I spent most of my life beating myself up hard and always feeling terrible for being anything less than ‘perfect’ (and of course the bar for ‘perfection’ was always moving so it was an impossible goal).
This included the ‘big’ things like getting anything less than an A in exams, not being thin enough, not having a fancy title at a multinational corporate organisation by the time I was 30.
It also included the ‘smaller’ inconsequential things like forgetting an item on my shopping list; finding a typo in an email; missing a train.
If any of this sounds familiar it’s because almost all of us are made to believe in some form of perfection in one area of our lives or another.
Family pressures, social ideals, cultural norms, the standards we create and hold ourselves to – all of these converge to create exceedingly hard, high expectations that we try to live by…
… and anything less than feels messy, uncomfortable, icky, flawed, disastrous, and fully ‘deserving’ of our self-punishing contempt.
My Messy Stories
I have a PhD in Women’s Studies from the University of York, UK. My doctoral research examined the women’s responses and resistances to contemporary beauty ideals.
Upon completing my PhD in 2021, I developed my own suite of ‘Messy PhD’ postgraduate research workshops, which supports PGRs to enjoy better wellbeing, productivity and work-life balance in the doctoral research.
Before coming back to academia, I worked as a journalist/writer in English-language media in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with experience in newspapers, magazines, public relations.
I love talking (ha!), public speaking and public engagement for researchers. I won the People’s Choice Award for Vitae (UK)’s 3 Minute Thesis competition 2018. I was also a finalist at a Falling Walls, Surrey in the same year. I went on to conduct training in public engagement for PhD students at the University of York and the University of Muenster.
I’m not just a coach, right? I am and do all kinds of other things, and these other parts of me have a huge influence on what I bring into my training/coaching work and philosophy.
Where I’ve lived
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
York, United Kingdom
Things I love
Tarot cards (my favourite decks: The Wild Kuan Yin Oracle, Sacred Rebels Oracle, The Goddess Oracle, The Muse Tarot, Moonchild Tarot, The Wild Unknown)
Being of service
Yorkshire + the Yorkshire coast
If my coaching philosophy was a person…
The Golden Girls
Tina from Bob’s Burgers
Ursula from The Little Mermaid
The Witch from Hansel and Gretel
The collective cast of Shameless