Oct. 19, 2021

How to choose a career that you love. Sarah's story on using loss as motivation to go after the career she always wanted.


Choosing a career that makes us happy, but also pays the bills can be difficult for some. But Career Coach Sarah Burrows will tell you that it's definitely possible. Sarah experienced a devastating loss a couple of years ago, but little did she know, it pushed her to live life like it is never guaranteed. And that's when she followed her dreams and became a career coach. In this episode Sarah goes over what we can do to get clear on what we want as a career.  She also gives tips on ways to get over limiting beliefs. We talk about the difference between your purpose and your career and how the two can be intertwined.

If you would like to connect with Sarah please visit her website at: https://www.achievingambition.com
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Transcript

Melissa Bright:

Thank you to better help for sponsoring this podcast guys, you have been hearing me talk about better help for as long as I can remember, I started my therapy whenever I started this podcast. And so that's exactly why they became my sponsor, because they have helped me better help is the only place that I have ever done therapy. So if you guys think you might need to see a therapist better help is amazing. They are online, you can do it from the comfort of your own home, you have the options to message them, you can do a phone call, you can do a video chat, whatever you feel comfortable with doing. Also, they have several different types of therapists. If you need couples, or for marriage and family therapy, they offer that it's also available to individuals worldwide, not just in the US better help is also a monthly subscription. So you're not paying per session and financial aid is available for those who qualify. So visit better help.com slash bright side of life, that's better help.com slash bright side of life, join over 500,000 people taking charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced professional. And for your first month, you're going to receive 10% off by being a listener of the bright side of life. So let them know that I sent you by using the link better help.com forward slash bright side of life. The link will also be in the description section of this episode.

Sarah:

I remember coming out of my coaching qualification that I'd signed up to. And just knowing that was what I needed to do and knowing and I just remember, like feeling relief that I had found something that I wanted to do and that I was willing to just go for it.

Melissa Bright:

Welcome to the bright side of life, a podcast where people share their personal stories of struggles, pain and grief. But through all of that they are still able to find the joys in life. Hello, everyone. And welcome to this week's episode of the bright side of life. I am your host, Melissa Bright. And today we are going to be talking to Sarah Burrows, who is a career coach. But Sarah wasn't always a career coach. And she would experience a devastating tragedy that would really help her define her career and spurred her to help others do the same. So today we're going to be talking about things like how you can get clear on what it is you want to do as a career. If you haven't found your path yet, ways you can find your purpose and ways to get over those limiting beliefs that we often have. But one of the biggest things we're going to be talking about is how we can use our loss and grief and kind of turn it into our motivation to achieve such things that we were talking about. So Sarah, welcome, again to the bright side of life since I forgot to press record the first time. How are you?

Sarah:

Good. Thank you very excited to be here. Especially from being across the pond. How are you?

Melissa Bright:

I am doing so good. And before we were talking about that I was so excited to talk to you because you do have a British accent and it's just amazing. So thank you again for being here. I'm very excited to talk to you. Me to me. Yeah. Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and where you grew up and what life was like for you whenever you were younger?

Sarah:

Yeah, so I grew up in the West Midlands in the UK, in a very small village that just about how to school. We walked to school, and I was one of three. It was good. It was good fun. We had a lot of Yeah, like knocking on friends doors to go and pay in the evenings. And very supportive community as well, which is really nice. Yeah, a lot of fun. I'd say childhood.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. And you said, you know, when you were growing up, and really even in your 20s, that you had always really had this this positive mindset you didn't really have any struggles with with mental health, per se. And I know that you had said that you had worked in a military recovery program. Can you kind of explain what that is and how that really helped with your perspective and having that positive mindset?

Sarah:

Yeah, so I, I studied psychology at university. And I finished I graduated with a master's and I just so happened to stumble across a program that was delivered by the university and it was military recovery for wounded injured and sick soldiers. And it was a residential Monday to Friday and it was a mixture of life coaching. Adaptive Sports. And it was one of the most transformative stages of my life because I got to see people that were experiencing anything and everything from all walks of life, who are facing huge amounts of uncertainty about whether or not they're going to stay in the military or go through. And through a mixture of adaptive sports. So you know, showing them what they could do overcoming those barriers, with a combination of life coaching, delivered by military personnel, you could see them overcome so many barriers give themselves a mental break by doing this, the sports you know, switching off for a little while, but complemented with this, like some of the most incredible coaches I've also ever had the pleasure of working with. It gave me so much perspective. So I was early 20s coming into this, I sort of worked in this way that I went to university and but I'd never really done anything this huge. and overcoming adversity on such a huge, like, such a profound level of overcoming stuff that you know, you'd leave on a Friday being so empowered, like, also very sad with what they're experiencing that so empowered, and it just week on week, so it was free, lots I do a little bit here a little bit there. It wasn't full time, it's quite an intense job. But I just remember going home and talking to my boyfriend at the time, just think, Oh, it's just stuff that bothered him just like didn't never bothered me in the end, because I was like, God, I've just literally heard stories all day, every day for five days of people, like, you know, they've been out they've done tours, and just come back. And, you know, worrying about things like road rage. You know, such small things that right? Like with such high levels of aggression and emotion. It just kind of put life into perspective on such a grand scale for me that I was so grateful that things that potentially would have bothered me to stop bothering me so much, because I feel like it's really nothing in comparison to what I've been dealing, you know, what other people are dealing with? And I was exposed to that. Yeah, such an incredible job and they adapt to sports was also really fancy. That was a bonus. Yeah,

Melissa Bright:

and what was the like, when you say adaptive sports? I mean, I know what adaptive means. But like, what did that mean, for the soldiers? Like, what would they do? And what kind of sports would it be?

Sarah:

So we would do multi activity courses. And they would be bi x that had additions made to them. So they would be sat down paddling with our arms if they had sort of spinal issues, or what we had technical support. So one guy, or maybe she hadn't got feeling to her left arm, but it was like, helping her to ride a bike that was sort of developed for injuries, or we did rock climbing. So we'd have one on one leg, rock climbing up a mountain. We played seated volleyball, we played areas kayaking, and in a pool, wheelchair basketball, and lots of sports that were really fun. And in a group, you know, not so low school, but also everyone on a level playing fields. So it didn't, you had an injury a lot of the time. Y'all got you know, how many people do you know, played wheelchair basketball? You know. So it was, it was such a great thing to let people play with it, and OB ob equal will be equal in a sport to have fun. And then the adaptations for injuries as well on things like bikes and rock climbing and special horses, and lots of other sports as well.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, that sounds when you talked about like your boyfriend when he would come home and just kind of talk about those trivial things. If you like you said, when you are working with people that had just experience on such a much grander scale of these things, that the things that your boyfriend was talking about, it seems like how can you even be upset or that had to be really beneficial for you, like you said, if you were just seeing these people all day, every day, how they are to really help your perspective, you know, and be grateful. And that's just amazing. And how long did you did you work with this program?

Sarah:

About three years in total, took a little bit of a gap went traveling and came back a little bit more than from a research perspective. But yeah, three years, three, four years.

Melissa Bright:

Okay. And for your traveling Did you travel for business or for pleasure or for both? Pleasure. Okay. I looked at your website and you have been to 40 different countries. Yeah. That's amazing. Oh my goodness, that is absolutely incredible. So what did you do after after you did the military program? What did you do then?

Sarah:

Um, so I sort of did that alongside traveling for a little while, and then came back and middle London, and got a job at a charity doing some evaluation work nine to five.

Melissa Bright:

Okay. Okay, gotcha. And December of 2018, you experienced a very great tragedy. And I'm just going to ask you, if you can kind of explain, you know, what happened in that experience?

Sarah:

Yeah, so a couple of days for Christmas, I've just gone back to my parents house. And everything was like completely normal, like just typical build up to Christmas wrapping presents and stuff. And I woke up to a phone call from my best friend's mom, to tell me that her boyfriend had died. And they were they've just moved over to Australia. So it was like the early hours that this it all happened. And then I woke up to the first call. And I remember just like walking into my mom and dad's room, because Luckily, I was at home. And I just said it to them. And I just remember being in such shock. And then my best friend had gone missing. And no one really knew what happened. This was in Australia. So the second phone call about her death was four hours later. And yeah, just remember receiving the phone call that she'd been found. And yeah, Christmas completely turned upside down. And I just remember, like, receiving this phone call from both of my best friend's mom, but also my best friend, because I don't think a lot of people could talk about it in the music The moment it happened. And yeah, I remember just sitting there and getting a call that said are you sat down, which I think tells you when you get that call, like if anyone has ever had that call you'd that's all you need to know the outcome. And then yeah, we sort of then had to share the news with a friend or immediate friends. And that was, yeah, cheers for Christmas. And the support from those sort of local community because we were such a small village growing up, was absolutely phenomenal. About a week later, we all got together and had a car Oh, it's got like a football match or rugby match, sorry, on their behalf. And there's hundreds and hundreds of people that it not only come to play, but it comes to their watch and support as a community because there was there's so integrated. We live in a small village in this country. Everyone knows everyone, you know, you it's primary school to secondary school to college. It's sort of decades of friendship. And everyone very much came together. And it was it was beautiful. And then yeah, took took a couple of months to fly them home. Because they're out in Australia. So I think it was very, very quick, very sudden. And then quite a long process as well as the only grief I've ever experienced. And so I hadn't got any expectations of how it would be or what it would do or anything like that. So it was completely just sit and wait, I guess wait for whatever comes I got without pushing and kind of just not really knowing how to navigate it as well. Definitely that.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. So to kind of go along with that. Like you said you had you known your best friend your entire life.

Sarah:

I think I was about 10 and I remember Yeah, cuz I we did a speech at the big joint funeral. And his beautiful ceremony we did a speech and I remember quoting a time I remember she was getting told off outside in primary school. And we just literally been thought of it and we were never really naughty children. But I could just remember like telling the story remembering that I am I can stop laughing like she just if you caught her eye like you'd always just begin to be passing is that laughing that you can never really be tunneled off alongside her and I remember telling this story. But yeah, I moved to the village that we were in about 10 So yeah, yeah, quite a few years at that point about 1520 years of

Melissa Bright:

okay. And how old was she when she passed away.

Sarah:

Um, she will have been 20 to 20 Seven.

Melissa Bright:

Okay. extremely, extremely, nine. Okay. And have you known her boyfriend? About seven years? Yeah. Seven, eight. And so this was like you said, you this was the first time that you had really experienced grief. So can you tell me? What What was that like for you? I mean, it's been almost two years now. But what? What did you learn about grief? What are some things that you've done to kind of heal. I mean, your first tragedy was one that was really unfortunate, this was your best friend whom you have known your entire life. And to kind of clear it up for listeners, what happened is her boyfriend was in a vehicle accident, and his life was taken. And then, unfortunately, a couple hours later, she did take her own life, because she, she was heartbroken. Which is just absolutely I'm sure, like mind blowing for you. So just to kind of show the the amount of like grief that you were really having to process having to process? What What was that like for you? because like you said, this was your first time. So what what has it been like for you?

Sarah:

I think a lot of it was shock. You know, you I don't think you ever expected especially with the age, the way it happened, like you just described that's so random and unfortunate that you've got a process actually, just what happened as well as how it feels. And I the healing process, I think is so continuous. And I, I was lucky, like I said about the military work I'd had, I knew a lot of the things I needed to do, you know, had a psychology background of being exposed to life coaching. And I went and had a little bit of therapy very soon afterwards. And I wasn't ready for it, there was no way that I could process loss immediately. And I I just think that it was you know, it was suggested to me to go and I was Turkey is absolutely fine. But actually, I was not ready, I wasn't ready to really delve into the pain, because I was just trying to really focus on the immediate future. I think that it was as I get through the weeks, you know, just and, and not block it out. I think one of the biggest healing things I ever did that my therapist told me I was doing well was giving it space, they're giving it space, and still now like years years old, and but giving it the time that it deserves because it is okay that it hurts, and, and not allowing yourself to beat yourself up forgiving yourself that and I think especially very early on, I carved time out, I locked myself in my room, you know, and I addressed I addressed it because I was like this is going to end up so much worse. If I don't, I could feel that it would just bubble and bubble and bubble and it would I definitely remember feeling like I was going to explode. And then I'd have a big release. And I'd sit and I just sort of let it out. And then I'd go carry on and I try and focus and trying to also not have too many other stresses in my life. Yeah, not sort of overloaded, you know, my cup was already full. And I had to acknowledge that I had to acknowledge that there was nothing else I could take on at that time in the immediate months afterwards because it just couldn't happen. There was no room for it. And I love the analogy of a cupping fall because it was such a visual for me that was like, no, it's okay that my cup is full. It won't always be like this and I can acknowledge that now my logical brain can acknowledge that but you know, address it actually give it the space that it needs to have and it's okay to have that I think they're not beating myself up was a big learning curve to be okay with it being a tragedy. You know, I think a lot of us when something happens is we're like no, no, it's fine. No, no, no, I'm good. Okay, it's fine. I don't want to but because it's it's painful talk about you know, it's not something you want to bring up. It's also you want to address pain is really ugly. And but if it doesn't, you know, it's like I had this quote the other day. If you don't address some emotions, it's like a beach ball. And if you push it under the water, that's fine. But it's only going to pop up somewhere else. So true. You're gonna it's gonna come out in a form of you being angry at someone else or kicking off about something that's triggered you absolutely irrelevant that actually how it holds no weight to your emotions. But you kick out and you're like, at someone else, because you have an outlet, that emotion that needs to go and whatever way.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, something I want to ask you because this was your first time really experiencing, I guess for lack of better words, adversity you had already, you know, have your master masters in psychology, correct? Yeah. Yeah. And life coaching. So you you already had a lot of tools in your favor for going through this. Was there anything that really surprised you? That was kind of hard for you to get a grasp on? I know you said, you know, it was the learning curve of not beating yourself up. But was there anything that you were like, Man, I'm really surprised that I did this acted this way thought this way, because of my skills and everything that I had under my belt. Does that question Make sense? I think

Sarah:

so. I think the thing that surprised me was knowing that I was doing it right, because I didn't know. And then when my therapist said to me, you're doing the things you should be doing, I think, I think I knew the tools, but I didn't realize I was implementing them. It was just my go to it's just the only way I knew but subconsciously, not very much consciously. I think it was something that just happened. And I don't think I have a capacity to try and be conscious about it at the time. Do you think I had that in me to even think about it? I'm not sure if the answer's

Melissa Bright:

no, it It absolutely does because, you know, I know that you've listened to my podcast and I lost my mom when I was 25. And at that time, I didn't go to therapy. I didn't do any kind of grief counseling and I did I think the opposite of what you did I pushed it down that of course I don't realize what I'm doing. I think I'm handling it well okay, I'm like yeah, I haven't I haven't cried over my mom and you know, a couple months like I think I'm okay. But like that thought or like that beach ball you said that was under the water, it was slowly and slowly or slowly or slowly coming up and popping out of the water and essentially it came to a head in 2020 when I just was so upset all I wanted to do was talk to my mom and had been 10 years and that's when my boyfriend said I don't think you have properly dealt with your mom's loss and I think I just shoved it so far down never went to her grave like anything like that. So not so much denial because I knew she wasn't living here on this earth but pretty damn close to denial you know. And so I just think that is so great that you did have all those tools and everything to give yourself that space to give yourself that grace to know that this is gonna take time it's not something I can push down and just hope it goes away because a lot of people are not fortunate fortunate enough to have those tools and it's not pretty at all to deal with grief and those kinds of ways.

Sarah:

Yeah, and I think what's so interesting about that is that the the description you gave of your journey really sounds to me just like society teaches us that strength is bravery and not having emotions that you're not showing these emotions that's that's what you know that's how you're dealing with it well you're dealing well really not dealing with it but it looks like you're coming across fine you know I'm still going to work you know how much time you get off work for grief it's ridiculous like it's such an event and you the brain and the processing it needs to do but we're taught just to not carry on going back to work back to life and it's not healthy in my mind it's not healthy because it's it's something that's happened it's a huge loss and it yeah coming up and I don't know if it also felt like we were taught to know what that processing looks like you know it took you 10 years and your boyfriend suggested huh yeah, we know what post looks like and process doesn't look like that That for me is still such a blurred lines of what does good look like I only did what I felt like my body was telling me also I needed to do because it was bubbling up so much. Yeah. It's Yeah, it was only someone saying to me,

Melissa Bright:

yeah, well and also like you You don't know what tragedy is going to present itself like never in a million years did I think I would be losing my mom at the age of 25. Like, if you would have asked me that five years before that. You know, like, what, what do I think something bad could happen? What would it be like? That would be the last thing I thought it like, if I was really into that because I did know my mom was going to pass away because she was on hospice. She had COPD from smoking. So I knew it, she didn't die, like, quickly, like I knew it was going to happen sometime soon. But that doesn't make it any better. And you're right, like no matter whether you're prepared for it or not, you don't know what you're going to feel what's going to happen. I love how you said that. Yeah, you have to almost go back to work immediately. Even if you get a week off. That is not enough time. That is not enough time at all. And something else like when I look back on the past 10 years of my life and dealing with my mom not being hair, I lost so many important things like which was I was self confident. But then again, there was a little girl in me always still looking for my mom's like advice like mom, should I do this? Should I follow this path? Should I get this for my car? Anything that you go to your mom for? You know what that is? It was like I lost that. So then everything I did, I would question in question. And slowly, you start to lose your self confidence because you don't have that one person you just keep going to. So looking back on all these things. There's so many more things that developed in me besides just pushing it down and not not dealing with it that we don't learn. Once again, we're not taught these things. And something else I wanted to mention is I know that your mom, you call her mum. It's mom over there, right? Yes. Yes. Mom, your mom. Yeah, um, she said that there would be lessons learned from this tragedy, but at the time that you couldn't see it. So looking back now Do you know what these lessons were? And how they have helped you? Not only in your your everyday life? And of course, we'll get to your career soon. But how have they helped you from this tragedy? What lessons have you learned?

Sarah:

I Yeah, I remember so clearly, when she said it, and I just thought that Oh, like, you just I was having so much pain, you just sort of with your wisdom. Obviously, she was probably right. He was right. But I think the biggest thing and it's so cliche but it's just go for it because you never you know, like you said if that child what would you expect that treasure to be it wouldn't have been that and it's the same as now and it I think it for me it just taught me that if I also if I can go through that that I can probably go through anything but also just to give it a go and try it. Try it don't just live in that decade, you know that 10 year plan or that retirement plan. Don't wait. Because you don't know like you don't know how long you've got and it worked because that's what's so sad and just have a go and if it doesn't work it doesn't work but you're probably going to be okay and it's stuff that I could have said before but I probably didn't embrace as much as now I can I can set that like five years ago but really living it like I don't think I was I think I was still in that life is forever we're immortal kind of mindset and actually work more recently with this is that as it will tomorrow is definitely not guaranteed so you might as well give it a go like what have you got to lose? Yeah. And again, I couldn't be more cliche if I tried but I remember coming out of my coaching qualification that I'd signed up to and just knowing that was what I needed to do and knowing and I just remember like feeling relief that I had found something that I wanted to do and that I was willing to just go for it. And this was quite soon I think after they both died, but I was just like I'm ready to follow my dreams now I'm ready to give it a go because I literally haven't, you know, why wait for something else. Because you just have what's coming up in your life. Like anything could happen. So don't put it off.

Melissa Bright:

And what was your what were your dreams when you said I just went for it? What was that? What did you want to do in addition to every thing that you were already doing and you had accomplished?

Sarah:

So I was I wasn't coaching at the time and this was doing the coaching. Okay, and I just knew I was just like came out of that traitors two days, free training before I signed up for a longer qualification. Because I'd worked with coaches. I wasn't hadn't done enough formal qualifications. For myself, my probably imposter syndrome, but also credibility. I love learning side. But deciding that I was going to sign up to this course that was, you know, it was a couple of years of commitment, finished education. And I was like, No, this is this just feels so right just the positivity, the power of seeing coaching like we were in a room we were doing, you know, we were practicing on each other and they're testing all these different questions and this is incredible. And I remember you saying when you started doing your podcast and your description was that I just knew I just knew this is what I needed to do. It was kind of that feeling but additional feeling of I'm just gonna go for it like yeah, I don't Yeah, whatever happens happens but just going to go for it because it's the right thing to do. Like so the fear sort of beliefs, okay, everything that you should do and so the fact you've got a stable job and yeah, no, that's all out the window. I'm gonna try this.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, and it's so and we're gonna get into this but you know, where I was in mind and I know you know this and my listeners know it, but they might not you know, I was a travel agent before this, and I didn't that I enjoyed it, but it was not like my life's purpose purpose. I knew that I was meant for more. And I really really had to sit in silence by myself and have this conversation of what more do I want out of life and obviously it was a perfect time because COVID so this is like Well, I'm literally unemployed at this point. What can I do that I'm actually really going to start enjoying life and loving life and that is one of my biggest like, pieces of advice for people whenever that whenever they're trying to figure out if they want to make a career change or whatever it's like, you have to sit with yourself for a little bit and quiet or go for a walk or a hike. Ask yourself those questions but I'm so glad that I did that because my answer was pretty simple. I like having deep conversations with people and how can I eventually make money doing that like that answer is simple. Okay, now how do I implement it? So I just and like you said all we could do is just go for it and see what happens if it doesn't work. At least we can say that we tried

Sarah:

and how much have you enjoyed trying

Melissa Bright:

oh my gosh, I am so glad like my life is completely completely different now because also I told you I had lost all of my self confidence and my son I don't want to say all but I really struggled it with when you don't have that one person in your corner that has been you know and this was I took a chance on myself like there was nobody else I had to ask or had to look towards it was like no Melissa, for once you're going to put faith in yourself. And you're just going to keep doing stuff that scares the crap out of you every single day. And me doing things that scared the crap out of me every single day. It's amazing how far I've gotten in the amazing conversations and the people like I'm so happy so so happy I did you know all you can do is try

Sarah:

Yeah, I absolutely have I'm my I remember my sister saying to me, it doesn't matter if it's successful or not by definition of success because you've had so much fun doing it. Yep, like whether or not it completely takes off. And she says to me really early on in doing this and I was like that is so true. Like Yeah, let go of that outcome and just enjoy it present with what you're doing and how amazing it is and that will be so much nicer than feeling pressure yeah this job that love

Melissa Bright:

right well because it's always like we are always attached to the outcome always like before we even start were like 10 years down the road or saying every reason why it won't work and it's like just stop remove yourself from the outcome because that is gonna it's it's not going to like it's going to be detrimental, I guess in kind of certain ways. You know, it just you'll kind of set yourself up for failure. So then tell me tell me how like so this is kind of what catapulted you into being a career coach, correct? Yes. Okay. And let me ask you what you made the choice to be a career coach instead of like some other different kind of coach What made you choose career specifically.

Sarah:

Um, I've been in a job that didn't really like you know, the traveling, I liked it but I just felt like there was something more. I also specialized about in confidence as well because they are two of the same you know, limiting beliefs, I've done a lot of that with my previous work. So that felt like a natural step. But then I thought, How can I add to this and you work for so much of your life, and the opportunity to have that naturally enjoy it, especially having done the coaching and had that myself, I was like, oh, other people can have this other people can actually like their jobs. And I think, you know, a lot of it is just Diem, you know, debunking that myth of, at the job, but it's a troll. And I just found that sort of. So such an obvious thing that people didn't want still quite fully on board with, you know, you can have a job that makes you happy. And you've done it, you know, you've been in that job that you didn't, and now you are and, and knowing what that feels like myself, I was like, I can give us someone else, I can help someone else have this. And also then helping other people set up their own business, which is part and parcel with their, you know, transitioning out of a career and maybe doing something on your own. Because that also in itself is so empowering.

Melissa Bright:

Yes, I love it. And I love that that's what you said, If you stepped into you, your career that you know, that you enjoyed now you just want to pass kind of the secret recipe on to other people and help other people. So that is amazing. Can you kind of, because sometimes I feel like coaching has been around for a really long time. But then again, people are like, what is a coach? What is a career coach do? So can you explain to the listeners what exactly a career coach is? And then what do you do for your clients.

Sarah:

So coaching is a tool to support someone basically achieve their goals, but a lot quicker, keep them motivated to keep them accountable. And it's looking forwards, not backwards. So therapy, a lot of people therapy isn't it's it's quite similar, but it therapy will look back and look at trauma and unpack it. Coaching frequently looks forwards. And if you want to change something, or you want to go and get something or you can just have coaching anyway, it helps you achieve that in so much more of an efficient way. As a career coach, specifically I help people mainly uncover a lot of their blocks, they don't necessarily realize they've got and decided discover a career that they love, you know, do that self reflection, like you said earlier, you start with yourself, a lot of people don't give it the space. And actually career coaching often is space to talk about it, to think about it to have someone probe you and then give you you know, advice as well. Now coaching in its in its definition isn't advice. A lot of people do hybrid. So as a coach, I'd love coaching. But I also deliver advice because I've developed training documents, I've got this area of expertise, and I've done a lot of research and multiple hours of experience with the military and all of those kinds of things. So I incorporate both, and bring my clients to a place where they're, they've got so much more self awareness, they know what they could do and what they'd enjoy. We'll give them happiness on a Monday because they spent time for many months working through that with me.

Melissa Bright:

Okay, that clears it up for sure. What are some common beliefs when people first come to you like about coaching? So, for instance, I'm thinking like, Sarah, what do I do? I'm 36 years old, I can't change careers now. Like, what? What are you talking about? So what are some of those beliefs that people come to you about that you want to help them with?

Sarah:

Age, like you just said, putting age on it. If you're 36, you're potentially going to work until you're 70. You're what not even halfway through your career. My math probably isn't right there. But you know, you've got decades to retrain. Age is huge, you know, I've done this people falling into a job and thinking that their expertise isn't transferable. You know, I must do this job because I've done it previously, and therefore I can't do it. absolutely not true. Again, qualified imposter syndrome, huge amounts of people that think, you know, women won't apply for a job unless they think they hit 100% of the criteria, whereas men will go at 60 and, you know, equal playing fields, they can't you know, there's no more women in roles than men. And actually, the funny thing is that employers don't want you to be 100% qualified, because you probably won't stay because you're already bored looking for something else. Time Yeah, huge amount of one is time and and thinking that it's either this job or another job. And they're missing the kind of journey of training opportunities, shadowing work experience conversations. It's very boxed into thinking about our search for a job. And if I can't do that, then what else do I do? And I'd say probably one of the biggest ones is the fear of the unknown, which I totally understand, you know, you don't know how it's going to go. And that's kind of comes back to what we're saying earlier, you know, just enjoying it, letting go the outcome and thinking what you might learn, that might benefit you in the future, even if not immediately and being okay with that, rather than just holding on to the notion that, well, he's do that job, or I'm doing this job. And it's either or, yeah, you know, there's a lot of, I trained for several years to get my coaching. And luckily, I was burned out, I did it quite quickly. But you know, and that, that's okay, that's part of it. Especially when you think of how much longer you could be doing it for. And another one is money. I think a lot of people don't want to take a pay cut. And I often often question a lot of my clients and say, how long would you need to take that pay cut for? is six months really going to impact your life? If you could, if you could, you know, take a slightly lower role, because you might not have the experience, build the experience in 12 months be on a, you know, not too dissimilar salary? How much is it worth, you know, spending money on your personal development, spending money on a coach, and spending that time and you know, taking that slight hit of a pay cut for however long, and people get quite fixated on finance and, and also holding it, you know, it's a lot of thing about self worth as well with with money is it defines, you know, just just society status, isn't it? You know, your salary and what you do? Yeah. And I think, yeah, letting go, that can be really powerful. And understanding that what you're gain in 12 months time, you know, if you're in a new job, or doing something that you love, like there is, how much more is that worth it? And what have you really spent that you would have spent on something else? Probably Anyway, you know, meals out, money is probably one of the pick, yeah, big

Melissa Bright:

that is for sure. And so I was thinking of things, and it's almost like you, you kind of like debunk these myths that people have, you know, because I literally checked all the boxes of everything you just said, like from the money from the the self worth, or the time or all of this stuff. And of course, the most most cliche saying would be like, Oh my god, I just lost it for a minute. Um, but it's basically like, if you take that time that you're doing something else, like you said, going out to a bar going out to a sporting event going doing this, you could be spent doing this so we can always make make it happen. But I know it is hard. And one of my biggest things was like the financial aspect of doing a career change, or whatever you want to call it. I've kind of lost my train of thought. But most importantly, what I wanted to try to say is like the logical aspect that that coaches can bring into really, like put these into like actionable steps for people. So they can see that, wow, this is really obtainable. But that's, that's what I really like, for it for coaches, like have what you guys do, because there's so many things that I will sit here and be like, Oh, I can't do that. I can't achieve this. And it's like, if you break it down into these like little actionable steps, do the calculations, save 20 bucks every paycheck or whatever it is, you can make these things happen. Okay, so what would be your advice to people that they say, Okay, I know I want to change careers. I'm not happy where I am now. But Sarah, I don't know what the hell I want to do. Can Can you help me with that? What would you say to people with them trying to even figure out what it is that they want to do? How do you come to an answer? So

Sarah:

I think the first thing is similar to living back to exactly what you said is sitting with it and actually giving it space and giving it time. And one of the first things that I take my clients through is sort of having a look at what they enjoy. And what they don't enjoy such a simple thing to do that I think people don't really reflect on that much. What lights you up at work, what do you come away from feeling great, feeling motivated and often what do you come away from feeling very sluggish. We're tired as usually mine, and all sorts of you know, frustrated. And spend some time thinking through that. thinking through what does that look like for you in your current job? What does that look like for you in previous jobs? You know, what do you like about your last job? Because you'll often find, especially for, you know, what was it that you enjoyed, about beauty the parts of the job that you enjoyed being a travel agent? Was it talking to people by any chance? Yeah, exactly. Yeah. This is the job that you've now taken. And it's often quite obvious, but needs unpicking and thinking about? If you don't know what you do want, also starting with, we don't want

Melissa Bright:

perfect? Do you think that career, finding a career and finding your purpose are the same thing? And if so, can you kind of explain that to the listeners? And if you don't think they are not explain why they are not?

Sarah:

Yeah, I think they can be wedded to the same thing. I think. I think your purpose is encompassed in parts of your job, you know, for me, when you describe your purpose being making other people not feel alone, that's your sort of your Why is your purpose is your why. And my purpose is helping other people. And I've channeled that into a career that I like, it's helping me be in a career that I love, because I'm fulfilling my purpose. So they're interlinked, but potentially different. Because purpose for me is another thing of saying, like your why it's sort of what drives you to your core value. And if you can have that in a job, and there are multiple jobs, that you can serve that purpose, which is why you can have multiple careers, and you have dream jobs. I often say dream job, but actually there are multiple, because if you're hitting that purpose and that core value, then you'll find enjoyment because you're doing something that you love,

Melissa Bright:

that's such a great answer. And that's almost exactly what I would say, cuz like you said, that's your core value, whatever it is your purpose, like, I could do something else, besides being a podcaster and still have deep conversations, I could have been a therapist and had deep conversations with people. And that's like, Good news for people is that they're like, oh, okay, so break down my purpose. Well, this is what I enjoy doing. I enjoy helping people or I enjoy listening to people or I enjoy whatever it is, and then think about the jobs that you could do to help your purpose, you know, so I think that is a great, great answer. I love it. I love it. I love it. What if people can't get over? limiting beliefs? How, how do you help people get over these limiting beliefs if if I just don't think that I'm even even worthy of getting a better job, or I'm not worthy of even making more money, like, I'll just stay here in this job, because it's comfortable. And I've done it day in and day out for the last 20 years, like, so what if I'm unhappy, it still pays the bills. So how do you get people to get over those limiting beliefs.

Sarah:

I think challenging them, acknowledging them and recognizing them the first thing, because if you don't realize that's what's holding you back, you don't know how to overcome it. And you know, you don't go on holiday without understanding mode of transport, because you know, where you're trying to go because you know where you are. And changing belief systems, it's really similar, you need to understand whether it's worthiness, whether it's fair, you know, often what we see is the excuse the time, the age, the unknown, and then you draw that you have a look under it, and you think like and then you work with that, alongside maybe some of the more practical things, but sometimes that might come first, you know, except How can you as a coach, I probably ask you, how can you accept yourself? What would you do? Or what would you tell someone else? Because we can all grow in our own ways, you know, I might not know the answer how you begin to accept yourself. And actually, you will know how you can start changing your own opinion of yourself with wellness. There are other tips and tricks that you can do with, you know, affirmations and changing that thought process, you know, changing the way that you think, first and I often do, which is why I do the comprehensive training and the coaching. Because the training documents work on a lot of that it's very much looking at helping you rewire your brain from a scientific perspective. Active that think differently about that. And that takes time, which is why you need to do both in conjunction, you know, you could fix one, and you're still holding yourself back of your worthiness. But if you just let your worthiness you get so much done by doing both, you know, doing the work of changing those thoughts re You know, every time you have a thought, it's like I failed, and you have a neural pathway, and it's very entrenched path in that field. So big crops, you change that thought each time you change that thought it's like walking through this path. It's hard, it's really hard to start with. And then the more times you have it, the more times you really, you know, you rewire and you say I am worthy, or you reframe, that reframe needs to come from you. I can't tell you what you need to save, or you need to believe it. So that might be a neutral, saying it might be a positive reframe. Every time you do that, you build that neural pathway, and every time that that sort of fires, it gets stronger, and the ones that don't fire get weaker. So a lot of it is about retraining your brain to not think that that's hard work

Melissa Bright:

bad it is Yes, it is. But that's that's I everything you said is literally what I have done this last year, you know, because I suffered from, you know, like self worth issues, self esteem issues, not thinking, imposter syndrome, imposter syndrome, all of these things fearful, and like I just attacked all of them on different times, you know, one of my new year's resolutions was I was going to do something that scared me every single day that like helped with my podcast. So whether that was reaching out to somebody I was really nervous to interview or that was posting something on social media that was maybe a little controversial, or whatever it is, I just did something. And that gave me self esteem every time I did that. And it also showed me about all the fake crap that I would come up in my head of like, what is the worst possible outcome of this, this fake reality I'm making like if I reach out to Jay Shetty to be on my podcast, the worst thing that could happen, like, he's gonna not see it. He's not gonna get back to me. No harm, no foul, like, that's the Why would I not do that? You know. And so it's really like debunking those false beliefs you tell yourself of, and asking yourself, what's the worst thing that could possibly happen? That's, that's really helped me with that.

Sarah:

And I love what you what you've just explained, is it in practice, but also practicing it, it's like a muscle, you need to put it into practice, to teach yourself that the worst often isn't going to happen. But also the worst thing that you think that you've internalized as being so catastrophic isn't going to be that bad. And it's not just about killing yourself, it's not going to be a bad it's actually putting that into practice and, and sending that thing that challenges you and pushing yourself into your stretch zone. Because every time you step into your stretch zone, your comfort zone, you know, you do that three times, that same thing three times that's on your stretch zone anymore. Yeah. Push yourself out of your comfort zone grows. Yep. I love it. Love it a lot. Yeah,

Melissa Bright:

yeah. And something else, like I found out through and like other interviews is that your brain naturally wants you to be comfortable, it doesn't want you going out to try new things and to try scary things. Because all the brains purpose, I don't say all the brains, but it's big purposes, comfortable and safe, comfortable and safe. How do I stay comfortable and safe. So you really, really have to make these conscious efforts to go do something that is so not comfortable. And that is a little bit risky. But that is where the reward happens is in those moments. And that's something that I learned about the brain that I found very interesting.

Sarah:

That's so true. I actually, I said that in another podcast, actually, the evolutionary brain is been that it's protect you, trying to protect you. And that when you realize that, you realize that you can then start to question your thought, your thoughts, because your brain is there, like you just have to keep safe. It's needed to if needed to keep you alive. It's gone so far down there, you know, fear mongering state that we've got it in, but it was there originally yet to protect you to keep you alive to keep you safe. You know, don't take that extra risk if you don't need to, is you won't survive.

Melissa Bright:

Right? Well, another analogy I just kind of thought about is it really is kind of like, it's like your mom. It's like she wants to keep you safe. And she wants to keep you're protected and she wants to make sure you're comfortable and all these things. But so often, we want to push against our mom and say No Mom, let me go try this thing I, it might work out Mom, let me go do this, it's I just literally thought of that it's like kind of like our mom trying to keep our safe, keep ourselves safe and we want to push against it and rebel and we should at this point like Yes, go do those things that are risky, and whatever they are.

Sarah:

Yeah, and, and we're taught in society to, you know, to not take those risks, for fear of looking stupid, you know, when you're at school, don't put your hands up, unless you've got something good to say. And, and girls more than boys. Research has shown that girls more than boys are taught to not take those risks. You know, be careful on the monkey bars, don't put your hands up like these very small, nuanced behavioral traits. They come from a very early age as well. So I think that it's a combination of our brain, protect ourselves, but then also society bring us up in a way to, to not rebel to you know, to sit down and shut up at school, and listen and be good and not to, you know, the rules are there for a reason and don't break them. That's what you're rewarded for your behavior is rewarded for not breaking the rules and not stepping out of the state, you know, the status quo. So yeah, it's funny that you mentioned about your rebelling, because, yeah, Plato from society as well, what takers were all right,

Melissa Bright:

right. And now like, I've kind of thought of it this way is like, the sounds bad, in a way. But like, I've lost both of my parents, now, they are no longer living. So it's like, I have nobody to answer to at this point in my life anymore. Like, I could do whatever the hell I wanted. And I can't get in trouble. I can't get grounded, I can't do anything. So that has almost kind of helped me deal with the grief of that is like, well, there ain't nobody stopping me now, like, literally, there's nobody stopping me. So I can do whatever the hell I want. So long as I'm okay with my decisions and what I decided to do. Sometimes what you have to tell yourself and you go through grief.

Sarah:

Yes. Yeah. Let me Can I see the silver lining in this? Yes, I can find something.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. If there was one piece of advice that you could give someone today that just feel stuck in their job, or they're afraid to make a change? What would you say to them to help them take a leaf, a leaf, a leap into faith? Even just today, what would be the first actionable step that you could give them?

Sarah:

talk to somebody, whether it's a friend, or a colleague, maybe not colleague, but a friend, or an ex colleague, or family member, or someone who literally specializes in it? To talk it through, to sort of think about your way like to go and take steps to make, you know, take action.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, I love it. It's it's great advice. And something else I wanted to note that you said before, about talking to a friend is like sometimes you don't like tell your clients what to do, but you ask them what they would tell another friend, and then that's usually the advice that like they need for themselves, you know, and I think that is so true and so smart. Yeah, I love it. Can you tell people how they can connect with you?

Sarah:

Yes, I Well, I'm on Instagram. As I'm achieving ambition. I'm just my website's achieving ambition.com. And I'm also on LinkedIn, and probably under sarovar is catching up on Google and on here.

Melissa Bright:

Awesome. Awesome. Well, Sarah, I just have one last question for you. What does the bright side of life mean to you?

Sarah:

Um, remember, you've always got a choice. Choose today. Don't wait. And choose love.

Melissa Bright:

I love it. I love it. I love it. Sarah, we made it through the interview. Even though there was some some internet connections. That's what happens when we live 1000s upon 1000s of miles away. Thank you so much for coming here to share your knowledge about careers, and everything. I just appreciate it very much. And it was so wonderful to talk to you.

Sarah:

Thank you so much for having me. It's been so lovely.

Melissa Bright:

Thank you guys for listening to this week's episode of the bright side of life. I so enjoyed having Sarah burrows on this podcast to help talk about careers and what we can do to gain clarity on trying to if we're thinking about switching careers, and how to get over some of those limiting beliefs and the difference between your purpose and the career you choose because I think she made such a great point about your purpose can serve as a guidance to figure out what kind of careers you really want to go after. So I hope you guys thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I also want to mention if you guys have not yet subscribed to the email list you guys get all kinds of fun emails in there and sometimes I will be giving out free things like self planners and coloring sheets and things like that. So go to the bright side of life podcast comm to sign up for emails and also don't forget, I have just recently made memberships on buy me a coffee, this is to help support the bright side of life and you guys will actually get things out of the memberships instead of just paying for a subscription because I do not want to go to a script subscription service. So go check out that is also on the bright side of life podcast comm you go to the Donate page, go click on buy me a coffee, and all the information is right there. So you guys know how this works. Please please please share this episode for anybody that needs to hear it because we never know if this is the one that puts hope back in their heart.

Sarah Burrows

Career Coach

I grew up in the countryside in the UK, I had a lovely upbringing, and some really good friends.

December 2018, I received two phone calls, the first to tell me that my best friends boyfriend had died, the second to tell me my best friend had also died.

I recall my mum saying that there would be lessons to be learnt, at the time I couldn't see past the immediate fog and grief.

I had grown up with a relatively positive mindset, and in my early 20's I worked on a military recovery programme which also aided my perspective on life and the problems we face.

However, I know now that this taught me a lot and fuels a lot of the way I live now.

Firstly, she knew me better than I new myself, so I have done lots of self-reflection and learning since.

It also made me understand that the cliché is true. Life is too short. Tomorrow is not a guarantee.

So the bright side of life is to be unapologetic in my quest for happiness and content. To be relentless in my method and to be present and enjoy the ride not the 'end goal', in both my health, career and relationships. It has helped me define my career and spurred me to help others do the same.