From psychologist to alumni coach

Made in Maastricht: Maartje Linzell

Maartje Linzell

I graduated from the Faculty of Psychology with a degree in Biological Psychology in the year 2000. Current students may think I’m out of the ark. Don’t worry, I sometimes think the same myself.

Who am I? In essence: I’m a ‘bon vivant’ who’s mad on wine, running and cycle racing. Following wake-up calls like thyroid cancer and a diagnosis of MS, I grab all the opportunities I can. Blogger on my website: Mum to two boys and a wife. And a true lover of life. I persevere and push the boundaries. I’m proud of the fact that I took part in and raised money for the Alpe d'huzes challenge, and that I ran the Rotterdam Marathon on 9 April. That’s Maartje so far in a nutshell.

Last week I had the opportunity to work as a coach at the very first coachcafé, which was organised by Maastricht University. This was a great challenge for me, especially since I’m in the final phase of a coaching course and, alongside my work as a psychologist, I am keen to start my own coaching practice.

It was an inspiring evening, which was aimed at recent graduates. People who are in their first job, for example, and who are maybe thinking: is this what I really want...? And it was also an informal evening. With a glass of wine and three rounds of coaching around: Where do my talents lie? What is my dream? And what can I do to achieve it?

I need to be there when things start to get exciting. Not only as a coach, but also as a person. Because that’s when you find out what the issues are, wherein the problem lies. That’s when you get to the point where you feel like giving up. It’s at that point that I want to get involved in the conversation. Otherwise you go nowhere. And it was certainly exciting...

What a great evening! Great conversations, inspiring stories, wonderful people. So many dreams, so much passion, so many great ideas. But....... a lot of ‘musts’ too, people who are fixated on ‘what they should do’ or what is expected of them. Or who aspire to a job because ‘it’s a prestigious company’.

Life is too short to do things for that reason. And if you think like that it will be a very long time until retirement. Live your dream! Discover what makes your heart beat faster. Do what you enjoy and you’ll never do a day’s work again. Who dares wins. If you don’t try, you’ll never know. Just give it a go! What does it matter if it’s not what you expected? You can simply change direction once again.

Take it from this dinosaur: life’s too short not to enjoy it. Follow your dreams, make them happen and live life to the full.