I am a transformational coach, mental health advocate and freelance photographer living in the leafy British countryside of Surrey.
For my teenage years and into my
twenties I felt lost, confused, and scared
about what the future held.
In order to manage these feelings, I put all my energy into being and giving 100% at all times. I did what I felt I ‘should’ do, and completely lost sight of what I truly wanted. I was a complete perfectionist and always wanted to please others, even at the expense of myself. Instead of seeing my skills and traits on a continuum, I saw them as very black and white - flawless, or otherwise completely invaluable.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. I understand how your horrible inner critic makes you feel useless whenever you fall short of the high expectations you place on yourself. I know how fear of judgement and failure is holding you back from what you truly want and are capable of, and how you have potentially lost sight of what that even is in the process. I know what it’s like to feel completely stuck and not know what the next step is.
For me, things came to a head when I was 18. What started as the desire to be an overachiever had spiralled into anxiety and depression, and I had no choice but to leave University part way through my first year studying and training as a dancer. I moved home to focus on my recovery.
After working on my own mental health, my passion for helping others developed further and I went back to university two years later to study psychology. Whilst studying, I trained and mentored a group of 16-19 year olds in South East London to promote fair access and social mobility for students underrepresented in higher education. I knew that coaching and mentoring was something I wanted to continue after graduating but I had no idea how, so instead I did what felt like a natural progression from university - a marketing internship in London.
After a couple of years working in offices in the city, I still found myself in the grips of anxiety and confusion on a regular basis. I felt totally unfulfilled and out of place.
One day, after passing out on the commuter train
due to a panic attack, I realised I could not go on
without making myself seriously ill again.
That week, I quit my 9-5 (aka 7-7) job in marketing and I made a conscious decision to change things. I started doing things based on what I truly wanted, not what I felt was right due to societal pressures. It was also crucial to accept that this would result in a period of uncertainty, would take practice, and would require investing in myself. What made me commit to this decision? Honestly, I realised that the uncertainty and risk of starting fresh was 100 x less scary to me than the thought of making no impact in the world and 'settling' for a life that I felt completely uninspired by.
It hasn’t been smooth sailing ever since and I still experience ups and downs along the way, but for the most part I am now able to put my perfectionism and people-pleasing in the back-seat and listen to what I want with clarity and compassion. I have developed the self-awareness and coping mechanisms required to ensure my mental health and wellbeing does not spiral uncontrollably, and as a result I have achieved more in the past few years, than I did in the two decades before.
Since making that conscious and committed decision, I have:
Invested time and money in myself and my wellbeing (including coaching, therapy and professional development)
Secured freelance work which aligned with my values (for a mental health not-for-profit).
Attended workshops, retreats and courses on my own and built connections with like-minded people
Trained as a transformational life coach
Started my own coaching practice
Learnt to use a camera again after believing I was a useless photographer whilst studying it at A Level
Started a side business as a freelance lifestyle photographer
Started publicly speaking out about diversity in the health and wellness industry and launched a campaign in aid of this
I spent years grappling with my mental health due to perfectionism and people pleasing. I lacked clarity and compassion, and felt held back due to fear of failure and judgement. I don’t want you to do the same, so if you’d like to find out if working with me as a coach could be beneficial to you, I'd love to have a free 30 minute discovery call with you.
Photos by Will Alexander