Our conversation with Afshan Samee, as anticipated, was both enlightening and inspiring. A qualified Life Coach, Afshan works between Lahore and Dubai guiding her clients to richer, more fulfilling lives. Read what she had to tell about her chosen career…
Life coaching is a fairly new term, but the need for it isn’t. Tell us what a life coach does?
In a very general sense a life coach helps people clarify and articulate what they want from life and how best to achieve it. More specifically coaching helps people get past their obstacles in order to create the results they want in life, work, relationships and spiritual growth. Coaching is like having a personal trainer for your soul. We don’t tell people what they should do; rather we ask powerful questions in an effort to help the client find the answers that lie within. Coaching is particularly helpful if you feel out of balance; if you feel something is missing but you can’t put your finger on it; if you want to pursue a new career or change jobs; perhaps you simply want more joy in your life.
Is life coaching similar to psychology or the work of a psychologist?
Coaching is no substitute for therapy. Coaching is about creating results, not dealing with crisis. It focuses on the future and as a result can assist to change attitudes resulting from past experience.
Who can benefit from life coaching? (Does everyone need coaching?)
As such we can all benefit from coaching from time to time. Even as coaches we go to other coaches when we feel like something is in our blind spot. Life is full of challenges and sometimes all that is required is some clarity so that we can figure out our next steps.
How does the life coaching process work?
The way the process works is that you book a number of sessions (ranging from 1-8) with a coach; how many is up to you and we work on figuring out what are the blocks that are holding you back as well as a plan of how you can move forward. We follow a very strict code of client confidentiality, so your privacy is not only respected but honoured.
Tell us about your journey to becoming a life coach, clearly your experiences shaped your decision greatly.
One of the reasons that I decided to go for the MBI training was that I had read a couple of Martha Beck’s books and I really loved her and them. Her way of coaching resonated with me. At the time, I had accomplished what I had set out to do in life but regardless I was feeling lost and disconnected. I needed to reexamine my beliefs and understand how they had shaped my life. The two years I spent doing the work have transformed my perspective and therefore my life.
How was your training experience for the Martha Beck qualification?
The MBI programme is one of the best in the world. The term life coach was coined by USA Today when they wrote an article about Dr. Martha Beck. The course material is impeccably researched and complied by her and her master coaches. It explores tools and insights based on the works of many past and present day psychologists and leaders in this field. Dr. Martha Beck herself is no less. She is the author of many books that have graced the New York’s Times best seller list.
You’re clearly one of the pioneers in this field, how do you see this growing in future
Life coaching has been very big in the West for over a decade. It is highly regarded because it is solution oriented and effective. It is all about empowering the individual. This, in my opinion is where its success lies and why it is growing so rapidly.
What do you think it takes to be a good life coach?
The first of the 8 core values in the MBI training programme is, “Live it to Give it.” This basically means practising what you preach. We need to have done the work on ourself before we can help someone else. This requires courage, integrity and compassion. I believe this is a good starting point for any coach.
What sort of courses, coaching do you offer? How can one connect with you?
My niche is in helping people connect to their own truth. This means helping them to follow their own wisdom. We alone have the answers to our life. In understanding who we are, enables us to find what brings us joy. In doing so we begin to claim responsibility for our life and our actions.
This is the core theme in all the workshops I conduct and also in my private sessions with clients. I am now running these workshops in Lahore as well as Dubai and if anyone is interested in knowing more, they are welcome to visit my website: