Friday December 9, 2016
By: Iman Refaat
Becoming a life coach “was an accident”, Nevin Elgendy explained during her interview over the phone from her home in Canada. She had just moved to Canada, when she was in a supermarket flicking through magazines and she came across an ad for a life coaching workshop offered by Dr. Martha Beck Institute. Dr. Beck is a monthly contributor to Oprah Winfrey’s magazine and one of the world’s most reputable life coaches. “I have read many of her books, but I never knew she ran workshops”. When Nevin read the same ad a few days later in the New York Times, she knew it was an omen, “The universe was talking to me.” She registered for the workshop, and was trained and certified as a life coach under the tutelage of Dr. Martha Beck.
With the increasing demands and challenges of today’s life, stress looms everywhere, at work, at home, in the chaotic streets of Cairo and even in social gatherings. Where some use self-defense mechanisms like denial or suppression of their feelings to cope, others reach out to life coaches for help.
As a life coach, Nevin wants to help people change the way they think, and through that change they improve the quality of their lives. With the visible growing culture of life coaching in Egypt, she has organized several successful retreats, “It‘s a new phenomenon in Egypt, and the level of awareness among Egyptians is increasing and it is spreading through word of mouth.”
Most of Nevin’s clients are women between their late twenties and early forties. “I’ve worked with a few individuals above fifty, but they don’t form the core of my group. I tend to focus on a younger age group as I feel I am better equipped to help them.” She likes working with women who have goals and are ready to make decisions. She also helps Egyptian women to defy their adversities and the social pressures imposed on them by society, culture and traditions, and which result in their victimization. Instead of blaming the circumstances and trying to change others around them, she helps women to liberate themselves and identify the reasons that hold them back from living to their full potential.
Many confuse the roles of psychiatrists, psychologists, and life coaches. Rather than the patient-doctor relationship, where psychiatrists and psychologists focus on the treatment of mental and emotional disorders by diagnosing the medical causes of stress, depression or anxiety, life coaches, work with their clients in a friendlier and more relaxed environment. They invite their clients to dive within themselves and search for what’s holding them back from reaching their optimal future goals, start or deal with big changes in their lives, on personal and professional levels. “It’s like the difference between a doctor and a trainer at the gym. A person with a heart problem will see a doctor, while healthy people, not performing to their full potential will work out with a personal trainer.” Nevin explains.
A life coach for three and a half years, Nevin witnessed major changes in the lives of her clients. “One of my clients currently going through cancer treatment is leading her cancer, not allowing it to lead her. She now understands that cancer was just a symptom of something going wrong in her life, but she no longer allows it to dictate to her how to live her life.”
While on a journey of self-discovery, a life coachs will look to bring to the surface your beliefs and values and help you examine those. They will work with you to get rid of any limiting thoughts and help you break the cycle of negativity, by identifying certain patterns. They will also help you improve your relationship with yourself and with others, and equip you with the necessary tools to reach your full potentials and create the life you desire. As people reach your goals, they start living holistically and hearts, minds, bodies and souls will work together in harmony.
Although quite altruistic and simple, life coaching isn’t necessarily for everyone as a number of people might crave change but will often resist it. “There are individuals who tend to get stuck in a loop of self doubt and fear of change and it is often those who need help the most but are the hardest to work with,” says Nevin. “It is important in those instances to really understand that you can only help those who truly want to help themselves.”
When hiring a life coach, “you should be looking for a transformation and it’s important that you work very closely with your coach to achieve that transformation.” Nevin suggests that people should consult a life coach when:
- The pain they feel within becomes stronger than the fear of change
- Their thoughts become limiting and stressful
- They aren’t living up to their full potential or feel mentally unfit.
To ensure success in achieving their goals people must:
- Show up for the sessions
- Review the thoughts that are limiting them
- Work on change, one step at a time
- Watch their thoughts, listen to their hearts and change their life stories by learning how to make the right decisions.
Nevin just finished working with a Mercedes Benz employee in Jordan and with retreats scheduled for Italy, France and Egypt in the coming months, she is looking forward to some rest. She still has a lot to accomplish, and doesn’t “want to burn out”. “My dream is to grow my practice and continue my work on a larger scale. I hope one day to write a book, in which I can share my experiences and how they transformed me, especially since I was almost fifty when I started life coaching. Maybe one day I’ll even have my own YouTube channel.”
To learn more about Nevin and her work, visit her website http://www.nevinelgendy.com/
Edited by: Lamia Senousi