Allied Professionals - Odelia Lao Coaching

allied professionals Jul 03, 2023
Butterfly amongst chrysalises symbolizing transformation

A little encouragement goes a long way. Just browse through Google Scholar to find study after study showing that external acts of verbal encouragement result in improved performance - from walking faster to lifting more, to achieving better grades.

However, as we age and accumulate either "little t" or "big T" trauma, or as life becomes increasingly busy leading us to function on autopilot, we may find ourselves drifting away from sources of encouragement. We may also find it more challenging to process and accept such support. At times, we may even reach a point where we don't know what we want to be encouraged - is it a new job, an old relationship, our family, or more “me” time? This “what am I doing, where am I going, what do I want/need/feel” phase can be stressful and isolating.

Thankfully, Pilates in Common believes help helps so we’d like to introduce you to Allied Professional Odelia Lao. An empowering, encouraging, and inquisitive Life Coach, Odelia is on a mission to assist individuals in living their most authentic lives by guiding them through exploring the answers that already reside within themselves.

Odelia, a San Francisco native, has joined the Allied Professional network at Pilates in Common through Destinie. Both Odelia and Destinie attended Lowell High School and reconnected via LinkedIn when they discovered their post-college journeys were strikingly similar. They each found themselves experiencing deep corporate burnout, with their mental and physical health in jeopardy. Read our interview with Odelia below to understand how her personal experience evolved into a life coaching career and how she now assists others in navigating this journey we call life.

1) What service/s do you offer?
I am a life coach who empowers hardworking, motivated individuals to embrace their authenticity so that they can share their gifts with the collective. Currently, I offer 1:1 50-minute sessions, but I'm also working on a group offering that can help clients feel like they are part of a greater community.

2) What differentiates you from other service providers (i.e., why is life coaching different from therapy or other types of coaching)?
My style of coaching gives clients ample space to speak their truth and to really listen to the quiet voice inside themselves that wants to come out. I partner with my clients to help them understand themselves better so that they can gain clarity on their goals and take the action steps that really matter. Coaching focuses more on the present and does not dig as deep into the past as therapy can (though clients are welcome to bring up stories from the past that add context to where they are now). I also do not give direct advice like consultants do because I believe that my clients have all the answers inside themselves; when clients choose to take action steps that come from within themselves, they are more motivated to take self-directed action instead of following something they think they "should" do.

3) How does coaching fit into self-care?
Coaching is a great addition to a self-care routine because it helps people take up space and really focus on themselves, without having to worry about anyone else. We all spend so much of our lives tending to our external world - work, partners, family, friends, etc., but we rarely spend time focusing on our internal world without going off into spirals that leave us feeling helpless and stuck. Coaching helps to release some of the stuckness and opens up more positive opportunities into our lives.

4) How did you land in this profession?
While I was getting my MBA, I received executive coaching from my business school (Vanderbilt). For the first time, I felt so seen and was able to make small, actionable changes in my life almost immediately. When I experienced such rapid progress and growth, I realized that I wanted to be able to do the same to help others. I tried to deny my desire to be a coach for a long time, and it wasn't until my body started physically shutting down and I started to really focus on my health that I started to open up to the possibility of becoming a coach. You can read more about my story here.

5) Fill in the blank: I help people with/ to...
I help hardworking, motivated people who feel stuck and unfulfilled to learn more about their authentic selves and take aligned action based on their own truths.

6) Do you have a mission statement? If so, what does it mean to you?
My mission is to empower my clients to align with their authenticity so that the collective can connect in a deeper, more impactful way.

7) What do you believe are practices of good health and well being?
In health coaching (not my expertise, but I have some knowledge of it), health and wellness is multidimensional and includes physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, social, occupational, financial, and environmental wellness. It's important to address all eight parts of the wheel to practice good health, so finances can be just as important as hanging out with friends or making time to play like a kid. If one part of the wheel seems to be less filled, then it's a sign to notice that part and see if it's something worth working on.

8) What do you enjoy doing outside of the "office?"
Outside of coaching, I am also a Pure Barre instructor, which really fills my cup physically, emotionally, and socially. I love how I feel after teaching and taking classes with a community I love. Community is really important to me, so I spend a lot of time with my family and friends, just connecting either via words or through activities like hiking or eating. I enjoy writing and have been trying to do so more consistently. I also love leaning into play and new adventures, big or small, so I love hearing about people's stories and being invited to new experiences!

9) What's your favorite piece of advice you've been given or like to give?
Change is a choice. You can choose to change your life any time you want. :)

Did something from Odelia’s interview spark your curiosity? Craving a guide to help find your authentic self? Schedule a complimentary exploration call with Odelia here.

By: Destinie Slavich

Interview with: Odelia Lao 


Headshot: Odealis Lao; Person in sunset:Mohamed Nohassi; Person walking in rock maze: Ashley Batz; Butterfly: Hakon Grimstad