Welcome to my page! Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Kholoud Khalifa and I am a university lecturer, a dialogue facilitator and more recently, a coach in training.
I never really followed the conventional route: graduate high-school, go to university, get a job, get married and start family. Instead, I wanted to explore the world around me and like many young adults, discover who I am. Diversity was always an integral part of my life, so I spent the majority of my earlier years living in and absorbing different cultures.
Upon completing a B.A. in Journalism everything happened so fast, I got lucky and I was given countless opportunities. At age 21 and fresh out of college, I got my first job as a journalist. Right after finishing my M.A. in Conflict resolution, I worked closely with refugee children as a psycho-social worker for about a year before I was offered an exciting position with the U.N.
In my mid-twenties, I co-founded an NGO and was selected for an E.U. grant to run an academic program, and simultaneously, I fulfilled a life-long dream of designing a university course, that I taught at my Alma Mater. Both my academic and professional career has taken me around the world, and I was fortunate enough to live in different places, among them New York City, Cairo, London and Amsterdam.
At first, life was exhilarating, but as years went by, I realised that I took on these different roles because they were great opportunities, but beyond just the thrill, was it what I wanted? No, not quite.
In my heart of hearts, I knew what I really wanted to do was sit across from people, listen to them and help them realise their true potential. I lived vicariously through friends who ended up becoming therapists and coaches and I day-dreamed about being them all the time, but never had the courage to say it out loud.
I also had this false belief that unless I had a degree in psychology, a career shift was the hardest thing in the world. To fill that lull, I tried to focus on my personal life and entered into relationships with no future. I was ready to compromise everything I stood for to achieve what I thought would make me happy. Alas, when everything came crumbling down, I fell into a depression. I was lost and I felt powerless.
Depression meant numbing. My friends couldn’t recognise me anymore. I couldn’t get out of bed, I had no more purpose and I was of no value. What was the point of anything?
With the help of a therapist, I realised I spent the majority of my life doing things that seemed right at the time but I did them without much direction. It’s not enough to do something because I can, I need to do them with purpose and conviction. I had to learn that if I wanted change, I needed to take charge of my life and understand the why behind the what. Ever since, I started to make decisions that were right for me. I also learned to say no to things that I didn’t want to do. I only made choices that gave the me the outcome I was looking for.
As soon as I realised that, things started to slowly change. I finally decided I wanted to become a certified coach. Enrolling in a two-year program was the first step, but understanding why that was the right step for me was paramount.
I spent years relying on others, second guessing myself and looking for outside approval. I am not alone and there is nothing more fulfilling to me than helping people feel empowered to take responsibility of their own lives. I want to see people have the courage to make decisions with enough determination to follow through. I believe that you are the best person to help yourself and I want to help you navigate through and combat all the self-doubt and negative self-talk.
I am looking to expand my client base, and work with people from different walks of life who want to be empowered and take responsibility for their own well-being. I want to help them understand their own boundaries and know that I am here to support them and hold them accountable.
I follow the person-centred approach, which means the focus is on you. I also follow up and provide you with notes after sessions that can help you look at what we discussed and reflect on them.
My most important goal is to help you embrace yourself and make the choices you want unapologetically.
I can’t wait to work with you!