Written by Tanya Haeffele

When Graeme from The Forge asked me to write a blog post I was excited at the prospect.

Given the nature of the blog what better subject to write about than self-creation or even re-creation. ‘Forging’ a better you from the fire and by fire, I mean life experiences.

We all experience ‘life’ right. The inevitable daily grind that takes up our time. Work, kids, chores etc. you know the drill. Sometimes though we find ourselves in situations where we might feel lost or at a crossroads. The end of a relationship, kids leaving home, retirement or a career change such as leaving the army.

I believe that experiences we go through in life ‘happen to us’ but don’t need to ‘define us’. They are situations or events to draw knowledge and experience from and, in turn, opportunities for learning and growth.

I think that talking about our own experiences helps us to connect with others. Common ground often exists between 2 human beings but it is not until we open ourselves up and share our experiences that we become aware of this. So I will tell you part of my story albeit summarised.

I had my daughter at 17 years old. A life changing experience I’m sure you’ll agree and I’m not going to lie it was a shock to the system. Luckily for me I have always had a very supportive and loving family so although it was never easy I had help on hand when I needed it. The availability of a support system in whatever form it comes helps no end in challenging situations. I got married at 27 to a wonderful man. He had a successful career as an International Dance Music DJ and Producer. He was extremely capable at most things (except DIY) and enjoyed life very much. We were the best of friends.

For years my life was devoted to my family and building a successful professional career but at that time I didn’t have a single hobby or interest. I had lost my social independence and self-confidence and wasn’t very happy although at the time I wasn’t quite sure why. Eventually we decided that a helping hand from a marriage counselor was in order. ‘Marie’ was amazing and recognised the situation immediately. In one key session, she asked us in turn ‘so what are you good at?’ I couldn’t think of a single thing and I just cried. A turning point for me and complete lightbulb moment as I knew deep down that I was lost. That I needed something for ME. Making time for yourself, no matter how busy your schedule is is essential to your wellbeing. It’s easy to get wrapped up in ‘life’ but we mustn’t forget to ‘live life’ too. Not only as partners or parents but as individuals. So that’s what I did. I acted and recreated the balance. My confidence grew daily and my sense of self-worth improved. Over time I grew in to the person I am today. After 13 years, together Andy and I did eventually go our separate ways. We were very young when we met and our friendship eventually became the overriding factor. Although extremely important for a relationship to last, it’s not the be all and end all!

To recreate ourselves or change things we aren’t happy with we sometimes need to be brave and take action. This helps us to then move forward in a positive way. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you are going through. To a friend or family member or a professional. It could help give you the confidence you need to draw the hammer high and start forging a new you. It’s never too late to recreate yourself. and your life. I genuinely believe that.

Performance Coaching involves, amongst other things, demonstrating understanding and empathy. Athletes are human beings experiencing ‘life’ challenges like you and I. Sometimes helping an individual with ‘life’ can have a positive effect on their performance in their chosen sport and, in turn, their personal life.

In a world filled with disconnect and impersonal virtual interactions we need to remember that first and foremost we are people fundamentally designed to be around other people.

Thanks for reading and see you in the fire! 🔥

Tanya’s InstaGram