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Good Life Is One Where There Is Room To Grow & To Nurture ‒ Exclusive Interview With Cheryl Dutta

Cheryl Dutta is an experienced Life and Transition Coach, with a demonstrated history of working with individuals from diverse fields. She served in the Military for ten years as a Helicopter Pilot, is a successful Entrepreneur and has a Bachelor of Arts focused on Psychology and Economics.

Her aim is to help individuals succeed in living their best life in a seamless, organic, positive, and holistic way. She believes that it is important to align your values and beliefs with the kind of career and lifestyle you want to have. She offers realistic and actionable strategies to help you take the steps towards achieving your life purpose and being your authentic self.

She has always been an advocate for gender parity and has created her signature Coaching Program to help women to live their best life, at work and at home, align their goals and create a vision for a more empowered future.

Cheryl Dutta, Life and Transition Coach

Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.

Hello! I’m Cheryl Dutta, a Life and Career Transition Coach. I live and work in Mumbai, India. My journey to becoming a Transition Coach was not by chance, it was shaped and guided by my culture, family, and life experiences.

My father was part of the mass exodus of refugees during the harrowing partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. My mother comes from German and British descent. As a result, my life has been an amalgamation of cross-cultural influences. During my childhood, my father served in the military; changes and transitions became a staple part of growing up, with new locations and new experiences every few years.

I always thought that, for the most part, I had lived life on my own terms from a young age. I was fiercely independent as a teenager, fearless and always on the lookout for the next adventure. That’s what drew me to aviation. Some said it’s in your blood, following in my dad’s footsteps. Maybe from childhood, that desire to tread an unconventional path had been ingrained in me. And so, I joined the Indian Air Force as a Pilot Officer and was commissioned as the First Woman Helicopter Pilot of India. Today, I hold a world record for being part of the first all-woman helicopter crew in South Asia!

Military flying taught me several things: resilience, perseverance, the ability to think on my feet. In ways I didn’t even know at the time, it prepared me for all the future roles I had yet to fulfil! Ten years in the military gave me lifelong skills that have laid the foundation for my coaching practice.

The decision to leave flying and move on to the next phase in my life was the toughest decision I ever made. But life has a way of guiding you towards your next mission, and for me that was the birth of my two beautiful daughters and Motherhood!

Being a stay-at-home mum was a difficult and confusing transition for me, but I knew I wanted to be a significant part of my daughters’ lives and I wanted to experience this in the best way possible.

I worked hard to make the best of this opportunity life gave me, and that led me to explore my next passion: being a Fashion and Brand Designer and Stylist! A mighty leap from the Air Force indeed.

I launched my own clothing line and retailed from boutiques and fashion houses in India and internationally in UK, USA, and Dubai. It was a mind-blowing experience bringing beautiful garments to life and watching people wear my very own creations. I had the opportunity to work with numerous talented and gifted craftspeople. It opened my eyes to the wondrous world of creativity and art.

My journey to becoming a Life Coach began all the way back in 2009; it was like the Universe had aligned to give me signs, specifically towards coaching. I’ve always believed that destiny has a way of playing into your hands and you must be open to receiving what is meant to be.

It has been a spiritual and deeply transformational journey for me in the last ten years. I have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful and inspiring people. It’s taught me to genuinely and wholeheartedly be invested in making a change and help others go through difficult transitions in a seamless, organic, and holistic way.

I believe that it is my life purpose to help others gain meaningful insight into their lives and align their values and beliefs with the kind of life they want to lead.

As a Coach how do you help your clients?

As a Life and Career Transition Coach, I believe no matter what changes we go through in life, there is a way to work through it, with goals in mind. It is possible to keep your higher purpose alive while working towards achieving a balanced and meaningful existence.

It’s Important for each person to find that reason to wake up every day excited to go to work and eager to be compassionate and selfless in our actions. Keeping this in mind, it is my endeavour to help others find what they are passionate about, and create their own road map.

As a Coach, I help my clients gain clarity, to be able to focus on their goals and experience organic growth. If we have the right perspective, the courage to make needed changes will develop. I want my clients to realise that what may seem impossible is doable; living your best life is not a dream or out of reach, it takes purpose and actionable strategies, the universe will align to present opportunities.

What would you like to achieve for yourself and your business in the future?

A good life to me is one where there is room to grow, to nurture and to feel grateful. In my quest, I hope that I can inspire more people to follow their dreams and have goals that are achievable and attainable. Playing a part in helping someone live their best life, and coaching them through that process is exciting, satisfying, and teaches me something new every day. It is my mission to be able to help as many as I can to reach their full potential, to live life aligned with their true values and beliefs, and experience growth in an organic and sustainable way.

What is your work inspired by?

At the end of the day, it is human resilience that inspires me the most. To continually be able to bounce back, no matter the adversity is thrown our way, is what encourages and motivates me to help people through trying times.

Another immense source of inspiration has been my family, who I’ve seen go through so many transitions, and come out stronger each time. Their continual support and encouragement to me have also helped me persevere and not be afraid to work hard.

And through my journey as a Coach, the people I’ve met along the way, who work every day to create an impact and bring about meaningful change, have fueled that inspiration.

Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today.

Looking back, one pivotal moment in my life was experiencing the Bhuj Earthquake in India, in January of 2001. Being at the epicenter of a 6.9 magnitude disaster was gut-wrenching in and of itself. But the aftermath of it, seeing thousands of families suddenly homeless, injured, and starving truly shook me to my core. My duty as a helicopter pilot, conducting numerous searches and rescues, put me face to face with people who had lost everything in a matter of minutes; it caused a pivotal shift in the way I viewed the world. More than anything else, however, I had the chance to see people coming together and forming a community during the darkest periods of their life. From food distribution to rebuilding shelters, their selfless sacrifices were testament to the indomitable spirit of human resilience. That is why, till today, human resilience is what inspires me to continue wanting to create change.

For 30 years I have worked in different fields, as a pilot, in the Military, an entrepreneur, as a businesswoman, a life coach, every stage has been a step towards where I find myself today. Each stage gave me a unique perspective and a few lessons to learn from. I value every learning experience and I do believe that the most important thing is to always make room for growth, the path may be difficult, and failures do happen but to always believe in your self and your dreams. :)

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn and visit my website for more info! Read more from Cheryl!


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