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RUNNING TO IGNITE THINKING (& THE JOY OF UNEXPECTED TEA & CAKE)

In my second Coaching Blog I reflect on how running helps me think better, the process of finding my authentic voice and how the Coach’s own lived experience and ongoing self-enquiry enables them to serve clients and help them reach their potential from a place of understanding, empathy and authenticity.

I’m based in Whitley Bay and coach face to face (in and around Newcastle, North Tyneside and the wider north east) and via Zoom or phone if you prefer or live further away. Sessions can also be arranged outdoors, including along the beautiful north east coastline.

I spent the morning wondering what to write. I thought Blog #2 would be as easy as the first. But it was much harder. I was struggling to articulate my value and bring something new, authentic and unique to topics we frequently work with in coaching such as overwhelm, feeling stuck, overcoming unhelpful thoughts and beliefs – when I realised all of those things were true for me in that moment.

I couldn’t get into my stride to produce the free-flowing, inspiring piece I imagined I’d create, where my own authentic voice as a Coach shone out through my writing.

I set off for a run instead. I hadn’t run to Tynemouth for a while so that was my goal. Despite running 6 miles easily, without stopping a few days prior as part of my #GNR22 training, it turned out running any distance today was going to be really tough. I had to stop three or four times. I was tempted to turn back but kept going. Each time I stopped, I walked for a minute or so and then started again.

I sketched out this blog sitting in one of my favourite cafés in Tynemouth. I don’t usually stop mid-way through a run for a mug of tea and a slice of lemon drizzle cake but it turns out it was just what I needed. I could finally feel a Blog idea brewing (excuse the pun) and wanted to get my thoughts down before they drifted away. Plus, the thought of tea and cake pushed me on that last mile or so.

I’ve been pondering the parallels between my experience of running and the challenges and victories, highs and lows I’ve faced in my life since I started running regularly last year.
Getting outdoors, being in nature and particularly running – (maybe it’s cycling or walking for you?) – physically propelling forwards, is a great way of becoming unstuck and moving your thinking on.

Every time I run, I go on a journey that wakes up my brain as well as my body. Sometimes I don’t know quite where I’ll end up running to, or for how long. I don’t know if it’ll be bright and breezy, or hellishly hard. But I know that if I keep going, I’ll make progress. I often come back with new thoughts, perspectives, and ideas. It’s where I do some of my best thinking.

Sometimes when running as in life, I need to alter my pace to slow right down and be kinder to myself to make it up a steep incline. Other times when I’m ‘in flow’ I can run faster and further, and it feels so easy. I literally feel like I could run forever, like I could achieve anything. I might flex and change my plan, and (very much a first for me and I don’t especially recommend eating cake before running!), sometimes might even end up in a café eating cake and drinking tea, because it felt like exactly what I needed to do in the moment.

For the record I am no natural. I was asthmatic and at school could be found struggling at the back of any long-distance run. I never expected to call myself a runner. Let alone that running could continue to have such a positive impact on my life and my physical and mental wellbeing.

Running teaches me so much about perseverance, bravery, how to face what might at first seem impossible, and step by step, mile by mile, I have learnt that I can get there. Especially at times when I feel as stuck as I did today.

Being a Coach is so much more than supporting others to recognise and achieve their dreams. It’s about living what you believe in yourself, practicing what you preach. It’s not about being perfect or having a showy or enviable lifestyle. It’s not about selling your dreams to your clients. It’s about helping them to find and fulfil theirs.

This is only achieved through learning the power of being able to think well and developing the self-awareness to know when you’re not. It’s about learning to listen to and be present to yourself and others, being in tune with your mind and body. It’s about finding the tools and strategies to achieve this that are effective for you. It’s about working out when something’s not quite right, being open to uncovering what’s going on for you and finding a way to get beyond it. In this way I serve the brilliant and inspiring people I am privileged to Coach, from a place of understanding, empathy and authenticity.

There will always be a better article or blog. But I realised today that my unique value is in writing about my real, lived experience and inspired inner journey as a Coach; one which is ongoing, fascinating, fantastically enjoyable and endlessly rewarding. It’s a process of self-discovery that enables both yourself and others to consciously live the life you want to live, and develop the kind of true confidence and self-belief that only comes from within.

Thank you to Dil and the Bear for the best tea and cake I’ve had in ages, and the lovely helpful member of staff who helped me work Apple Pay and lent me a pen and paper. (I highly recommend the lemon drizzle cake.)

I’m doing the Great North Run for the Stroke Association. If you’re interested in making a donation here’s the link.

Benefits of coaching
Coaching provides a safe and confidential space to explore your thoughts, ideas and dreams.

Coaching can help you:

• be more self-confident

• achieve your goals

• think more clearly

• develop self-awareness

• feel more fulfilled

• be inspired

• find joy

Benefits of coaching

Coaching provides a safe and confidential space to explore your thoughts, ideas and dreams.

Coaching can help you:

• be more self-confident

• achieve your goals

• think more clearly

• develop self-awareness

• feel more fulfilled

• be inspired

• find joy

Whitley Bay
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About me

Coaching has been both life-affirming and life-changing for me – it’s not only something I’m passionate about but as a philosophy it’s something I do my best to live by. Coaching is about having belief in people – it assumes that everyone has potential and is inherently resourceful, that with the right support they can find their own best solutions and ultimately be the author of their own story, consciously creating a life that they want to live.

Through being the recipient of coaching over a number of years, working with some brilliant coaches, I have become more self-aware, more connected to my own thoughts and feelings, and have a good understanding of my own values, beliefs and strengths. I have discovered many tools which I regularly use to stay happy, healthy and motivated. Coaching can help to find happiness from within, rather than from things which may be outside of your control.

Through my practice I continue to learn about myself, others and the world around me. I continually develop and improve my skills to serve others and regularly take part in CPD events and opportunities.

The positive impact that coaching has had on me, is what motivates me to share this gift with others. It’s a privilege and an honour to be invited into people’s lives, to share their hopes and dreams and to support them in their own personal journey to finding fulfilment. I would love to help you find yours.

If you’re curious about how I can help support your journey, please get in touch for a free 30 minute consultation.

Nina Byrne

qualifications

I hold a Masters of Arts in Coaching (Distinction), from Northumbria University. I’m a member of the Association of Coaching, abide by the Global Code of Ethics for Coaching and undergo regular coaching supervision.

I am also a member of the Board of Festival of Thrift.

Book life coaching in Whitley Bay

If any of this resonates with you and you’d like to find out more, I’d love to hear from you.

You can book a free 30 minute phone or Zoom consultation.

Testimonials
“Coaching has completely changed my approach to work and has also had some knock-on benefits for my personal life too. I am more self-aware, able to take criticism and I make time for reflection. The way in which I communicate has transformed, I feel like there is more clarity in my life and things are just a bit calmer. I have discovered who I am as a leader and I am comfortable with that which has increased my confidence and is pushing me to do more and go further.”
Lucy, Charity CEO
“Nina’s coaching sessions help me to work through challenges in a way that takes them from being quite overwhelming, to lots of smaller, manageable steps that get me to where I want to be. She always asks just the right question when I’m feeling stuck. She has a genuine, enthusiastic style that makes her a great coach!”
Michelle, Business Relationship Manager
“The sessions I have had with Nina have seen me through quite a turbulent time; quitting a job, then interviewing for and starting in a new one whilst also deciding to move house. These things would have previously overwhelmed me but Nina’s coaching enabled me to unpick some of my long-held beliefs and enabled me to face them. I have finished my sessions with a sense of calmness and confidence that I didn’t think I had in me.”
Jo, Arts Manager
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