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Q&A with Robyn Eckersley

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Exclusive Trusted Magazine Q&A with Robyn Eckersley, Life Expansion + Empowerment Coach for Female Athletes

How could you describe your career path in a few words?

I would describe my career path as nontraditional, unpredictable, and as an ongoing adventure. Growing up, I felt an incredible amount of pressure to have a clear path mapped out in front of me, to have my major career decisions locked in by the time I graduated from university. I felt extremely limited, because in my mind, I felt I could only select a career from the finite number of options I’d been exposed to, and all of them either were clearly not a fit (for example, medicine was out of the question as I feel faint at the sight of blood), or seemed an arduous path of constant struggle (I was very interested in genetics and bioengineering, but assumed I would spend my life in a windowless lab fighting for grant money). At that time, I was where my clients often begin: in the grips of assumptions, past experience, and self-imposed pressure. It’s the perfect recipe for feeling stuck, defeated, and ultimately apathetic. If all roads lead to disappointment, what does it matter which road I take? I navigated post-university life as best anyone who was perpetually plagued with existentialist futility could. Personally, my life was chaotic and messy, I found myself trapped in a relationship with a violent man for several years. Professionally, I moved from job to job, running the cycle of cautious hopefulness at the beginning of every new position, performing well but realizing it couldn’t provide the impact and meaning I desired, and leaving the position unfulfilled and increasingly jaded. I met my first Life Coach in 2015, and after hearing my struggles and my desires to do truly meaningful work with women to help them to know themselves as MORE than they’d been able to, she suggested I explore the coaching profession. I sought out more information about this work, found instant and resounding resonance, and immediately enrolled in a high quality coach training program. I was certified as a Professional Coach the following year, and shortly thereafter I officially launched Robyn Eckersley Coaching LLC. The combination of a new career track and a new business venture launched me into a new path of creativity, personal transformation, and meaningful service that aligns with my values and goals.

How do you handle unexpected or uncertain situations at work?

When I’m facing unexpected or uncertain situations at work, I first pause. I do this intentionally, so that I can allow for any automatic unconscious reactions to pass through me. There’s a saying in the world of personal development that goes, “Your first thought is not your own.” When we are faced with a surprise, or something we weren’t anticipating, our biological systems of self-preservation and survival will kick in, assuming there’s a potential threat or risk that we need to prepare for, so our thoughts may go first to fear and defense or resistance, which might play out in the form of inaccurate judgments, anger or frustration, or indignation and suspicion. I know this, so I recognize that whatever my first reaction is, it’s not a conscious one. I pause to wait for the reaction to pass through my mind and body, and then I assess the situation and ask questions like, “How can this be a really great thing? What can I do, where I am, with what O have? How can this be FUN?” This is a purposeful shift from reaction to engagement, from being caught on the back foot to moving forward, from fear to fun. I love having fun, so if I have an opportunity to play, more often than not I’m going to be taking it! We all have to move through the unexpected all the time, and it’s my choice to do it the most self-empowering and playful ways possible.

Based on your experience, what’s the key success factor for a female leader / manager?

I believe in two key success factors for women who are leaders, whether they’re leading teams, businesses, families, or themselves. The first is having a Vision: a clear picture of the life they would love to be living, in and out of the office. This Vision needs to be big, something that breaches the bounds of her sense of possibility, and it needs to be a Vision of a life she is completely in love with. This Vision will serve as a powerful compass by which to make decisions personally and professionally. The second key success factor I believe in is unwavering faith in limitless possibilities. So many amazing dreams and achievements never see the light of day because of one’s commitment to preventing disappointment and mitigating potential failure. Our assumptions of what can and cannot be done are often framed in the context of our own experiences and the experiences of others around us, and so heavily influenced by the fear of failure that we funnel our resources of time, capital, energy and attention into a picture of a “realistic,” “logical,” or “safe” future, instead of remembering that truly anything is possible, especially in today’s day and age. If women can sturdily stand on the foundation that we as a species are truly capable of things we can’t even imagine yet, then we will take bigger risks, reap bigger rewards, and step forward into a richer, more fulfilling and abundant life than our fear would ever allow us to conceptualize. This is how the female leaders of tomorrow can change the very fabric of society.

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