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6 years ago, I left Italy for England on my own. I couldn't speak any English and I didn't know anyone in the country. I washed dishes to sustain myself whilst improving my English. Then, following my studies, I landed my first sales job. I progressed rapidly and then landed a better sales role in a growing event & technology company. It was challenging at first, but then my performance started to take off. My exponential growth continued for years. I loved it, until one day I suddenly burned out. Anxiety and depression hit me like a train at full speed. Every morning I would wake up with a feeling of dread, the hard work of prospecting started to feel like a huge mountain to climb. The anxiety of not performing well started building up on top of the anxiety I already had. I thought something was wrong with me as anxiety symptoms became apparent. My manager didn’t provide me with the space to openly share my struggle. Salespeople weren’t supposed to show their vulnerability, salespeople were supposed to be “strong” and resilient at all times. There wasn’t room for openly discussing mental health and so, for weeks, I pretended it was all okay at work. In the meantime, I was desperately searching for ways to help myself. One day, I came across a coach who introduced me to a mindfulness approach called ACT that was proven to help overcome mental health issues whilst enhancing performance. I discovered that I didn't need to change my thoughts and emotions to overcome my struggle, all I had to do was change how I was relating to them. My coach helped me find a part of myself that was able to observe my thinking without judgment. I realised I wasn't just my thought and emotions, I could rise above them. That’s when everything changed. My sales performance skyrocketed. When I started doubting myself and fearing that the anxiety would come back I recognised it was just a thought, not reality. My stress lessened as I began to accept my uncomfortable emotions. As a result, I could focus more on the task at hand. Gradually, I became more interested in mindfulness approaches to wellbeing & performance and so, I trained as an ICF accredited coach. I transited into a sales coach role, helping those in my previous position increase their performance. Then, I advanced into a Head of Sales Training role for a department with hundreds of salespeople. Today, I use my expertise in coaching & mindfulness to help sales professionals elevate their performance whilst minimising the psychological burden of the role & life challenges.
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