Inspiring People: Life Coach Katarina Stoltz
Katarina is a transformational Life Coach with roots in Sweden and Poland, currently living in Berlin. Katarina supports women to become free to be themselves, and she challenges them out of their comfort zone to create a life they love to live. She offers one-on-one coaching sessions and organizes workshops.
How did you start your career?
I started my career as a news photographer but after being on maternity leave, I lost inspiration to continue this work and I asked myself the question “What would I regret not have done, if I continue to work like I do now?” The answer came from my heart- something within psychology. I started to study psychotherapy in Berlin and I took a coaching training with “Creative Consciousness” in Germany and Holland. While I prepared for the coaching exam I started to practice one to one with clients.
What inspired you to go down this path?
When I started the coaching training I did not know if I wanted to become a professional coach. During the training I discovered that I was already a coach, I just needed to practice and work on my own process. All my life I have loved asking questions that change the way people look at themselves and others. So I guess what inspired me back then, was that it felt easy and natural to me. My journey in the Media industry had been a pretty difficult one, which involved a lot of struggle. As I started coaching I felt joy, flow and lightness.
What steps did you take in order to get to where you are today?
The first step I took when I wanted to change career, was to really listen to what my heart wanted, not what my identity wanted. Looking back, I believe that it was my identity that wanted to become a photographer. This time it was different, I was driven and enthusiastic, but in a much calmer way. Every big step I have taken in my life has been about growth. I have always asked myself the questions- “What more can I learn?” and “What gives me fulfillment?” I have lived and worked in 3 different countries, had jobs in many and various areas and always had friends all over the world from most social classes. This meant I gained a lot of trust in people and the world and this has made me less afraid of the unknown.
What was your biggest obstacle?
My biggest obstacle was when I started off with my coaching business- I wanted it to grow too fast. I was doing coaching- not being a Coach.
How were you able to overcome it?
I decided to slow down and make sure I worked on my own process and trust that I would have more clients when I had created better conditions.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of how I “walk the talk”. I believe that to be able to genuinely get what another person is going through, you have to have gone through the process yourself. I have worked on my own development in many therapy and coaching sessions. A couple of weeks ago I hosted my first workshop in Berlin, and I am very proud how I, being bold and open about my own journey, encouraged the participants to open up and start to work on their own inner journeys.
How do you deal with the ongoing changes in your life and still be able to maintain a balanced lifestyle?
Balanced lifestyle…does it exist? Most of the time I think it’s a myth. Our perfectionist culture focuses so much on the idea of “balance”, but often chasing this state leaves us the feeling of failure. As a mother, foreigner and entrepreneur I am daily challenged to keep a balanced lifestyle. But with that said, I have a much more balanced lifestyle today then I had, let’s say, 10 years ago. This is thanks to my decision to start with my own personal development. Recently I discovered Danielle Laporte, an author and a speaker. She teaches us to ask these very inspiring questions: “How do you want to feel?” and “Which are your core desired feelings?” Knowing my core desired feelings often gets me back on track fairly quickly when I am being challenged with uncomfortable feelings. After acknowledging what exists here and now, I remind myself how I want to feel. Another good reminder for me is “pain is inevitable but suffering is optional”. While suffering I am stuck in my victimhood and there is no movement in my life.
As I mentioned before, I love questions- they are such door openers towards clarity and getting back to balance. I would rather spend time looking for the right question, than looking for the perfect answer. Often asking questions puts change in motion right a way.
My 4 steps to get back on track when being challenged:
Acknowledge what is going on and how it makes you feel. Then look the feeling in the eye and allow it to be there, don’t push it away. Take your time to digest and avoid going into reaction.
Look at what you can learn from it. There is usually no coincidence that something/ somebody appears in your life. What is the message it is bringing you?
Remind yourself how you want to feel most of the time. How you want to experience life. Look at what’s in the way to be where you want to be.
And last but not least, ask for support! Make sure to identify your people, choose friends who support your growth. Ask a close friend for help or sign up for a couple of coaching sessions.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I see myself as a leader and role model for women who have made the powerful decision to leave their comfort zone and live a life they love to live. I coach individuals and groups in my own practice where I also offer Gestalt therapy. I give workshops in Berlin and organize retreats in the countryside in Sweden. The core topic of the workshops is “how to become free to be yourself”. I have also developed a successful workshop for mothers with a coaching colleague of mine. The topic is “the importance of self-care and how to raise happy children”.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
My advice is to try out coaching as a client first. Then you get an idea what it’s like. And it’s in that chair (the client’s chair) that you need to start anyway to become a good coach. You need to be prepared to go deep and deal with your own issues before you offer your services to someone else. So look for a coaching training where they offer you to work on your own process too. And what I also find important is, a coaching program which offers a holistic approach- not only theory and coaching methods. Then practice and practice. Offer friends or people who are curious about coaching to practice with them. Ask them for feedback. This is the best way to learn and becoming confident.
What is your favorite inspirational quote and why?
“The secret isn’t to seek what you don’t have, the secret is to want what you do have”. I love this quote because it is simple, yet something that most of us don’t see. We usually look outside of ourselves for happiness- new job, new partner, new clothes, new apartment, move to a new country and so on. We rarely take a look inside and practice accepting who we are and what we do have in our lives. When we learn that happiness is an inside job- we don’t need to change anything, we only need to be who we already are. And when we have arrived there- take the decision that you will never ever again compromise being who you are.
If you want to find out more about Katarina Stoltz just visit her site: www.katarina-stoltz.com