If I had waited for someone to give me what I wanted from life, I’d still be waiting.
My childhood was spent in Northern Ireland during ‘the Troubles’ of the 1970’s. My family was Catholic, at a time when Catholics were treated as second-class citizens. There were no Catholics in positions of power. No Catholic police officers, civil servants, and no ministers. No role models.
We could have just accepted the message that we were somehow not good enough and didn’t deserve better. Instead, I was raised in an environment of “Why shouldn’t I?”
I learned to live without limits and never to think that those in authority were better or knew better than me.
And that’s why someone from a working class background with no formal training can coach people from all walks of life: Lords and Ladies, politicians, public figures and CEOs.
My First Coach
My Dad was determined to be the best he could be and to surpass his own limits.
Dad read Napoleon Hill, Norman Vincent Peale, W. Clement Stone and attended Dale Carnegie seminars in Belfast. From an early age I had access to the powerful, life-changing thinking of these authors. He started off selling vacuum cleaners and washing machines for Hoover, door-to-door. He soon became the best salesperson in the company – in the entire country – year after year.
I’d drive around with Dad after school and on weekends and holidays. We’d pick up hitchhikers and pick their brains to find what they thought about their circumstances. We’d talk philosophy and human potential. Over and over, we learned that people with similar setbacks and stories could be headed in entirely different directions.
We saw firsthand that it doesn’t matter what happens to you – ever – it’s always your interpretation or assessment that sets you up for the life you have.
We never gave power to authority. We didn’t put people on pedestals. There was no subservience to elders and betters. We never felt intimidated – by anyone. Life was opportunity.
Change Without Limits
We can stand shoulder to shoulder to anyone and be an equal.
When I left Northern Ireland at twenty and moved to London, I had a strong sense that I could be anyone I wanted. It was a challenging time in our history, with nuclear cruise missiles being brought in from the US and housed at Greenham Common in the English countryside.
I lived in a squat – abandoned council housing that we fixed up and made our home – with a community of other activists. Our wallpaper consisted of newspaper clippings and information about the real truth of what was going on in our world. Nuclear testing. Nuclear waste. Nuclear weapons. We were committed to challenging injustice and the abuse of power and making the world a better place no matter what.
I was an activist by day and a waitress at night. I was involved in many important campaigns and I helped take charge of every aspect of the community newspaper Pavement, including writing and editing articles. At Greenham, I was part of a peace movement that took direct action in the form of sit-down protests. We even cut the wires around the military base, again and again, to show how flawed the government’s security was at a site that housed deadly weapons. I was arrested several times.
All the fighting and negativity gradually got to me. I slowly realized that harboring those ill feelings was starting to make me physically ill. I needed to find a new way to live and contribute to the world. I trained to become a massage therapist, and read inspirational authors like Louise Hay and all the original motivational thinkers that my Dad had been studying many years earlier.
When I sat in the living room of our squat with my friends and talked about the idea that certain illnesses were linked to states of mind, everyone laughed at me. I felt toxic. I felt poisoned. I knew I was done. I had to change.
The beauty of what my dad taught me is that you can ALWAYS change and get to a different or better place.
Even at the age of eleven, I believed in reinvention – and changed my accent to sound like someone who came from the Malone Road in Belfast – an area that signaled smart and cultured.
In my twenties, reinvention meant changing my living situation, my thinking and my career. I didn’t have the finances to rent a flat quite yet – but so what? – I wasn’t going to wait. I visualized a beautiful house of my own – white house, white walls – and found it. Yes, it was another council squat. But the neighbors loved me because I took care of the neglected property. I successfully fought and won the right to stay there by convincing a judge that the council had no money or intention to take care of the property and that I was in fact an asset to the neighborhood.
I found a mentor, set up a successful massage practice and massage school (which would later become the London College of Massage) in my beautiful new space, and began what I called “self-esteem coaching”. I moved my coaching to the elegant Basil Street Hotel in London’s Knightsbridge, renting meeting rooms by the hour. Media interest soon followed and I was inundated with clients and booked up for weeks in advance.
Take Your Rightful Place
My dad had taught me there were no limits and I had learned not to wait. When publishers got in touch about writing a book, everything finally clicked:
Was I a coach?
Could I write?
Could I write a book in six months?
That moment I answered yes to everything was the moment I took my rightful place on the world stage as a star in my field. As an author, I was making an impact for the first time on people I hadn’t met face to face. Hearing from strangers whose lives have changed as a result of reading my books is incredibly moving. Seeing my clients transform their lives is incredibly rewarding.
My special gift is giving clients a sense of all that is possible.
I love what I do.
Why wouldn’t you?
Why shouldn’t you?
Take your rightful place on the world stage as the star in your field.
No limits. No waiting. No excuses.