“I have been working with Paula since 2015. I read her profile online and decided to arrange a "chemistry" session as I didn't really know what to expect from a Life Coach but being so desperate that I will try anything to help me deal and cope better. I was diagnosed with depression in 2014 and saw numerous Psychologist and Psychiatrists and had the need to go deeper and learn tools to assist myself. The initial work we did focused on my needs, values and strengths. It took me some time to pinpoint what I need and what I stand for as no one has ever asked me these questions. I started seeing how my needs, values and strengths play a consistent role on how I think, how I deal with situations and how I react.
I realized that I wasn't a victim of my depression and found courage in myself to cope and deal with my life in a manner more in line with what I believe! The relationship I had with myself changed and I started loving myself and caring for myself instead of prioritizing everyone and putting myself last. I was able to connect with my husband and see the role I play in our marriage.
The value I got out of our coaching sessions left me inspired and I decided to make a change and to become a Life Coach myself. I have a degree in Psychology and Honors in Criminology, but never worked in these fields for various reasons. I wanted to pursue a career where I am in line with what I believe and who I am. In 2016 I started my Life Coaching studies and Paula was appointed my Life Coach to assist me with the personal growth that was required. She became more to me than just my Coach and I saw a lot of value in her as my mentor.
I felt safe with Paula and we coached on some very uncomfortable topics and aspects of my life that wasn't serving me while busy with my course. I gained self-confidence to change the things that didn't serve me and to have discussions to set boundaries and better relationships especially my marriage. In this period, I also prepared to take part in a women empowerment program, Mrs. Polokwane, that uplifts the community. It was a very uncomfortable space for me to be, in the spotlight and taking the crown. Paula assisted me in setting clear goals for my year and I was able to apply all the self-discovery work I have done to this new challenge.
I paused my Life Coaching studies in middle of 2017 to focus on my goals and charity work as Mrs Polokwane 2017. I also worked with Paula in this period and again realized the value a good coach can have towards your life. We had a few sessions every few weeks, just to check in. Life Coaching can be used in so many aspects of one's life and I am super grateful to have a coach like Paula on board! I had to deal with some difficult situations at the end of my reign and felt trapped, Paula coached me, and I was able to see the lessons of these difficult situations. We started talking about ACT and how to apply this amazing tool. I "ended" my journey as Mrs. Polokwane with new found respect and gratitude towards myself.
This year, 2018, I decided to refocus my studies and to start my own Life Coaching business as well as starting a coffee shop with my husband in our hometown. I saw the benefit of appointing Paula for 6months were we coach 3 times a month. I have found much value in Paula over the past three years and have seen the positive outcomes when working with a Life Coach.
I feel I can be myself around Paula, no judgement and no agenda. She focusses on what I want and need to focus and asks the scary and difficult questions, but I always feel safe with her, making me willing to go deeper and to get to know Irene even more. Life is weird, it can be difficult, and it can be amazing, and what I have learned from my sessions it that I have the power, that I am strong and that I can deal with everything. I can challenge myself and I can inspire those around me, I am not a victim of my life! My sessions with Paula give me the space to be and think without drama and where I can take time to be with me.
I have noticed so many changes in my life since I started coaching, from relationships, work, personal, career and health. I have a wonderful relationship with my husband where we can sit and talk about our triggers, set healthy boundaries, voice our fears and hold a space for each other to grow as individuals and as a team. I have learned that it is okay to say "no", how to deal with conflict in a healthy manner, to keep true to myself and to negotiate for myself. I apply my values and strengths daily and I am constantly aware of my needs, needs that I can meet by myself or voice when needed.
As I am writing this I feel an overwhelming feeling of gratitude towards Paula for keeping the space safe for me to go deep and to continue with the self-awareness journey! ”
Irene – Entrepreneur, NGO founder and CEO, Coach