Bev Gibb News

Who are you really?

This is a question that comes up a lot in conversations I have with people, especially women and it has got me thinking about myself.

Who am I?

If you were to look me up on my website or social media, I am not sure if it reflects me today.  I think it might have reflected me at that point in time, but we evolve, we learn, we shift and we change. It is a work in progress and so am I!

I am Bev. I am 47. I am a mum, a partner, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a volunteer, a coach… the list goes on.

I have had many chapters in my life and hope to have many more. However, I have had a real sense recently, as I have been building my new business, that if I am not really clear on my messaging of who I am and what I do, then how are other people meant to know how I can help them!

I’ve been reflecting on that a lot recently. Much of my reflection comes from working with other people. Looking back over my working life, the key theme throughout has been working closely with people.

Normal, everyday, real people, from different communities, from different walks of life, from poverty to affluence and everything in between. People starting out in their working lives, having their first home, losing their jobs, becoming homeless, relationship breakdowns, suffering abuse, people in care, people from different cultures. People moving into a new area, people who have been made redundant later in life and start something new, people who are retired and want to give back. People who want to improve their health and wellbeing. People who have a common interest pulling together to make where they live, work, rest and play a better place for everyone. People who want to celebrate and show off how proud they are of where they live and the people that have lived there before. People who want a change, people who want to start their own business, people who feel stuck where they are, people who feel that they have to make do. I probably have missed a few!

My point is, I realise that my whole working life has been centred around empowering people, to support them to do amazing things and thrive in life.  That’s when I first got into coaching.  I enjoyed bringing people together, working with groups, empowering people, showing them that they had what it takes to make a difference and helping them gain the confidence and skills to do that, even when they didn’t believe they could. Seeing the fruits of their labour and them being so proud, makes me so happy, it is so rewarding. I was never at the front of it, taking the credit but usually hiding in the wings, on the sidelines cheering them on or walking side-by-side with them, every step of the way.

During that whole time, as well as the highs, I lost a parent at the age of 55, had relationship breakdown, divorce, a young child, being made homeless, pretty major health scares, the list goes on again! I faced struggles that many of us go through. I hid it well, I functioned for many years, gliding along like a swan and wearing lots of different masks for different situations. So many, that I had actually no idea who I really was anymore!! I couldn’t tell you what I liked, or what I didn’t like, or how I felt about many things. I had lost sense of who I was.

When I left my pretty well paid, secure (at the time!) job working in the community, nearly 5 years ago, I just knew that I needed a change and I had a real overwhelming sense that my purpose had shifted, I wasn’t quite serving that or it wasn’t serving me.  I loved my job, passionately! So, it was a surprise for many when I decided it was time for me to go! However, for me things had changed in my own life. I was putting all these other people that I worked with way before me and my own precious people, because I loved what I did and the people I worked with so much and I didn’t want to let them down! But I was letting those close to me down.  I took a leap of faith and left, without really knowing what was next, but I knew deep down it would work it out for me and that this was not the end. I had to close the door on one chapter to open the door to the next one.

Moving forward 5 years, I am now pretty clear on who I am underneath all the layers! Although I probably learn something new about myself every day. I didn’t know what exactly was next, however I was drawn to continue my work with people at the core, both as a volunteer and as a consultant, getting involved with work in the third sector, working with more amazing people doing amazing things to make a difference. I have gone down a few different avenues and tried on lots of different hats for size.

Coaching has been with me for nearly 12 years now and although it’s something I would do with other people, reconnecting with the coaching communities and building this business has resulted in quite a lot more work on myself, which I really wasn’t expecting! It’s been interesting and above all else has been liberating!!

One of the biggest dilemmas and blockers I have had was what to call myself! At first I used Consultant (with coaching underneath!) I couldn’t bring myself to use the word coach! Mainly because it is so woolly and there are so many different kinds of coaches out there, especially now! So ‘Consultant’ let me hold on to the professionalism that I held highly! But it felt wrong for me, very clinical, plus I was trying to shake off the stuffy office wear I used to rock! I tried Consultant and Coach, hmmm… Professional Transformational Coach – what does that even mean to people? Coach and Facilitator… it felt OK for a while, then I went all out and came out, Diana Ross style, as a Life Coach! Oh the pressure I have felt with that title…! In fact one of my work neighbours said to me recently, “Can I ask you about being a Life Coach, do you feel the pressure that you have to have your life perfect or be seen to have the perfect life?” which was interesting! My answer was “Absolutely not!! Is anyone’s life perfect?! Actually what is perfect?” Perfect means different things to different people. What I do is help people to get really clear on who they are and what they really want and to be unapologetically authentic and to be OK with that!. But that made me think again about the connotations of calling myself a Life Coach – if he thought that, what did others think about what that meant? So, for me, that didn’t feel the most comfortable of titles either… Don’t get me wrong, those titles work and feel comfortable for other people and that is great!

It’s a been wee bit like ordering lots of clothes and shoes, trying them for a wee while but realising they don’t really fit you well so trying something different until you feel comfortable. Those clothes might fit and be much more comfortable on other people. (Those reading this, that know me well, will know how very relevant this is!!)

So, who am I really?

Well, I’ve decided it doesn’t really matter what I call myself, or what I wear (mostly spotted in gym leggings… now and again, something smarter!)

I am Bev. I am 47. I am a mum, a partner, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a volunteer, a coach. I am a Coach, with a pinch of personal development, a pinch of group work, a dash of leadership, a dash of business, a pinch of menopause and a large sprinkle of health and wellbeing over the top!

I am good at talking and listening. I am not perfect, I like to see the positive in things. I look at the bigger picture and am always curious. I ask lots of questions – not because I am nosy, but I like to understand things on a deeper level and I love to help others to do the same. I am always busy with something, I don’t sit down very much, I am always learning and continuously improving and I love to be outside.

I work mostly with women, 1:2:1, in groups or in corporate and organisational settings, indoors and outdoors, helping them get really clear on who they are, what they really want from life, what’s blocking them, what’s keeping them stuck. I empower, I unblock and I help them to see things in themselves that they will never unsee so that they can be the best version of themselves, do amazing things and thrive in whatever they choose!.

I bring in all my learnings and experiences from my work and life over the past 25 years into my practice and am constantly evolving and adding new strings to my bow! So next time you see me, I might be wearing something different!

I would love to hear from you if this resonates! Or if you have a great title! Or if you would like to have a chat about working with me!