We talk to Louise Ennis, a dental hygienist who retrained as a hypnotherapist and is now a coach for cancer survivors (having survived cancer herself), as well as being a marathon runner!
An interview with cancer survivor coach Louise Ennis
What made you decide to do what you do?
I’ve been a hypnotherapist for 2 years now. I also work as a dental hygienist and my bosses and I got talking about anxious patients and how hypnotherapy could help. So that was how I decided to do my hypnotherapy diploma. I had my own cancer surgery in 2008. Then when I lost my mum to cancer in 2015, I was so lost and really didn’t know what to do with myself. I had so much upset, frustration and negativity inside. I began walking early in the mornings as I couldn’t sleep and one morning it started pouring with rain. I thought the rain would stop but it didn’t. It got worse so I ran home and was quite amazed at how running a mile wasn’t actually that bad. I started using a couch to 5K app and was really enjoying it. So I had a crazy idea to apply for the London Marathon and in the October I found out I had a place. I was running every other week day. I’ve signed up for 3 half marathons this year so far.
I then realised I wanted to take my hypnotherapy further and coaching seemed like the next logical step. I completed my training with the Beautiful You Coaching Academy last year. During the training I had to figure out what my coaching niche was. I had no idea until I heard a cancer coach being talked about on one of our lectures and thought “that’s it, that’s what I need to be doing!!” Since then I’ve coached several cancer survivors, survivors of life changing events and life changing illnesses.
Why did you wait until you did to do it?
I always thought I would be a dental hygienist forever until I became a cancer survivor. Since I had my surgery in 2008, nurses at my local hospital asked me to speak to young people about my surgery and life after surgery, so I guess I’ve been inadvertently coaching people right from the beginning.
What are you hoping to accomplish?
I’d like to offer my coaching and hypnotherapy services to my local hospitals and I’ve already started some research into this. I’d like to start up local support groups in my area as well. I’ll still offer my coaching services online and continue to work as a dental hygienist, but I hope to go part time in the not too distant future.
How did you make the change? What or who helped you?
Losing my beautiful mum was what did it. I tried so hard to become a cancer survivor and not a cancer victim. Unfortunately she had terminal pancreatic cancer that had spread to her liver. The day she was diagnosed was the day my mum stopped fighting. I wanted her to fight like she helped me fight but she didn’t have the strength or energy. Discovering the Beautiful You Coaching Academy showed me where I needed to be and what I needed to do to get there.
How did your family and friends react?
Friends and family still can’t believe it, and are so proud of what I’m doing.
How has your life changed having gone down this path?
It has changed so much for the better, I’m now so much more content, positive and happy. I really feel I have a purpose now and I know I’ll get there.
What advice do you have for women considering a similar life change?
I say go for it. Life’s too short to be doing something we don’t truly love or which doesn’t motivate and inspire us to keep moving forward and bettering ourselves.
What are you proud of and what keeps you inspired?
I’m proud of turning all my upset, frustration and negativity into something positive that is having a huge impact on other people’s lives.
What do you love most about being the age you are?
Knowing I now have the strength and courage to have a complete career change and not be scared about doing it.
What do you hate most about being the age you are?
I’ve only been 40 for 2 months but I’ve absolutely loved every minute of it. So much has happened, it has been quite an adventure.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known in your twenties?
There’s nothing I wish I’d known then as I might not be where I am today if I had.
What are the most important business and/or personal lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
Go with your gut instinct, it’s almost always right.
Do you have a mantra that has guided you more than any other?
Believe and you will achieve.
Which woman do you most admire and why?
I admire amazing women such as Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.
Is there anything people consistently misunderstand about you?
As soon as I start talking about what I do, I get so passionate about it and it’s received very well with such good feedback. So far I’ve not been misunderstood.