I’ve known Michele Attias for several years now—she was born in Gibraltar, lived in Israel for a while, but eventually settled in London. She qualified as a therapist and clinical supervisor in mental health services with responsibility for some of the poorest and abused children in London.
After undergoing significant changes in her own personal life, Michele reinvented herself and became a certified coach with a range of clients from lawyers, bankers, to entrepreneurs and business leaders. On top of being a mom of two, she also finds time for public speaking, writing articles for blogs, and most recently—publishing her first book, Look Inside: Stop Seeking Start Living.
Michele and I share a passion for personal growth and lifelong learning, and in our conversation we discuss Michele’s transition from working in the city to coaching, as well as diving into her book to see what some of the key issues are that are holding us back today—and how we can overcome them.
“I hated finance, I hated that whole sector—but I absolutely loved speaking to people.”
[2:54 ]Michele started off in therapy around 15 years ago, wanting to get into personal development to escape the corporate banking world—a world she entered after moving to London and landed the work, in part, due to being able to speak three languages. However, it was here that people started coming to Michele with their problems while she was in the filing room. This filing room became renamed by the employees as “Michele’s Therapy Room”.
But to step into becoming a psychotherapist was a whole different ball game. She found that she loved the academic aspect of it, learning different theories and practices to better help others. This also helped her personally overcome her feeling about being divorced, and as she attended personal development workshops she found herself helping others.
“People go through life like that, but they end up in their forties or fifties—they wake up one morning and they think, well I have the house, the marriage, the kids, the job—but I’m not happy. I don’t have any meaning.”
Fear is always powered by thought. The thoughts don’t come out of a vacuum—they’re always powered from a conscious effort within. She talks to her clients about possibility, of who they would be if they didn’t invite their negative thoughts in. This goes to show that fear is so much worse than the reality often is, which helps cast it aside. Attaching to fearful thoughts will paralyze you—imagine if fear was a friend, an annoying neighbor you converse with. This takes some of the power away from those feelings. Now don’t get Michele wrong, of course you are going to be scared at times, doubt your career path, worry over major or not so major life decisions, but at the end of the day your thoughts control how you feel about all of those external things.
“Sometimes we need to get over ourselves. Sometimes when the love we have for what we’re about to create is bigger than the fear we have of what will happen if things don’t work out—we’re just gonna set out and do it. Because love and fear cannot sit in the same space.”
If you’d like to take a deeper dive into Michele’s ideas and practices you can find her work at Michele Attias Coaching and find her wonderful book Look Inside: Stop Seeking Start Living (which I can’t recommend enough) at Amazon