I’m Sarah Durrant. I’m a coach, teacher, student and speaker.
I’m interested in what happens to human beings when we connect with our authentic self.
Authenticity is something we seldom talk about and yet I believe it holds the master key to our sense of fulfilment, happiness and well-being – and those of whom we love, lead, parent and know.
I am also deeply concerned about the damage we do to ourselves and those around us when we become disconnected from our true selves, when we live what Parker J Palmer calls “a divided life.”
To learn more about the divided life and how I came to be doing what I’m doing, read my story.
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A Life On Purpose
My powerfully transformative one-to-one coaching programme is a journey of discovery dedicated to your personal growth and development.
A powerful one-to-one session focussing on a particular area of growth and development that’s important to you right now.
What I want for you
…you feel trapped or stuck in your work or wider life
…you’re tired of wearing a mask, being someone you’re not
…you’re feeling disconnected from your true self, your wisdom, courage or creativity
…an important part of you feels empty and unfulfilled
…you want your self-worth to come from within not from the ‘trappings’ of your life
…you’re not using all of your talents and gifts and know you’ve more to give
…you long to overcome doubts and fears which are stopping you making the most of your life
…you’re looking for greater meaning and purpose but you’re not sure how or where to start
…you’re in the right place.
I’m dedicated to helping you live a more wholehearted life,
with the impact you want and the greater sense of ease, joy,
meaning and fulfillment that unfold when you live authentically,
aligned to your highest values.
If you’re interested in receiving authenticity wisdom, insight, tips and more direct your in-box, sign up for my monthly newsletter and subscribe to my blog.
My own divided life started to show up some time in my late thirties. I would experience an occasional pang, a feeling that something important was missing.
Initially, I ignored or down-played it: after all, I had many of the trappings of a “successful” life – a well-paid job, travel, a loving partner, good friends and more - what could be missing?
As time went on however the sensation became more persistent, showing up as a series of insistent and, for me, unanswerable questions:
If I had all the trappings of success, why did I feel so unfulfilled? As an intelligent, capable
person, why did I sometimes feel like a fraud? Why, despite continued achievements, did
my life hold less and less meaning or purpose?
Round about this time I took on a prominent senior post in my chosen field of academic publishing. I’d held a range of senior jobs in recent years and, on paper at least, this was a logical, if stretching, next step. Perhaps, I thought, my questions would be answered by taking on this new challenge.
I was wrong.
Pretty much as soon as I started I ran into the sand. Despite twenty years’ experience, I somehow felt like an imposter or a fraud.
I lost sight of the capable, knowledgeable professional I knew deep down I was and, beset with self-doubt, went into ‘perfect and prove’ mode, “hustling for my worthiness”, as Brené Brown terms it.
I pin-balled between over-work and exhaustion. Not good. Not healthy. And not at all me.
After only a few months I was emotionally, physically and mentally shattered and some of my most important relationships were suffering badly. I conceded the fight and resigned.
Divided no more
As someone whose life had featured a lot of ‘Prefect-Head-Girl-All-Round-Good-Girl’ energy, I expected to feel ashamed, a failure. Once the dust had settled however what I actually felt was elated.
For the first time in my life I allowed the ‘doing’ part of me to became still allowing the ‘being’ part of me to be heard. And I started being someone quite radical: I started being someone who makes choices with her heart as well as her head.
I took some time out to explore my options, a process which sparked a series of revelations for me:
First, I started to see that I could do something for a living which engaged my deepest values and interests, not just my skills and experience.
From this I realised what I really wanted to do was help people: specifically, to help them discover their passion, realise their full potential and achieve purpose, meaning and fulfillment in their life, whatever that looked like for them.
I trained as a coach in 2012/13 and embarked on a roller-coaster of self-discovery and development which was and continues to be inspiring, fascinating and nourishing, as well as rigorous, demanding and deeply challenging.
All sorted then?
Er, no. And I don’t think I ever will be.
For one thing, I don’t believe it’s possible (rumour has it even the Dalai Lama has his off days)
More to the point, what use or service would I be to my clients and my community if I somehow had life bottled, stoppered and labelled ‘Fixed’?
Finding the courage to live an authentic, purposeful life entails courage, vulnerability, speaking your truth and owning your story all of which take time to unfold.
Finding and living from your true self is a process of becoming and, if we’re lucky, a life-long one which will teach us for as long as we are willing to learn.
For these and many other reasons, I am as much a student as I am a teacher. I believe it’s being both that helps me to be a credible, effective, impactful coach.
I am a Certified Professional Co Active® Coach (CPCC), trained at the Coaches Training Institute, the world’s leading coach training school. I am also an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and member of the ICF (International Coaching Federation).
I speak regularly on personal development and ‘inner leadership’ topics including: authenticity and values-based leadership, courage and confidence, Imposter Syndrome, resilience, inner confidence, mindfulness and more.
I am a committed life-long learner and regularly attend programmes and courses to enhance my coaching, teaching and facilitation. I spend time with Buddhists and Quakers because I value their wisdom, curiosity, compassion and commitment to authentic human connection. My work is non-denominational but I draw on my learning from these relationships.
Prior to my coaching and personal development work, I enjoyed a 23-year career in academic publishing working with publishers, university libraries, technology companies and more. I held senior management and C-level positions, worked with organisations of all sizes from start-ups to large global players, and conducted business in over fifty countries. From 2002 I spent five wonderful years in international development in part as a trainer, and training and people development have been core to my work ever since.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my wonderful partner Michael, his two lovely kids (these days no longer kids, but still lovely), friends and family. I find enjoyment in many things, particularly good books, long walks, stillness and good conversation. I can occasionally be spotted tottering and weaving my way around Woodbridge. I call this running. Others have been less generous. I’m a slave to a decent cappuccino and have never knowingly turned down a square of Green & Black’s. Oh, and I love dogs. A lot.
If you’re interested in receiving personal development wisdom, insights, tips and more direct your in-box every month, sign up for my newsletter and subscribe to my blog.