A few years ago, I went through a burnout. I was working long hours to try to prove that I was worth my salt (oh hey imposter syndrome) and had developed unhealthy habits from skipping meals to getting 3-4 hours of sleep at night. I started having regular panic attacks coupled with an irrational fear of sleeping, where I became terrified that I wouldn’t wake up. I have actually read since that this fear can arise when people are feeling unfulfilled in their lives. That’s when I knew things were getting serious. I have always said that one of my greatest natural talents is sleeping. Still I ignored these signs and kept going – unhappy, exhausted, anxiety ridden. Finally, it took one particularly bad panic attack to shake me to my core and admit that I was at the end of my tether. I had reached breaking point and I was scared.
I was lucky to have a fantastic support system and I took some time off work to recover. I did a lot of soul searching through therapy and my own research. I realised that I was ultimately feeling lost and misaligned and I wasn’t fully sure where I fitted in the world.
I found the Kingstown College Advanced Diploma in Mental Health and Wellness Coaching and realised after starting it that a coach is someone who would have benefited me greatly before I got to the point of burnout. The course gave me great clarity of my strengths and values and I suddenly didn’t feel like such a deer in headlights anymore. It also helped me realise that power and progress lie in small changes rather than constantly striving for perfection. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to help support others who are going through a similar experience that I had which led me to setting up Clara Kennedy Coaching.
In terms of my working life to date, I have 7 years experience in the tech industry from start-up to large corporate. I have an Advanced Diploma in Personal, Leadership, and Executive Coaching and a Graduate Diploma in Corporate Well Being. I am accredited with the European Mentorship and Coaching Council, and am working towards the International Coaching Federation accreditation.