Tracy West is a Parent-Empowerment Life coach. In her own words, “I specialise in supporting Parents/Carers to create their own powerful strategies, to feel and live a more parent-empowered life!”
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
You could say I had a bit of a bumpy start in life, for which I am very grateful for!
I was born with health problems so I spent a lot of time in hospital. I was also diagnosed with Dyslexia at 7 and could not read or write very well so I got bullied at school.
At the hospitals I met wonderful, inspirational children with life changing conditions. This introduced me to understanding empathy and gratitude at a young age.
The bullying and learning difficulties helped me build my resilience as a person. If someone tells me I cannot do something, I will prove them wrong!
I took Psychology and Sociology at college as I have always had a fascination with ‘how people tick’ and how society and the environment around us can influence this. I did not do very well in my exams, in one exam I was in a hospital playroom and in so much pain I cannot even remember much apart from the kids banging on the door wanting their playroom back! at another exam I was in a wheelchair and as I was last in the hall everyone stared and this was my first (of many) panic attack.
I realised I had my own strengths despite this and was very creative, which a lot of Dyslexics are! so I did a performing arts course. On my course was James Corden, for those of you who know James from the tv programme Gavin and Stacey, James ended up in Hollywood and I ended up as a paint mixer lol.
I was not content with mixing paint so went into sales. In my job interview the manager said I was too young, had no experience, poor grades and my writing was awful so why would he take the risk of taking me on? I looked him directly in the eye and said because I am going to be your top salesperson within 6 weeks. (I was hired)
I was successful and determined and was soon zooming about in my sports car and buying my own property at 20.
I could not party like my friends as I had to pay bills and buy food so I became very disciplined and financially aware and independent.
I got married and had children. I remember being told ‘how wonderful’ being a parent would be and things would just come naturally. I remember looking at my son after bringing him home from the hospital and thinking, Hey kid, now what do I do!?
I found being a new mum hard, here I was this sales go-getter now a mum with a sickness down her shoulder, losing touch with work colleagues and I felt very isolated and as if I had lost my identity. I had postnatal depression and anxiety and this was brushed away by the doctor as ‘very common’ and told it will go. It did not.
I had love and support personally around me, but I was too ashamed to ask for help from them. Never be afraid to ask for help.
If you are a new mum then head for the toddler groups, I got so much love and understanding and a cup of tea and a biscuit, which felt like a warm hug.
I got divorced from my husband and this was a painful and exhausting time. To find yourself as a ‘single parent’ is difficult. The responsibility feels like such a heavy weight. I learnt a lot from my divorce, including the importance of forgiveness of others-and yourself.
In 2018 The only way I can describe what happened is that the world went dark. A month ago my beautiful friend who was also a single parent was celebrating Christmas with me and other friends. We had a lovely afternoon and my last words to her were Have a lovely Christmas, I have to pick up the kids so I’ve got to run. I never got to speak to her again, she died by suicide.
The emotions you feel are so mixed, anger, compassion, frustration, guilt, sadness. I felt a lot of guilt. My last words to her were ‘I’ve got to run.’
In 2017 I started my coaching journey, I did a Joint professional Life Coaching and Counselling Level 5 gaining my certification in 2018.
My friend always helped others so that’s what I was going to do.
Later In 2021 I became a Mental Health First Aider and I took the Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy in the workplace and a Samaritans course.
I love to learn so I then did courses in Emotional intelligence, NLP, Mindfulness based CBT, Mindful Emotion Coaching (earning my EQA) and got Accredited by The coaching Masters, a course accredited by the IAPCM (International authority of coaching and mentoring)
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”
My motivation is that being a life coach is not just a job, it’s my purpose. Now I have found my purpose in life which took 40 years to find! I am going for it.
Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?
The impact I want to make is to support parents/carers to be Parent-Empowered! (Power to the parents)
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
My children, who are my greatest love and achievement.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
Let’s just be kinder and more supportive human beings. We are all here on this roller coaster called life so let’s empower and support one another through it.
I am under no illusion that my little coaching practice will not change the world, but if I inspire and support just one person I am happy.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?
I think things have changed in the workplace but there is still work to be done! Change starts by conversation, so let’s have these conversations.
What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
Think about what YOU want in life. There are many well meaning people such as parents, teachers who have good advice you can take on board…But what do YOU want and what does happiness actually feel and look like to YOU?
Follow your dreams my friend!