Yvette Costa: Finding Balance and Authenticity Through Executive Coaching

Yvette Costa is an executive coach, certified yoga teacher, and yoga therapist based in Denver, Colorado. She has 25+ years of professional experience in the biotech pharmaceutical industry, as well as 20 years teaching and practicing yoga.

Her professional corporate-to-coach transition began in 2016 when she was laid off from her role as vice president. It was a strange feeling at first, as she describes:

“When you come out of a corporate environment, you don’t have any intention to be back in it. The sky’s the limit. And then [I realized] I can do anything I want. What do I want to do? It can be extremely overwhelming.”

But that push was what she needed to discover her true strengths and passions:

“At that point, I realized what I really enjoyed about my work was working with, supporting, mentoring, and guiding people. Seeing them grow in their careers, not only professionally, but also personally.”

Yvette earned her coaching qualification and began searching for her ikigai — a way to combine her unique blend of skills, knowledge, and experience.

She now specializes in coaching senior organizational executives through her private practice Full Circle Coaching + Consulting, supporting and guiding them to realize their potential and authentic selves. The result is not just personal; their entire organization and its teams experience the ‘ripple effect’ of stronger, more authentic, and empathetic leaders.

Interview Highlights

A Scientific Way to Bring It All Together

After leaving the corporate world, Yvette began to teach yoga, believing that she had found an approach to helping others that best suited her. But she still felt like something was missing.

She wanted to incorporate her professional, personal, and yoga teaching experience using a methodology that made sense and would make an impact. At a World Happiness Summit, Yvette finally found what she was looking for:

“My corporate background in biotech pharmaceuticals is very science-based and data-driven. While I practiced, taught, and love yoga concepts, they all felt a little airy-fairy. Positive psychology gave me the science behind the yoga to bring it [all] together.”

Looking for ways to implement her new approach, Yvette came across PositivePsychology.com:

“I like that the site really boils down interrelated concepts and brings them into a singular focus. It [also] gives a lot of resources, background, validation, proof of concepts, and links so that it’s very science-based.”

Refining Her Approach: A Transformative Framework

Yvette describes her specialty as supporting and guiding clients to find authenticity, ultimately improving their work and life satisfaction.

This involves helping them find the right balance between their careers and sense of self, for which exercises in the Positive Psychology Toolkit© have come in handy:

“It’s really about finding that balance of the work and the person. The metaphor of David is helping my clients become their authentic selves wherever they are, whether [they’re] the CEO, CHRO, or senior vice president of sales or marketing.”

Yvette also digs deeper to help her clients map out the most important elements of their personal and professional lives.

She has even developed a special approach for this, called Her approach is called, oBSerV Me – observable Behaviors, Strengths, Values, and Mindset. It combines corporate and positive psychology assessments to map out her clients’ values, energy, passions, and performance strengths.

Using strengths assessments like the VIA Classification of Character Strengths & Virtues is particularly helpful. It’s how Yvette helps her clients ask the right questions and understand what drives them:

“Am I not using my strengths? Am I in a situation, a position, project, or job, where I’m not able to use my strengths?”

They then expand on this with values exercises: “Are my values not being honored? […] The values are the core or foundation of who and what you are. Your passion or VIA character strengths are on top of that. Then those morph into what you do well.”

Yvette’s clever framework is a great example of how she uses positive psychology to integrate a diverse range of skills and expertise.

It’s “the glue to bring it all together,” she explains, and she’s used it to design her new course Happy in Place (HIP):

“Happy in Place (HIP) takes all the yoga principles, matches and overlays them with positive psychology, and gives some education on neurobiology and some practical tools. PERMA, the Authentic Happiness Inventory, reframing, [developing a] growth mindset — it’s all in there.”

Yvette’s strategies are being received brilliantly by her clients, who describe the transformative impacts of her coaching:

“This helps me recognize how I come across to others, when my values are not being honored, or I am not utilizing my strengths, and how all of this together can impact my attitude and performance. Due to Yvette’s help and guidance, I have learned skills and techniques that have improved my ability to be a leader and will have a long-lasting impact.”

A Treasure Chest of Positive Psychology

Yvette may not have known what she was looking for initially, but she’s grateful to have found positive psychology.

To her, it’s not just a toolbox, but a complete resource with everything she needs in one place:

“PositivePsychology.com hit all of the boxes relating to validity, simplicity, and accessibility. It’s a treasure chest of positive psychology. I don’t know that there’s a concept I’ve come across that it doesn’t have something about, whether it’s a blog, specific tools, or a course.”

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