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Sarah J Naylor, The Norfolk Coastal Coach

Personal, Professional and Life

I’ve been contemplating my personal & professional coaching journey and thought it would be timely to share some more detail in a blog.

This week I’ve spent a good chunk of time finalising the content for my next Insight Timer course, Embrace Change & Create The Life You Desire Following Separation or Divorce, and then recording and editing it using Audacity before uploading it to the platform.  It goes live on Monday 15th April 204.  In between recording and editing I also did my first live talk on the platform too – next one, Living & Loving Your Life – Focusing on the Positives, is scheduled for Tuesday 23rd April.

I’ve done plenty of live stuff before (tv, radio, social media etc) however, I hadn’t entered their ‘studio’ before and as the countdown was happening, I have to say I was still scratching my head a bit and, then, bang, I was live.  It was great! It wasn’t until afterwards that I discovered that 48 people were listening .. you simply can’t tell, well, I couldn’t at any rate, whilst talking.  Although you could interact with the listeners who put comments in the chat, which was great.  Those who contributed were based in the US – it really is a global app with 28 million users.

I also hosted a FREE group online coaching workshop on Wednesday and in-between have had coaching clients and business meetings.  Never a dull moment – love it!

Journeying Through Life

In all reality I wanted to talk about coaching and the workshop I hosted but thought it would be a good idea to head back in time a little first to where it all started, and then bring you bang up to date.

I started my career in recruitment in 1987, pre computers and mobile phones, in fact you were lucky if someone had an answering machine at home.  The years that followed saw many changes within the industry, and for me personally too.

I got divorced at the end of a 20-year relationship in 2005 and in 2009 I left my employer of 13 years and became a self-employed recruiter under another recruiter’s small business.  I had to get a bank loan to keep me going for 6 months to do so as I was a single parent with no other form of income.  Madness in many respects as we were still in a recession in the UK.

At the time though I didn’t feel that there were any other options available to me that worked, hence taking the leap of faith in myself, supported by Marie, the business owner, who believed in me.

Having someone believe in you is incredibly powerful.

I’d spent 20 years in a relationship where the opposite was pretty much the case – to the extent that I found it very difficult to accept a compliment for many years.

And this is where working with a coach helps tremendously. You have the space and freedom to speak about and explore the stuff that is going on in your mind, to gain clarity, focus, and direction.  We all have the answers within us, it’s a coach’s job to help facilitate through listening, supporting, asking questions, and helping address solutions, and so much more.

Coaching wasn’t even something I was even aware of back then and therefore I navigated my own path. It’s this learning that I love sharing, in addition to the knowledge that I have gained through more formal learning.

I loved being self-employed from the off, the flexibility it offered me and the opportunity to take full responsibility for my life and to be able to take the numerous calls from my son’s school!

Becoming a Professional & Qualified Coach

Things changed though and the business was sold to another recruiter, who’s values didn’t match mine in the slightest.  I was also in another challenging relationship.  I didn’t half know how to pick ‘em!  I must write more about it at some point but suffice to say I made the decision to stay single after it ended rather than end up in the same situation again!

Because of the work situation, I decided it was time to get out of recruitment altogether.

I was already very much immersed in my own personal journey of self-discovery following my divorce.  My partner at that time joined me, to a degree, to rid himself of his insane jealousy issues (EFT helped tremendously) and as part of our journey together we headed to a Mind Body Spirit event in London one weekend.

There were stands around offering Life Coach training. I walked past them. The simply didn’t even catch my eye let alone interest me enough to even think about speaking to them. However, a stand offering sample ‘Access All Consciousness’ sessions grabbed my interest, and I bagged the opportunity.

Messages are all around us if we choose to see them and act upon them too.

I subsequently sat with my eyes closed whilst my head was gently manipulated. It was an incredible experience as at the same time a guy who was on the stage in the distance started banging shamanic drums.

A couple of weeks later I suddenly decided to become a life coach!

As you do.

I started researching and found a training organisation; Simply Changing.  It felt just right for me and before I knew it, I’d signed up and found myself collecting a massive selection of files that frightened the life out of me initially!  I did my O’ Levels in 1982 and in my 20s an A’ Level in English Literature at night school, and the suddenly aged 46 I was studying again.  I later discovered this Level 5 qualification in Performance Coaching I had completed was the equivalent to years of a degree course. I’d done it in a year whilst working full time on a self-employed basis.

That’s the power that comes when you connect with stuff that fires you up – it drives and motivates you!  I loved it.

Whilst walking in blindly I was still trusting my instincts. It felt right, in much the same way I’d taken the leap of faith to become self-employed a couple of years earlier.

And there I was a fully qualified coach in 2012.

The Journey Continues

I continued my personal and professional journey, I added further studies and undertook their ‘Kick Ass Business’ programme to help me start my coaching practice.  What happened instead was that it gave me the confidence to go for it and set up my own recruitment business too. A limited company, VAT registered from the off, setting the intention to reach £100K in my first year.  Which I did given that my accountant had changed my year-end extended it by 3 months.  I’ll take that though!

It was great. I loved it. And ran the business in addition to my coaching practice.

As my relationship ended in 2015, I then invested more of my time in expanding my business.  It served me well. I learned loads in the process and continued my personal development journey.  Continuously embarking on further workshops, short courses, reading, attending talks etc.

It saw me write and publish my book: Shining a Light on You, How to Manifest Your Dream Job, be a regular guest on BBC Radio Nottingham and Notts TV, deliver talks, create a YouTube channel, Harnessing Happiness podcast and other stuff too.

Covid, Brexit, and the economy saw my business go into admin last year, throwing me out of a business that I’d wanted to leave so many years earlier. I’d regularly surrendered during the intervening years and kept saying out loud to the universe ‘ok, I’ll stick with it’, until I was unceremoniously booted out. I no longer needed the lessons it had provided. I had gone full circle.  It had taught me so much and I learned LOADS in the process, so much more I think than I would’ve done had I left recruitment when I first qualified as a coach.

Life has a funny way of delivering what we need rather than what we think we want.  Following our instincts and intuition, surrendering, and allowing our lives to flow naturally, picking up on opportunities that feel right, removes the pressure and conflict we can find ourselves in internally.

The Power of Coaching

And this brings me right back up to current times and the FREE online coaching workshop I ran on Tuesday.

During the session it was discussed how we instinctively know what is right for us and how important it is to listen to our inner support system. Not the monkey chatter but the words of support and that real sense of knowing that is available to all of us.

The session was fabulous, and we cover a lot of other ground too. Providing space for non-judgemental discussions and hearing others’ stories is so empowering.  Which is why I love to share my stuff too.

I’m thrilled to share that I received the following feedback afterwards:

“I want to say a big thank you to Sarah and the wonderful women who were so welcoming and inspiring in today’s group coaching call. It’s the most fun and interesting lunch break I’ve taken in a long time!

It gave me, personally, a bit more clarity around some things I’m currently considering, but it was equally valuable to hear what challenges others are facing and share some experiences.

So, thank you, and especially to Sarah for offering this 😁.” CR

“That was a fab hour Sarah, full of energy and focus 🙌Thanks to you and the group. Sending seriously good vibes 🌟✨🌟” SH

My final note is to add that the journey I went on to train as a coach changed my life.  I learned so much that has helped me personally navigate and I have constantly coached myself over the last few years in addition to speaking to and working with other coaches and mentors too.

Top Tips

  • Invest in yourself.
  • Trust your instinct & intuition.
  • Do what feels right for you.
  • Love your life and be happy with where you are right now even if you do want to bring about change.
  • Go with the flow.

If you’ve read this far – thank you, I hope it’s given you some insight into my journey and the path I’ve trodden so far. Our paths are all different and have many twists and turns – it’s how we navigate them and the lessons we learn that are important.

If you are at a crossroads, or simply need a non-judgemental ear please do get in touch and book a chat.