After dealing with personal tragedy, Zoe Thompson embarked on a mission to change her life for the better. Now, having experienced success in her personal and professional life as the 2nd strongest woman in Britain and owner of a Wellbeing consultancy, Zoe tells us about her journey.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I worked for 20 years in the Police Service in a variety of operational and leadership civilian roles. I also had additional roles as a Coach/Mentor and Self-Development Trainer.
When my role was made redundant (2017), I decided to combine my professional and personal experience, and Phoenix Life and Wellbeing Coaching was born.
I joined the Police as I wanted to help people find the confidence to speak their truth and support people through adversity. As a leader, I loved to help people reach their full potential. These continue as key themes in my coaching.
What kind of work does your role involve?
I work with both young people and adults. I work with a Psychographic rather than a Demographic of people. The people I work with tend to feel stuck, frustrated and overwhelmed. Often, they are experiencing anxiety and depression, whether this is a medically diagnosed condition or their feelings. I use a combination of Coaching tools and methodologies, NLP, CBT, Positive Psychology as we as self-development training tools.
I primarily work with people on a one-to-one basis; however, I also run a group online self-development programme and offer workshop and coaching support to businesses and organisations.
What gets you excited about your industry?
I help people get from 'A' to 'B', whatever that looks like for them. Sometimes they know what they want and have not been able to make it happen; sometimes, they don't know what they want in the future - they just know they do not want to stay in the same situation.
An 'aha' moment from a client when they see things from a different perspective and see new possibilities is amazing. The moment the mindset shifts, and then the moment they take action and start moving towards 'B', will always be exciting.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
"Get comfortable with being uncomfortable".
This was first said to me during a training session; however, the phrase really resonated with me for how I want to approach all aspects of life. We can hold ourselves in our comfort (aka familiar) zone; however, we have to step forward and take opportunities and challenges to evolve and grow.
When we get comfortable with that feeling of being out of the comfort zone, we are more inclined to seize the opportunities and reach our full potential.
What, or who inspires you?
People who are positive and determined to be the best version of themselves even when they are working against the odds.
I could name so many people, however, this is the common theme!
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I invest in coaching skills training every other year. This allows me to embed and practice learning before embarking on another course.
Alongside this, I listen to audiobooks, attend webinars and seminars and network with others in the industry to help learn and grow. Continuous Improvement is one of my values and something I prioritise personally and professionally.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
15 years ago, I was in an unhealthy marriage while raising a young child and being obese. I was not in a good place mentally or physically and felt stuck in a situation I could not see my way out of.
My catalyst for change came in 2015 when a close family friend was killed in the London bombings. I embarked on a journey to 'rise from the ashes' creating a stronger, more powerful version of myself.
My first step was taking care of my health. It resulted in being the 2nd strongest woman in Britain and running my own business.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
I would want to locate the owner of the ticket. That money would not be mine to keep.
What would I do with $10 million? Check that my son and family have enough to give them financial security. I would love to set up a foundation that provides coaching and life skills to young people and those who may not be able to invest in coaching. Making coaching accessible has always been important to me.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
I am an introvert, so I enjoy quiet, people-free time to recharge. On a day with lots of client-facing work, I switch off with a book, mostly crime and psychological thrillers! On other days I enjoy cooking, cinema, films at home, or just zoning out with a good set of headphones and a great playlist.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
I would like to see the Coaching industry regulated. I think most of us ensure that we do what we can to demonstrate our professionalism, training, qualifications, experience, responsibilities etc. However, it is still easy for people to refer to themselves as a 'Coach'.
Regulation would also help move the industry forward in terms of alignment with other sectors in the Health and Wellbeing Industry.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
The Chimp Paradox, by Dr Steve Peters, is a fantastic book that helped me and I know has helped many others understand how our brains and mindset work.
How should people connect with you?
Website - www.phoenixlifecoach.co.uk
Links to all my social media and podcast platforms can be found here.
My Linked In Profile is: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zoe-thompson-phoenix-lifeandwellbeing-coach/.
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