Unyime Oguta | Life Strategist, Coach and Speaker for Women

Unyime Oguta is a Life Strategist, Coach and Speaker for women. With a 20-year background in project management, strategic planning, and leadership in private and public sectors, she is on a mission to redefine what it means for women, especially working moms to ‘have it all’ in motherhood, career, and life.

As a working mom of 3, Unyime is a firm believer that having it all is simply a by-product of the woman you become. From her personal recovery experience from burnout to thriving, she founded Olive and Bliss Wellness, a coaching and consulting company to support women in creating lives where success doesn’t have to cost them their peace, wellbeing, or presence with loved ones. 

Through private coaching, mentorship, and impactful speaking engagements, Unyime leads women with a profound understanding of the importance of personal power, leadership, and collaboration in navigating the complexities of life as a mom. Her teachings focus on emotional intelligence, self-trust, leadership, and effective communication, empowering women to lead life with authenticity and courage, and create lives that feel as good on the inside as they look on the outside. Unyime has a master’s degree in Public Health, and extensive training/certifications in systems thinking, leadership coaching and emotional intelligence. 

I would love to begin by going into details about what brought you into the space of healing and coaching?

I’m someone who has always loved growth and personal development, even as a child. I was the odd one, thinking about people’s potential and questioning and just being very curious. But what really lit the spark for me was a fear of colonoscopy.

This happened when I had my first experience with burnout. I was pregnant with my second daughter, working full time as a quality assurance auditor in clinical trials, and also pursuing my second degree in nutrition. Life was really busy. For almost nine months to about a year, I was experiencing extreme digestive issues. My hair was falling out, and I was tired all the time. I just couldn’t seem to break the cycle of falling ill. I remember feeling stressed, overwhelmed, upset all the time, cranky, wondering about my marriage, and trying to be the best mom, as I had a toddler at that time, just trying to balance it all.

It’s funny because my doctor had prescribed so many tests, and they all came back negative. Nothing seemed to work. Then one day, she sat me down and said, “You know what? I think you have irritable bowel syndrome.” The solution was just to get a colonoscopy to confirm before putting me on whatever treatment plan she was going to offer. So, I asked her for a week and said, “You know what? Just give me a week to think about it.” But I never went back. Here’s why: during that time, I kept getting this intuitive hit and knowing to look at my stress. And that was hard as a successful, ambitious woman. I know a lot of women can relate to this when you’re someone who prides themselves on handling your business like a boss and your success.

The last thing you want to hear is that the thing that you think makes you, you, is the source of the stress. So, I didn’t want to stop working. I love working. I love being out of my home. But I also wanted to live a healthy life. I wanted to be a present mom. I wanted to be a present wife. I remember asking the women around me how they were coping, how they were handling motherhood and working or doing their businesses.

People kept telling me things like, “That’s just the way it is,” or “You’ll get a break when they’re older,” or “Pray more.” And I felt so alone.

I remember the frustration and the anger, thinking, “How are women supposed to do all these things and contribute to society and contribute to their families?” I couldn’t imagine living life that way. So, I really decided that I was going to figure it out.

I remember feeling really guilty because I thought maybe I need to stay at home with my children. But I knew deep down that that wasn’t the thing for me. I love being with my kids. I love the connection. But I also wanted to go out and just do something for myself. That’s what started the whole thing for me. And I decided I will figure it out. And when I would, I’m going to support other women who desire to create lives where success doesn’t have to cost them their health, their well-being, or presence.

I remember listening to a podcast back then. I can’t remember what the podcast name was. But I remember just hearing the host talking about how our thoughts and our feelings can influence the way we behave and show up in society. And I just got really curious. I binge-listened to the podcast and started applying those things. I started prioritizing my sleep and eating, which was what I knew from studying nutrition. And within weeks, my skin started to change. My hair wasn’t falling out as much. I started feeling better in my belly just for prioritizing my self-care and thinking about creating boundaries because I’m naturally a people pleaser. And so, that was a hard lesson for me. But it’s been ten years now, and I’m so grateful because that fear of just going to the hospital to get that colonoscopy is what led me to this path. And now I get to transform their lives.

What would you say is the advice that you would give to that younger version of you?

I would say two things: the first thing I want to say, in general, is just I see you. When we’re in that space where we’re feeling stuck, it’s easy to think that we’re alone. It’s easy to think that no one understands how we feel, but feeling stuck is normal. And it’s a good thing. The reason why you’re feeling stuck is that there’s something there for you to explore. And you want to start off by questioning, really questioning the things that you’ve been thinking about, the things that you’ve believed, rather than focusing on what is wrong with me? Why am I not able to do this? Ask yourself powerful questions. What is wanting to be revealed to me through this situation? Who could this situation be calling me to be? What is the next best step I could take? How might you navigate the challenges along the way?

These powerful questions really help you step into that leadership potential that’s already within you because you’re successful. You get things done at work. You get things done in your business and all other parts of your life. And it’s just a matter of bringing that into your motherhood experience and in other relationships as well.

One thing I would say is don’t wait on asking for support. When I experienced burnout, I felt so much shame because I thought I’d failed as a mom. I thought I’d failed as a wife, and I didn’t want people to know. And so I really went to hide, and that kept me trying to DIY myself through my recovery journey, which although I did see improvements, I actually wasn’t able to sustain it. And three years later, I had another burnout experience, which I ended up in the hospital. And the doctor just told me, you know what, you need to really figure this stress out. My encouragement to you would be just do whatever you can to attend a workshop. And when you attend the workshop, don’t go to the workshop like you’re trying to fix yourself.

Go back to those powerful questions, hire a mentor, hire a coach, get the support you need to get you into a better place where you’re healing, where you’re thriving, and then you can navigate your experience and gain sustainable results.

Now when it comes to you and your current offers, how are you able to provide that support for other women? Can you walk us through your different programs, offers launching this year?

So, this year, I’m actually focusing a lot on providing one-on-one support through personalized coaching and mentorship to women who desire to create lives that feel as amazing on the inside as they look on the outside. The women I work with want to have it all in motherhood, career, and life. We get to define what that is and bring it to life in the simplest way possible. A lot of the work that I do is deeply transformative.

I love that intimate connection, being able to go really deep. So, I serve women through a six or 12-month coaching experience where we delve into deep work and address multiple aspects of their lives simultaneously. Because I’m a life coach, I’m able to see all the areas of their lives, giving me a bird’s-eye view. Yet, I also delve into the nitty-gritty, which makes it easier to connect the dots that they may not see. It’s truly beautiful to witness clients look back at their lives six months down the road, or even a year after, and marvel at how much they’ve grown. They tend to favor these longer-term containers as well. Though I started with shorter programs, I find that the extended duration really ignites their progress.

Have you noticed transformations leaning more towards the personal side for women, or is it more business-related?

I would say it’s a mix of both. One of the key aspects I focus on is leadership, guiding women to step into their power and lead their lives. From a personal perspective, we’ve witnessed remarkable shifts. Mothers who once struggled with body image have embraced their bodies and overcome emotional eating habits. They’ve reached a point of comfort in experiencing all their emotions fully. In our society, there’s often a tendency to avoid negative feelings, but I teach my clients the importance of embracing the entire spectrum of emotions. This ability to navigate their emotions makes them powerful and magnetic. Consequently, many of my clients have become adept at holding space for their children’s emotions, creating a safe environment for expression.

Moreover, I’ve seen clients repair relationships and establish healthy boundaries, particularly significant for those who identify as people pleasers. Some have even taken the bold step of quitting jobs they felt tethered to, only to secure new positions within weeks or months, often tripling their income in the process.

On the business front, I’ve supported individuals in launching successful ventures while working fewer hours and significantly increasing their earnings. They’ve gained confidence to assert themselves in their respective industries, leading to exponential growth and opportunities.

One memorable example is a client who worked with me for a year on burnout recovery. Recently, she was invited by her professional association to host a masterclass on burnout—an incredible testament to her journey and growth. These transformations may sometimes seem distant when you’re in the midst of challenges, but they’re closer than you think.

Furthermore, I’ve witnessed older women fostering improved relationships with their adult children, embarking on new experiences such as travel, and confidently pursuing passion projects. It’s truly inspiring to witness these transformations unfold.

“Burnout is not the price you pay for desiring a successful career in life. And work-life balance is not the solution either.”

When it comes to your current work and the women you’re speaking with, who would you say is your soulmate client?

My soulmate client is a woman who is ready to embrace it all. She’s diligently checked off all the boxes of societal expectations, yet she still feels a lingering sense of unfulfillment. She’s likely explored various avenues, delved into mindset work, devoured countless books, attended workshops and masterclasses, yet she remains unsatisfied. However, she recognizes that there’s a flicker of potential within her that’s waiting to be ignited.

Many of my clients, particularly those who thrive, already possess an inherent awareness of their power. They don’t need me to affirm their strength; they’re already aware of it. Instead, they come prepared to engage in conversations that will ignite and amplify the dormant potential within them.

Our discussions revolve around shaping a life that aligns with their inner essence. They’ve tasted success in conventional terms, but now they’re yearning to craft a life that not only exudes external success but also resonates deeply with their inner being.

Now, currently in your personal journey, could you share more about the routines, practices, or rituals you’ve established to nurture this abundant mindset?

For me, gratitude is paramount. Expressing outward acknowledgment through celebration is crucial. Having experienced both lack and abundance, I’ve learned the importance of cherishing every moment and finding beauty in all experiences.

Just three weeks ago, while in my office during my nine-to-five job, I witnessed a breathtaking sunset with vibrant shades of red, blue, and pink. It literally took my breath away, prompting laughter of pure joy. It’s moments like these that remind me of the profound beauty in life, reinforcing my gratitude. I journal extensively, reflecting on the blessings I’ve received.

Additionally, I cultivate an environment of softness, luxury, and abundance in my home. You might hear gentle music playing when you visit, setting the mood for tranquility and inspiration. Soft jazz fills the air when I’m working, enhancing my focus and creativity. Candles and diffusers with scents like white tea infuse our home, creating a soothing ambiance that my husband and I adore.

What are you actively calling in and manifesting now?

I am actively cultivating a life so profoundly transformative that the mere presence of my being inspires profound change in others. This entails courageously stepping into authenticity, embracing every facet of myself that I’ve long neglected. I am now summoning forth all these aspects, for I believe we all seek profound connections.

I am discovering the significance of my voice, recognizing its power. I stand tall in my entirety, allowing my voice to resonate, and beckoning forth those women who yearn for a life filled with boundless joy and breathtaking moments every single day.

Do you have specific targets in mind, whether it’s a global impact, a set number of women you aim to empower, or perhaps another metric like financial gains or profits?

I’ve actually shifted away from setting financial goals because I believe that true wealth emanates from embodying my authentic self. My focus lies in reaching out to and positively impacting the lives of 1000 women this year through various channels such as my podcast, my offerings, and the opportunities I’m creating for collaboration and growth.

Furthermore, I aspire to expand my platform by speaking more and hosting events where individuals can gather to listen and engage. Ultimately, my vision extends globally, envisioning my company as a catalyst for change on an international scale. Through coaching, consulting, and advocacy, I aim to enter corporate spaces where women are present and advocate for genuine support systems that prioritize holistic wellness beyond superficial gestures. My goal is to influence policy and industry leaders to foster environments conducive to individual and collective flourishing.

Now, could you share your secret to living a harmonious life?

For me, it’s not about striving for balance, but rather embracing the rhythm of life. I see my life as a series of seasons, each with its own unique energy and purpose. By tuning into these rhythms, I can better understand the roles I’m meant to embody and the desires I wish to manifest. Currently, I find myself in a season of rest. After completing a three-year master’s program in public health last year, I recognized the need to prioritize self-care and reconnect with loved ones.

During this restful season, I intentionally carve out time for nurturing activities like meeting up with friends for coffee chats, indulging in reading or watching TV, and luxuriating in baths, which I find deeply rejuvenating. By immersing myself fully in this moment of rest and rejuvenation, I prepare myself for whatever the next season may bring, feeling content and fully present in each moment.

Do you have personal rituals or practices that you prioritize for self-care?

As a family, we cherish our weekly movie nights, a tradition we hold dear to our hearts. Additionally, I make it a point to spend intentional one-on-one time with each of my three daughters, tailoring our activities to their preferences, whether it’s lounging at home watching TV or venturing out for a special outing. My husband and I also carve out dedicated time for ourselves, indulging in shared interests like catching up on shows we’ve missed. Despite the busyness of the past year, we’re excited to reignite these moments of shared enjoyment.

We also prioritize regular dinners out to foster deeper connection and occasionally treat ourselves to weekends away, where we can unwind and reconnect as a couple while trusted friends or babysitters care for our children. Given the ages of our kids, ranging from twelve to six, we value ongoing interaction throughout the day. While we’re not the type of parents who constantly engage in lengthy conversations, we find joy in simply being present together, whether it’s chatting in the kitchen while I prepare a meal or sharing laughter while pursuing individual activities in the same space.

Creating a nurturing environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing their emotions is essential to us. We welcome moments of frustration or sadness and encourage open communication, allowing each family member to process their feelings in their own time before moving forward together.

“Nobody cares.”

Initially, this concept may seem daunting, but it’s truly about redirecting our focus inward. Many women, including myself, often find ourselves tirelessly striving for recognition, wondering if others acknowledge our efforts. However, what if we shifted our perspective to one where external validation becomes secondary? Instead, consider this: “What if I acted as though nobody cares? What would I do for myself?” By centering our actions around our own desires and needs, we reclaim agency over our lives. In this paradigm, our own care becomes paramount. We ask ourselves: How do I want to feel as I pursue this endeavor? What brings me joy and fulfillment?

It’s remarkable how this shift in mindset can elicit genuine interest and support from others—what we’ve been seeking all along. By prioritizing self-validation over external validation, we cultivate a sense of empowerment and authenticity.

What last words would you like to share with our audience?

I believe a fundamental aspect of personal growth lies in cultivating self-love. It’s crucial to recognize that we are the ones who will accompany ourselves through every moment of our lives. Regardless of external circumstances or the chaos unfolding around us, we hold the power to decide how we treat ourselves.

By deeply embracing self-love, we come to understand that we are not broken and in need of fixing. While there may be areas where we aspire to grow, genuine growth stems from a foundation of love. Without love, true transformation is inhibited.

A question I frequently pose to my clients, as well as to myself, is: “What does love look like today?” This inquiry serves as a compass, guiding us towards acts of kindness, compassion, and self-care. It sparks curiosity and encourages us to approach our endeavors with gentleness and understanding.

In this journey of self-discovery, it’s essential to remember that ultimately, the only person who truly cares about our well-being is ourselves. By prioritizing self-love and compassion, we unlock the potential for profound personal growth and fulfillment.

Photography by Nicole Craig 

Follow @Unyime_Oguta on Instagram.

Visit her website OlivieandBliss.ca

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