How to Find Your Unique Way to Thrive in Your Career
Hong Kong/ Venture/ Careers

Personal Impact Coach Charlotte on How to Thrive in Your Career

Header Personal Impact Coach Charlotte on How to Thrive in Your Career Photo by Infinite Potential

This interview is part of The Beat Hong Kong’s International Women’s Month coverage. Through highlighting women’s voices, we are celebrating and uplifting the women around us through their stories and multifaceted experiences.

Upon a first meeting, Personal Impact Coach Charlotte embodies the energy of calm leadership. From her soft-spoken yet assured speech, to her impressive career history in the financial sphere, she brings with her an aura of professionalism that doesn’t at all feel steely nor unapproachable.

While she now spends her days at a slower pace in her neighbourhood of Stanley, alongside dedicating her time to motivating and guiding others in their own professional journeys, Charlotte’s working life had once also been deeply entrenched in the rat race.

Speaking to The Beat Asia, Charlotte dives into how her individual growth had broken down the walls of self-doubt to escape what was once her greatest restraints, and how the experience had inspired her to go on a quest to support others in demolishing their own walls of self-limiting biases.

For those who don’t know, could you introduce your background?

I found myself in a position around 7 years ago where I was no longer fulfilled with where I had found myself in my career. From the outside I was successful and ambitious. I was working hard, I was getting results, I was advancing in my career, and I was earning the money to live a very good lifestyle. For all intents and purposes, I was “successful” by the definition I had grown up with.

But on the inside, I was anxious, overwhelmed, stressed, exhausted and just getting by. I was unfulfilled and for a long time I had been compromising my identity, my health, my mental and emotional wellbeing. This was when I started to question what was next for me and really reflecting on how I wanted to live my life rather than what was the “right” career move. It was on this journey I was introduced to Neuro-Liguistic Programming (NLP), and it really was pivotal for me.

I embarked on changing my career path and getting qualified. It wasn’t an overnight switch; I did some roles in Learning & Development and began learning facilitation before I became a trainer and then decided to go out on my own.

What was your journey in founding Infinite Potential like?

It was about 5 years between deciding I would have my own business and launching Infinite Potential and I have never been more motivated to make something happen. For me it represents me finding a line of work that lights me up and enables me to live the life I want, aligned to what is important to me. I get to work with incredible people supporting them to thrive in their lives. It is incredibly fulfilling.

I now get to work with ambitious driven professionals who are ready for their next level. I work with them to confidently and courageously claim the fulfilment their soul truly desires and to create a life in which they thrive personally and professionally.

I work with people on a personal level through 1:1 Coaching, as well as delivering coaching and training to corporates on Leadership skills, Communication skills, Executive Presence, and Career Development. I get to support people to reconnect to what they want for their life and to develop the mindset, the skillset, and habits to make it happen.

Personal Impact Coach Charlotte on How to Thrive in Your Career

Growing up, a lot of women have been conditioned to feel that asking for what we want or standing our ground is a bad thing, that we can only move forward through compromise that infringes on our truest wants and authentic selves – how can we begin to escape and grow from this mindset?

So much of what we think is possible for us and our lives is based on external influences. The roles we have – mother, daughter, wife, et cetera, also come with societal expectations. All of this influences what we see as possible or not possible, should do or should not do, and we form beliefs that last a lifetime and shape our identity. The challenge comes when who we want to be or what we want to do goes against these beliefs or these external expectations.

Breaking away from the familiar is of course hard on many levels – it feels uncomfortable, it is unknown, and we can worry about who we might let down or how we might be judged. And so, to avoid this discomfort… we compromise. We sacrifice or suppress parts of ourselves or what we aspire to, because unfortunately it feels easier to do that! The longer we compromise our authentic selves the more we disconnect from it.

I invite you to get to know yourself once again. Re-explore what is important to you in how you live your life and what it means for you to be your best self. It is a big question, but a crucial one, because in gaining the answer we can see where there is a disconnect.

Developing your self-awareness is the best investment you can make. You can’t create change without it. So, ask yourself: When I am my best self, how am I living life? And then find ways, big or small, to start living more of this today!

Could you share how your experiences has informed your approach to helping others reach their potential?

My journey of personal growth inspired and continues to evolve the work that I do. I am living and breathing it every day for myself, and in my coaching and training, so I can easily bring things to life in a way that resonates with people. I am not just coming at things from a theoretical basis, I am coming at it from lived experience.

People are often drawn to me because of my own journey transforming my career, and as a result my life, and they share how it inspires them. I learnt that there is no one way to do anything, it is all trial and error to find out what helps YOU to thrive and create success in your life – and this is the approach I always take. We work together to test, try, and explore what works for you.

I will be your biggest cheerleader. I will be in your corner encouraging and celebrating the journey. I will push you to dream bigger, claim more, and to persevere on the journey.

I will also be there to challenge (graciously) when I see people slipping into unhelpful patterns, limiting beliefs, fixed mindsets, and I believe I have found my way of doing this from a place of curiosity that people can appreciate. I know I needed that for myself, I needed someone to call me out when I began compromising.

Personal Impact Coach Charlotte on How to Thrive in Your Career

What’s the most important piece of advice for women, when it comes to approaching these aspects of our self-development?

The idea that there is a right or wrong way to do life, career… anything, is one that we need to reject.

Believing this can lead us down a path of trying to do as others do and experiencing a lot of conflict when it feels misaligned, hard, and full of compromise. This can be from smaller habits and ways of working on the daily, up to big career decisions.

Finding time when you can shut out all the noise and explore what aligns to what is important to you, that’s when decisions can become easier. When we are trying to make decisions or act based on what we think we should do, conviction and motivation can be hard to drum up.

I’ve so often worked with clients who have lost motivation, have a whole list of things they should be doing but are not. The key is to get to the root cause of what they are looking to achieve and then how they can reach that in a way that is aligned to them. I have seen such incredible shifts in people when they create the plan that actually works for them. It is like they tap into new energy; motivation starts coming back and they gain momentum.

How can we manage our hurt, anger, or fear to take these brave steps forward?

One of the best shifts for me in managing my emotions was to no longer classify emotions as good or bad, but to see them as signals that can either support me to be resourceful in the moment or are unresourceful.

Our thoughts and feelings are interconnected, this interconnected loop can be creating an uplifting resourceful spiral or an unresourceful downward spiral. To manage our emotions requires us to be able to create space between something triggering an emotion within us, the internal dialogue, and us acting.

Fear for example, fear is telling us that we perceive a threat - maybe judgement, failure or rejection. If I take a very common example I hear: I am terrified of public speaking. When I ask why, I get given the whole list of “What If” scenarios - what if no one agrees, what if I forget my words, what if I get really hard questions? All the attention is on what they don’t want to happen, and anxiety boils up and it’s harder to take positive action in this state.

Instead, what you want to do is focus on the result you want to achieve, what you DO want to happen! Picture yourself at the end getting the round of applause, everything having gone smoothly, you are answering questions with confidence. Shift your internal dialogue to be supportive. The fear and anxiety will dissipate and from this place you will be able to be more resourceful in how you take action.

How did you find out what was most important to you? How might other women learn from your experience?

When I uncovered my values and really connected to their meaning for me - that’s when I started to more clearly see how to be more content and fulfilled. Your values are what is important to you, and they guide your decision making. When I started creating habits, work routines, career plans with my values as my compass, it created a huge shift for me.

Take some time to uncover your values, a simple way to do this is to pick an area of life e.g., career and write down everything that is important for you to be satisfied in your career. I then encourage people to take it further by thinking about how you feel when you are living your values. What emotions are connected to you being at your best? From here on, think about things you can do to experience more of those emotions and live your values.

I realized during COVID I was not experiencing enough connection (one of my values). I missed connecting with friends and colleagues, I missed making new connections and learning new things. I missed the laughter and inspiration that came from unfiltered conversations. I proactively started scheduling Zoom coffee meets, for example, and making time to call friends and family more.

Personal Impact Coach Charlotte on How to Thrive in Your Career

What is an important piece of advice for women to keep in mind, while trying to reach our ‘infinite potential’?

I would love to share a word that I came across when I was shaping my business and conveys how I wanted to support people: ‘Entelechy’. It is descried as 'that which makes what is merely potential a reality'. It is entelechy that turns the acorn into the mighty oak and the caterpillar into the butterfly.

Everyone has infinite potential within them, it is there ready to be unleashed within you. Also know, it does not have to be a lonely, overwhelming journey.

Find ways to surround yourself with people who energize you, encourage you, expand you - whether it’s for support, for fun and laughter, to brainstorm ideas, or to be inspired. I have found so much support from coaches, friends, mentors and the Women of Hong Kong community. All these interactions truly inspire and nurture my desire to continuously find ways to unleash my infinite potential, I can’t do it alone.

What’s in store for the future of Infinite Potential, and for Charlotte?

I feel 2023 brought with it a new energy of optimism. I am really excited to plan some in person workshops and my aim is to inspire and support people to take this opportunity to explore what enables them to authentically thrive each and every day with the addition of a supportive community. I have some resources in the works on this topic which will be released next month – so watch this space!

Personally, I am very excited to be getting back to travelling. I am going to have periods of travel and working remotely with my husband Ben, and I have some wonderful family celebrations back in the UK to look forward to - my sister Alex’s wedding and my grandfather’s 100th birthday. I am looking forward to seeing more of my family this year after feeling very far away from them for the last few years.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

You can connect with Charlotte via LinkedIn and book a session with Infinite Potential here.

Click here to see the rest of our International Women’s Month series.

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