The July 2015 Spotlight Interview is on Samantha Barley. She is a former drug addict turned life coach who has become an inspiration among her followers in the Montreal community. You may have caught her on CBC during a segment on happiness. Enjoy!
What aspect of your life lead you to coaching others?
When I was younger, I felt lost. I was depressed, addicted to drugs and had low self-esteem. At age 18, I realized that this was not who I wanted to be. I felt there must be more for me. That realization helped me decide to take charge of my life. With perseverance and continual effort, I overcame my negative thinking. I learned to be kinder toward myself.
What type of therapy worked best for you, personally?
Cognitive behavioral therapy taught me the power of my mind as well as the influence I had over it. Today, at age 32, I am so happy that I chose to give myself a better life. These days, I’m able to use all that I have learned to guide and inspire others to take command of themselves, and to improve their lives.
What motivates you to be a life coach?
I aim to inspire people to improve their lives, just as I have done, and continue to do.
What do you do when you need your own coaching?
Most times, because of everything I’ve learned and practiced, I’m able to take a step back from my issues and coach myself. However, there are times when outside guidance is necessary for a shift in perspective. Those are the times I turn to those whose opinions I trust. They include online teachers, loved ones and a few close friends.
What kind of people do you most enjoy working with?
I love working with people who are determined to change, and ready to do what it takes to have the life they desire. The life coaching process isn’t always the easiest, but it’s worth it if you give yourself a genuine chance. Perseverance and consistency are key in seeing and feeling real change.
Describe what you’d like to see happen in the future in your industry.
I’d love to see more creativity and variety in the life coaching field. I like to mix it up. My life coaching can take place online or in an office. In addition, I offer sessions outdoors and in coffee shops, for those like me who appreciate variety and a change of scenery. You’ll also find me doing group sessions as well as fun activities that encourage people to leave their comfort zones. I want coaching to be an enjoyable process, even if there may be tough personal work involved. Life is meant to be fun, and life coaching can be too!
What three words best describe you?
Attentive. Perseverant. Open-minded.
What is your favourite place on earth?
The Caribbean ocean floor. With scuba gear, of course.