem is that this job is old news.
You dream of becoming a Reiki practitioner and starting a wellness practice.
But you work in finance and tech.
This new direction doesn’t make logical sense.
But you want it.
You delay because you’re afraid.
Knowing what you know now, you realize it’s time to choose.
You can choose to look good on the outside and stay at that job for another 5 years.
At least everyone will think highly of you, right?
But you’ll be dissatisfied and wonder “what if?”
You can also choose courage.
You can choose to get clear about why you love this new venture.
And go for it.
Let’s get this next bit out of the way.
With new beginnings come so much discomfort.
It’ll be excruciating at times.
You’ll be confronted with old perceptions of who you think you are and new perceptions of the person you’re becoming.
It’s not going to feel good.
And that’s great news.
Because you’re choosing LIFE.
If you’re almost there, not quite there, but want to be there choosing life, growth, and excellence…I can help you with that.
I can help you choose courage and take the necessary actions until you get where you’re wanting to go. No matter what.
Get started by scheduling your life coaching consultation.
I do not favor work over my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being.
Yep. This was a hard one.
Because how could I possibly call and say I’d be late, or worse, use sick time to stay home and nurse my tummy who was violently rejecting sustenance just 5 hours ago?
How could I possibly use sick time to take a mental health day too?
And wait a minute, how could you choose to NOT have that very important ONE-ON-ONE casual-yet-business dinner “meeting” with that slimy douchebag director (who just feels very off to you) of the company your department head chose to partner with on this huge project you’re spearheading?
How could you possibly choose your well-being over trying to prove or convince THEM that you are good at your job and should not get fired or reprimanded because you are, in fact, guaranteeing the long-term health of the company by ensuring you are strong and vital enough to keep doing your work in the future?
Why all the hoop-la?
Because they couldn’t enact total control by making sure they can track your whereabouts every minute you’re scheduled to be on the clock? OH-KAY. Hmmm.
No thank you, next.
Giving yourself a break doesn't mean you're letting yourself off the hook.
Let that sink in.
Do you really need to work until ‘til 6:30 again (or later) in order to show boss person you’re reliable and worthy of recognition and promotion?
Or to fulfill some unspoken need to feel like you’re doing enough?
Yeah, these late nights are fucking with your quality of life - eating dinner later, throwing off your meal schedule, increasing your cravings, having less time to unwind before you go to bed to start all this over again tomorrow.
You’re not slacking on the job if you leave work at 4 or 5, or take off early some days at 3. This 40-hour work week is questionable anyway.
All that giving yourself a break means is you’re choosing to be kind to yourself, to take care of yourself, and respect yourself.
I thought if boss-person saw me leave AFTER 5, then that meant I was serious about the job.
Yeah, I don’t believe that anymore.
How ‘bout we do stellar work with plenty of time to also enjoy the other aspects of our lives?
Because life isn’t just all about work.
And productivity isn’t actually measured by how many hours you log in.
Productivity is more personal.
It’s optimized when you recognize your own rhythms and which tasks are better to do at a particular time.
Pay attention to the time of day when you feel most energized.
Do your most challenging tasks requiring prime brain function then.
When you feel more sluggish, do the more mundane work.
When you listen to, and work WITH, your body’s needs and structure your work around that, not only will it take you LESS time to do certain projects, but you’ll have MORE energy to focus on what you really want to do outside the office.
Listen, you don’t have to figure all this out on your own. Not if you don’t want to.
We can create your Personalized Productivity Regimen (PPR) during weekly coaching. Imagine the energy and time you'll get back to focus your attention on the things that matter, on and off the job.
Just drop me a message on the Contact page with your questions about this process, or about anything else in this post.
One Wednesday last month I woke up at 3 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep until 5AM.
My thoughts were racing. I was nervous about dating. I was very upset about something someone close to me did.
I was doing a business training that had me excited and tired. Something I was looking forward to didn’t work out as I had anticipated. And I heard someone say this other thing that I didn’t agree with that was still bothering me.
When I finally dragged myself out of the bed that AM, my emotions were heavy and I was irritated. And I felt like this for much of the day.
I often operate on level 8 to 10 energy. Not every day, but a lot. And that day was not one of those days. I was on level 4.
So let’s say you have to show up to work and your emotions and thoughts are all kinds of topsy-turvy And let’s say canceling your day is not an option.
On days like this I ask myself a few questions:
I re-prioritized what was most important for me that day, which meant I let some things go. I didn’t do everything on my schedule. Other activities I modified.
And I let it be OK.
And I worked on letting it be OK throughout the day.
Let’s say you normally do an hour kickboxing workout after work on Wednesdays, but today is a level 4 day and your body is like, “Unh-unh!”
You also don’t want to skip the exercise altogether.
Modify that shit!
Listen to your body! What does it need?
“Switch out kickboxing for pilates”, she tells you.
“And do 30 min instead of 60.” Listen to her. She begs you to.
If you’re used to level 8-10, slow your roll today. You do enough. Let it be OK.
I help women of color take excellent care of their physical, mental, and emotional well-being as they strive for career and job satisfaction. Book a consultation with me to level up your self-care while kicking ass at work and home.
Poor Eating & Exercise Habits
I’ve struggled with all of these at some point or other in my life.
Accompanying these obstacles were thoughts like:
Thoughts from other people:
Despite all these voices, I knew deeply that I could NOT do it on my own. I didn’t WANT to figure it out on my own. No matter how big or small my concern. I knew the key to change was seeking support from others.
I didn’t want to settle in my life.
I wanted to feel free.
I wanted to know that whatever change I desired to make, I could make it.
I wanted to live in the realm of possibilities.
So I sought and received all the support I wanted.
And everything got better. EVERYTHING.
Some “issues” are unrecognizable today. Everything accelerated with the support of others.
And that support has been vast: therapy, psychiatry, spiritual counseling, career counseling, life coaching, business coaching, support groups, mastermind/accountability partnerships, and others.
Whatever it takes to live a life that I’m proud of.
Whatever it takes to feel good in my skin.
Whatever it takes to have mastery over my mind.
Whatever it takes to skillfully navigate emotions.
I did it. And I continue to do it.
Because I’ve seen firsthand the power of remarkable support, I became a life coach.
I offer free 1 hour consultations where you get to clearly articulate what you want, what you dream of, and why you think you don’t have these in your life yet.
I listen without judgment.
I ask you powerful questions that never crossed your mind.
I see what you can’t. I see what you don’t.
I make connections about what the “real” problem is.
And I provide a step-by-step plan to go from where you are today to where you want to be 6, 9, 12, 24, 60 months from now.
If I think my coaching services can make a powerful impact in your life, I tell you about one of my coaching packages.
You say "Yes, let's move forward" or "No thank you."
Contact me to schedule your consultation.
May you feel good on the regular and kick ass on the daily.
The coaching industry has grown tremendously over the past several years.
I worked with my first coach in 2007.
I am a life coach and I love the profession.
Though life coaching has been a way of life for me for 14 years, it's still a new concept for lots of people. Maybe even for you.
In this article, we'll explore:
What a Life Coach Does
Simply put, you hire a life coach to help you reach your goals and dreams. A life coach helps connect you to your deepest desires...you know, the desires you're too afraid to speak out loud. If you desire an exceptional life, you hire a life coach to guide you in getting there, loving there, and growing beyond there.
Professional athletes work with coaches to help them get to and stay at the top of their game. And to grow beyond that. Can you imagine your favorite football team excelling without a coach? Can you imagine Allyson Felix winning 11 Olympic medals without her track & field coach Bob Kersee? I can’t.
You get to be the Olympian of your own life. You get to operate at your highest level on the daily, designing and fulfilling your optimal career and personal experiences. Do what Olympians do. Get a coach and work with them for the duration. Allow yourself to work with someone who's only job is to bring the best of you forward.
A life coach is committed to your goals and dreams. They hold the vision for you on your darkest days. That, right there, is reason enough to have a coach on your team, even if you have supportive and loving family and friends. Your loved ones don't bring the level of neutrality, insight, expertise, background, tools, and training that a professional life coach does.
When I work with clients, I put my best thinking and insight into their problems, challenges, goals, dreams, and successes. I am dedicated to their success just as much as they are. Even when their hope wanes, mine doesn't. When they feel like giving up, I keep going, as long as they want coaching. I want for you what you want for yourself. I do everything in my power to help you reach the summit of your success mountain.
A life coach also helps you identify your beliefs and behaviors that block you from making progress. Every human has mental and emotional blind spots. A trained coach sees them, show them to you, and works with you to get out of your own way to achieve the results you seek.
Your coach also sees the greatness in you that you might not even recognize. They show you how awesome you are and work with you to live from your confidence rather than your insecurities.
Some coaches are strategy-based and don’t deal with processing emotions. Those coaches help you outline every single step it will take to get from where you are to where you want to be. And they help keep you accountable.
Other coaches just focus on mindset and emotions. They don’t deal much with action plans and strategies. Instead they help you uncover beliefs that hold you back while developing beliefs that move you forward.
My coaching method is a hybrid of mindset, strategy. and processing emotions. I also stand for your personal wellness as the foundation of everything you want to achieve. That means we create your dream career without sacrificing health, relationships, and the other aspects of life that matter to you. We create harmony in your life as you focus on achieving career satisfaction. You come to love the entirety of your life as well as your career.
There are myriad types of coaches within the coaching field. You have general life coaches that work with you on any topic you bring to them. You also have career coaches, midlife coaches, new mom coaches, self-care coaches, first-generation coaches, coaches for doctors, sexuality coaches. The list of specialties is massive.
As a Certified Life Coach and Certified Dream CoachⓇ, I've worked with college students through seniors on topics ranging from creating a life vision and finding meaning and purpose to setting boundaries at home/work and developing stand-up comedy material.
I now work with women of color who want to feel amazing about themselves while pursuing all the things they want for their lives. All while dismantling white-supremacist patriarchy in their minds and bodies as well as in their relationships and work.
What a Life Coach Does Not Do
Life coaches do not diagnose nor treat mental health disorders.
Leave that to licensed psychiatrists and therapists.
Life coaches also generally do not work with clients to process severe trauma, unless that life coach has received specialized training in that realm.
All this being said, you can work with a life coach, psychiatrist, and therapist concurrently.
There's no rule that says you can only work with one at a time.
I have a life coach, business coach, therapist, and psychiatrist.
All contribute to my well-being.
It takes a village to grow a thriving human.
When You Should Hire a Life Coach
Let's say you’ve read a fair share of personal improvement books with more in your Kindle wish list.
You regularly consume professional development articles.
You listen to a few really good podcasts.
You read great blogs.
You implement exercises from your favorite authors, podcasters, and coaches.
Yet you’re not experiencing the forward momentum in your career and personal life that you’d like. You may notice some difference, but overall, you feel the same on the inside.
And you haven't seen the significant changes on the outside.
When you ask questions like these, it’s time to hire a life coach.
When you’ve ‘tried a bunch of things’ on your own and life still looks and feels the same, it’s time to hire a life coach.
When you've got a personal problem, like you keep overextending yourself and say yes to everything people ask you even though you feel drained, a life coach can help you stop doing that. A life coach can help you become a different version of yourself so that you confidently and clearly say YES when you mean it and NO when you don't want to do something.
Even if you don't have any pressing struggles and life is going well, but you just want MORE for your life, it's time to hire a life coach. The person in this scenario often wants to discover their purpose, create more meaning, and develop their next adventure. Get a life coach!
How Long Do You Work with a Coach?
The most straightforward answer is: until you achieve your results. Commitment is what it comes down to. Are you committed to living your dream no matter what? When the answer is YES, you don't care how long it takes. You might want 'sooner' but 'longer' doesn't deter you either. You're just in it until the result is achieved. You're in it until you become the person you want to be.
You could accomplish your goal or dream in 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 2 years, or more. It depends on the complexity of your goal or dream. It depends on you showing up consistently to your coaching sessions. It depends on you implementing what your coach tells you.
Every coach also has their own business model and process. Some coaches only work with clients for a year at a time. Others offer month-to-month packages. There are several options here.
What's most important is that you resonate with your coach.
What's most important is that you believe your coach can help you.
What's most important is that you trust your coach.
If you find a coach that you're a 'hell yeah' to, find out how to work with them. Ask them for a consultation. Instead of shopping for coaches based on the duration of their programs, shop for your coach based on the relationship you can develop with them.
Earlier this year, my kitty Niko came into my life. I decided to keep him with the vet clinic he had already been going to, even though the clinic charges an annual membership fee. (The fee actually came due today as I write this post.) I've been a cat mama for 13 years and I've never paid a membership fee at other vets.
However, I choose to keep Niko at this particular clinic. Here are a few reasons why:
How Often Do You Meet with Your Coach?
Many coaches work with clients for an hour every single week throughout the term of the coaching program. I work with clients for 45-60 minutes every week for 12 months.
I believe in potent coaching. It's not about how much time we spend in the session; It's about getting you the results so you can live big outside the sessions. I've found that 60 minutes every week isn't always necessary.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that prospective clients think they are paying for the coach's time. You're actually not. What you're paying for is your dream. Your payment to the coach is an investment in YOU. You're telling yourself that your life matters. Your well-being matters. Your success matters. THAT is what's on the line. Not your coach's time.
At the end of the day, your coaching schedule is determined with your coach. It does have to work for the both of you, after all.
Like I said earlier, though, I wouldn't focus on 'how long' and 'how often'.
Put your prime attention on feeling a connection with the person you'll hire to help you.
You'll be sharing intimate details about your life with them. Make sure you feel safe with them.
On the topic of safety, ask them if they are trauma-informed, trauma-responsive, and if you're a person of color, ask what their experience is working with communities of color.
Getting this clarity upfront will set you up for success.
Take your next step towards the life and work you crave and book a call with me below. And yes, I am trauma-informed, trauma-responsive, healing-centered, and use somatic techniques in my coaching. I am also a black woman, Afro-Caribbean to be exact.
Yesterday I posted about work life/harmony vs. work/life balance. I’ve got another term for you today.
I regularly get together with professionals on Clubhouse where we discuss leadership, personal growth, mindset, and the evolving nature of work in Western society.
During a recent conversation, an executive coach dropped the phrase WORK/LIFE BLEND. My mind did a backflip before landing in Savasana.
I had never heard the expression ‘work/life blend’ before and I love it.
For me, blend is synonymous with harmony. When you blend, you mix and combine certain things together in different proportions, volumes, tastes, flavors…figuratively as well as literally. When you harmonize, you produce a satisfying combination of factors.
Practically, this looks like not checking work emails during my designated personal/me/sacred self-care time.
It looks like knowing when my peak mental-output hours are during the workday and declining social calls during that time.
It looks like making sure I do my physical workout every morning before I engage in deep conversation with anyone.
It looks like playing with my furbaby and going on walks during my breaks when I work from home.
Last week, it looked like going on a new adventure by taking a half day off to go to the horse racing track with friends.
Recently, it looked like consciously choosing to put in 2 hours of arts education lesson planning (for my parallel career) on a Sunday so that I could have a non-existent workload on Monday.
I don’t balance my social life, romantic life, work life, physical well-being, etc. to the same degree. I do consciously choose and design everything I do though.
(This post might make more sense if you go back and read yesterday's post.)
Here's a cool article for your reading pleasure --> Why We Need Work Life Blend Not Work Life Balance.
Regarding work and life, the word BALANCE never did it for me. Still doesn’t.
Balance conjures images of tightrope walkers steadying long and heavy poles, working hard to manage the opposing forces at play so they don’t fall over. Balance requires an even distribution of weight to achieve the desired outcome.
Do you really want to think about your life in this way?
How does it feel when you think you’ll fall over if everything isn’t balanced correctly?
Do you want to believe that work and the rest of your life are in opposition to each other?
If you’re like me, and need another word to express your desired relationship between work and the rest of your life, then consider HARMONY instead.
I used to play alto sax in concert bands and one thing I learned is that you do not need to have balance in order to achieve satisfaction.
Harmony is produced through the combination of multiple factors in varying proportions to experience a desired effect.
You have many instruments playing completely different notes at different volumes and, at times, different tempos.
All doing their own thing, yet coming together to create auditory beauty. These instruments do not require equal airtime in order to achieve harmony.
I choose to view the work/life interplay in this way. You can get the different pieces of your life to play well together, even when some of those pieces don’t appear to be balanced with others. (Check out this Forbes article for more on this topic: Life 'Balance' is Really More About Harmony.)
If the desired effect of satisfaction is achieved, then who cares about balance?
You just have to figure out the right combination of work and other aspects of life that produces your desired satisfaction.
I can help you with that.
Drop me a message in the contact page of this website. And let's create your work/life harmony together.
The work I do as a life coach prioritizes personal wellness as THE guiding force to achieving and experiencing the dreams, desires, goals, and visions for your life.
I am particularly drawn to helping office professionals because I was once a dissatisfied full-time employee whose physical, mental, and emotional wellness took a toll from the unnecessary and outdated 9 to 5 lifestyle.
My transformation inspired me to write an entire book about my personal wellness journey and how it resulted in two meaningful parallel careers outside the traditional work schedule.
But what is personal wellness?
In this video, I share insights from others as well as my own definition.
By the end of the video, ask yourself: What does personal wellness mean to you? Which personal wellness category do you want to improve?
Here are the links I referenced in the video:
If you want to learn how to create career satisfaction as a result of taking fantastic care of yourself, then complete this questionnaire and let's talk.
My name's Valerie and I'm a Certified Life Coach with a background in teaching dance as well as facilitating diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development conversations and workshops.