Tanya Wasylewski believes that working on yourself is one of the hardest things to do.
As a life coach, Tanya helps people find their freedom. The freedom to make decisions and find balance in life. She focuses on ‘freedom coaching’ and ‘heart-centered coaching’ to help people connect all the dots of life to find their passions and achieve their goals.
Despite now having found her calling erstwhile traveling the world as a digital nomad with Remote Year, it hasn’t always been so crystal clear. Read on to learn more about Tanya and don’t forget to head over to her page to book your consultation.
Tanya grew up in Geelong, Australia, about an hour from Melbourne and studied public relations at university. After she finished up her degree, she jetted off to London for a couple of years because she “wasn’t ready to grow up.” After a brief stint in retail, Tanya came back to Australia only to ask her 25-year-old self the grand question of “What do I want to do now?” She decided publishing was her next move.
So she climbed the publishing ranks. From customer service to sales to finally getting a degree in publishing and becoming an actual publisher. Tanya reached “the end,” only to realize she didn’t want to be in publishing anymore. “This is what I’ve always wanted to do, but I don’t want to do it anymore,” she recalls. So again, the age old questions of “What do I want to do?”
Tanya had always had a strong calling to wellness. She loved to help people and it was always something she was passionate about and recalls she had “always been unofficially coaching [her] friends all [her] life.”
“This is where it all kind of started. I went to a yoga workshop and I met someone who I had read a couple of her books and I had worked with her publisher. She saw my book, ‘Do What You Love and Shine’ and I was like ‘I don’t know what I love!
“And as I was walking home, I had this thought in my mind ‘become a life coach,’ and I thought, that’s new.”
From there, Tanya decided that life coaching was exactly what she was meant to do and how she was meant to help people.
Had you always been familiar with life coaches?
It’s not a big thing in Australia and I’d always had this idea of them being very business-y and very ‘go for the prize!’ Then when I started looking into it more, my mentality changed. The course that I did was focused on heart centered coaching, so getting down to what people want and improving their lives in all different ways.
I’ve had [clients] who want to set goals on doing charity work because they’ve always wanted to do that, they just don’t know how. It’s not just relationships or losing weight or building a business. People have all sorts of goals.
What is freedom coaching to you?
That’s something that has come up for me in the last couple of months, just in trying to work out a life in that I have freedom to do what I want and make choices that I want.
That’s something that I’ve been finding with my clients, they just want the freedom to make the choices that they want in life. Whether people want to come away on Remote Year and travel, they have the freedom to do that in their lives and can create that choice. If they want to be out of work and have a family, they can have the freedom to do that without feeling guilty in any way. Having freedom to go on the holidays you want to go on and buy the things you want to buy. Having the freedom to choose, because we have so many options. Having the freedom to change your mind.
What is your process with new clients?
I have a questionnaire to begin with to get a sense of what they want to work on and where they’re coming from. Then we have a twenty to thirty minute chat, no obligations, just to see whether or not they like me and I like them, because you’ve really got to be able to have that rapport with people. [My clients] can’t be like ‘I hate this person!’ It’s important that they feel comfortable.
Once they’re like yep, good to go, we get into the series. I like to do a three month series, where we connect once every two weeks. In the beginning, we’ll set goals. So maybe two or three goals in different aspects of their lives that we want to work on. And then we start with action steps and then in each session we go over action steps, what’s holding them back, what’s felt good, what have you learned from this and then set new ones for the next two weeks. And then over time, you get momentum and the change starts to happen. To get the most change, the accountability is necessary.
It’s really interesting when people are like ‘I didn’t complete my action steps, I want to cancel the session. ‘And I say ‘No no no. We’re still having the session. Why didn’t you complete them?’ And that’s almost a better session than one with someone who’s done everything.
Generally by session three or four, they get really into the process and it’s less about shaping them in the direction, they just go off and start doing everything. They understand where I’m coming from.
It’s really great to get to the end of the three months and look back at the notes and see where they started from. I always say to them, ‘Oh my god, you’re a completely different person, how amazing are you? You made all these changes in a matter of months.’
What has been your favorite experience with a client?
I had this male nurse, and he was just lost. He was also the first guy that I worked with. It was different experience for me, using language a little differently. You can’t ask guys how they feel all the time. So, that was a learning curve for me. He didn’t know what he wanted to do. He was so stressed out and anxious.
In the end, he ended up discovering that he really wanted to become a firefighter and a remedial masseuse as well, from being a nurse.
The CFA (Country Fire Authority) only recruits sporadically and just as we finished up with our series, I checked their website and it was like ‘we’re starting recruiting next week!’ So I said, ‘Guess what?! You can start applying! It was really great to see him have some clear direction [after our session.]
What are your tips for someone who wants to make a change in their life?
The wording of a goal is really, really important. You could say “I want to lose weight,” but that’s not really inspiring. If you say it in a way, “I want to be the happiest and healthiest that I’ve ever been,” then that gives you something to work towards, rather than just to lose the ten pounds.
It’s all about wording it in a way that feels inspiring to you and then setting action steps and making yourself accountable in some way. So whether that’s setting a reminder on your phone for every week or two weeks, or scheduling time when you sit down to look at your goals and stick to it, having that is really important.
Celebrate the wins. Celebrate the minor wins along to the way to the big goal, because goals can take a really long time sometimes and you can get disheartened.
But if you set particular times, like when I reach this particular part of my journey, I’m going to celebrate by doing X, it feels good and you’re rewarding yourself and you’re working so hard that you need to enjoy it. Life’s meant to be fun and you’re doing this for a fun reason. So you shouldn’t really make it too tough on yourself.