Imagine a tube of toothpaste. Aquafresh with triple stripes. Picture squeezing it. Flawless blue, white and red streaks squish out, right? Now, consider all the ways society grooms us to be perfect. Best grades, best looks, best achievements.
But hang on, what happens if you don’t have perfect stripes to start with. Internally yours are sparkly or kaleidoscopic or floral. For the longest time you’ve felt the pressure of having to conform to the norm – three straight stripes.
Birthing a Business
Pigeonholing our essence subverts who we really are. It saps confidence and squashes self-belief. SACAP coaching alumni Abigail Samuelson, 25, is doing important work to negate this.
Abigail is a personal coach with a focus on women. She’s been running her own coaching practice in Cape Town for almost two years. She says the skills she learnt through SACAP are integral to her burgeoning career success. Curious to find out how, we recently caught up with Abigail. Here’s what she has to say…
Steps to Success
Abigail has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Stellenbosch University under her belt. She wanted to continue her studies and chose to enrol at SACAP. “It gave me a sound and internationally recognised foundation for my work,” she says. “SACAP also offers an honours-equivalent diploma in coaching, something that I hadn’t seen elsewhere.”
Abigail was attracted to SACAP’s learning environment, she adds. “SACAP has small interactive classes, individual focus on students and the opportunity to build a professional network.”
She completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching last year but started her own coaching business in 2019. “I mainly work with women in their 20s,” she explains. “I believe in debunking stories and belief systems that don’t serve my clients’ growth. Our work together frequently centres around concepts such as self-trust, self-love, self-acceptance and radical self-belief.”
Potent Personal Power
Growing up Abigail says she lacked confidence. “I spent many years as a child and teenager overweight, unhappy and disempowered. I believe my personal journey has made my coaching particularly potent.”
By stepping into her own power, Abigail inspires her clients to do the same. “I encourage my clients to unpack their inner worlds and repack their beliefs, assumptions, identities and stories in order to better serve themselves.”
We’ve been socialised to care more about what others think of us rather than what we think of ourselves. Abigail upturns the status quo. She incites her clients to discover the strength of their unique authentic selves. This galvanizes their confidence. “While they may not see it, I can genuinely appreciate their personal power,” she says. “They feel this and slowly begin to believe it for themselves.”
Creating Insightful Content
Abigail hosts her own podcast called The Lightwomen Podcast (you’ll find it on Spotify and Apple Podcasts). “I wanted to create a space that allows women to find genuinely helpful content as they walk their spiritual/ self-development journeys,” she says.
“What’s more,” she continues, “I like to promote vulnerability when I record.” I want to encourage realness in the self-help space and make women feel less alone. No one is perfect. Trying to act as though we are is a key concept holding us back from the expansive lives of our dreams.”
So, how has her SACAP qualification equipped Abigail with the tools to become a competent and confident professional coach? “The theoretical background has been so helpful,” she says. “It’s given me the vital basics: how to structure a session, what coaching incorporates and what’s out of my scope. These tie into the ethical aspects of coaching – something SACAP emphasizes. The diploma also introduced me to thinkers and schools of thought that are fundamental to my coaching efforts.”
“Furthermore, SACAP’s Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I was a shy 22 year old when I began. I can confidently say that the diploma has nurtured my growth as much personally as it has professionally.”
We asked Abigail to delve into the most important aspects and practical details of her course. “Although it’s a part-time course it does take substantial commitment,” she insists. “While studying, I worked part-time, but I found it easy to incorporate the syllabus into my schedule. I reckon I spent about 12 hours a week on my studies.”
Most striking highlights? “The fact that the course is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF),” says Abigail. “Also, its practical elements and the fact that all of the educators are professional coaches themselves. They provide real-world knowledge in the classroom as well as in the individual mentor-coaching sessions.”
Importantly, says Abigail, her studies at SACAP have gone a long way to cultivating her confidence. “I know that I am a coach who is professionally trained amongst the thousands of coaches who aren’t.”
“The diploma includes opportunities to peer coach and practice your coaching whilst in the classroom,” she adds. “Personally I really appreciated the balance between theoretical and practical work. I receive excellent feedback and results from my clients, which I can attribute to my studies at SACAP.”
Onwards and Upwards
What’s next for this ambitious 25 year old who seems wise beyond her years? “I hope to soon have a fully booked coaching practice working with international clients online,” she says. “I also want my work to be accessible via affordable online courses.”
Helping young women is something Abigail is particularly passionate about. “I aim to run in-person self-awareness/ self-development programmes at high schools in the near future,” she says. “I believe I would have really benefited from this as a teenager.”
Essentially, says Abigail, she’d like her kind of work to become mainstream. “I am passionate about the empowerment of people, especially young women. Yes, most women are liberated, but I believe that many of us are yet to step into our personal power, ” she says.
All About You
What do you want to do? You can also positively impact people’s personal and professional lives. Coaching, especially in our Corona climate, is becoming increasingly necessary.
Become part of the solution. SACAP’s Postgraduate Diploma in Coaching is easy to fit into your work-life schedule. It’ll expose you to a wealth of theoretical and practical skills. And its rock solid foundation culminates in an accredited qualification recognised by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).