How an HR professional’s transformative journey was enabled by coaching

“When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.” – Iyanla Vanzant


Here’s a story of an HR professional who set out to make a mark in her chosen field only to be left with a feeling of not being needed by anyone. “However hard I try, I can’t satisfy anyone”, says A’ren. “I give so much, I care for people so much, I am so passionate about my work, but at the end, I am left with nothing but this feeling of being alone and not wanted,” laments A’ren.

This has been the signature feeling of A’ren since she became aware of herself.
She is oblivious to the fact that she landed in this profession as a result of her subconscious beliefs about herself and her instinctive survival mechanism that she adopted to keep herself safe, guarded and unscathed. While she over-expressed certain aspects of herself, she under-expressed certain others to get where she was. She is a reliable giver but avoids standing in her light. She can be relied on to take care of everyone at the cost of her own needs and wants.
‘People pleasing’ came naturally to her but asserting her needs and priorities were a challenge.

Juggling different facets of herself in her role drained her and disconnected her from within — all that she was and truly is. Every gift has a shadow to it, which we get to realise only when we want to create a different reality for us.

What keeps you stuck?

You get stuck because of three things:

When you don’t know who you are
When you don’t want to know who you are
When you believe every outside voice and are unwilling to follow your inner compass

Your decisions and choices are then not based on truth, but just facts. A’ren was stuck and listening to statements like, “HR is a support function”. Such statements made her question her worth again. Always living with this feeling of being second, or not a priority anywhere, made her wonder what she needed to do to be a priority, be taken seriously and not clubbed into categories such as ‘secondary’ or ‘tertiary’.

She ran after certifications and accumulated a wealth of knowledge. This satiated her for a while, but again left her with a feeling of not inadequateness.

Finally, one day, she decided to quit her HR role once and for all and to really listen to her inner voice and be with it. She did fear losing everything that she had built, but as the saying goes, “You’ve got to be willing to lose everything to gain yourself.”
For the first time, she decided to discover the truth about who she is.

Thus began her own journey of self-awareness and transformation.


When you want it, you make it happen no matter what. That desire helps you raise your vibrations to a level that you will be a match to people, things and experiences that will guide you to your path.

The universe is abundant and conspires to make your deepest desires come true. Everything will work in collaboration to help you fulfil your deepest intention for you to grow and evolve.

A’ren crossed paths with a renowned professional coach and had a conversation with him only for an hour. That conversation shook her from within. It left her questioning herself. The question that opened the doors to her deep inquiry was, “What do you want?”

As a giver all her life, this question was very discomforting to her. Receiving was a challenge! Sometimes, when we give even with the best intention, if we struggle to receive, then our giving isn’t very impactful.

That day, A’ren learnt that she needed to work on her blind spots. She needed to work on herself, her limiting patterns and beliefs which attracted all that she detested in her space.
Her egoic mind did try to trap her with thoughts such as, ‘I don’t need to change’. ‘Is something wrong with me?’ ‘I am no good.’ ‘What will others think of me when I own parts of me that I am unfamiliar with?”

The discovery of some aspects in her that needed attention and awareness, came as a blow to the self-concept and image that she held on to and how others saw her.
This very resistance is what she needed to walk through to embrace the breakthrough that she wanted to bring about. What you resist, persists. The only way out is to embrace it.

“How did I create this in my space? What needs to shift in me to create a different reality?” She finally dared to ask these questions to her without blame, shame or judgement, but with a deep sense of responsibility. This willingness in her to find the radical truth and take responsibility for her creations thus far, is a sure and subtle sign that she is destined for a purpose bigger than herself and what she was doing so far.

“I am A’ren and I am here to serve, be a force of unconditional love for self and others, touch lives, and enable transformation and healing in self and others”, she said to herself with a smile, as if she was talking to the Source.

She first completed her coaching certification, got accredited by the ICF as a professional coach and then there was no looking back. There was a massive transformation in her, and the way she perceived people and the world around her. That shift led to exponential growth, internally and externally.

In this journey, she not only supported others but also massively grew every time she coached her clients. In a noticeably short span of time, she got recognised as a powerful coach. She received awards and got featured in elite magazines, got trained in various modalities and also gave flame to that part within her that she had suppressed all this while. She authored books, started her YouTube channel, sang to inspire and heal herself and others, travelled across countries to explore the possibilities in her, not just as a coach but as a human being. She became authentic, a powerful giver, a fearless coach.

She also discovered that she is a ‘Multipotentialite’. She believes that we all have limitless possibilities in us but we are caught up in our own fears, veil of ignorance and survival mechanisms. Only when we experience possibilities in us, can we see the same in others and evoke the same in others. And that feels authentic. We can then say, “I have been there, I have worked on myself.”

A’ren is none other than myself, Priyanka, author of this article!

In her words, “I invite all the CHRO’s to look within and embrace self-transformation if you want to be a giver with a purpose beyond self. I believe that the HR profession is not just a support function, but a function that requires highly self-aware and self-actualised individuals to come together to lead and model the way forward for a better culture, world and legacy.”

Wishing you all a life of freedom from your own shackles and successful fulfilment of your incarnation.

Ready to become a qualified professional coach, and develop the skills and competencies to transform the lives of your clients? Have a look at ICF’s roadmap to help you on your journey

If you need support on your organisation’s and/or leader’s coaching journey, do contact us at ICF and our team of volunteers in India will be happy to help.

The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is the world’s largest organization leading the global advancement of the coaching profession and fostering coaching’s role as an integral part of a thriving society. Founded in 1995, its 39,000-plus members located in more than 145 countries and territories work toward common goals of enhancing awareness of coaching and upholding the integrity of the profession through lifelong learning and maintaining the highest ethical standards. Through the work of its six unique family organisations, ICF empowers professional coaches, coaching clients, organisations, communities and the world through coaching. In India, ICF is represented by six vibrant chapters, all led by volunteers — ICF Bengaluru, ICF Chennai, ICF Delhi NCR, ICF Mumbai, ICF Pune and ICF Hyderabad.

The author, Priyanka Dutta is a PCC-ICF certified Life and Organisational Development Coach. She is the recipient of the award, ‘101 Most Fabulous Coaching Leaders, India’ by the World HRD Congress, ET NOW & Canadian University Dubai in 2020. Trained in psychodrama, NLP and Reiki, she got featured in Forbes India Marquee in May 2021. Prior to transitioning as a coach, Priyanka worked in the corporate world for more than a decade as an HR professional and was known for her contributions. She travelled internationally to get coached by amazing coaches and deepen her inner work.

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