Heading toward the end of this incredible and challenging year I think it is important to reflect on learnings, achievements and next goals. I have spent a lot of time alone and with no chances of social interactions during the last months. Hence, I decided to dedicate this time to personal and internal growth. It’s a long and complex process, there are moments of positivity and hope, and other moments of discouragement and sadness, since this global pandemic has heavily affected professional opportunities and my private life keeping me away from social activities. However, this has been a time to learn especially about my inner strengths and boost my competencies as a professional coach.
Looking back at the past months one of the most important achievements has been to graduate in MSc psychology at the University of East London. The conclusion of this master was an important milestone of my personal and professional life. Enrolling in this master was the reason to leave my established life in Bologna (Italy) and start a new adventure in London. In September I didn’t get only a graduate certificate but also an acknowledgment of all my effort, commitment, incredible determination and resilience. An ambitious goal, such as pursuing an academic career and doing a Ph.D. in positive psychology in the USA, was the main reason to decide to move to London and do a MSc in psychology. A couple of years ago, after a couple of unsuccessful applications for some American universities, I realized that I needed to acquire the new skills necessary to be a successful Ph.D. student. In January 2019 I was a master student again, determined to learn more about psychology theories, research methods and willing to conduct experimental research in a psychology laboratory. After almost 2 years I can proudly affirm that I did all of that. Sometimes, I don’t realize yet that it’s real and I graduated, conducted independent research about the role of positive emotions in people who have a chronic disease, such as diabetes, had practical research experience in a couple of psychology laboratory at the University of Birkbeck and Middlesex. Each of these activities required huge commitment and a clear focus on the final aim.
Along with this academic learning process, I have worked on my professional development as a professional coach. I got the certificate of Mental fitness coach awarded by an international leading company Cognomie. This specialty of coaching aims to enhance one’s psychological and emotional wellbeing, enabling an individual to engage productively with their environment, to gain motivation and a sense of achievement at work, to feel fulfilled, motivated and optimistic. Additionally, I got the certificate of Conscious Business Coach delivered by thought leader Fred Kofman in collaboration with BetterUp. This was an incredible highly self-reflective and engaging experience to learn about a values-first approach to leadership and acquire readily applicable tools for coaching. This training enhanced my coaching skills through self-reflection, theory, practice and receiving external feedback from my peer colleagues.
On top of this, in July I finally got my accreditation as a senior practitioner coach awarded by European Mentoring & Coaching Council, a professional membership organisation that encourages excellence and progression for mentors, coaches and supervisors. Further, I’m a contributor to the EMCC UK Research Think Tank group to promote academic research and enhance the scientific validity of coaching methodology. The main purpose of being continuously involved in personal and professional development is to acquire all powerful coaching tools, techniques, and concepts, that I can use to support my clients and to ensure to offer them the best service.
Despite 2020 has been a tough and challenging year, I can affirm that I am proud of these incredible achievements. I have always been perseverant and resilient in face of big challenges and never lost the desire of learning something new and improve as a professional and human being. My wish and goal for the next year is to get an offer for a Ph.D. position and moving to the USA. I’m confident where there is a strong will, there is a way to realize a dream.
“You can do anything as long as you have the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support“. Sabrina Bryan