Have you ever thought about seeing a life coach? I’ve never even considered it before but was offered a free 20-minute session with Life Coach Laura Duggal as part of being a member of the Cheltenham MumBosses.
Similar to when I had counselling, it all feels a bit self-indulgent to start with but by the end you realise how valuable it can be. I’m used to asking other people questions and I rarely have the space to answer my own thoughts verbally with direction on where they end up.
That’s exactly what Laura offers. The fellow MumBoss states that she is not a mentor or a counsellor as she is ‘non-directive’ and instead offers a ‘space to be able to think through what you want to achieve.’ She said, ‘One of the biggest things for me personally is having a space to do some thinking. Today’s world moves so fast and we can end up feeling like we’re rushing from one thing to another but we don’t really know why.
Life coaching gives that space to slow down, get focussed and really think about why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s so useful to have another person reflect back to us and maybe help to think about things from a different perspective.’
It certainly made me focus and think about what I want to achieve. With Laura I explored how I want to eventually be a full-time blogger and how I felt that I should have more of a goal. I told her that I often feel as if everyone else has a clear goal and that I should too but at the same time I like seeing where things end up more organically. Laura didn’t judge or offer advice, instead she listened and asked questions which really made me delve deeper into the issue. She asked, ‘What is the purpose of the blog?’ which really got me verbalising things that I think about all the time.
It made my head much clearer on what and why I’m doing it but also that I was allowed to have doubts/conflicting feelings. Overall, it gave me more confidence in what I was thinking. We too often discount our thoughts as fanciful or conflicting but with life coaching your thoughts are both affirmed and validated.
Laura mainly coaches mums but also non-mums and believes she would be useful for anyone who wants to spend some time thinking about a decision they are going to make. She said, ‘They might be ready to make a change but are looking for some support in how to implement that or they may have been through a big change and are looking for a way of thinking about how their life is going to look now. For example, I coach mums returning to work and a lot of it is about coming to terms with how their lives were before children and how that looks now and how they merge the two.’
Laura, who has a background in Recruitment and HR including coaching, put together a 6-week coaching programme called ‘Back To Me.’ She said, ‘I found that a lot of clients were wanting to talk about the same areas. These are confidence, whether that’s confidence in returning to work or confidence in being the parent they want to be, and again this might be around professional identity or around getting back to the things that make you ‘you!’ Time is a huge area of focus for the busy mums I work with and whether they are working or not, there tends to be something about fitting it all in and prioritising the things they do.’
Sorting out all those jumbled thoughts in your head is one of the most valuable things you can do as everything else can then fall into place. You start understanding what to prioritise and what to leave behind – whether that’s unhelpful thoughts or actual things like a job!
Laura is really encouraging and didn’t make me feel ‘self-indulgent’ at all. It really made me think about my life in a different perspective and talk through things that are important to me. Laura’s questioning was really helpful in unlocking persistent thoughts that can actually be unhelpful. Highly recommended!
My 20-minute taster session was done on Facetime but you can also do it in person or via Skype. You fill in a questionnaire before the session so that Laura knows a bit about what you want to focus on.
Lesley is a freelance writer, content creator and places blogger based in Cheltenham She is wife to James, mum to 4-year-old Edward and step-mum to two boys aged 12 and 16.
Her aim is to provide interesting information about places to visit with children locally and further afield. She also aims to promote local events and businesses and writes about parenting and local history. Her articles have been featured in Cotswold Life magazine. You can find out more about her at her website https://placeswithed.com/