Sabrina Ahmed

Performance Coach | Founder

Hiya! I help experienced managers become physically and mentally fitter for work, life and leadership. 

With evidence-based strategies, I get you confidently setting boundaries, moving out of overwhelm, and cracking the self-limiting beliefs holding you back from a life worth living!

Sabrina Ahmed

My Story

 

The power of parallel paths

I’ve gained over 20 years’ experience in private, professional membership & charity organisations (including UBS, Sapient, CIMA, Anglo American, Save the Children), the bulk of it driving global change projects across the financial services & technology (Fintech) sectors.

But, I’ve ALWAYS been fascinated by how people work, what makes us tick plus how to change & improve our lives when it’s not going the way we want. From an early age, I was exposed to the challenges of mental & physical health issues within my family, leading me to me read a BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience & attempt to make sense of the complexities of the brain & mind.

Although I loved the subject & learning (yup, I still do!), I couldn’t see myself in a lab, so decided to read a MSc in Computing Science to get into the Fintech space (plus everyone was freaking out about Y2K around that time – anyone remember that!?).

 

Introverted struggles are real

I’ll admit that I was a terrible software developer, so over time I carved a different path. I realised my strengths lay in learning new things quickly, simplifying the complex, having a laugh, & building good relationships. I built my reputation as a reliable & safe pair of hands to drive complex change projects.

But being naturally introverted & having social anxiety, I found navigating corporate life & climbing the ladder a serious challenge. I’d beat myself up for not being assertive enough, taking time to think, & not networking like everyone else.

 

Why you need a guide like me

After subsequent periods of burnout, mental & chronic physical pain illnesses, I had to take a step back & seriously think about what I wanted out of life. That’s when I decided to create my own change roadmap -> going back to part-time study to read an MSc in Psychology & Neuroscience of Mental Health (Distinction – yay!) & setting up my boutique online coaching & training business, Open Introvert.

I want this business to be what I NEEDED when I was struggling with uncertainty, confused about what a guilt-free life even meant, & how to actually make change happen. And I would have LOVED to do the deep work that’s required with a trusted & supportive guide who respected my innate introverted strengths.

So, be rest assured that I’ve been where you are & I get what it’s like. I can’t wait to help you get clear on  your vision for the future & unblock your barriers to change so you design the guilt-free & energised life you want! Let’s do this!

Sabrina 

Some other things…

Travelling solo for a year...

Back in the early 2000s I went travelling around the world by myself. As an introverted & shy child, this was probably a surprise to many, but I have a huge drive for exploration, & generally that wins over anything else. Our personalities are multi-dimensional, context driven & adaptive when we need them to be. I’ve learnt this first hand & aim to keep my values front of mind when overcoming challenges.

True freedom

It was by far one of the best experiences of my life, even if it wasn’t all smooth sailing. I learnt to scuba dive, stroked a tiger, jumped out of a plan, bungee jumped, swam with sharks etc etc. But one of the main lessons I learnt was that we can make deep & meaningful connections that might also be transient & fleeting. This doesn’t quite make sense logically, but there is nothing like living in the moment when you have a day somewhere & find a stranger to share it with. They will forever be part of that memory, even if you never see them again & that fundamentally shifted my notion of social connection.

When one door closes...

Back in 2012, I job crafted a move to New York. It took more than 9 months to go through the visa process, & it put my life on hold which was incredibly challenging as I wasn’t sure when I’d actually move so I didn’t commit to things the way I’d like. I finally got the stamp of approval, & 3 weeks later, my company pulled the plug on the move. It was pretty devastating. But after the initial disappointment, I decided to do what I’d always wanted to do since childhood.

Great White shark cage diving

I volunteered as a Great White shark boat volunteer for 2 weeks in Gansbaai in South Africa. I’ve loved sharks ever since watching Jaws as a child (yeah I’m one of those people!) so I took off & lived in a shared house with marine biologist graduates. We helped clients into & out of the cage, getting free dives as part of the perks. I absolutely loved it. The Great Whites were smart, almost invisible in the water & majestic. I also managed to break my nose & damage my knee & ankle on my day off on a whale watching boat. After a few days off with concussion, black eyes & a plastered nose, I got back onto the shark boat & into the water. Totally worth it!

Curiosity never ends...

Over the years, I’ve really leaned into my thirst for knowledge & information. I love consuming content, joining the dots & figuring out how the world works – or at least try to make sense of it!

The eternal student

I read as much as I can & love listening to podcasts about the topics that interest me & that I can use to help my clients. This sometimes means letting go of concepts & ideas I thought were solid. But as research develops & changes, I’ve found it’s important to keep an open mind to new revelations. That’s why I’ll always be exploring, talking & learning from others & sharing any wisdom I’ve gained with those around me. It’s incredibly satisfying helping people understand themselves better, & I will do it for as long as I can! 

Animals rule...

I’ve always felt connected with pets & animals. I have 2 lovely cats (Bob & Leela) & they bring me great joy, as many other pet owners will attest to.

I'll even forgive the broken sleep

But being very affectionate cats, they think nothing of disrupting my sleep for their needs & cuddles. Typical cats right?! Either way, I love them & wouldn’t change a thing! Well, OK, I would want more sleep but sometimes we have to accept the good things in life have a small cost, & that’s fine :o)

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Training & Certifications

  • BSc (Hons) Neuroscience
  • MSc Computing Science
  • MSc Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health
  • The Science of Well-Being
  • Conversations That Inspire: Coaching Learning, Leadership and Change
  • Transcend! Course: Principles of Humanistic and Positive Psychology
  • IAFPD Advanced Accredited Diploma in Coaching
  • IAFPD Primary Certificate in Stress Management
  • IAFPD Primary Certificate in Performance Coaching
  • IAFPD Certificate in Psychological Coaching
  • IAFPD Certificate in Stress Management & Performance Coaching
  • IAFPD Primary Certificate in Problem Focused Counselling, Coaching & Training
  • IAFPD Certificate in Coaching