x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Success is all in the mind, and unlocking it is the job of a life coach

We talk to Carolyn Coe, a Dubai-based Scot who have up a high-flying career to start a new life helping others as a life coach.

The life coach Carolyn Coe at her home in The Greens area of Dubai.
The life coach Carolyn Coe at her home in The Greens area of Dubai.

It's a familiar trope preached by most motivational speakers and life coaches: change the way you think and your life will improve.

So, with a mere change of perspective, you will go from overweight couch potato to buff exercise fanatic, from chronically disorganised to amazingly efficient or gloomy pessimist to avid optimist.

A status- and career-obsessed nation such as the UAE is seen as rich pickings for professionals espousing these theories. For example, in recent months, we've had the popular American performance coach Joseph McClendon III and Robin Sharma, the author of the multi-million-selling leadership guide The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, both host seminars to share their wisdom with those seeking a better life (for the substantial price of a ticket, of course.)

Yet now the country is starting to produce its own indigenous crop of self-help gurus who have based their teachings on their own experiences with the peculiar idiosyncrasies of making a livelihood in the UAE.

One of these is Carolyn Coe, a 36-year-old Scot who eschewed a high-flying corporate career (previously she launched Emirates Airline's business-class lounges and oversaw the hospitality sector for the inaugural Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix) in favour of the world of life coaching.

From her home in The Greens in Dubai, she gave a brief introduction to her latest project, The Skyrocket Sessions, which she sells as a "series of tutorials for self-propelled success".

She claims instant results for those who complete the course, citing one attendee who immediately secured a promotion at work and another overweight client who lost 20 kilograms.

But was it really worth ditching such an auspicious career to help others?

"I had it all - a nice salary, nice car and nice apartment," she recalls. "But after a while I began to realise the greatest pleasure I had at work was having someone come into the team relatively unskilled and then having them call me five years later to say: 'I'm just opening my own restaurant or bar or business and I learnt something from you.'

"I'd done everything I wanted to do in the industry, so decided to start from scratch."

Yet the greatest inspiration came from the king of self-help gurus Tony Robbins, when in 2008 she attended his Unleash the Power Within lecture in London.

"I was already studying when I attended his course," she says, "but he made me realise the huge benefits that you can achieve by doing his course, or my course.

"I like him because he's a big advocate of neuro-linguistic programming and uses simple, direct language, so I've taken a lot from that."

Also known as NLP, the theory is that all our behaviours are governed by conscious and unconscious thoughts. Hence, eradicating negative mental processes can alter the way we act.

Coe has simplified this into what she calls our "mini-me" - a voice inside our heads that is essentially the three-year-old version of us.

"This is our experience auditor, our soul-searcher and our nurturer," she asserts.

"We talk out loud to it. It can be cruel to us, but also protective and comforting. It's with us our whole life but once we learn how it works, we can be in charge of our lives."

And, like Robbins, she plans to publish her theories in both DVD and book form. She doesn't aim, however, to one day live an extravagant lifestyle such as that of the multi-millionaire Robbins.

"I'm not a big ego who wants to be famous," she says. "In fact, I actually really struggled when I first started this to charge people for it because it's something that I could give freely."

Skyrocket Sessions cost Dh6,000 for 12 hours of coaching. Call 050 734 0585 or visit www.icanskyrocket.com for more information.

hberger@thenational.ae