Your Mental Health Or Success In Your Career? You Deserve BOTH! | Nadjla Sahyoun Bowie, Be...

Life is unpredictable, messy, and something we all experience drastically differently. In times of hardship, the state of our mental health can be our greatest asset, or our worst enemy. This is especially true in terms of our career paths. How we view ourselves and our lives has a major impact on our ability to work everyday while still experiencing a sense of fulfillment and joy. Nadjla Sahyoun Bowie is a professional Career and Mental Fitness Coach who has dedicated her life to helping others navigate their mental health, while prioritizing a career that is not only best suited for their skills, but will bring them a level of happiness that will carry over into every other part of their lives.

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Nadjla Sahyoun Bowie Be Good Feel Good Coaching

Our jobs take up a major part of our lives. We spend a majority of the week clocking into an establishment that should provide us with financial security, and ideally a sense of joy. In a perfect world, we’d all have a job that brings us the same level of happiness as the little parts of our daily routines that make us feel human. 

Nadjla Sahyoun Bowie is a professional Career Coach with a history in psychology who has dedicated her whole life to helping people find just that. Her company Be Good – Feel Good Coaching provides a safe space for clients as they navigate the complexities of their careers, and life.  

Nadjla’s experience in the world of psychology, coaching, and helping others truly speaks for itself, and is the foundation to the critical services she provides to her clients everyday. She served as a “consultant for qualitative research in her home country of Brazil from 1997 to 2003 while concurrently holding the title of psychosocial rehabilitation coordinator for ACEP Nise da Silveira from 1999 to 2003.” 

Following her work with ACEP, she acted as a mental health counselor with ICEP before accumulating additional expertise through a case manager role with ICMS-BHS, Easter Seals Inc., in New Jersey from 2013 to 2016. 

The skills Nadjla has gained throughout her entire career set her up perfectly when it came to starting Be Good – Feel Good.

“Coaching is a goal-oriented service to provide support and guidance to individuals and groups/teams of people who are struggling in certain areas of their personal and/or professional life and want to focus on the solutions for these challenges and conquer a better quality of life. I believe that each individual is unique. Their perceptions, how they live their lives, and most importantly, their strengths and abilities, are fundamental tools to achieve their full life satisfaction.”

Growing up, Nadjla always knew that she wanted to help people, it was only a matter of finding out how. Beyond her desire to help others, she had a major fascination with the human mind and how it works, which her family caught onto rather quickly. 

Her sister, who was in college at the time Nadjla was in high school, could feel Nadjla’s passion to learn and help human beings, so she gave her a book to read from one of her classes that was essentially a Psychology 101 textbook.

“It was one of the thickest books I’ve ever seen, but it gave me the chance to really learn about how the mind works, the diseases of the mind, and how they can alter the ways in which we navigate our day-to-day lives. 

I was completely fascinated. A week later I finished the book and was in love. It was at that moment that I knew pursuing anything having to do with psychology was the path for me.”

The coaching element of Nadjla’s story appeared as she was entering the field of psychology. After five years in undergrad, she realized that she didn’t love the standard clinical approach to helping others. Nadjla’s also from Brazil, and was living there at the time; around 1997. She explained that the psychiatric care in Brazil was heavily based on old-fashioned practices, and the field of mental health in general wasn’t as developed as it was in the US.

She began working and collaborating with other professionals in her field who were passionate about making a difference and advancing the mental health industry. 

During her initial years of experience, Nadjla’s research and professional development in various mental health spaces showed her that she had an innate passion for helping guide others within their lives, beyond just navigating their own mental struggles. This is where the coaching element began to come to fruition. 

Taking one’s mental health experiences into consideration, Nadjla found that she had the ability to help others get organized in their own lives by helping them prioritize a career that will not only sustain them, but bring them a sense of joy and fulfillment.

Nadjla Sahyoun Bowie Be Good Feel Good Coaching

“Our careers take up a majority of our lives, so it makes sense that not feeling valued or fulfilled in one’s job can create an overall sense of disappointment. So many of us stay within our positions and fields to pay our bills, but when we’re working somewhere that doesn’t bring us joy, those negative feelings continue to build.”

“I remember my first experiences volunteering within the mental health system in Trieste, Italy. We would work 30-hours-a-week rotating throughout the various sectors of the community centers and programs so we could gain experience and knowledge that would assist us in helping a wide variety of people in the future. 

I loved everything surrounding vocational rehabilitation; helping people navigate their career struggles which would parallel their own mental health struggles. There were so many different ways in which the patients were fighting for themselves to get into a more positive routine.

Being able to witness, and be a part of, these individuals finding their worth to give themselves a chance at career excellence and happiness was indescribable. They’d utilize the work we would do to get organized, build healthier habits, be more social, and create success for themselves. I still remember most of my patients’ names from that time. 

They had a challenge, but they had the support and confidence to keep going, so when I went back to Brazil, I was confident that working with individuals struggling with their careers, and their own mental health problems, was what I was meant to do. 

I recall doing a speech at an event one day when a director for one of the recently opened mental health centers in my city approached me and offered me a position. She invited me to be the Psychosocial Rehabilitation Coordinator for the center. 

Working with the center we created a program for Psychosocial rehabilitation that included a vocational program for those who wanted career assistance to parallel their clinical treatment. We’d help them get organized with their specific career goals while treating them for their mental health ailments.  The sample groups we had of individuals who were receiving clinical treatment and career assistance yielded amazing results,” Nadjla explained. 

“At the time, I was already working as well as a career coach, we just didn’t have that exact term for it yet, but looking back I was embodying everything that a professional career coach is meant to do for their clients. Improving their relationship with their family, social circle, and most importantly themselves to give them the confidence and organization to succeed in their careers. This was the first bridge joining mental health and career.”

It wouldn’t be until Nadjla moved to the US, however, that she would truly embrace and present herself as the career coach she is today. 

As she mentioned previously, mental health treatment and coaching in general wasn’t as developed in Brazil as it was in the US. Nadjla moved to the US 20-years-ago to pursue a Master’s Degree in public mental health at SDSU that would concentrate on her specific interdisciplinary field. Being in the US gave her the opportunity to learn about the intricacies of coaching, which also gave her the realization that she was already doing the work, she just didn’t know the title of the job. 

Being able to identify that for herself gave her even more motivation to give that sense of identity to her clients who were struggling to find a job title that not only fit them, but gave them a sense of belonging. 

Her first job in the US in the mental health field was working as a case manager for a not-for-profit organization. Nadjla explained that working as a case manager is very similar to coaching, because you’re guiding specific clients into programs that are fit for their individual needs and creating plans to keep them on the right path. She was continuously gaining experience not only helping clients become the best version of themselves, but working as a coach to guide the professionals in her field to help patients even further. 

So how did Nadja go from helping individuals within the mental health system, to creating her own company to provide even more individualized care as a professional career coach herself? 

Be Good – Feel Good Coaching is Nadjla’s entrepreneurial/career coaching business. 

“As a Career & Mental Fitness Coach, I offer sessions tailored to your professional and personal needs, supporting you to identify your core career and life values. I will guide you toward building a combination of goals, strategies, and actions, providing accountability on your path toward the changes that you choose to own your career and life.”

Nadjla Sahyoun Bowie Be Good Feel Good Coaching

“The title Career and Mental Fitness Coach encapsulates the heart of what I do and helps me target individuals who need the specific help I offer. Working with them to improve their daily habits, how they handle stress, and their overall state of mind. 

With coaching, we want to work with people to help them get to where they want to be, while helping them figure out where that even is. They need goals, strategies to achieve those goals, and a sense of organization that will allow them to stick to the plan at hand. 

If you’re struggling at your job, it can affect your mental health, and if you don’t take care of your mental health, you’re more likely to not be motivated to make a career change, which could in turn also work to improve your mental health. It can be a stressful cycle to live in, and lead to a growth in negative feelings and reactions to one’s own life. 

It is so important to understand that having a healthy brain is one of the greatest resources one may have to his or her own career! For instance, if your Prefrontal Cortex is not optimal, you won’t be able to effectively carry on actions based on planning or organization. You won’t be that great in executing your actions. Things may go really wrong in your career if you are too impulsive or too rigid! 

You may need medication for that, but you will try to manage these challenges with awareness, behavioral changes, building a positive mindset, working on time management, diet and supplements, building healthy habits that will definitely help along the way and also provide you life learning skills.

It’s a constant goal of mine to help people realize that this is a ‘two-handed’ path they have to go on. They can’t receive the full impact of career coaching if they’re struggling mentally, it won’t work. The coaching might give them the tools to find a new job, or whatever the specific goal may be, but a year later that person could be struggling in the same way even if it’s at a job they enjoy, because they haven’t prioritized their mental fitness. 

If you want something that’s sustainable, you need to look both ways.

Be Good – Feel Good Coaching happened while I was still working as a case manager and got pregnant. Becoming a mother was a whole journey in itself, and as I was preparing for that journey, I thought about my own career and realized that I should start taking my own advice. I loved what I did, but needed to make a shift in how I was doing it to better accommodate my personal life, my child’s life, and my overall emotional wellbeing. I took advantage of the moments where I had time off and was waiting for my child’s arrival/after they arrived. 

This is when Be Good – Feel Good was born, pun intended. 

If you’re not good with yourself, and you don’t feel good about your life, relationships, and contribution to the world, you’ll never feel good. That’s the mental health portion of what I do. You must be good with your plan, feel good about your beliefs, and give yourself a chance. 

I started with offering self-development coaching for my career clients and their general routines in life. I wanted to help anyone who felt they needed assistance in figuring out what they want to do and how to get there. As time went on I made it a priority to also emphasize the mental health aspect of what my clients were going through to once again have a sort of two-handed approach,” Nadjla stated.

“With coaching, you will recognize your strengths and vulnerabilities, and how they play a role in your attitude and decision making processes. You will set goals that are meaningful for this moment of your life. You will build an action plan based on your own motivations, strengths, skills, and down-to-earth timeframes to achieve your professional and personal goals. Our regular weekly sessions include updates of your progress, challenges and inner blockers, aligning development, learning and growth, and creating or adjusting strategies and actions when necessary.”

STEPS is a method created by Nadjla, based on her interventions with clients, observation, and evaluation of results. With 5 anchor points, it is a GROWTH PATH and a stepping stone for career fulfillment.

SELF-AWARENESS is your start line: who I am, where I am, who I want to be, where I want to be. It is a major anchor for motivation.

TIMING your experience with both time management and the time for which actions make sense for you and in your plan. It has an amazing effect on focus and performance.

EVOLUTION is your own experience and learning in which an action plan is a map for growth and a positive mindset is your engine.

PERSISTENCE is key when you know that the path is not meant to be easy and smooth. There are many challenges on the way and with persistence, you hold on to what is meaningful and you want to fight for.

SUCCESS is your end line in the coaching process, which brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction based on your own measurement of success. You honor your path and are grateful for it. You see the incredible results and feel joy.

Be Good – Feel Good Coaching offers assistance with career transitions, including help with resumes, cover letters, and mock interviews. Nadjla helps her clients with professional branding, entrepreneurship and leadership, and change management.  

In terms of Mental Fitness Nadjla helps her clients improve on their self-esteem, self-care mindfulness techniques, time management, stress management, communication, and relationships. She offers appointments in both Portuguese and English.

Nadjla offers limited sessions as well as ongoing coaching to work through each of her programs and really take the time to work through the STEPS method. 

Nadjla Sahyoun Bowie Be Good Feel Good Coaching

“With all of my clients, I start with the baseline of what they know about themselves at the moment, and what they want to gain in terms of how to see themselves, not just in terms of career, but overall wellbeing and life. I really work hand-in-hand to individualize the care for each person.”

“If you’re struggling to truly figure out who you are and what you want your purpose to be, it can become impossible to ever feel happy with the job you’re in. Knowing yourself is the first step to any kind of personal growth, which in turn will help you reach goals you may have never thought possible before. 

I can confidently say that my clients truly feel good about themselves, their careers, and their life choices. They may not have felt like that when we first began working together, but through the work of my programs and coaching, I’m sure that by the end they are. That’s always my goal, to watch and see the work pay off and see my clients come into their own.”

Nadjla also explained that the current system we live in prioritizes making enough money to sustain yourself and your family. This is why there’s such a large population of people working jobs that make them miserable, they need to pay their bills. When you work to live, your job is in turn your entire life, which Nadjla says is a recipe for disaster. 

Beyond just doing something that truly brings you joy, when you fall into a routine of getting up almost every day to go work somewhere that makes you feel negative, you’re going to carry that into every other aspect of your life. The right guidance can help unlock one’s potential to get to someplace greater, and enjoy themselves while doing it. 

“The amount of stress, burnout, anxiety, feeling of loss, and intensity that these emotions present themselves can become unbearable. Any job will come with its stressors, which is why mental fitness is such an important aspect of what I do. If you have the tools to keep yourself calm, and know that you have the ability and skill to work through any problem, you’ll know how to work through those stressors, and will feel confident doing so. 

Allow yourself to have the time to let go and build yourself up. Let go of the ‘old way’ you viewed working and living, and give yourself the chance to better know what you really want. You don’t need to rush, in fact it’s integral that you take your time. Never be afraid to reach out for help. Having a good support system is a need in this life, but it’s also important to give someone on the outside of your day-to-day life a chance to show you a new perspective,” Nadjla concluded.

Looking towards the future, Nadjla is excited to feel every emotion that follows her on her life path. Giving people the chance to truly see themselves and their potential is one of her greatest joys, and she will continue to provide that level of safety, reassurance, and confidence to as many people as possible. 

To learn more about Nadjla Bowie and the amazing work she does at Be Good – Feel Good Coaching, check out their website by clicking here! 

Additionally, check out their series of 5-minutes videos in their YouTube Channel by clicking here!