“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love someone else?”
In many ways it was inevitable that I should choose a coaching career. For me, it’s about helping people switch on their inner light so they can shine and reach their full potential. I believe it’s the job I was born to do.
It took me a long time to find my inner light. From the age of 8 I felt bullied at school and was often name-called ‘Gay Boy’. It wasn’t until I was 14 that I learned what being gay actually meant, and another 2-3 years after that to realise that the bullies had been right all along. Or was I just a product of their making?
Dementors drained me of happiness
I grew up with a strict ‘Victorian’ upbringing, and, perhaps needless to say, my parents didn’t handle having a gay son – an only son – well at all. The years of bullying and self-depreciation through school took its toll on my mental and physical health. I was socially awkward, lacking in confidence – particularly around men, and had dreadful interpersonal skills. I was very thin because of a poor diet and I was doubtlessly clinically depressed. I liken it to having Dementors (as of Harry Potter) who inhaled every last ounce of happiness from my soul. I was deeply suspicious of other people, which meant nobody could get close, and thoughts of suicide were never far away.
Living a life of excess
Unsurprisingly, my coping strategy focused around living a life of excess. Too much of everything including inappropriate encounters, alcohol, smoking and other substances. This behaviour came from a need to be liked, accepted and to feel that I belonged somewhere… with someone… anyone. But it was a hollow and superficial existence.
Somehow, on this journey to nowhere, I found it within me to upgrade two dreadful A-Level (RQF level 3) results into a pretty decent HND qualification (level 5) in Management, which allowed me to get a foot on the career ladder – not that this was readily visible moving straight into a role selling timeshares, earning A LOT of money and fuelling even more excessive behaviour. Four years down this path and I knew something had to change.
An aunt who has sadly passed away now but is one who I will eternally be grateful to encouraged me to apply for a position on a cruise ship. Along with other family members, she thought a life away from the environment I had been living in would help me start to get things together. I became a Junior Assistant Purser working at the Customer Services Desk at Princess Cruises. While the idea was good in theory, the reality was something different: for crew there are (or were) cheap cigarettes and alcohol for sale, and plenty of people for brief encounters.
My life of excess continued until I met and fell in love with a man who would become an important person in my life. I started a degree course in Business with HR Management and I got a first. But just as my life was finally turning around and I was due to graduate, my boyfriend of 6 years left me for someone else which led to a very acrimonious break-up. My mental health deteriorated with self-torment and obsessive behaviours, and it took me a long time to get over that relationship – but eventually I did get it together.
I’m now happily married to Matt, the true love of my life. We complement each other well and he is my best friend. He arrived on the scene just as I had given up looking. Isn’t that interesting?! Today, we live a happy and healthy lifestyle with Diva, our Border Collie dog, and two cats: Zig & Zag. I’m finishing a Master’s Degree in Executive Coaching & Mentoring and I can finally see a bright and successful future ahead for me and for us.
I help others become who they are supposed to be
It’s been a rocky road, but I’ve learned that it’s okay to no be okay, and that asking for help is essential in life, whether that be for a recovery or indeed if the ambition is more ambitious futureproofing. Ultimately, we must have the right mindset to ask for help, and that is one of first recognising who we are and where we are, then reaching out to others for help in learning to love ourselves right. Development Coaching allows me to give something back to others by helping them become who they are meant to be.
Reasons why you can count on me
I know what it’s like to be down in the mire and how to find a way out.
I understand what it feels like to be unclear about who you are.
I’ve experienced a full spectrum of life’s highs and low.
I have the skills and qualifications to coach
Specialist areas include
Helping people with identity issues
Helping entrepreneurs get focus and clarity
Helping people make positive changes in life and business
Helping organisations to excel through their people
It’s good to talk
Please call for a confidential conversation about how I may be able to help you or your business, or get in touch through any of the other means available below.