Why this Egyptian life coach wants to emphasize personal development in our culture
There is a famous metaphor, that of lobsters, used by Hasidic rabbi and Israeli-American psychiatrist, Dr. Abraham Twerski, that captures the heart of personal development.
The story is this: when lobsters outgrow their shells, they cannot simply and automatically adopt a new shell like other crustaceans. Instead, they should seek out a rocky crevice or hiding place under which they are completely vulnerable and soft, then sit and wait for their new shell to develop.
But only when they feel uncomfortable can they grow. In their most vulnerable state and weakest form, they are forced to stretch out to feel protected again by a new shell.
The personal development of humans goes through the same process. We often know where we need to grow, but instead of stepping out of our shells and dealing with vulnerability, we choose to stay in our old shells. We choose to avoid, stay in our comfort, and remain ignorant of our flaws and shortcomings.
The idea of having a life coach, therapist, or personal development guide you through life was not popular until recently. There are now multiple trained life coaches and it is now recognized as a true discipline, with several college and postgraduate university courses now being offered worldwide in the field.
Life coaching is not limited to personal development. It is essentially about discovering our inner selves and getting closer to what brings us joy. Whether it’s calling, truth, or passion, life coaching helps people find the inner drive that drives them forward in life.
In Egypt, the field is slowly developing despite the fact that it is often not considered a real career.
Ahmad Salah has been a motivational speaker and life coach for over five years, serving over 3000 clients to date; he appeared in several national programs and radio programs, mainly 99 FM.
The choice to redirect his career from business development – namely a corporate job – to life coaching stems from his early passion for personal development. “I’ve always been interested in how someone can develop their life gradually and can be proactive in doing so through a number of stages. It’s about following the lead, not just repeating inspirational sayings and quotes,” he says.
Setting a goal of becoming a life coach at age 25, Salah first made the first decision to become a motivational speaker because he felt unprepared to practice the skills of a life coach. After delving into the field through several books and courses, he identified three main skills for a life coach: hearing more than talking, providing practical steps that can be taken from the first session, and being able to provide comfort and ease. for his client to express himself freely.
“Because I listen very well, I have great analytical skills and I can keep a good memory of any information, whether it comes from a human or an incident, in order to analyze the situations with precision, I realized that I had the key talents that are needed to become a life coach,” he adds.
Salah faced a lot of resistance from his family at the start of his career change, but he succeeded due to his belief that Egypt and the rest of the Arab world deserve more life coaches and speakers. motivators that help unblock individuals. real potential.
“The very first step I took was to see how life coaches around the world approached the profession and what their services were to find their strengths and weaknesses and find what was best for me,” notes Salah.
Her real breakthrough came from having her own radio show with 99 FM. In 2018, it was the most popular radio show in 2018 nationwide as it covered a range of topics; from how to improve your own life to time management and stress management.
“The radio show was at 6 a.m. every morning and I didn’t expect people to wake up so early to listen to the show at all, but a lot of people did and we got it. received a huge following,” he says.
“The success of the radio show drew my attention to the fact that people need motivation, and there are a lot of people in the Arab world who take it as something insignificant or as someone who just sharing videos on social media. A real life coach has to interact with people in real life. It’s about seeing people who continue to work with you throughout their journey and eventually seeing the impact of your coaching on their life. It is a much more personal experience, which is why it is important to establish a personal connection with the client because ultimately the decision to improve their life begins with them” , Salah adds.
As he aspires to promote the idea of personal development in Egypt and the Arab world, and to motivate people to manage their challenges and find their true spark, Salah was inspired to write the Arab personal development book ” You” (Enta)’, which revolves around the idea that it all starts with the individual mindset and willingness to change. “I always tell my clients that even if you’ve gone to 100 life coaches, you’ll never change unless you have the will to change,” he says.
Personal development is like reading a book, he says. “There are many ways to read a book. Either you just read the book without concentrating or feeling any connection to it, or you read it with full attention and underline certain words or phrases. That’s what the book is really about getting people to do, which is to focus on everything we do as a guide to understanding our lives and ourselves. It all comes down to our own will to understand what is happening around us.
However, Salah also aims to connect with Egyptians and Arabs living abroad, as some of them have expressed the difficulty of finding an Arab life coach who understands their own issues and concerns from a foreign point of view. cultural, and that it is often difficult to connect with a foreigner. life coach.
“I hope that in the future more people in Egypt and the Arab world will embrace the idea of a life coach, and I aspire to become the world’s first global Arab coach,” he said. -he declares.
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