This week Laura is joined by Valerie Friedlander. Valerie is a Certified Life Leadership Coach specialized in helping highly-motivated, social-justice oriented women create a life of impact AND enjoyment. Clients have called her a little love-vitamin for your soul, a mindset magician, and a motivational unicorn. Valerie can help you uncover your subconscious mindset blocks and create alignment between you, your goals, and how you achieve them.
Listen to Episode 96 with Valerie Friedlander!
- Valerie is originally from Tennessee. She is married, has two boys, and moved to Chicago five years ago. Her background is in corporate management. A self-described person who “followed the rules,” Valerie thought that she had it all – a spouse, a good job, two kids, and and a house in the suburbs. She followed a certain path, one that was influenced by society, family, and generations of tradition. She worked at managing the “life she wanted,” but realized she often found herself feeling like she wasn’t happy or good enough. This led her to explore options.
- In 2015 she decided to follow a path of career coaching. She maintained her day job and got certified as an iPEC Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Master Practitioner. When beginning the program, she somewhat unexpectedly connected with a spiritual component, which helped her to self-realize what steps she wanted to take to move forward in life. Raised in the Quaker tradition, Valerie was able to connect her training as a career coach with aspects of her faith tradition.
- Valerie addresses a common struggle that people have, negative mental circles. She talks about confronting this by shifting the way we think – for permanent, good, change. “All feelings are valuable. ‘Thinking positive’ is not just about thinking happy, it’s about looking for what you want instead of sitting, staring at the problem.”
- Laura and Valerie chat about each having two kids, with very different personalities and reactions to situations. They discuss how their emotions differ in different situations. Laura remarks that it’s helpful to approach her child’s day past just the binary, each day is more than just “good” or “bad.” Valerie adds that it’s helpful to assess why you’re having the kind of day you are, then you can create a mental reminder for acting “as if” you are having a good day. This is shifting focus so you’re working on what you want.
- Touching on judging others by how they look, appear, and how that can set up for failure, Laura asks Valerie if she posts often to social media. Does she show her truth or lies on social media? Valerie started her business online, after only being in the city for about a year. However, after a year, she realized that a different approach was best for her. So, she then looked inward and used the tools she had, that she encourages others to use as well. She remarks it’s a lot easier to do this for others and help them see their right path that it is to do for oneself! Realizing she was getting in her own way, she hired a life coach for herself. “Coaches coaching coaches,” if you will. Continuing her online business, but also reached outward utilizing local in-person workshops.
- Valerie offers One-on-Ones, DIY Flow Program. She begins her process with an Energy Leadership Index Assessment (recognized by Forbes), or Mindset Assessment, which allows her and her client to see what their goals are, and how much time approximately it will take. Assessments help identify patterns in one’s thinking, and whether they are helping or holding a person back. Once that’s done, she works with clients anywhere between 1 and 3 months. First month is momentum, second month is sometimes regression, and third is sustaining success. From there, people might stick with maintenance meetings for support, accountability and encouragement. Her Create Your Flow program,developed from these maintenance groups (videos and exercises made to explore who you are, and being able to uncover and shift rules and develop healthy actions in thought and action.) “Any time you can give yourself more options, then you have access to more choices. When you have access to more choices, you’re able to engage more consciously and create something.”
- Similar to science, question, get curious, and take information and determine what worked and what didn’t. You have to take the time to choose an experiment, engage and assess. Specific workshops that Valerie offers are Retrain Your Brain – understanding framework that you can utilize to start making shifts. Other workshops dig in further, as well as collaboration. Coming up this month, Valerie offers sessions with a sex and intimacy coach to reboot and revitalize intimate relationships and its dynamics, both with individuals and couples. Another workshop will be “Setting Intentions in Chocolate,” at Helix Cafe, which will be creating your intentions, and then rolling them out in truffles, and consuming it. Which combines ritual and tangible.
- Valerie’s work as a life coach differs from a traditional psycho-dynamic therapist is largely the clinical component. Also, her work more so identifies patterns and validates, helping to explore shifting focus and taking action. She is less past-experience oriented, and certainly, she recommends her work along with traditional therapists. She adds that we often need a team and community of support. “I’m here to hold your agenda and help you stay accountable to that agenda.”
- Whether it’s dishes, laundry, or some other never-ending task that can weigh on a spousal relationship, Valerie remarks that it’s in these situations too that one can take a step back and identify what needs to change. “Stress is necessary for growth, it’s just how much stress you have in your life and how you’re utilizing the stress effectively to move yourself forward, or whether it’s breaking you down because it’s too much.”
- Since 2015, Valerie’s own change and growth stemmed from her training program. She had a new way of looking at her life, a way to “show up” where she didn’t feel like she was failing. She was better able to handle and react to, and advocate for herself difficult situations, like a boss who caused serious stress every week. The next step in growth was that she decided to be an entrepreneur and look for help to achieve her goals. Challenges there included navigating a new system of finances, and re-evaluating what financial security looked and felt like.
- As Valerie gives examples of every day family and relational stress, she remarks on her training that “With all of this work, it’s helped me show up more true to myself, while allowing the people around me to be more true to themselves and have their life as much as I’m owning my life. Together we’re able to come up with more creative solutions.” It doesn’t always work, but when it does, it’s so cool!
- A totally different hobby Valerie has is that she is a face painter. A need came up at a block party, and she really enjoyed it. It was such a great feeling that she pursued it further. She uses non-toxic professional paint meant for skin, and face painting has turned it into a really fun side hustle, energizing other areas of her life, helping her to be well-rounded. In a comparable exercise, she has clients write down their top 5 values, along with their actions, and match them to one another. This helps people realize they need to honor their actions with their values. For Valerie, face painting is part of that process, nurturing her whole self. Also, she loves lattes and regularly enjoys making a cafe au lait every morning. Other personal hobbies include collecting unicorns – who might someday magically learn to do the dishes.
- If Valerie could trade places with another Andersonville business for a day it would be Hamburger Mary’s, because they have so much fun. She loves the dresses, the music, and the singing (she’s all about karaoke.) Being a server would be great! Valerie’s go-to karaoke song is “It’s My Life,” by Bon Jovi.
Find Valerie Friedlander Coaching on the follow platforms: