Amber Tariq is one of the coaches that we found this month and we did a little interview with her. She impressed us with her brave approach.
She has been through a lot in her life, but her biggest obstacle was actually not letting herself feel vulnerable. She wants for her clients to discover their true potential but, it’s trickier than it seems. Our true potential and power is hidden exactly in the one place we try to run away from, our vulnerability.
We can spend our entire life chasing “outside things” to fill our inner gap, but the solution comes only when we embrace our vulnerability.
When we embrace our so called “negative” emotions we unleash our full capacity to experience life with our full potential. Here is what she said.
Meet Life Coach Amber Tariq:
Name: Amber Tariq
Pillar: The Heart
Who is this coach for: Anyone who wants to find their true strength by embracing their vulnerability and so called “negative” emotions.
How they can help: Through conversation, using language in a way that evokes and engages imagination, using various techniques like shadow work, NLP, emotional integration, mindfulness and gratitude,
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these Pandemic times?
Thank God, we are doing well…
Pandemic’s effects really came in stages.. the first several months were of extreme anxiety…
My husband and I, both are physicians and were working at the front lines, so our families were really worried for us in the beginning of the pandemic, understandably so.
As vaccines became available, and we knew more and more about the disease, it got better with time…
On the positive side, we did not lose our jobs, or even our ability to go to work, so I am extremely grateful for that.
On a deeper level, it was a time of isolation, very little, if any social activity, so it was a magical time for psychological growth and reflection.
I read a lot, and built many new habits. It was very precious soul time for me.
Just came at the exactly right time.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your clients? Did it affect you at all?
My clients have experienced burn out from the pandemic…
It has taken a toll on emotional and mental health of my clients.
Like I said, it has impacted me positively in some ways, I have learned so much during pandemic…
There were some frustrating times in between, but I truly believe in long term, it has impacted me like a lesson in humanity and vulnerability.
What are the biggest lessons that you learned in this pandemic?
That global warming is real.
That conversations around racism and privilege need to happen. We truly are in it together.
It is the smallest things in life, like pouring your own coffee in the cafeteria, that bring you so much joy, and are usually taken for granted!
Hand shake truly brings a sense of connection and trust, and how much we as humans crave these small gestures.
Tell us about you, your career, how you started with your coaching career?
To be perfectly honest, my formal career in coaching is pretty recent.
Informally I have loved to see people thrive when you expect the best in them, working under me since 2006, as a resident doctor back in Pakistan.
I was having a hard time in 2019, and was feeling extremely numb, where nothing would give me joy or sadness, when I ‘accidentally’ listened to a TED talk called “Power of Vulnerability” by Brene’ Brown and led me to start reading her books and led to me reading 75 books in just 2019.
It was my spiritual awakening, one thing led to another, and among other things I had a sense of urgency in finding my life’s purpose.. which, I felt, got lost in pursuit of, what brought me recognition rather than joy.
As I explored more and more I rediscovered my love for psychology and philosophy and poetry.
I also remembered what an activist I was in my early teen years, and then it just kind of all got lost in “pursuit of glory”.
I realized, as introvert as I am, and as much as I tend to hide in social gatherings, I also become most alive in deep conversations.
After intense inner work of more than 2 years, which is really 1000 plus hours of self study and taking courses, I felt that all my interests and gifts intersect at coaching.
That really started my formal career in coaching.
What was your biggest obstacle that you had to overcome in your life that made you who you are today?
Interestingly, I must have had hard times, I finished med school, did medical residency twice, second one started when my daughter was nine months old, had my share of medical problems, fertility problems, difficulties in relationships…. but one of the things that made me feel like an outsider (and there are more than one) in coaching world is, that I never felt I have overcome anything difficult…
For one, I have been an optimist, I tend to see glass half full, I have felt guilty of not having “enough suffering”, I think the truth is, that I don’t dwell on hard parts…
But THIS is exactly the biggest obstacle that I have come over…
THIS not having access to difficult emotions, because they were not allowed in my consciousness…
Sadness in others used to trigger me, it is through some of the health challenges eventually, that I have found access to depth and the underworld, myself, and it has made my life so much more flavorful and richer.
I truly believe, hardest obstacle I have overcome is accepting and embracing vulnerabilty and with that my ability to love.
Being in love is inherently not only vulnerable, but also has inherent sense of inferiority to it… and people like myself…. who are intoxicated with positive psychology and laws of manisfestaion, cannot tolerate that.
The thing that keep challenging me is my repetaed getting stuck in heroic quality of consciousness.
The Coaching Style:
How do you innovate with coaching your clients?
Quite a few ways, actually!
I use language in a way that evokes and engages imagination, and that is a huge resource of well being and resilience. It also de literalizes our perceptions and opens us to imaginative and metaphorical thinking…
Any past, present, future event, accident, illness can become a symbol, a metaphor, to engage with in imagination instead of staying fixed.
Bringing story, mythology, and dreams into coaching conversations, in ways that are accessible to lay man changes the quality of life experience.
Kind of going along with imagination is playfulness.. where imagination becomes alive, playfulness comes on line, and when you are being playful, you also imagine more easily.
I love bringing humor with compassion into coaching.. I am trained to do shadow work, emotional integration, mindfulness and gratitude.
I use NLP and Byron Katie’s work too… But my identity really is engaging imagination.
What’s unique about your coaching approach?
My coaching promises a rich inner life as opposed to outer…
It makes life more tolerable and eventually better too…
It relies heavily on accessing and increasing capacity for imagination.
Another thing that makes my coaching unique is the value of hard experiences (betrayal, failure, aging, death, illness) and the richness they can bring… not using positive psychology, but reverse positive psychology (if that is a thing)… by inviting the feelings of inferiority, not enoughness, illness, aging and death, and engaging with them as universal (archetypal) energies, and getting in life long conversation with them.
My clients typically have traditional success, they have grit, perseverance and all the positive psychology more than they need, it has started to suffocate them… what they don’t know is how to allow themselves to be sad, angry, and experience grief.
What benefits do your clients get after working with you?
They can fluidly dance with life, with whatever life throws at them.. more resilience.
Paradoxically by accepting our inferior parts, we actually see an improvement with genuine self esteem, confidence, authenticity and courage.. hence much more ease in communication skills, relationships…
This is helpful across the board with personal and professional life.
They can identify their unique gifts and their true purpose in life.
Paradoxically embracing grief, brings you genuine joy.
Rich inner life, meaning in life.
More access to creativity… (not a surprise, since it is intimately linked to imaginative abilities).. but truly creativity to me, means engaging soulfully and mindfully with life and the world.
Do you use any specific tools to be efficient with your clients?
Not really, I haven’t been coaching professionally long enough.
If you had a super megaphone that, when you speak into, the whole world will hear your message, what would you say?
If our spiritual and personal growth do not translate into the growth of the world, then we seriously need to consider what are we doing and why are we doing it.
After more than 100 years of healing of inner child and people becoming psychics and manifesting kings and queens, we have more war, more violence, more deeply divisive societies, more poisoned oceans and suffocating animals, humans not able to live with dignity of being a human… we need to re think everything.
Our personal growth has to lead to some contribution to the human community and the community of landscapes and creatures that share the planet with us.
That is the only antidote to the loneliness and emptiness we feel.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned in your life?
We all want to be seen and heard, to be cherished for our very essential nature, not our achievements.. and to create a safe place for another human being where they can be authentically themselves without fear of judgement is the greatest gift you can give to another person.
Your final thoughts?
As long as we pursue wealth to the exclusion of poverty, health and longevity to the exclusion and denial of aging, disease and death, and progress and advancement to deny the inherent inferiority and our longings in being imperfect humans…
We will never truly become fulfilled…
The fulfillment comes in embracing the paradox…
Embracing all aspects of our nature and of the soul of the world.. truly love it not just for its progress but also for its longings.
It is through finding our connection to all that surrounds us, that we will appease our unsaid, low grade sense of emptiness, aimlessness and loneliness, that cannot be filled with all the money or the achievements, or consumption of exclusive brands and expensive cars.
Where Can You Find Amber Tariq?
If you liked this interview and you would love some help to embrace your vulnerability and find your true strength, contact Amber via LinkedIn and see what’ the next step of your journey.