I’m a married mum of two young children, in my thirties, most often seen wearing some form of denim! I’m also a qualified Coach passionate about supporting Mums through times of transition, challenge and stretch.
As a recovering perfectionist and people-pleaser, I’ve spent years filling the gaps in both my personal and professional life, doing jobs that needed to be done, but not necessarily because it was me-shaped or fulfilling in the way I had hoped. I am deeply passionate about helping others, but I placed too much of my sense of self-worth in my ability to get things done rather than just being authentically me. This turned into developing unhealthy patterns of behaviour resulting in sustained stress and overwhelm.
Back in the Spring of 2015, I was pregnant with our youngest, holding a very full part-time role not knowing how, in the coming months, I would be able to go on maternity leave. I was working for a small charity fulfilling a role that was “ambiguous” at best during a season that involved a huge amount of change. At that time, I was so emotionally connected to the job that the very thought of leaving would require someone to physically wrench it from my hands. Although I really did not want to leave, I really needed to. I was totally burnt out, exhausted, overwhelmed trying to balance home and work life whilst heavily pregnant and leaving to have a baby gave me the permission I should have offered myself months before to hit the pause button.
I knew I needed some extra help to navigate all of this complexity, someone objective, trustworthy, skilled, deeply kind, supportive and who really “got me”. Along came Joanne. We initially met when she came to deliver some team building workshops and soon after she became my Coach.
My first session involved me talking in great detail for an entire hour without pausing for breath. Mortifying, yet pretty impressive for an introvert!. By the end of our sessions, I had formulated a clear plan of action that encouraged me to let go, take a break, and focus on me and my growing family for a while.
Coaching enabled me to gain greater clarity and perspective and helped me to start living according to my values in a more authentic way. It also allowed me to better manage the stress and overwhelm I was experiencing, helped me to create a calmer mindset and supported me in thinking around the situation to come up with practical strategies and solutions.
Something about this process really clicked for me. It brought together beautifully in one role so much of my learning, experience and passion and was the catalyst that led me to train and become a qualified Coach myself. Finding something that I’m truly passionate about, that feels “me-shaped” and that also fits around my commitments I’m convinced has made me a better Mum.
Spending a year training and balancing this alongside parenting and all of the other demands of life hasn’t been without its challenges, but I’m so grateful to have discovered something I love and being able to model to my children that it is possible to be a fully committed and present Mum and a Coach. Many of the Coaching techniques I’ve learned along the way I apply to my own life and they make such a difference in both the big life decisions as well as in the day-to-day.
I really believe in the value of Coaching and have spent the past year intentionally working on my goals. Some of the things I’ve achieved in that time include completing a Diploma in Coaching, setting up my own business, losing more weight and committing to a regular exercise programme. Coaching has also grown my confidence hugely. I’m consistently doing things outside of my comfort zone that I previously felt intimidated by such as Networking, Public Speaking, Vlogging and Writing articles like this!
I think there is a myth that Coaching is just for Business Executives & CEOs. There is such great value in Coaching and it’s for everyone. I have really valued offering to my clients the same benefits I’ve experienced first-hand and I want to make it much more accessible especially to Mums given the difference it’s made.
I would love to work with you if you are currently navigating a similar challenge or transition and would value some expert support and a professional sounding board.
Claire Brown Coaching & Consulting