Hi, I’m Sharon Allen, founder and coach at
I set up Sea Change out of a desire to encourage and empower women to feel confident to be the best version of themselves, because too often I’ve seen wonderfully, talented ladies play down their strengths, hide from their passions, forget about their dreams and stop believing in themselves. When that happens, a light goes out in them, and for the world around them too.
Sadly, I too was once one of those women. I worked too much, became too concerned about what others thought of me and fearful I’d get found out for not being as good as people perceived me to be. I was beginning to experience a range of health conditions. My head was foggy and my self-talk was horrid. I stopped pursuing my passions.
I felt a world away from the fun-loving, social butterfly my friends and family knew me to be. It culminated in a burnout in 2016.
And yet, my burnout saved me. It forced me to take time out and face up to what I really wanted for my life, and more importantly to consider new possibilities. I acknowledged that although I had a good career, working agency side in the market research industry, it wasn’t what I wanted for the rest of my working life. Nor did I want to work long hours and commute 5 days a week into London. I had a desire to work more directly with people, but struggled to articulate what this looked like. I was able to take stock of other recent and major shifts in my life, such as getting married within 18months of meeting my husband and moving from my London flat out to a house in Surrey (all good things, but they brought change to the previous rhythms of my life). I wanted more freedom of time, to enable me to volunteer, and pursue hobbies and pastimes, most of which I’d set aside in the lead up to my burnout.
I left my job (a terrifying decision at the time, though previously an unthinkable decision), and set myself up as a freelance researcher. Going freelance enabled me the freedom to take on as much or as little work as I wanted, be more selective about the types of projects I worked on, and earn the income needed to pay the bills and still live my life. It took the pressure off from having a completely new work-life figured out straight away. I was able to take life at a less frantic pace and start playing more with my hobbies, explore more about myself through group and 1-2-1 coaching programmes, and volunteer for the women's projects at the Lighthouse, in Woking. Gradually I was becoming more like my old self again, and could see marked improvements in my overall health and wellbeing.
Over time, the above experiences have led me to becoming a coach. Without even realising it, I was already coaching women at the Lighthouse (leading workshops about value, self-worth and strength, and supporting women who’d been out of work, to become work-ready). Through the group coaching programmes I attended, there were often times I wanted to be at the front leading, instead of being the participant. And I knew I could do it! As a researcher, a lot of my time has been spent facilitating focus groups and workshops, or interviewing individuals, to uncover more about why or how people do or use something. I led projects, often helping my clients make a social impact and positive change at a societal level, but it was becoming clear I was much more interested in seeing impact firsthand, at an individual level. My desire was for people rather than projects! Plus, I just love getting together with people and into deep conversation. There is something truly special when we talk and can be truly honest about what’s happening in our lives (and in our headspace). The moment is even greater when that conversation acts as a catalyst for change - and I’m always curious and excited to see what happens next. And so in 2019 I enrolled with the Animas Centre for Coaching to gain my diploma in Transformational Coaching.
How do I live my life to the full now?
I’m a bit of a foodie, so I love finding somewhere for good food, coffee, or wine with my family and friends. At home I enjoy cooking and baking, especially tasty but healthy treats (trust me they can go together!). I enjoy cycling, walking and yoga and am blessed to live on the doorstep to lots of heathland and the Surrey Hills. I also sing in a gospel choir and am an active member of my church. And I love travelling - cultural city breaks, chilling on the beach, or going on a good trek or cycling adventure - there’s a time and place for all these holidays. Plus having lived abroad, and being from Northern Ireland, there’s friends and family to visit too! When I’m not doing any of the above, I’m most likely coaching, researching, volunteering, or chilling at home with my husband and cat.
Let me help you live your best life
We’ve only got one life and I believe we were made to experience that life to the full. And I believe we’ve all been designed to be our own unique selves. When we’ve lost a sense of who we are, where we’re going or find ourselves questioning how our life has ended up like this, it can feel overwhelming to know what to do next. Work with me to help you uncover the answers to these questions, and shift the direction of travel in your life.
My training and expertise
Diploma in Transformational Coaching through Animas Centre for Coaching, accredited by the Association for Coaching and the International Coaching Federation (ICF)
Animas CPD Certificate: Mindfulness in Coaching
Animas CPD Certificate: Positive Psychology
Mental Health First Aider, accredited by MHFA England
Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from The Chartered Institute of Marketing
BSc (HONS) Marketing Management from Lancaster University