LIFE IMPROVING COACHING
Life Coach and Expat
I like to read the self improvement books. I know that some people hate like these books, thinks that is waste of time. I am totally on the opposite side. My favorite authors are Brene Brown , Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie. Recently, I have met with Laura Curta on Leadership Book Club at Eindhoven Hub.
I saw the ads about her workshop on Facebook and decided to join the book club. So far I noticed that she has more than one workshop, some of them are; Discover your core identity, your core values/workshop, goal setting- plan wisely, act efficiently and thinking patterns- how our way of thinking determines our emotions.
I noticed that she is really passionate with what she is doing so I asked to have an interview, to discuss about life-balance and get some advice for the people who have immigrated here as expats.
Could you please describe yourself for our audience?
My name is Laura Curta. I am 27 years old and I was born in Romania. After I finished university, I moved to Lithuania and volunteered there for 10 months. I decided to stay so I lived there for almost 3,5 years. I moved to the Netherlands in late spring 2018, as my boyfriend is Dutch.
I am a very energetic person, with lots of ideas and unfortunately, not enough time to learn everything I want to learn, read all the books I want to read and do all the things I want to do. But well, in life we have to have priorities.
I became a coach because it seemed the only way I could have an income of my own and I see it as a good way to do something for the community I find myself in.
Being an expat is not easy- I was blessed to find myself in good circumstances but I came to understand that moving in another country, nurturing a family and finding something meaningful to do beyond household duties, it’s hard- and sometimes might seem impossible.
Adapting to the Netherlands wasn’t easy for me. It took m about 1 year to finally feel like I accept my faith and I am ready to move forward. The change was too sudden and finding myself unemployed was very tough.
In your opinion, what does Life Coach mean and how should It be?
Well, as you have a gym coach to improve your physic and become stronger, you can have a life coach, to help you overcome some life challenges and become an emotionally stronger, balanced person.
A life coach helps you understand yourself better, set goals, find motivation and keeps you accountable. A coach is not a psychologist or a psychiatrist. A coach doesn’t deal with mental disorders, can’t prescribe medicines and is not advised to as a coach help when you seek help for depression, trauma, etc.
A coach helps you to help yourself. A coach holds the space for you to call out loud the challenges you face and with the help of questions, challenges you to look at one situation from multiple perspectives, to understand why do you live the way you do and how can you improve your existence.
“A coach believes in the client’s capacity of finding solutions, learning and judging what’s best for them.
A coach doesn’t judge and assumes that no one is broken and no one is bad. There are bad actions but not bad people. A coach believes in the client’s capacity of finding solutions, learning and judging what’s best for them.
A coach is not better than the client. A coach is not a “know-it-all” or a guru. As coaches, we consider ourselves equal with our clients. Yes, I might know a couple of things about how to help you find your own answers but you also, know some things that I do not know. We all have our own knowledge in a field or another but that doesn’t make any of us superior.
From your point of view, what Is the meaning of Success and Happiness?
Oh, this is a very tricky question.
I would say that a person is successful when they give their best in every circumstance. This requires a lot of self- acceptance, determination and balance. S
uccess, as most of us define it, depends on so many things! And most of these things are out of our control: if someone likes us, if the train arrives on time, if there are discounts, if the weather is good, if someone approves your ideas or not.
We set ourselves for disappointment if we allow ourselves to think that we are successful only when circumstances outside of our control end up being in our favour.
No, no, no. We are successful when we try (but fail) and we are successful when we are brave to pitch our ideas (but they are rejected). Of course, success is sweeter when everything goes your way. Still, as long as you tried, gave your best and dared to stop dreaming on the sofa and start moving towards the dream in the real world, I would say that you can call yourself successful.
Now, when it comes to happiness, things get even more… tangled. Happiness is the constat run after something. How many times did you say “When I get x, I will be happy”? Then you got what you wished for and then you said: “When I get y, I will be finally happy”. It’s nothing bad in having aspirations and goals, but aiming for happiness implies a constant run for something.
Run- run- run- short break- run- run- run.
In which situations Is life coaching effective?
There is only one situation when life coaching is effective: when the client is determined to make changes.
Some come to a coach to be able to have someone to complain to. Or just to feel good about themselves for “seeking” help without doing the hard work that a change implies. Some might go to a coach because they are sent there by someone close but they do not see themselves as having a challenge to overcome.
Life coaching is effective when the client has hope and faith that tomorrow can be a bit better, when the client wants to learn and understands that the old way of being will not bring new results.
And when I say determination to make a change I do not mean moving mountains. No, no! I mean small steps- small but firm steps.
Could you give some life-balance advice to people who have Immigrated here as expats?
This is something I learnt on my own skin after I soaked in self pitty and wishful thinking for months: in any difficult situation, there are 2 choices:
1. Self-pity and despair
2. Doing the best you can in the circumstances you are (even if that might not be enough or might not get you out of distress immediately).
If you chose the first option, you’ll get to sit in the corner, crying, potentially falling into depression and waiting for a saviour. One might be on the way but the road is long. The challenge is still there and presses on your shoulders.
The second option gives you purpose and gives meaning to the difficult times you are living. By doing something when you feel like walls are crashing down on you you raise above the situation.
You are not a victim of the circumstances anymore. You make steps towards getting out of the situation, moving towards people and places where you might find help. By owning up to your present you learn and you evolve, you become wiser and stronger (even though it might not feel like it at that moment).
Now, I will not advise you which path to choose- you are responsible for making that choice. This is just a warning of what lies ahead. The expat life is not easy- looking for a good job might be harder than you think and staying at home all day long might not be as easy and fun as you might think.
Making friends is not always easy and you might miss some things from home which you never thought you will miss. The expat life might bring to life some traits that you never knew you had and you might be surprised at how your partner will deal with the change.
It is ok to feel a bit confused and sad. It is ok to be angry now and then. But after a few minutes, you will always have a choice to make: you deal with what you have to deal with, ask for help, speak up, learn and improve or you give up on a better tomorrow.