We recently connected with Tabby Halsrud and have shared our conversation below.
Tabby, appreciate you joining us today. How’s you first get into your field – what was your first job in this field?
I created my first job in the field! I had been in Corporate America for fourteen years, most of that time working in the field of Human Resources. I really, really loved about half of the HR-related work I was doing – and really, really despised the other half. The parts I enjoyed the most were collaborating 1-1 with business leaders, coaching others, teaching classes, and facilitating training sessions and workshops. I was also going to school in the evenings, working toward my Master’s Degree and took a my first ever Coaching class. While practicing coaching skills with fellow students, I experienced so many of my own shifts and witnessed the shifts of my classmates.
That’s when I fell in love with coaching! Once I completed my Master’s program, I decided to pursue Coaching studies and enrolled in coach training school to go deeper into skill building. I started my own business so I could focus solely on the things I loved most – coaching, teaching, and facilitating. I’ve been continuing to fine-tune my specialties over the last nine years and have really narrowed down to the subject areas that I’m most passionate about.
Tabby, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Among the hardest things I’ve had to do in this lifetime, aside from learning what it really means to love others, is to learn to let others love me, and learn to love myself, too. This has been challenging because for much of my life I have believed myself to be fundamentally unlovable. I’ve been learning to extend myself grace, compassion, and forgiveness through my challenges and struggles, and I’ve been learning what it *really* means to practice and embody self-love.
And now, the work that I’ve done within and for myself is at the heart of my coaching business, Embrace Her. Embrace Her is all about learning to EMBRACE OURSELVES as whole and complete women. In simplest terms, it’s about embodying self-love. My purposes in life and with Embrace Her are to:
*support women in finding clarity, making resonant decisions, and creating more alignment and peace in their life.
*inspire women to believe in and trust themselves and their intuition.
*help women expand their perspectives through self-discovery and make lifestyle shifts for more joy and fulfillment.
*inspire confidence, personal empowerment, and self-expression to pursue the things they most want out of life.
*prioritize their own wellbeing and self-care, and to fully embody self-love.
*learn from and strengthen their personal relationships.
It’s important for us women to do this work even when – actually, especially when – it feels like so many other voices are telling us the things we need to do to become more beautiful, to be more worthy of love, or to be “happier” or more “successful.” There is a HUGE difference between “self-improvement” (trying to “fix” ourselves) and opting for personal growth and self-healing.
In a society such as ours that holds up the “masculine” ways as ideal, that actively promotes impossible standards of beauty and conformity for women, and sells us all the ways that we need to improve or “fix” ourselves… it is courageous to be a woman who accepts and loves herself as she is and isn’t afraid to say it and embody it.
Our opportunity is to shift our internal self-talk, tune out the harmful external messages and other people’s expectations, and come to know that we are worthy of love and acceptance, just as we are – even WITH our blemishes, imperfections, and mistakes.
Training and knowledge matter of course, but beyond that what do you think matters most in terms of succeeding in your field?
Training and knowledge is indeed helpful to being an effective coach. Learning what coaching really is (and what it isn’t), studying the competencies and practicing the skills all support coaches in doing their best work. Beyond that, what I’ve found incredibly helpful is – going DEEP into my own personal growth and healing work. I am much more effective at supporting my clients, especially through the challenging moments, if I have done similar kinds of work myself.
I’ve also learned how important it is to listen to my own intuition when I’m working with my clients. It took me a long time to trust that – I used to discount it – but I’ve learned that when I listen to my intuition during client sessions, they have more breakthroughs and insights than when I don’t. My intuition helps me read between the lines and see what’s lurking below the surface so I can bring it up for exploration. It also gives me guidance on which tools, practices, or techniques may be a better fit for individual clients. This is important because my clients each receive an experience that is completely customized to them and their situation.
How’d you build such a strong reputation within your market?
I take the time to build relationships with people. Trust and credibility is important in this kind of collaboration – if my clients don’t trust me, they won’t open up to me and then I’m not as effective in supporting them. I’m a great listener, I’m empathetic, and – rather than telling my clients what they want to hear, I tell them what they need to hear. I’ve had several clients tell me recently that I challenged them in a good way – stretching them beyond where they would’ve or could’ve gone on their own. And this is really, really important when they are grappling with tough decisions or trying to make changes in their life. Because for most of us, it’s easier to keep doing the same things than to make the changes and we often need little nudges and gentle pushes to help us stretch beyond our comfort zone so we can create meaningful change in our lives.
Rachel Sorbet, Mandy Penn, Dawn Cooper, Tabby Halsrud