Dr. Stefan Zavalin is one of the coaches that we found this month and we did a little interview with him. He impressed us with his powerful and inspiring background.
He is a doctor and he worked in a clinic. After struggling with a parasite he suffered serious damage to his nerves and lost his sight.
That was in 2020. And that’s when everything started for him. He left the clinic, started his own business, did a TEDx talk, published a book, and started a podcast.
He is truly passionate about helping people change their mindsets and adopt better outlooks on life and about themselves that make them happier, healthier, wealthier and more energetic. Here is what he said.
Meet Life Coach Dr. Stefan Zavalin:
Name: Dr. Stefan Zavalin
Pillar: The Mind
Who is this coach for: Anyone who wants to change their mindset into a more positive one.
How they can help: Deep listening, creative games, reframing and other techniques.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these Pandemic times?
We are thriving. We understand the need to shed the unnecessary and non serving elements of our lives and have made incredible changes in our lives.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your clients? Did it affect you at all?
I got Covid just before I left the clinic. In a way it was the virus that gave me the extra shove to start my business.
My clients are heavily affected by the pandemic since it has vastly increased the amount of sitting most desk workers are doing.
What are the biggest lessons that you learned in this pandemic?
First, there is always a need for innovation and growth. Pandemics and crashes simply force us to adapt quicker, but the need for innovation was already there.
Second, Quality and creativity matters. So many people started reinventing themselves over the pandemic, but they followed money over true passion.
Third, and last, it is vital for everyone to work on their mindset. The amount the pandemic or other large world events impact you emotionally and mentally has largely to do with your mindset and outlook.
Tell us about you, your career, how you started with your coaching career?
I have a passion for movement. Yes physical movement, but also the idea of avoiding stagnation in my life.
Due to a struggle with a parasite in my eye and repeated surgeries I was diagnosed blind in December 2020.
I was able to get my doctorate during these struggles and was working in the clinic, but knew that I could and should do more.
The idea of educating people on the importance of reduced sitting and not simply increased exercise and use of standing desks naturally fell into my line of sight (blind pun intended).
I started with helping individuals in offices, but soon understood how much bigger the problem is. I knew that I needed to mentor groups and speak to a larger audience to have the cultural change I wanted to see in the desk work sphere.
As a result, I wrote a book, prepared and gave a TEDx Talk, and started a podcast, all while being blind (it’s all nerve damage, there is no hope of improvement or correction).
I am even more passionate now about helping people find a way out of stagnation in their lives and especially their work.
What was your biggest obstacle that you had to overcome in your life that made you who you are today?
It would definitely be losing my vision. It has directly impacted a multitude of daily tasks such as reading, driving, or even watching TV.
While there are things I can’t do, that does not mean there isn’t another way around the obstacle.
When I was preparing for my TEDx Talk, I had an interesting silver lining from my blindness.
You have to memorize a script, no improv on the TEDx stage. Many speakers at the event were practicing with printouts of their speeches in hand a week before the actual event.
I never had the luxury of reading it off the paper and had to memorize it far far in advance. I knew my talk by heart a month and half before I presented and practiced it 4 times every day (including weekends) until I got on stage.
To say that this forced memorization paid off would be a severe understatement. Check out the talk and you will see the difference.
The Coaching Style:
How do you innovate with coaching your clients?
I drive for a sense of adventure.
The topics I discuss can be rather dull, so it helps to bring creativity into the mix.
This means that I may write a small song for the client to remember their movement habits, it can be the fact that I make my presentations a more immersive and interactive experience, or even that I work to make my clients feel like the hero, which they undoubtedly are.
What’s unique about your coaching approach?
First and foremost is that I am the coach, I bring a caring, accepting, and fun personality. I come up with creative ways to make you feel like the star and to actually listen to you instead of giving generic advice.
This ability to truly listen and quickly piece things together is also what makes me a good podcast host (as I’ve been told).
What benefits do your clients get after working with you?
A mindset shift from doing more and more and more to doing less of the bad things and naturally letting the better things flow in.
This means improved health, mood, energy, and productivity without extra hours at the gym.
This means increasing the enjoyment of your work without changing your job.
Do you use any specific tools to be efficient with your clients?
Not as much online, but I take notes and educate them on the use of various apps.
I focus more on the habits associated with the use of the app than the app itself.
If you had a super megaphone that, when you speak into, the whole world will hear your message, what would you say?
Slow down and do less of the things that hold you back. Start small, very small, and go from there.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your life?
This too shall pass goes both ways
Your final thoughts?
My personal definition of success is taking the next step. Failure is a lesson and another step. Success is not a destination but a constant mobility.
If I dislike stagnation then I am successful as long as I am in motion in my life.
This is not grind or hustle culture, this is simply progressive movement. Instead of burning yourself out with doing more and more, try doing less of things that don’t add value.
Where Can You Find Dr. Stefan Zavalin?
If you liked this interview and you would love to find out how Dr. Stefan can help you, go to https://www.stefanzavalin.com/ and discover your next step of your journey.
If you want to get to know him better, you can watch his TEDx talk: