Donna Koch empowers women to stop holding back, and particularly stop being hard on themselves, as pictured at a 2020 Vernon Women in Business meeting. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

North Okanagan coach empowering women to shed self-sabotage

After 31 years in the corporate world, she put her fears aside and is leading her best life

While others describe her as an eternal optimist, Donna Koch admits she wasn’t always so upbeat. In fact, she was very hard on herself — something she calls self-sabotage.

“It was how I showed up, I had this habitual habit to say sorry,” said Koch, who had a 31-year career in the corporate world before her latest venture as a solo-prenuer.

“Then this narrative would start: ‘what’s wrong with you? Why do you do that? You know better.’”

She fell prey to this self-sabotage over and over again before she learned exactly what it was doing. It was diminishing her power.

“Imagine you are sitting across the table from your closest, dearest friend and they are saying those things to themselves. What would you do? You’d flip it on its head, you’d turn it around.

“Why, as women, would we treat ourselves any less than the person that means the most to you.”

Working to become a life coach, Koch wants to create more awareness around this damaging self-sabotage and empower more women to lift themselves up.

“My purpose is to help women recognize what is holding them back,” 54-year-old Koch said.

It’s often fear, she said, that prompts a flight or fight response in us, and that inner voice warning: ‘oh no, you don’t want to do that.’

“We need to push ourselves beyond that comfort zone,” she said.

She quotes some wise words from Will Smith: “On the other side of our maximum terror are all of the greater things in life.”

Koch recently shared her story at a Vernon Women in Business meeting (before health regulations restricted gatherings). The group is full of not just business owners, but women working to better themselves in various fields — from Tai Chi instructors to financial planners.

Vernon Women in Business president Angie Loakimidou says Koch’s story falls in line with the key value of the group, which is open to all women.

“This group is more about networking, inspiring and empowering women from all sectors of business and life. Only by helping others rise, will we rise ourselves,” Loakimidou said.

Those looking to join VWIB can visit vwib.com or email president@vwib.com.

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@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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