Low Self Esteem Is Your Worst Enemy. Defeat It In 3 Ways (Interview with Life Coach Janus)
Argh, low self esteem.
Many people have it or at least felt bad about ourselves at one point or another. I have it too and I hate it!
Hence, I would like to explore that with a friend, Janus Chan, who is a life coach, on how we can overcome that in 3 ways, and also to find out more about her interesting profession!
1. Hi Janus! You have a very interesting job.
How did you actually become a life coach?
I started my coaching journey in 2016 when I was leading 2 centres in the hospital.
As a manager working in a fast paced and sensitive environment, coaching is an important skill to have.
So I took up leadership coaching in the hospital and I was officially certified under International Coaching Federation after I left the hospital in 2019.
2. How did you know this is what you want to do?
Since I was young, I have been curious about human behaviour. I am pretty intuitive and I can sense there are more than what has been brought to the table, which I am able to surface these inner issues.
And coaching does exactly that – uncovering stumbling blocks and blind spots. I have seen many people who have experienced these an A-Ha moments with me. I know this is my calling.
3. What/ Who is your inspiration?
The book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey has a great impact on my coaching journey. It brings me back to the basics on how to create private victories for myself and public victories when working with others.
I have read the book 5 times over the last 7 years. Every time I read it, I gain new insights.
I am also a certified facilitator for this course and have witnessed how this book has changed my participants.
4. What was your first client coaching experience like?
This lady came to me for career coaching.
She wanted to explore why she hadn’t been promoted even though she excelled in her job.
It turned out that the reason was not because of her boss’ unwillingness to promote her, but she has carried self-sabotaging behaviours from her childhood. During the session, she broke down and cried.
I had to remain composed and be professional throughout the conversation, but after she left, I started crying as it was a revelation for me too.
5. What were some of your challenges?
How did you overcome them?
It is very easy to become judgemental during a coaching conversation. To overcome this, I would always write down my clients’ pain points during my coaching sessions. This helps me to focus on their problems, instead what I think about them.
Clients often got distracted when they are talking about their problems. I have to countercheck if what they are sharing is part of the problem that they want to address to. If not, I have to direct the conversation back.
It is easy to get emotionally attached. Hence, it is a rule that I don’t make personal connection with my clients even after a coaching relationship. That means I don’t coach friends too. Well, thank God, I don’t have many friends either. Haha…
6. What keeps you going in spite of the difficulties?
The most rewarding part is to receive news from my clients overcoming their self-limiting beliefs and achieving their goals.
7. How often do you doubt yourself?
You are speaking to an expert in self-doubt!
My inner voice tells me that I am not good enough everyday from the moment I wake up till I sleep.
8. Can u share 3 ways on how people can work on overcoming low self esteem?
1. Practise mindfulness techniques eg. affirmation, meditation, breathing techniques.
2. Acknowledge the negative thought when it comes and ask yourself the following questions:
a. Why am I having these thoughts?
b. Where do these thoughts come from?
c. Are these thoughts actually real? Or I just think they are real?
d. Are they important for me to take note of it? If yes, write it in a notebook and look into it later. If not, you will automatically put the thoughts away.
3. Forgive yourself when you fail. Punishing yourself will only aggravate the problem.
There are more techniques, but the above would be a good start.
9. What's one of the most difficult type of client you've coached?
There are no difficult clients, but uncoachable ones.
This happens under 2 circumstances – 1) I am not the right coach for them, 2) The client is not ready to be coached.
Normally, I would suggest to end such relationship. One thing that I have learned in this industry is never carry another person’s monkey on my back.
10. How do you crack open "tough nuts" clients to share more deeply?
Trust is one of the most important factor in a coaching relationship.
When the “tough nuts” are unwilling to share, it means that that level of trust has not been established between us yet. As a coach, I have to respect that.
So what I do is give them 10 minutes for them to pen down what’s in their mind. They need not share with me what they have written, but they just have to let me know how they feel about what they have written.
From there, we can still work towards our their objective.
11. What's your favourite advice that you give to your clients?
I often let my clients know before any coaching session, that they are responsible for all the outcome of the conversation.
Hence, the more open they are in the conversation, the more they would be able to gain clarity and work their way to their goals.
12. What are some of the rewarding moments you experienced?
Most of the time would be when they had their A-Ha moments.
I am sensitive towards a person’s energy, so even a subtle change in it during a coaching conversation can be rewarding too.
13. When do you know your clients have truly been transformed?
As a coach, I also act as accountability partner in between sessions.
We would share a document which is a checklist of things that they have agreed to do before the next session.
When the clients update it regularly, you know that they are serious about their results.
14. What is your future plan?
I am currently writing a book which I target to publish it end of the year.
15. If you can start all over again, what would you do differently?
Say no to people who ask for free coaching and those who try to pay with coffee.
I don’t take “I have no money” as an answer.
I have a budget package cater for people who needs it. If they can take Grab and use food delivery, they can well afford it. It’s how they prioritise their money. They are not just paying for my time, but also investing in their success.
Do you think people will take a coach seriously when they do not even see the worth of their own goals? Nah!
16. Last question! How can people find you?
Wow! I’m glad to have interviewed Janus to know more about life coaching, and I especially like her 3 tips on overcoming low self esteem!
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