How coaching has added value to my life:
I can identify 3 areas where coaching, learning about it and its application into my daily life, brought me the most added value:
- I learnt to listen – even to myself.
I used to finish others’ sentences in conversation. I used to give a lot of advice. I had the answers ready before hearing the question. During the start of my coaching adventure I made a conscious effort to listen with all senses. When I truly applied the principle of believing into everyone’s potential, creativity and resourcefulness, it came naturally. I’ve been always curious, but coaching allowed me to be more at peace with myself and really listen.
Currently I ask loads of questions. My relationships improved, I communicate much more efficiently and stopped guessing other people’s feelings. I simply ask.
Finally, I listen to my intuition, to my body, I am better in recognizing stress triggers and symptoms and I give myself space to recover and recharge. I reorganized my life to make space for activities that will support my work-life balance and as a result will allow me to grow.
- I identified my values and I use them to take decisions.
The biggest revelation for me during my PSG Coaching Diploma was the exercise on Values. I realized that I used to apply RESPECT to everybody around me except myself. Respect prior coaching was linked to professionalism, punctuality, family and society order & age, rules but not my own health neither my boundaries. The result was visible in my weight, my well-being, my stress levels and assertiveness or to be more precise in a lack of assertiveness in certain situations with certain people. My behavior wasn’t consistent, and I’ve experienced internal conflicts and a ‘screaming’ intuition.
The values helped me to make changes in my lifestyle, speak up about my needs and feelings in situations when I used to withdraw, clarify my boundaries and direct my energy and efforts into my personal growth which as a result allows me to redesign my life in a way that it makes me happy. One of the key improvements I’ve seen was around the topic of finance. I gave up on some of the self-limiting beliefs that were slowing me down, I gave myself permission to respect my own investment in my own education and my expertise and stop feeling guilty about asking for a specific fee for my services.
- I redefined success and understood my purpose.
I came to conclusion that I am here in this world to facilitate others’ growth. I take pleasure in watching people overcoming certain difficulties or self-limiting beliefs. I cherish moments when I can see my clients, or my colleagues discovering something that they didn’t know about themselves or implementing lasting changes in their lives. I enjoy connecting people in my network and supporting their ambitions by encouraging them and bringing everyday positivity. I am known at work as someone who will say in the morning: Happy Monday, Happy Tuesday etc. By doing this I believe I can show that we make choices every day, we decide if this day will be good or bad, and how we perceive the reality and our challenges will shape our outlook and happiness. A success for me is to be able to positively impact other people’s lives and maintain my work-life balance and health.
My motto: If I don’t try, I won’t know.
Ask the Expert
Answers from Ewa Duraj March Coach of the Month
PSG: How do you keep up the level of courage and energy necessary to meet your stretch goals?
Ewa: I get coaching every 6-8 weeks and once a week I must go to hot yoga. It allows me to evacuate all the stress and emotional luggage I collect at work and in personal life. I have a mini ritual when staying home at the weekend of going for a jog in the morning along the lake. I try to leave the house before 8am to avoid tourists and enjoy the stillness and beauty of the nature. I might also hug a tree?
To maintain the courage, I review my values and have a small talk with myself and when needed I ask for help from my partner, my friends or my coaching network. I journal almost every day and that helps me to gain perspective in my life and take a step back and ask myself what is important.
PSG: What have been your best ‘support systems’ in terms of keeping you motivated to continually learn and grow?
Ewa: I love working with people and I have a privilege to be surrounded by super motivated individuals from over 14 countries who challenge me and my thinking on daily basis. The challenges include communication, business culture, values and boundaries. Leading by example is very important to me and that means that I need to keep up with the latest trends, technology, and also improve my French. Moving to France pushed me outside my comfort zone, even more than expected but the results of taking this risk are very satisfying. I keep the record of these in my success bank and review them on regular basis.
In relation to growth around coaching topics I follow QCC posts, when possible I dial into QCC webinars and participate in ICF events in Geneva and learn from my coachees. Finally, I stay in touch with some of my fellow coaches from PSG Coaching Diploma and we skype in from time to time to check our progress and encourage one another. On top of it I signed up for PSG Career Coaching course in May – can’t wait!
PSG: What can we do as coaches to honour our true selves in our coaching practice?
Ewa: We should always listen to our intuition, secondly take time for chemistry checks with clients and finally follow the process. As coaching is very personalized service, I believe that choosing clients wisely is a key to success. Quality over quantity.
I am Polish, but I feel European. I moved to Annecy in 2015 to learn French and I’ve decided to stay here. Before coming to France, I worked in HR and PM for 9 years in Ireland & Canada. I am a business & life coach since 2017. I currently work as an independent coach and lecturer (Duraj Consulting) and I also work at The Akkademy in Geneva as a Graduate Program Manager, where I’ve coach over 300 graduates on values, emotional intelligence, and team dynamics (group sessions). I love working with individual clients around topics such as career, work-life balance, business creation and personal effectiveness.
In my free time I hike in the surrounding mountains, practice hot yoga, and continue to work on my French & Russian. I’m passionate about positive psychology, personal development, history and travel.
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