As a multi-lingual Oxford graduate who worked as a globe-trotting Reuters journalist, I climbed high in my profession. I had a desk in parliament, travelled with prime ministers and visited Downing Street, the White House, Afghanistan and Iraq. But there came a point when I realised I was no longer fulfilled. My role played to my strengths as a writer and communicator, but it didn't satisfy the side of me that wanted to coach, train, encourage, inspire and help others to achieve their potential.
I also burned out. I didn't know how to work in a high-pressured environment and maintain my wellbeing. I didn't know how to balance my professional drive with my mental, emotional and physical health. To manage stress and mask deep-rooted low self-esteem, I engaged in unhealthy behaviours around food, alcohol and compulsive work.
Over the past 12 years, I've been on a journey of personal and professional development. I am now in a position - emotionally and professionally - to put my unique gifts, talents and experience to use, so that I can lead a fascinating, fulfilling life and help others do the same. I believe that if we all learn to identify and play to our strengths and achieve our potential while staying well, we can have happier, healthier relationships, be more effective and productive at work and flourish in all areas of our lives.
I also believe authenticity and vulnerability are essential to strong leadership, to a healthy working environment and to invidivual wellbeing. When we are out of alignment with our authentic selves, our emotional, physical and mental health suffer, no matter what age we are.
I have been a professional communicator for more than 20 years, first as an international journalist and in recent years as a trainer, university lecturer, workshop leader, consultant, mentor and coach. I review business, leadership and personal development books for Mind Tools. I have a diploma in counselling and psychotherapy skills from the Westminster Pastoral Foundation. I am trained in the Packtypes® self-awareness system. I am currently on the Lloyds Bank Start-Up programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs.
Please see www.katherinebaldwin.com for more information about my other work.