Abu Dhabi: "We all had dreams as children and were born princesses and princes. However, the hardships of life eventually turn us into frogs."
These are the words of a woman who mustered the courage to leave a stable, lucrative job and follow her passion.
Shorouk Abdullah was disappointed with her life for a long time, but after six months of serious soul-searching she took a decision that helped propel her on a new journey as a life coach.
The 32-year-old Lebanese/Syrian expatriate followed several career paths before finding her way to her current occupation.
In the first 10 years after graduating, Shorouk worked in the field of information technology. She then decided to switch to interior design and eventually took part in several humanitarian projects - which was where she met a person who introduced her to life coaching - something that completely changed her life.
"I was unhappy and hollow with only 10 per cent life fulfilment, till I realised what I really wanted to do with my life, and that's when I decided to be a life coach," Shorouk says.
She has taken four different life-coaching programmes since 2005 and remains passionate about learning more. According to Shorouk, her satisfaction level and outlook on life has risen to 85 per cent ever since.
Some of the programmes she was involved in include how to live life without being afraid; and distress and trauma relief. For the past six months she has been involved in a programme dealing with helping people discover who they really are.
Shorouk is among 20 other life coaches across the UAE. Fewer than ten are certified, while the rest are undergoing training to become certified life coaches.
Life coaching, which has only recently became popular across the UAE, has attracted thousands of followers across the world.
The aim of life coaching is to help people discover what is really important in their lives, and to achieve that goal while eliminating obstacles or blocks that stand in the way.
"Life coaching [training] is a rigorous process and very expensive, only genuine people ... [see it] through. Each week I am required to undergo a two-hour interactive phone call where I am connected to nine other people and a coach leader. All these phone calls are paid by me, not to mention Dh30,000, which is the cost of the course. But it's all worth it," Shorouk says.
Through coaching several people from across the UAE, Shorouk has reached the conclusion that brilliance is within each person and that being happy requires honesty with oneself.
"The world we live in today has become very materialistic, fast paced and stressful, however, I believe in the future success of life coaching - even though results will not be instant and will come through time, the aim is to help spread feelings of self-fulfilment, harmony, peace and happiness in people's lives," she concludes.