Meet Barry Craig, an accredited coach, and a hopeless devotee at following his heart and passions. At Don’t Look Back, Barry coach’s people in Leith, Edinburgh and the wider world to acknowledge and believe in their inner spark directing them towards their most innate talents, abilities, and desires. Whilst this may be scary at times, he believes that inner spark can allow you to have more energy and purpose if you follow its call.
Barry also coach’s people to accept who they are, where they are and how they see and think about themselves right now. As with this acknowledgment of your current self and circumstances, regardless of what they are, you can begin to create positive change.
Hey Barry, can you introduce yourself to us?
Of course. My name is Barry Craig and I am a Life/Personal Development Coach, Group Exercise Instructor and Personal Trainer.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
My own journey into this started roughly just over 15 years ago. When I started to lose my hair I really lost my confidence and self-esteem. At this time, I was also in a job that just didn’t feel right for me and my relationship at that time had come to an end but had also had a profound effect on me. As such, a girl at my work at the time gave me a book called 365 Steps to Self Confidence which at its heart had either a written or practical exercise for you to do every day over a year looking at stuff like self-image, confidence, self-esteem, personal aims, and ambitions.
At this time, I had not given much thought to exactly how I viewed myself and what I did want so this was a new and deep experience for me. The most important thing that happened to me here was that because of these exercises I began to seriously think about what I was doing, where I was going, what I did want from my life and looking back, more importantly, what story I was telling myself about myself!
At the end of the book, there was a link to a distance learning Life Coaching course at Newcastle College. I enrolled and this was the start of my journey to becoming a Life/Personal Development Coach. However, after I qualified I spent a few years where I worked in retail, travelled and also completed a Degree. During this time, I had always kept fit and regularly went to group exercise classes, most specifically Les Mills RPM. When I got accepted to do the access course for university I thought to myself at 35 that I just did not want to earn money doing something that my heart wasn’t in anymore. In turn, as I had always thought when I went to RPM that I could do it.
I acted on the voice inside me that said that this was for me and that I had to do it. So I booked and completed an Exercise to Music Course with the help of mentors of mine, most specifically Barry Stevenson and Ashleigh Murray. Thank you, Barry and Ashleigh! I then went onto gain my RPM license. Since then I have also become a Level 3 Personal Trainer, Bodypump, Metafit, and MetaPWR instructor and have just recently opened up my own space where I do these short HIIT classes.
As this was a pretty busy time in my life, after not coaching for a few years during my degree, I reconnected with my coach trainers Alistair Gray and Michele Armstrong. I then re-trained with The Acorn Principle and Mindful Talent Coaching Academy in Edinburgh in 2017 to continue my professional coaching journey and accreditation. And now I spend my professional life doing the two things that I love the most.
What is a day in the life of you like?
My day consists of many things but mostly I am at my office which is also in the same space where I do my short Metafit, and MetaPWR classes. It’s called the biscuit factory in Edinburgh and I have been there since January this year. This allows me space where I get set-up for my classes but also a small room where I carry out my Life/Personal Development Coaching with my clients. However, mixed in with this I also do group exercise classes for Edinburgh Leisure at various fitness centers throughout Edinburgh so my day is spent mostly between these places and my coaching sessions at the biscuit factory.
What is the concept behind your coaching business?
The concept behind my coaching business is pretty simple if I am being honest, try and begin to accept where you are and who you are. From there follow your curiosity and your heart. It sounds so simple and easy but so many things get in the way of people doing this especially our own thinking. However, I genuinely believe that when we start to accept ourselves and our life as it is whilst becoming more in tune with our authentic self, life begins to open up for us in both expected and unexpected ways. I believe when we do this that we start to align with who we are at a deep level and this creates more congruence. Consequently, as we start to take steps that feel right for us, our inner world begins to feel more in tune with our outer world. With this, I believe we feel more peaceful as we begin to feel and embrace our unique traits, gifts, and sense of self.
Now whilst I wholeheartedly believe this as a coach, when I coach many different things can come up that don’t touch on this. And that is ok. Many different issues can come up within a coaching context. In coaching the person always brings the content and as a coach I am there to support, question, keep accountability and hopefully help foster insight, self-learning, and self-acceptance. Yet, with attentive listening, empathy and powerful questioning coaching can reveal and take the person and a very personal, deep and cathartic process.
How is your DIB Coaching funded, is it bootstrapped, self-funded etc.?
At this point, my whole business both life/personal development coaching and the fitness side is entirely self-funded.
Can you tell us more about the brand DNA and ethos?
I very much believe that I am my own ambassador in regards to this. As described above my own personal coaching business DNA is follow your curiosity and heart and I believe I have done this consistently in my own journey. Still, whilst this is a very personal thing and can seem intangible at times. The name Don’t Look Back Personal Coaching is inspired by a favourite blues song of mine and the acknowledgment of everyone’s journey in life and that sometimes it’s the things that almost break us that help us grow, change and move on. As we go through the hurt, a side of us can open up that we were perhaps oblivious to. In turn, if we listen, are brave and we begin to truly accept and embrace our own challenges and unique self. I believe that we then begin to become connected to people, passions, places, and opportunities that align with our deepest values and needs. This subsequently enables a sense of self that feels true to us and thus we begin to portray, live and bring our own inner spark into the world.
Can you tell us how you are helping your clients to create more purpose and clarity through your personal coaching methods?
Coaching is a very personal process and it is not my business to tell people what their purpose is. I believe your purpose is what you say it is. However, I can help people gain clarity around their situation and unique self by listening attentively, reflecting with them and by not being afraid to ask powerful questions. In turn, I help people accept their situation first and foremost regardless of what it is. As without this, we are constantly wanting our current situation to be different which causes no end of internal resistance. The magic happens in the momentum that we gain when we take small consistent steps that both continue our journey and individual narrative that becomes increasingly aligned with our inner spark.
Can you highlight 3 ways we can reignite our inner spark?
The Latin phrase for inner spark is “Scintilla”. Described by Thomas Moore in his book Dark Knights of the Souls, as a person’s own luminosity and that which makes us shine. I believe everyone has within them their own Scintilla and their own unique way of being in the world that is connected to and embraced can become a genuine source of peace, contentment, and happiness. How do you connect with this?
Look at your journey in life so far. Where there any key turning points were something changed for you? If so, what where they and what did you learn? What did you gain from this? With these learnings, we can sometimes see things in a different light or discover something about ourselves that has been there all along but we have not acknowledged or faced. Challenges can give us a whole new perspective and acceptance on ourselves and situations that have been holding us back.
What are you passionate about? Is there anything in your life that when you do it time evaporates and you become completely immersed at the moment? If so, how do you feel when you do this? Do you give time to this in your life?
Also, what are you curious about? Have you an interest in something that sparks or piques your curiosity? What is it about this that inspires you?
Our journey is trying to nudge us in the direction of our most authentic self. Listen, be aware and follow your hunches, intuition and what feels right for you.
Who does the team involve behind you?
Whilst I am the face of my life/personal development coaching business and my personal training and group fitness. There are people involved who continue to help in many aspects of both. These are my family, my peer network and friends but also the people who come along to my classes and people who choose me as their coach. The fact that these people choose me as their life coach or fitness coach is a massive privilege I have and one that I will never take for granted
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
In all honesty, exactly where I am but doing more of it. I love where I am in my life. It’s the most content I have ever felt. I know I am being the person I was meant to be and doing what I am meant to be doing. What more could I want? Success is very relative to how you think about it I believe.
What are the key tools that you use for your trade?
There are overlapping principles that apply to both. Most importantly being knowledgeable, friendly and genuine. However, in a life coaching context the ability to stand back from your client I think is really important. This allows you to not get involved in their life and gives you the ability to ask tough questions at times.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
Getting up to date with all social media platforms and the way they work. This has been really tough! I am getting there though.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted, you to grow?
Yes, consistently. I have a group of mentors just now who are very inspiring people and our fortnightly meetings are a place where we open ourselves up to be questioned, coached and held accountable. In saying that, I meet mentors every day who inspire me. These include my family, my friends, people I work with, the people I train, people I coach, people I speak to at the bus stop and anywhere else. Inspiration can be found in many places. Stay open to this!
What outlets do use to market DIB Coaching
I am currently just on Facebook and Instagram. However, I am working on my LinkedIn in at this minute.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
Those closest to me are my ultimate support network. It’s the little chats that I have with all those people mentioned above that truly inspire me. They support me, ground me and help me realise that everybody is trying their best with what they have.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about the coaching industry and how are you using your platform and voice to educate people more?
That coaching is quite fluffy. By this, I mean that because it is not therapied some people are not sure where to place it so it can be quite ambiguous for some people. And I totally understand this. However, coaching is becoming more much prevalent in many walks of life now and is thus getting the credence it deserves. In my coaching sessions, the ability to actively listen and challenge unhelpful patterns of thinking and behaviours begins to aid self-reflection and self-acceptance. And following this, the individual’s personal growth, ideas, options and visions amongst other things then begin to come out. In the process highlighting what a Life and Personal Development Coach can help facilitate in a person’s thought process and life.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
I’d like to see everyone, not just millennials become more connected to their unique self in whatever business, social or individual context that meant for them. In the process allowing them the creativity and space to expand on their own personal vision without social expectations of what they should have, be or do.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
To believe in yourself, be true to you and the rest will follow.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
Inside, we always know what to do. And when you are not happy you cannot disguise it, you cannot ignore it and that ultimately you have to face it and at times make brave and bold decisions. And with determination and the acknowledgment that you are trying, over time you will find a to find a career path or sense of self that aligns with your talents, abilities and unique traits. Also always remember that sometimes we also have to try things that are not for us just to find out that they are not for us. And that is ok! It’s all part of the journey in your own personal story.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
I have created a life for myself that I love living. This is a true balance for me. I keep fit I am passionate about what I do, I take some quiet time for myself every day and I read first thing in the morning for half an hour. Sometimes life can be a bit crazy and sometimes life is a bit quieter. Both are needed at different times. Balance is a very personal thing but I when things do get a bit crazy, I always remember what Ketut from Eat, Pray, Love Said: “sometimes losing balance is part of leading a balanced life”
A seminal point in your career so far?
Trusting and believing in myself. This allowed me the chance to move into my premises at the biscuit factory and give me a place where I could begin to integrate my two passions in life, life coaching, and fitness instructing. This has been a challenging yet fulfilling, uplifting and inspiring experience.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
That I have had the courage to listen to my intuition, follow my heart and do what feels right for me.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
I have found that with the amount of information out there, there is a challenge to stay true to your own ethos and subsequently not to feel obligated to be like someone or something else.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
Whilst I recognise and appreciate all those globally who have created positive change in the world. If I am being honest I have more admiration for those who are in my own sphere of life who are blazing their own paths in life. There are far too many to mention here but for everyone, I know who have overcome their own fears and challenges whilst staying true to themselves and following their heart. You are my inspiration. Keep being you.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ by Robin Sharma is my go to book. I just love it. It’s a fable based story with some amazing and powerful indicators of how to lead an authentic life.
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
I don’t really listen to podcasts if I’m being although I am currently working on starting one. I just love to read books when I have spare time. I usually have a pile of 3 that I work through. My current 3 are;
- ‘The Untethered Soul’ by Michael Singer.
- ‘Dare To Lead’ by Brene Brown.
- ‘The Surrender Experiment’ by Michael Singer.
How do you define success?
Without a doubt, the ability to follow your heart and be true to yourself.
What does #BEYOUROWNMAN mean to you?
Be you in every sense of the word. Acknowledge, accept and embrace your own luminosity, your own shine and every ounce and atom of your unique, authentic and amazing self.
Finally, what can we expect from you next throughout 2019?
To keep being true to me and encouraging people to accept who they are, where they are and follow and embrace their inner spark.