“I died when I was 11, and that was the moment I stopped living….”
Michelle Elman’s first coaching session, three years ago, is one of the most memorable of my career. At 21, one of my youngest clients, her super-smart-mind was quickly evident. Educated at a posh school, with a Degree in Psychology, Michelle was a blossoming practicing coach, with credible NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Qualifications. She also had a story fit for Hollywood – and a penchant for chewing up coaches and therapists for breakfast!
It was going to be an interesting ninety minutes.
Her traumatic health history had caused PTSD and emotional wounding which was holding her back. At the age of 11, Michelle almost died, several times. Lying on a hospital bed, waiting to return to surgery for another major operation, she remembers looking at her Dad, determined to appear calm so as not to upset him. He had already lost a 7 year old son, she feared losing another child would kill him.
The major operations and health issues would continue for several years. She lived with the omnipresent terror of non-survival, and the additional impact of serious boarding school injustice.
Within those first coaching sessions her laser intuition and full-on power, both of which she sprinkled liberally, took centre stage…. I never doubted I had my work cut out but I also knew the universe had sent her to my door for a reason.
We often played a mutually satisfying game of psyche-cat and mouse. I loved the speed of her mind, her audacity and mischievousness. She made it very clear that she had little regard for coaches or therapists and I relish a challenge. There was the perfect fit 🙂
So why was she here? She was messy, and it was getting in the way of her ambition and dreams. She wanted to change but needed someone to cut through, and call her on her BS… whilst understanding her values her drive and co-creating her vision.
Michelle was determined to make an impact on the world, whilst remaining authentic. Her rapid, self created and impressive Social Media success meant new pressures. As often happens in this scenario, an unwelcome side-dish of destructive patterns, nasty self talk and roller-coasting were highlighted and gathering pace.
Michelle worked hard and did her coaching homework – most of the time! She read the reading list, she paid attention and worked the all important ‘New Me’ Muscle to order.
Along the way I’ve watched her share the ups and the downs of her process with her 100k+ tribe. Fearlessly talking about real issues, in a real way, at times showing honest vulnerability.
Despite her significant doubt, she trusted me enough to try out the ‘crazy stuff’ and play with The Universe. Each session came with a short lesson in spirituality. I’d take great pleasure in surprising her with a new way to manifest, connect with Creator and vibe with life in a different way.
She’s had many successes along the way. The universe is now her bestie and her dreams are reality. Yesterday I attended the launch party for her first book, Am I Ugly? No surprise, it’s already Amazon Number One!
Big name TV, magazines and major brands are already under her belt but I have no doubt that the best is yet to come!
Scarred Not Scared, Michelle’s brand, has become an influence of note within the world of BoPo (body positivity). Taking her potent message into schools she advocates non judgement, talks about body shame and opens much needed conversations around difficult subjects. Subjects which impact many young women.
Am I Ugly is a read that flows. It’s smart, human and different. It’s easy to get lost in this emotional roller coaster of one girls fight for life and self love.
In a world of not real, it’s an honour to be the wind beneath such perfectly imperfect – and authentic – wings. Congratulations Michelle Elman, may you continue to light paths for others with your passion, persistence and purpose.
(Michelle Elman has declined to preview this post, giving carte blanche to speak in my authentic voice about her and our work together.)