The Wellness Series- Meet Colleen Ingram- Strategist and Life Coach

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I am passionate about health and wellness of body and mind and am inspired by all the people doing great work out there. Please follow our blog series as we highlight skilled wellness professionals.

The key to wellness is to accept personal responsibility for your health and well-being.

The Wellness Series

Next up for our Q & A with a wellness professional is Colleen Ingram from Colleen Ingram Strategist and Life Coach.

Q. Firstly, please share with us exactly what it is that you do and the service that you offer?

I am a strategist and life coach.  I am an intuitive life coach who presents a range of business and life coaching skills to the client.

I have found that increasingly clients present as Adult Children.  Adult children are children who grew up in a family that protected a wounded parent; be it addiction, emotional instability, deep loss or overly critical expectations of excellence.  Parenting is absent, erratic or extremely controlling.  Sometimes it’s all three causing even more drama and confusion.  In the case of the critical parent the stress of living up to the parent’s unrealistic expectations of perfection skews the child’s idea of love, as acceptance is only received when excellence is achieved.  In the case of a parent with an addiction or emotional instability, the child believes it’s their job to keep the family safe from shame and harm so must keep the family secret at all costs. They believe a catastrophe will occur if they do not keep the secret.

Over-achieving and Secrets keep us separate and make us sick, so the child grows into a wounded adult who deeply believes honesty will result in disaster.  This causes them to believe they are lovable ‘only when’ they receive acceptance or keep silent.  This ‘only when’ fear based thinking causes the child to become an overly critical, or overly forgiving adult whose self-image is dependent on outside influences.  This false thinking harms personal and professional relationships, and they either accept the unacceptable or else nothing is ever good enough. 

With this in mind they self-sabotage and then feel ‘less than.’  It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy of drama.  My desire in working with Adult Children is to have them face and forgive their past so that they can change how they are with themselves and their loved ones.

Q. Tell us about your training and how you got to be a Strategist and Life Coach?

I was a Human Resource Consultant for 25 years, running my own Employment Consultancy in Durban and later acting as a Retrenchment Practitioner in the Cape.  An opportunity arose to work with Richard Robbins International as a business coach.  I found most of the stumbling blocks business clients faced were self-limiting beliefs.  These fear based thoughts prevented them from growing their business at their desired rate. 

This drew me towards the concept of life coaching.  I have to admit I was very sceptical of life coaching and took my time before deciding to go this route and choosing a teacher.  I chose Martha Beck Inc. as I’d read her books, listened to her talks and seen empirical evidence of her body of work.  I enjoyed her humour and respected her intellect.  She put language to emotions in a way I could relate to. 

I began to include life coaching in my business coaching and over time the main focus became life coaching.  I found once people understood ‘why they do what they do,’ it changes how they think and behave.  Once someone figures out why they want to do something they will always figure out how, either on their own or with a coach.  However, there were still many people who remained frozen and unable to change.  With these people, I noticed a common thread of perfectionism, critical thinking and self-doubt.   

My research into why this should be, led me to explore the concept of the Adult Child and that resonated loudly with me.  I then studied the Adult Child with Judy Klipin, and it has been a revelation to me and my clients who were stuck in turmoil every time they faced relationship challenges and change.

Q. How will your services as a Strategist and Life Coach help people? How would they benefit by doing it and working with you?

Self-Worth – I believe that self-care is the best gift we can give ourselves.  We humans are flawed beings doing the best we can for ourselves, our loved ones and our community, but often we feel overwhelmed in our personal and professional lives.

This happens when time, finances and emotional support are scarce.  We cannot be all things to all people so without self-care we burn out and our self-worth is negated.  With each perceived failure we add another scar to our psyche.  When we practice self-care we build self-worth and that means we stop holding ourselves and others to a higher standard, we learn to forgive, we add compassion to our endeavours, and this emotional combination allows us to strive with confidence.  Self-worth is an internal process that impacts how we do things as opposed to self-confidence which is experienced externally.  When we build our self-worth, self-confidence follows naturally and it allows us to push boundaries we’d normally fear.

Q. What is a helpful idea or tip you can give to our wonderful readers on how to live a more purposeful, inspired and fulfilled life?

Resilience.  It’s a word not used often these days, but in order to succeed professionally and personally we do need resilience.  Resilience is an emotional muscle we can build and it fuels our actions.

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt is: the difference between good and great, is consistency of purpose and for that we need resilience. 

Q. How can people reach you?

 LinkedIn Live Your Life Coach

Facebook Page Colleen Ingram Business Strategist and Life Coach

E-mail Colleen [email protected]

Q. Is there anything else you would like to share?

There is nothing I enjoy more than problem solving and strategizing, so if you need a safe space to figure out your ‘what if’s’ I’m here for you

Colleen, thanks so much for participating and sharing with us.

More Wellness Series Features;


The Flow Experience

Health Coach

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