Never too young: changing your life trajectory at 25 with Felicity
In this blog post, we delve into a captivating dialogue with Felicity Rose Sunderland Hall, a remarkable individual who has undergone a transformative journey of self-discovery and empowerment. During our meeting, Felicity generously shared her background, personal growth, and her inspiring path towards coaching and helping others. We explore her unique story and the pivotal moments that shaped her remarkable transformation.
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From Business Studies to Coaching
As the conversation began, Felicity opened up about her background, one that diverged significantly from the coaching realm. With a four-year business degree under her belt, Felicity initially ventured into the corporate world, driven by societal expectations and ambitions. However, a year into her professional career, she experienced a profound burnout that forced her to question the trajectory of her life. It was at this critical juncture that coaching unexpectedly entered the picture, offering Felicity a lifeline and a newfound sense of clarity.
“I moved to the south of France when I was five, which is actually where I live now. I love being here. Coaching was one of the things that led me to move back here because I went to the UK to do my university degree. I graduated from university in 2020, went straight into the business world and moved to London, because I thought, this is what everyone does. I’d ticked all of my boxes and then after about a year, I had a complete burnout. I couldn’t do it anymore. I wondered if this was how the rest of my life was going to be.
I suffered from anxiety throughout the course of my life, and that was when I reached a breaking point. It just so happened that that was also the first time that I had coaching. I saw an advert on Instagram, which I never normally believe but it was from this amazing organisation offering free coaching to women under the age of 30.
I thought, what have I got to lose? This is the right time. I need to ask myself these questions. So I had some coaching with an absolutely amazing coach who also happens to be a MOE trainer.”
A Life-Changing Coaching Experience
Felicity engaged with an exceptional coach named Tony, who not only provided guidance but also transformed her perspective on life itself. Through seven transformative coaching sessions, Felicity embarked on a journey of self-discovery, questioning her beliefs, aspirations, and desires.
“The experience of coaching with Tony completely changed my life. It was the first time that I’d asked myself, what do I actually want? Not what I think I should do. After that, I quit my job, I moved back to France, left all of my friends, left my boyfriend and everyone was wondering what was going on, asking me if I was ok. But it turns out it was just the best thing that I could have ever done. And, by the end of the coaching, Tony said to me, it sounds like maybe you would be a good fit for the MOE Coach Training course.
I love people, I love trying to help people, but I’m also very empathetic. Sometimes it’s quite hard to create that barrier. Coaching and learning to be a coach taught me the tools to support people and give them their space but also to keep my distance and look after myself. Little did I know that after about week three, I was 100 % sure that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I love it.”
From Burnout to Breakthrough
“The MOE Coach Training course changed my life personally and professionally. I never want to go back to work in an office again. Maybe I will, but definitely not at the moment. I remember asking Tony at the end of the course: What’s the right next step? And he answered that the best thing about coaching is there is no one right way, just do whatever you want to do, trust your gut and then see what happens.
I got involved with many organisations that I really believe in. There’s a great one that focuses on first year students at Oxford University, who come from underprivileged backgrounds. They’re the first people in their family to go to University. They’re under a lot of pressure to go to Oxford or Cambridge. And on top of that, no one in their family can really warn them, so I talk to them throughout the process.“
Embracing Coaching: A Natural Fit
Inspired by her transformative coaching journey, Felicity recognized the potential within herself to help others navigate their own paths to self-discovery and empowerment. With her natural affinity for connecting with people and her linguistic abilities, coaching became a natural fit for her.
“I‘m also working for an organisation that focuses on people who’ve had to leave their country either because they were refugees, or because they were expats who have ended up in this country where the culture is completely different and don’t necessarily speak the language. We’re working with a lot of Ukrainian people at the moment. And, obviously I’m working with MOE, I’m absolutely loving MOE.”
The Power of Observation
Speaking on her key takeaways in the realms of both observation and training Felicity said: “The first thing that comes to mind is being in that supportive environment, there’s so much trust, there’s so much honesty. There’s also a lot of energy. We’re all vibrating at a high level. Just being in that kind of environment is very magical. At the end of the day, if you’re observing, you’re thinking wow, that was such a good day. And it feels like it was one of those moments that lasts a really long time, even if it is really short. Like when you’re on holiday, and you feel like you’ve been on holiday for ages, but it also didn’t last long enough. It’s that kind of feeling.
It always amazes me how much can be done in the space of 10 minutes or 20 minutes. Watching other coaches or future coaches in that environment, coach someone for 10 or 20 minutes is unbelievable to me. It has become one of my mottos for life: anything can happen in 10 minutes. You’ll see people start at point A, and then in 10 or 20 minutes, arrive at a completely different outcome or something that could potentially impact the rest of their lives. Seeing that happen is unbelievable. And magical. It makes you wonder what else is possible, that you didn’t think could ever happen. I would definitely recommend becoming an observer, it’s a very rewarding thing to do.
Rediscovering Faith and Supportive Environments
Becoming a trainer revitalised Felicity’s faith in finding a nurturing and positive work environment. After leaving her previous job that failed to meet expectations, the coaching environment, particularly with MOE, restored her belief in the inherent goodness of people.
“The biggest difference for me when training is that in one sense, you are coaching because you’re modelling the coaching approach and creating that environment, trying to model people finding their own answers, giving people trust. But it’s also not a normal coaching session. When I’m doing a demonstration there are times I want to branch off and comment: Oh, this is interesting. This is a really good nugget. And you can’t do that when you’re a trainer because you’re not coaching this person, but showing other people how to coach.
When I left my previous job I couldn’t believe this was my first experience as a graduate. I thought, is this really the kind of environment that I’m going to be in for the next 40 years? It was petrifying. And then finding the coaching environment, and specifically being a trainer with MOE gave me faith again that people are good, that they can respect you, that you can be valued.
Embracing a Purposeful Future
“The way MOE has created social change for me is that I love psychology, mental health and well being. I think it’s something that we’re not told enough about. We spoke about it in my family, but I don’t remember ever speaking about it in school. I don’t remember speaking about it with doctors. There was no information that was easily available. MOE enabled me to see that if you’ve been looking at your life the same way your whole life, you won’t know that there’s another way to look at it.
It’s as if you’ve been wearing the same sunglasses your whole life, and no one said to you, you’re wearing sunglasses, if you take them off, you might see things differently. MOE for me was the first experience of being in a situation where people encouraged me to find another way to look at it, take my glasses off. It was the first step in putting myself in the driver’s seat of my life.
In terms of mental health, MOE has given me confidence and self esteem. So much of that comes from the way that MOE is run. Even in the tagline “Me, others, everyone”. It starts with me. And then you spread it out to others. And then from that, it reaches the world and goes out to everyone. It’s ingrained in the way that MOE does things, which I love.”
Felicity Rose Sunderland Hall is currently an assistant trainer on the MOE Coach Training course. Her journey is a testament to the power of self-reflection, personal growth, and the transformative nature of coaching. Her willingness to question societal expectations and embrace her true calling has led her on a path of purpose and fulfilment. As we conclude our conversation with Felicity, we are reminded of the importance of listening to our intuition and exploring new possibilities in pursuit of our authentic selves.
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