International Coach Federation Malaysia Coaching Transformation Success Stories

Carrie’s Story of Courage and Choice - Part 2

 - interviewed by David Khaw & Shanta Navaratnam -

When Carrie met Yong

In June 2017, Carrie met her coach, Foo Chuen Yong. She had 6 pro-bono coaching sessions with him on a monthly basis, ending in November 2017. She still vividly recalls her coaching sessions with him.

When her coach, Yong asked her what topic she wanted to focus on for the coaching sessions, she did not know. Should she focus on her emotions? Perhaps on her personal life? Or should it be time management?

Yong was open and approachable. She found herself pouring her heart to him. She felt that he was really listening to her, that he really cared. That sense of relief she felt to finally be able to confide in someone, to unburden her raw emotions was elating.

She however quickly realised that her coach was not going to hand her all the answers on a silver platter. Oh no! He went beyond that. He believed in her. He knew she had all the answers she needed deep within her. She may not realise her full potential but he did.

He was there to help her discover that, to create that awareness within her. At the end, she was accountable for herself and the actions were all hers to take. He was her partner in the coaching journey she would take, and he will walk with her down the rocky path, providing her support.

Yong asked her open questions on all the issues she raised to him, challenged her on some and got her thinking. Those were powerful questions. Going through each of her issues with her coach, Carrie quickly realised that her confidence and emotions were the root cause of all the trauma she was experiencing in her life.

Those will be the first areas to tackle. She also realised that by trying to address all her issues at one go only led to her losing her sense of direction. She was overwhelmed. Yong helped her realise that taking a step at a time will help her resolve her issues. It will take time but clearly identifying the little steps and taking action on them will eventually lead her to her coaching objective to have a clear direction in life and to become more confident.

The first session was focussed on her confidence level. She sometimes found it hard to approach strangers as she felt people were judging her even before she started socialising with them, especially in big groups.

Yong guided her to observe her inner critic in action, recognise and acknowledge her inner voice. He guided her to question the validity of her inner voice, to ask herself questions such as “Is that true?”, “How do I know that is true?”, “What would be the worse-case scenario if I did that?, What is the best case?”.

With these questions, she was able to clearly visualise the worst possible outcome if she opted to take an action - and in most cases they were not really all that bad! - and the missed opportunities if she did not. This technique motivated her to reframe negative thoughts to positive.

Following on from this session, Yong helped her handle her emotions. He got her to reflect on herself, her actions, her emotions. She was frustrated and angry, which made her bad tempered as she could not focus.

With Yong’s coaching she realised that when she was in such a state, she had to take a few minutes, take a few deep breaths, calm down and reflect: what triggered her anger? How does the anger serve her?

These realisations were like a spark, a burst of light! She had the choice. She could choose her thoughts which ultimately impacted her emotions. So why think negatively? She could choose to think positively. It was indeed a “aha” moment for her.

In these coaching sessions she felt that Yong was a lifesaver. She walked out of the coaching room feeling upbeat and motivated, eager to take action. She looked forward to the sessions to come.

read Part 3


Have a story you'd like to share on your coaching journey? 

Contact ICF Malaysia's Editorial Team now.
david.khaw@projectmaster.my or shanta@shannavacoaching.com