Meet your coach


I humbly share my story with you. My name is Fatima, I am the founder of Ascending Self.

As a Cultural Identity Coach and Diversity Consultant, armed with a Social Science degree specialising in Human Behaviour and Psychology, I carry with me almost two-decades of professional experience intertwined with 37 years of personal growth. 

As a young Lebanese girl growing up in Australia, I experienced the profound challenges of cultural identity suppression, perpetuated by discrimination and assimilation. 

My own journey of rediscovering my authentic identity has instilled in me a deep appreciation for acknowledging and honoring our cultural roots.

It is my mission now to assist people, like me, who have encountered challenges in embracing their cultural identity without feeling shame, fear, or judgment and facilitate a pathway for organisations to provide safe and encouraging workplaces of comradery.

Our cultural identity shapes our values, beliefs, and perspectives, and it is an essential part of who we are. However, when we face discrimination or pressure to assimilate, it can be challenging to embrace and express our cultural identity fully. As a Cultural Identity Coach and Diversity Consultant, I want to provide a safe and supportive space for individuals to explore and celebrate their heritage.

Life now, for me, is a journey of self-discovery and growth. I have learned to accept and love myself for who I am, and it's a liberating feeling. I no longer feel the need to conform to societal norms or other people's expectations, and it's empowering. I am passionate about helping others find their true selves and live an authentic life. I believe that when we embrace our cultural identity, we can connect with our true essence and live a more fulfilling life.

But it wasn't always this way...

Growing up my story is one of resilience and determination in the face of adversity. As a young Lebanese girl in Australia, I experienced profound cultural identity challenges due to discrimination and assimilation. Since I was young, I've had to conceal my identity and fit into Western culture. When I came to Australia from Lebanon at the age of three, my family had to enrol me in preschool, primary, and high school as Fiona, not as Fatima (my birth name), to assimilate into Australian culture. Whenever I introduced myself as Fatima, I faced bullying and isolation through my childhood, teen and adult life. As a result of this and many other assimilation aspects I had to mask my true identity and try hard to fit into the Western world.

While I was able to build a successful career, make friendships and have relationships, the psychological impacts of masking my cultural identity were significant. I struggled with my self-worth, and my relationships were greatly affected. I was lost, confused, and restricted, always looking for a home and identity in others. As a result, my work and personal relationships became exhausting and restricting, and I struggled to break free from them because I was constantly seeking acceptance and validation. I had to balance my family's cultural expectations with the pressures of living a Western life, which was overwhelming. However, these struggles have shaped the person I am today and have inspired me to help others who face similar challenges. I founded Ascending Self Cultural Identity Coaching to be a voice for those who feel lost and disconnected from their cultural identity. But also, a space to teach you that you can have a balance of both cultures, you don’t have to just choose one. I believe that everyone has the right to be proud of their heritage and celebrate their cultural identity without fear or judgment.

I see these struggles I had as an opportunity to help others who face similar challenges.  Through my cultural identity coaching, people can benefit from improved self-knowledge, greater self-acceptance, and increased confidence in reclaiming their identity. By embracing your cultural identity, you can live a life of purpose, balance, fulfillment, and meaning ascending to your true self.


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Unlock who you want to be by discovering and embracing your unique cultural identity.

Gain insightful guidance on navigating cultural differences, fostering inclusive leadership, and cultivating a thriving organisational culture.