Coach Interview Series: Rita Abdallah

by Brandon

Rita Abdallah

Wellness Coach

Our main objective here at the National Coach Academy is to enable aspiring coaches to reach their full professional potential. One of the most effective ways to educate students about the world of coaching is by offering them a window into the world of real, practicing coaches and showing them all the different ways coaches make a difference in the lives of their clients.

We hope today’s interview adds another insightful glimpse into the dynamic world of coaching.

Today we are interviewing Rita Abdallah. Rita is a Wellness Coach based in Avon, Ohio.

NCA: Can you describe your coaching practice and the kinds of clients you typically work with?

Rita: I describe my coaching style as wellness coaching. The work that I do embraces body, mind and spirit — a more holistic approach. The sessions are driven by the individual and how they show up here, as well as conversations we may have in between sessions. We discuss how the homework’s going and if there’s resistance or breakthroughs and what those look like.

My professional mission is to inspire the discovery of peace, love, and joy. My philosophy is that once a person is anchored in one or more of those truths, then the life practice that each and every person does will have an element of grounding to it. If that’s their base, they can go from there and figure out what’s consuming their energy, what’s generating energy for them, and how they can move forward with something more on the generating side.

NCA: In working with your clients, what would you say is the most rewarding part of that process and on the flip side of that, what is the most challenging aspect of the work that you do?

Rita: I absolutely love spending time with people and being a witness to their transformation, finding themselves, asking questions, and having the courage and the willingness to answer and know that it evolves over time. If it’s rooted in peace, love or joy, they can always turn back to that and know that an answer will show up.

I love all of it. I love connection and to see life through someone else’s eyes. I love seeing where they’ve come and gathered wisdom up until this point, and how they’re ready to let something go and welcome something else — a new version of themselves — into their lives. It’s all very, very exciting.

The challenge, I would say, is more on the business side. How do you promote yourself? How you get the word out that this is what I’m passionate about and have people find me? Having the message consistently out there of support, caring, compassion, and service.

I tell people even at the very first visit that we are going to play. Play allows the brain to engage imagination and curiosity versus the task-oriented brain — the logical, one-sided self. We want to go from black and white to full color and play is the way to get there.

NCA: Can you talk a little about your career before coaching? And as you progressed through your career and into coaching, can you think of a mentor who was the most vital to your success? In what ways did this mentor help you thrive in your career?

Rita: When I was in traditional job settings, mentorship was something that I craved a lot. It went a couple of different directions that were confusing to me in terms of how people defined it and how things evolved.

I think the coaching found me. I had been a social worker since 1994. The idea of service, privacy, integrity — all of those things were in me for such a long time that the coaching just became a natural extension of my professional training and also my spiritual walk in combination. I left a traditional clinical job because the spiritual and the clinical really wanted to get together. They wanted to merge in a way that would benefit people. It was a departure from the box — from what I was trained to do and what I’ve gathered as a spiritual person. I wanted to bring it forward with other people. It just started to click and build on its own.

If I was going to think about a mentor, it’s been more like, “Okay, here’s what I found. Here’s what I’ve collected. I love this person, this book, or this philosophy and let me integrate it here. Then I’m going to pull this piece here and pull it together and create this.”

I’ve watched a lot of Tony Robbins and Brendon Burchard. I love what they do. I would also say my clients are my mentors. They’re showing me other ways to manage life, to manage courage and excitement. They’re my mentors. I’m surrounded by them all the time.

NCA: What is one piece of guidance you would offer to someone who is in the beginning stage of their coaching career?

Rita: I would say trust your intuition 100%. What you create between you and another person will find its way. It’s the beauty of being in the question together and playing with an answer and getting curious about that answer. That’s it right there. It’s truly about trust.

It’s less about your title and your credentials. You’ve earned all that. You’ve come this far. It’s now about holding that space for people and being their witness and having fun.

I tell people even at the very first visit that we are going to play. Play allows the brain to engage imagination and curiosity versus the task-oriented brain — the logical, one-sided self. We want to go from black and white to full color and play is the way to get there.

People sometimes come in so serious and it can feel so heavy. Once we start taking another look at it and there’s enough safety, respect, and trust, we honor that step forward and then infuse a blend of play, curiosity, imagination, and color. Then something clicks. When that click happens, people will say, “I can’t wait to come back.” “Of course! I can’t wait for you to come back, either. Go out there, do your homework. Let’s see what you got.”

Oh my goodness. It becomes that kind of engagement that’s so positive and so rewarding for all of us.

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