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Personal development coach: identity, resilience, communication & growth.
I’m going to take the risk and dare to state that every adult in the world has felt like this at least once in their lives. I’m sure you can relate to the lack of clarity that freezes you in your tracks while keeping you wedged in the same situation. Uncomfortable thoughts, feelings or circumstances keep repeating themselves, despite all your efforts to break the cycle. You know something is off and change needs to happen. Maybe you’re not sure what the next step is, or you might know what it is but not how to do it.
The fact is, you rarely get stuck solely because you lack some key piece of theoretical information that you could google or read in a book. It’s more common that the fundamental cause of the stuckness has a deep inner root. You get stuck in how you think and feel about yourself or your situation in life and work.
Unfortunately, people are getting stuck a lot lately. Rapid changes and the multitude of options in our modern society cause highly complex challenges and create problems in our personal and professional lives. And, the quick and easy accessible means to address these struggles aren’t working as well as needed.
This is where I come in as a life coach. Sometimes we need a neutral space to feel, think, reflect and be inspired to get clarity and make the necessary changes a reality.
Or keep on reading to get to know me a little bit better.
Who do you think you are? And how does that influence your life? Knowing yourself, your values, your strengths, your limitations, and what makes you feel alive and lights your inner flame is fundamental to living a life that suits and serves you well.
Life throws curveballs and sure knows how to challenge us. The only sustainable and long-term solution is to connect to your inner superpower. This is the emotional core strength based on confidence, self-knowledge and skills to pick yourself up when down, readjust and keep on going.
Every human being needs a tribe and a feeling of belonging to thrive. To create such positive relationships, we need healthy communication skills. The way you choose to interact with others – whether you do it consciously or unconsciously – is based on how you communicate with yourself. Do you know what the inner dialogue inside your head sounds like? And how these influence your relationships with others?
Experiences change your take on life, and circumstances change your reality. Nothing is forever, and holding on to the permanency of things and beliefs is counterproductive. To live a fulfilled life we need to constantly observe, evaluate and adjust to the rapidly changing environment. And we can only do that if we stay open to growing ourselves as well.
My coaching approach is built on this fourfold. How to obtain all of the above, depends on your unique circumstances and personality. Although google results state you’ll need to master a certain amount of preset skills or go through a number of miracle-promising-steps, the truth is there is no one-size-fits-all solution. To get the desired results, we fall back on the qualitative coach-client relationship and tailor the entire coaching process to your individuality.
In the same line, I have a wide range of coaching tools that I adapt to each client’s uniqueness. If you are a hands-on learner I have many workbooks and exercises ready for you. Or maybe you are more of an “experiencer” and prefer to use role play, visualization, metaphors and mindfulness techniques. I totally adapt to the techniques that best fit your needs.
These are the adjectives I would use to describe my ideal professional personality. I might not alway be able to connect to all of them at the same time, but it surely is my goal to honor these personality traits. To me it’s important to stay aligned with them, as they are closely related to my personal Core Values (which I discuss in detail further down below on this page).
I have developed these traits throughout my years of personal and professional experiences. Although nowadays I am dedicated to life coaching, I started my career as a social worker. During my 10 years in the social sector in Belgium, Brazil and Spain I had the opportunity to work in several NGO’s, Governmental Institutions and Private companies – I even started my own socially sustainable project. Throughout these years I was lucky to meet a variety of people: from patients in a psychiatric prison, to individuals and families living on the margins of social society because of mental illnesses, racism, poverty, migration, drug addiction, domestic violence and so on.
I learned that all these underprivileged people, although amplified by their circumstances, struggled with the same issues as anyone else in the world. Behind the social and practical challenges that a lot of them faced (like homelessness, financial struggles, lack of qualitative education, addiction, etc) they were worried about things like: “Where and with whom do I belong?” “What do I want?” “What am I able to do?” “What is limiting me?” “Where do I want to go from here?” “What steps do I take next?”. On top of that, they struggled with their personal and professional relationships, just as anyone else does.
The biggest lesson I learned from these incredibly strong human beings all boils down to this: Why is it that some people live in extremely difficult circumstances yet feel content and happy, while others have “everything they wished for” and can’t seem to feel fulfilled by it all? Nowadays I understand it can all be traced back to emotional resilience.
This discovery led me to start a Bachelor in Psychology where I discovered the theoretical background of why we human beings do what we do. Halfway through my bachelors degree I decided to put the academic approach on hold for a while, and focus on the practical application instead by becoming a life coach through an ICF accredited coaching training in Spain.
Since starting my private coaching practice in October 2018, I have felt like I am truly living my passion. My client’s stories and experiences inspire me. Their progress and self-discovery encourage me. And their transformations move me deeply.
Ultimately, this is where my passion lies. I love helping people connect to their incredible uniqueness so they can build their emotional resilience and live a fulfilled life. My goal is to help you know who you are, know what you want and know how to invest in it so it can become reality.
In addition to life coaching, my other passion is being a mother. And while my adult clients rediscover who they are and go inwards, I see how both my children go outwards while discovering the world. At whatever stage you are in life, it’s all about trying something out, evaluating the result, adapting strategies and giving it another try.
– Psychiatric prison: preparing inmates for reintegration into society (Belgium)
– Public center for social welfare: assistance to the socio-economically underprivileged (Belgium)
– NGO: assisting homeless and drug addicted children and adolescents to rebuild their lives (Brazil)
– State-owned multinational corporation: CSR project coordinator throughout 10 communities at risk (favelas) (Brazil)
2017 – present
– Founded Laura Vanderputten Life Coach
– Founded Nurture to Grow: Grow Parents, Grow Couples, Grow Individuals, Grow Coach
2007 – Social Work
2010 – International Humanitarian Aid and Social Development Specialist
2014 – Sustainable development and CSR management Specialist
2015 – Psychology (not completed)
2017 – Certified Life Coach (ACTP accredited course by ICF )
2019 – Neuro Linguistic Programing (NLP) Master Practitioner
– Positive Psychology Therapist
– Passion Test Facilitator
2020 – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Practitioner
If you’d like to get more details on my professional experience, you can check out my linkedin profile.
Although it’s not always customary for a life coach to share details about their private life, I would like to tell you a bit more about my personal journey so far. I decided to do so, because I believe I wouldn’t be the life coach I am today if it weren’t for these particular life experiences that have shaped my coaching approach.
The importance of identity I bring into my coaching session has its origins in my upbringing. My parents split up when I was a toddler, so I mainly grew up in two separate households. Although both of them were loving environments, they were very different from each other. To deal with these circumstances I adopted coping strategies like extreme flexibility and adaptability, which resulted in 3 different personalities: one for each home and one for school. Once I started living by myself I fell into a deep depression, rooted in insecurities and identity confusion. It took me several months of therapy and years of processing to consolidate these 3 people I created into one solid person. After experiencing the cost of not being clear on your own identity firsthand, I became passionate about helping others to find theirs. Although in my case it was triggered by divorced parents, it doesn’t always need to be an obvious or big life event. Almost every adult struggles at one point or another with identity questions.
So far I have lived 21 years in Belgium, 5 years in Brazil and 6 years and counting in Spain. To adapt and reinvent myself socially and professionally in each country, I have gone through many ups and downs. Nowadays I know who I am, what I believe in and what my passions are, but I haven’t always had this clarity. The mixture of cultures, opportunities, limitations and new friendships have definitely triggered some overwhelm and confusion. It was tools like Core Values and the Passion Test that helped me reorientate in those new circumstances. They offered me the self-awareness I needed to align my new life to my inner compass. I knew what to look for in new friendships and had a clear professional goal.
In 2007 I met my Brazilian husband while I was studying to become a social worker. In the midst of my late adolescent self-discoveries we started our multicultural relationship. After moving countries together twice, we started our own little family in 2017. Nowadays we are the proud parents of Unna and Nio, our two amazing children. And although it all started out as exciting and romantic as it might sound, quite obviously it hasn’t always been sunshine and rainbows since. If there’s one thing I learned from all of these years together, it’s that communication makes our relationship stand or fall. Whatever difficulty we’ve been faced with, with clear, honest and constructive communication we always managed to get through it together. And although I am the first one to believe “it’s easier said than done”, I take this lesson into my coaching work and help my clients to boost their communication skills.
Becoming a mother has also shown me the importance of self-care, inner strength and clarity. All the motherhood struggles I have faced so far were much more difficult to deal with when I wasn’t taking good care of myself. And when I wasn’t prioritizing my own well-being I couldn’t connect to my inner strength and be the mother and partner I wanted to be. With that knowledge I founded Grow Parents. I believe all parents need a safe space to prepare, process, learn and connect. Not just on a practical level, but more importantly focus on the emotional well-being of their whole family.
The conclusion? Life is messy and it’s up to us what we do with it. I choose to take control of my own well-being by doing the inner work, over and over again. If not my own, whose responsibility is it?
It’s my aspiration to use my life lessons and transform them into several unique and qualitative coaching services so everyone can benefit from them. That’s how Nurture to Grow was born.
Are you ready to commit to yourself?
Book a free session to get a feel of who I am and see how we can work together.
As a life coach and the founder of Nurture to Grow, I take part in most of our programs.
Although all programs have their own specific target audience, they all have the common goal to create a nurturing environment so you can grow and live a fulfilling life.
One-on-one coaching: dive deep into your situation with the 1:1 coaching sessions while discovering personalized tools, clarity, self-awareness and actionable steps.
Coaching tool packages: these are one-off session packages to take you through a specific tool. They are a perfect start to create awareness and self-knowledge. To create real long term change, you can personalize and practically apply the result by yourself, or continue to get guidance through one on one coaching.
All Grow Yourself services are available in Dutch, Portuguese, English and Spanish.
Couple Coaching: all couples could benefit from a neutral space to talk through recurring conflicts and frustrations. The couple coaching sessions are designed to support the couple as an entity, while creating space for the individual needs and worries. Our workshops and webinars are chock-full of tips, tricks and exercises to boost your relationship from the safety of your home.
All Grow Couples services are available in Dutch, Portuguese, English and Spanish.
Parent Community: the Grow Parents Community offers several groups and courses for everyone involved in the welcoming act of a new baby.
“Highly recommend Laura if you’re looking for a personal coach to guide you through the journey with your personal challenges. Laura supported me by asking the right questions, working through some great & practical exercises to make me feel more confident and calm about myself and my work. Each session gave me such a positive vibe and the strength to continue to develop myself. Thanks Laura!” Lyan
“Laura helped me through a very difficult personal time when I felt lost, isolated and disconnected living overseas as an expat on the other side of the world. She was a real lifeline, a warm, caring, genuine and constant presence in my life at a time when I was riddled with anxiety. What I love most about her is her realness and authenticity and her ability to truly sit with you as a non-judgemental presence through difficult times. I thoroughly recommend her as a reliable companion and guide to help you navigate challenging times and come out the other side stronger, more resilient and thriving.” Louise
“Laura really helped me realize what direction I wanted my professional life to take. She asked me questions that helped me see things from a different perspective and shed light on certain mental habits that I have. I’m still surprised by how much I’ve achieved after just a few months with her. Her warm, compassionate attitude allowed me to open up from the first session and I’m very grateful for all the help she’s given me.” Denise
“Laura is a professional, trustworthy and truly caring person. I am glad to have found her. She knows how to ask the right questions and guide you towards your goals or through any other issues you might have professionally or personally. Thank you so much for all your effort and support. Needless to say that I absolutely recommend her!” Rabia