Welcome back to the Share Your Story series. Last week The Overtired Mum shared her story on what it has been like becoming a Mum. This week we have Alessandra from The Next Metric sharing her story on reaching her turning point… Over to you Alessandra.
The Next Metric
Alessandra is a blogger and success coach. She helps women who have reached a turning point in their life, believe in themselves and achieve their highest and most important goals. Being a strong believer in personal changes, she first has applied all the techniques she knows to herself obtaining amazing results. Leveraging this knowledge, she is able to guide her clients in the process of achieving anything they want. In her spare time she enjoys her family, doing yoga, reading and writing.
A Turning Point
When I was 16, I was just a regular teenager growing up in Italy. Back then that translated in being bombarded all the time with beauty, forever young, enjoy your life now because later who knows. Of course I bought all of it.
Useless to say that I went through a lot of trouble because of that. I hated myself, I hated my body. My classmates were all thin and fashionable. I felt like I was always trying to catch up with no success… And I always looked for approval. I wanted to be the best at everything just to fit in, but still couldn’t handle the competition because I didn’t trust myself enough.
I had many friends, partied a lot, was very successful in and out of school.
Degree in Computer Engineering, PhD in Telecommunication. A great career that made my family proud and took me around the world talking at many, many conferences. Does it sound successful? I felt so, but the coin has always two sides. My love life was a disaster. I couldn’t keep a relationship going. No matter how hard I tried…
Then about 7 years ago things started to change. I started to change.
Ex boyfriend broke my heart. And even though I could see that coming (the relationship was of course far from being a fairytale), it still hit me like a truck on the highway. All that pain forced me to look honestly at myself. Our relationship was a nightmare especially because of the way I was. I wanted to change. Possibly everything. My mindset, my life, my job.
This is how I started my personal journey towards a new version of myself.
I quit my job and started to look for something that had nothing to do with IT. I needed a break and had in mind to find some communication course. I thought I could improve my skills in that area. I ended up instead registering for a free over-the-weekend coaching course in London. At that point I had no idea what coaching was, but it sounded like I could use some of the techniques for myself, so why not?
The experience was very good. I met great people and I learned amazing things.
I decided to get certified. I chose a school in London. I was based in Zurich, but if I had to change everything why not change city as well? I studied for several months and I enjoyed it tremendously. I didn’t really want to become a coach in the sense of starting my own practice, but I saw potential in what I was learning. I could help myself and I could help others. That made a lot of sense.
At the end of the school, I found a new job in IT. I moved to Amsterdam, and I started volunteering as a life coach for an international coaching association in my spare time. The association, for which I still volunteer, helps women find their strength and voice again. Not any woman though. Only women who have a very heavy past. Struggle in the present to find their way and don’t have the means to pay a coach. It’s easy to imagine that the coaching process with these women is somehow different from a regular process.
Even though we, the coaches, are not therapists and don’t help them elaborate the psychological traumas, they are still humans and inevitably bring their stories into the session. So I’ve heard things that I had only heard before in movies. The worst movies. It’s tough at times to remain distant and not get involved emotionally. These stories can be heartbreaking.
On the other end, when these women manage to succeed (and they all do) at whatever goal they have set for themselves, it is amazing. I feel amazing. The reward is beyond imagination.
They are the strongest example I have that life can start over again. That it can get better, no matter how dark it seems.
And that is exactly what I thought when my moment came.
After some years in Amsterdam, I decided to change job again. I was tired of travelling like crazy all over the world. I wanted to move back to Zurich and invest more in the relationship I was in which was stable and steady with no crazy ups and downs. I had met this wonderful guy the year before and this time I was going to make things right!
So I found a job in a small consulting company. Unfortunately what was good for my personal life turned to be not so good for my professional one. I had a boss, a female boss, talking of how women should support other women in STEM, who was anything but supportive. She thought my skills were good to be her personal assistant. It wasn’t a huge problem. Maybe it should have been, but in the beginning I didn’t mind. I thought it would change at some point. After almost a year of no changes though, I got bored of taking notes and booking meeting rooms. Bored to death. When I tried to talk to her, she just dismissed me saying something along the line of “I’m the boss, I know better.”
I’m not really the type of person that can be shut up that way (and nobody should be for the matter). I was up for no fight and there was no need, because something there broke. I knew it was just a matter of time. However what was different this time was that I wasn’t thinking of finding another job in IT. I couldn’t. The thought made me sick.
I started asking myself: “What do I really want?”
I hear all the time that young people should be clear about the future, the sooner, the better. Pick the right school, take the right decisions. But seriously who has decided all that??? There is this huge pressure to accomplish, succeed as soon as possible. So no mistakes here! Come on. That’s silly.
This is how I felt. I was tired of being in a job that I had chosen when I was 18 and where I felt useless. Was I doing something to change the world? Not really. Was I making someone else’s life better? Not that I noticed. Was I feeling great? Quite the opposite. The decision was so made. I’m cutting it short here. It took much longer. The idea of throwing out of the window years and years of studies and work and a stable job with a great salary for the unknown was pretty difficult and painful, but in the end the idea of being unhappy was much worse. So I quit my job and took the famous leap of faith. Today I have my coaching practice, where I help women find the courage to change, follow their dreams and achieve their most ambitious goals, and I keep volunteering.
It’s not always easy, but have I ever regretted the choice? No. Not even for a moment!
Thank you for sharing your story Alessandra. It sounds as though you have made the right decisions for yourself and are now helping others, which is great.
If you would like to follow Alessandra then head over to her socials;