Leaving School With Sammie Flook
Did you have any idea what you wanted to do when you finished school? Has it changed from then to now?
The end of school was interesting for me. I think there was a lot of pressure to have it all figured out. I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do in the lead up to finishing school. I had things I liked but nothing really spoke to me. I was going through a bit of a ‘teenage’ ordeal at the time. I was focusing more on my social life and finding peer acceptance. However, I always loved to be around people and help people to be at their happiest and feel their best, so I guess there was an underlying vision coming through in some way, shape or form. Since school it has changed a lot. I ended up at TAFE studying Event Management, and while I loved it and it served me greatly, I wasn’t in love with it. It served its purpose by teaching me a lot and offering experiences, which help me in my current role, facilitating events and workshops. I stepped back and listened to what made me feel good. I knew that ‘making something of myself’ would be fulfilling. That’s when I found food and coaching. It was something super daunting back then but so challenging and exciting at the same time.
Would you say there is a lot of pressure on young people to have their whole lives figured out and be ‘successful’ straight after school? If so, what do you think are some of the contributing factors?
Flowing from my last answer, yes. Back then it was hard not to put a lot of pressure on myself (key focus on my mindfulness journey and what I gift my clients). I don’t think it’s the schools fault or any individual. We are currently shifting through a major change in society. We are re-mending old beliefs into healthier and more adaptable ones. We are seeking an understanding that success goes beyond a result and is rather more of a feeling about what you do, which makes you feel successful! As humans, most of us, if not all us, hate being out of control. The unknown and not having direction is where the biggest pressure points lie. I’ve seen and worked with so many school-aged children that feel like they must become something or achieve something in order to be successful!
I’d love to see schools open more avenues to support student wellbeing. To implement strategies to enhance students mental health, that remove unnecessary pressures, and fosters them emotionally. We need to be carefully guided, appropriately tested, and pushed out of our comfort zones. This can lead us into a little area of the unknown to see how we respond and handle the situation.
What were the first few years out of school like for you? Would you do anything differently?
In all honesty, the first few years out of school were pretty tough... but I would not change ONE thing! I am highlighting that fact dramatically and this is why - I was on the back end of my eating disorder, struggling to manage my anxiety, and still finding fulfilment in seeking acceptance from others. I was modelling at the time and trying somewhat to make that a career. I felt so disconnected and lost within myself. I ran through life filling time with partying, social outings, and “things,” just so I didn’t have to think about what I was and wasn’t doing. However, this spiral led me to a literal, metaphorical “rock bottom.” This, in a weird way, was one of my favourite times in life. I had found freedom, answers, and a new direction. I was offered choice and direction, and for the first time did not listen to anyone other than myself. From this space, I found that by helping myself I could subsequently help others. By voicing this experience to others, I noticed that many were going through similar things, if not exactly the same. We were similar; we were feeling lost, not feeling enough, and so on. Reflecting on this moment right now, I would not change a thing.
Just like I say to my clients, “There is no such thing as failure; if you believe you will fail you will continue to be dissatisfied in anything that you do, but if you try and believe, you will learn that you will be successful in all that you do.”
From your experience in this transition, what would you tell anyone going through the same thing now?
This is easier said than done, but I would say take the pressure off! We live in a society where we can have next to anything with the touch of a button. We have immediate access to food, relationships, conversation, you name it! So it can become challenging when we can’t find our purpose. Especially escaping the comforts of school or breaking into a new realm at whatever stage of your life you are in, the unknown is literally that, unknown... so work with where you are right now!
We always want to get to the result so quickly. We forget to enjoy what we have, as well as be grateful for what we have done to get to certain places in our life. Continue to set yourself small, manageable, and achievable goals each day, and make them self-focused. You are the one that has to sit with yourself, so it’s important that you make it the safest, most comfortable, confident, and powerful place that you can.
The biggest tip that I can give is that you are allowed to ask for, and have access to, help. I’ve worked with a psychologist monthly since I was 16... and am currently working with 3 coaches myself! Help isn’t a weakness. It is a tool to building your strength, own it!
Do you think your on the right path now? And how do you think your experiences in life have lead you here?
I love this question… my right path... that is interesting! I try not to feel right or prove to myself that what I am doing is the be all and end all. I think most of us see our right path in the form of a purpose or work form, but we must remember that all areas of our life are just as important as each other. If we feel as if we are on the right path in one area of our life, it’s likely that another part of your life isn’t getting enough attention. I feel so powerfully “aligned” with where I am and am so grateful for the work, time, and effort I have put into myself and The Core Health, to help as many as I can. However, I must remind myself that life is ever changing, that’s a fact, and I’m still human.
There are times where I want to give it all up and run away overseas, go hide on a isolated beach, and just be, which can make me question my path. My experiences, changes, and tests over the past 6 years since leaving school have always led me back to the same thing - I create the path, the building blocks are my choices, and I take lessons from my ups and downs. The cement holding this together is my commitment to understanding that it’s okay not to be on that path all the time.
We aren’t meant to be the same human forever, so listen to what you’re being called to, to what feels good for you, and make sure you make time for all areas of your life. Your path is found within your present actions right now… work from this space and take away the pressure of the outcome... trust me it’s a lot more rewarding!
Do you remember what your biggest fear/fears where during this transition time?
My fears have shifted… but my biggest core belief that influenced my fears was the classic “I’m not Enough.” I never felt successful when I modelled; I second guessed my body, my self-worth and my appearance. I second guessed myself in my relationships; I was always putting my partners on the highest pedestal and hiding my identity under a rock. I felt limited success in my achievements, always reaching to find the catalyst that would make me feel enough. Of course if we keep running in the same circle we are always going to end up with the same result. When I finally began to put in the work to change myself I realised that to feel enough begins within you (sounds very cliché), but you are your biggest tool for powerful, confident change!
We rarely challenge the norm, because it is safe. But safe can still be challenging, because we get bored. My goal was to be the opposite in certain areas of my life, to make myself enough. So I would acknowledge my experiences and ask myself, “what is a long held belief about myself that I haven’t challenged with a new perspective?” Then I would ask myself, “What am I going to do about this?”
So when I based my acceptance on looks, I made a huge effort to lovingly test myself to accept myself on the inside. In my work I started creating based on what felt good, not based on what other people thought I should be doing. The list goes on, but what I’m trying to communicate, is that you always have the choice to turn fear into an opportunity for growth.
What are you doing now and are you happy?
I feel at peace with my life at the moment. Life will always have its challenges, but I remind myself to always be thankful for where I have been, where I am now, and to be open to what’s to come. I’m working with the most incredible women nationally and internationally within my coaching programs, workshops, and events, and focusing on all things confidence, mindset, and unleashing your inner “power.” It gives me such joy to be able to help those around me and those who feel aligned to work with me. At the moment I am running group coaching and 1:1 sessions, with a Podcast in the mix, so stay tuned!
My focus within myself and my clients is to create flow in life, across emotions, thoughts and actions. When we access these points within ourselves and make them a cohesive thriving team, we can observe, instead of react, and take transformative action that enables us to feel content or “happiness” in almost every choice.
I would love for you to keep up with what I’m up to via my socials and please feel free to get in touch if you would like to chat, I would love to hear from you. Be kind to yourself. I hope this provided a little light in your day, much love Sammie x
Interview by Sanchia Gillies
Edited by Sammy Callender
Any information on this blog is not a substitute for professional advice. It is written from personal experience and research only. If you are in crisis, go to your nearest emergency room, call lifeline on 13 11 14 or dial 000.