Ready to take back control of my life

Monday 25 March 2019

Daniela OI started using the Work It Out service offered by Young Women's Trust a few months ago after I saw an advert on Facebook. I didn't really believe it was going to help me and I was convinced it was some kind of scam but I was feeling lonely and confused and I was craving some support and for someone to direct me in the right direction, therefore I decided to give it a try.   

I consider myself a strong, independent woman. I used to believe I don’t need any help, from anyone,  that I can achieve my goals on my own and that asking for help it is a sign of weakness, that I should 'tough it out' rather than reaching out and ask for help.   

After my sessions with my assigned coach, Charlotte, I started to believe that asking for help is actually a sign of strength and awareness rather than weakness. 

I tend to avoid talking over the phone because I have the feeling people can't understand my accent so I was extremely worried about how the session would go, but Charlotte  made me feel understood, I felt that my words and thoughts were being acknowledged. She was a mindful listener, fully present and that made me open up about my life. My first session was easy. 

The following session was a real challenge. How could I possibly talk about my future when I had no vision about how my future might look? I was faced with challenging questions and most of my replies were "I don't know!" My grandmother taught me not to be afraid to say 'I don't know’ but that I should make sure I find the answer in case I encounter the same question again.  

The next day Charlotte's questions came into my mind quite a few times. I still couldn't find an answer to many of her questions but I started looking at jobs and putting them into categories. I started to think about what I would be good at and decided to enroll to a part time HR course.  

I scheduled the next session for one month’s time. Meanwhile I started the course. I was the only foreigner and the only one who had no previous experience in HR in a class of 10 students. 

After the first month I was considering giving up. I called Charlotte, telling her all about the things I've done since last time I'd spoke. I was starting to downplay the importance of the course mainly because I felt that my colleagues had much more knowledge than me and were outgoing, and I was just a foreigner who doesn't even know how to speak proper English.  

Charlotte reminded me why I embarked upon the journey in the first place and helped me stay motivated. We focused on building up my confidence and soon after I was able to express myself at college and finally I started to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. 

In the remaining sessions we focused on different aspects of my life that needs improvement and she gave me suggestions on how to break my old habits and replace them with new, positive ones. 

Young Women's Trust gave me that boost that I needed. It helped me stop procrastinating, set life and career goals; it taught me how to manage my fears and made me feel better about myself. I feel ready to take back control of my life and I am finally looking forward to the future. 

When someone listens to you well, it makes you feel accepted, understood, important, valued and validated.  It reminds you that you are not invisible or alone and the coaches at Young Women's Trust are the best listeners.  

Find out more about Work It Out Coaching, our free service for women aged 18-30, by clicking here.