“We all have a dream place, a high place we are journeying towards in our lives. The purpose and direction of travel for each of us, says Aristotle is to achieve a unique form of excellence distinct to our individual nature. The highest stage of development possible. This is our high place, where we are at our best, where we can flourish.”
I love this quote from Dr Maureen Gaffney, one of Ireland’s most accomplished psychologists and a respected and trusted commentator on everything from personal development to organisational, cultural and societal change. Because when I’m coaching and speaking, I feel very much alive knowing I am doing what I was put in this world to do. It gives me a reason to jump out of bed every day because I am clear about my vision, values and purpose. Being of service and making a difference to the lives of thousands, helping others to achieve in life and business is an honour and a privilege. This is something that was instilled in me as a child.
Being one of the first in my working-class community to go to Grammar School there was an expectation I would use my skills and talents to ‘give back’ to my family and the wider village who raised me. My upbringing and the values and purpose I developed has not only helped me forge a career but to navigate my way through some very difficult personal circumstances. It’s just over a year now since I and my three teenage children lost my husband John, their father to pancreatic cancer. Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to help other people because I believe it creates a pathway to healing. That’s why I use my voice, talents and lived experience to speak in support of other families so they don’t have to face a cancer journey alone. Making connections with people, developing supportive networks in and outside work can help through the good times and the bad.
I have always believed in surrounding myself with a tribe of people who hold me up, celebrate my success and make life worth living.
As a coach and international speaker, it is my job to help you lead your best life and set you on the road to success. Using my five C approach to encourage curiosity, compassion, clarity, courage and connection, everything I do is based around the vision you have, where you are right now, your strengths and your gaps. I love a good gap; finding out where the gaps are, sorting out career gaps, building on strengths to reduce gaps. Give me a gap any day of the week and I’ll make it my business to help you get past it. I’ve had to plug multiple gaps throughout my own career.
Did you know, I’ve moved countries 11 times?
- Took a career break for four years
- Ran a franchise for three years
- Went freelance delivering over 3000 individual and team coaching hours
- Became a widow in my 40s
- Co-founded a company mid-Pandemic and during my husband’s cancer diagnosis
- Had three children in just over three years
- Left the private sector after three years to become a public servant
This model is a good representation of the ‘closing the gap’ process.
It offers the opportunity for people to explore what they want to change in their life; helping them see they have more choice than they think they do.
They have a choice about their mindset, actions they can take about how they want to live their life. It’s really important for them to know if they want to live according to their values then it starts with making choices according to those values. That may mean doing things differently, stop doing some things and start doing others. Most of all it’s about your mind and mindset so even if I’m doing a talk on mental toughness or resilience, better relationships and networks or a talk about your best life, it usually starts with the ability to make a choice. That may mean, in terms of how we respond to things and then it’s usually about the vision you have for your life; less about the plan and more about choosing.
The most common comment I get when coaching or speaking is this: “I’ve never really carved out the time to think and reflect about where I am going in my life and the direction I’m going to take.” That’s it for me. I love creating that space to unlock someone’s mind. Not that I’m doing it, they are. I’m just helping them find the key. I want to help people identify the things that are holding them back, in terms of their relationships, careers, how they show up at work and in their life.
How they lead themselves and others, so for me the most important relationship that someone has is the relationship they have with themselves. That goes back to their values and how they live. If there is some sort of dissonance, it’s usually because there is a conflict with values. That’s why coaching with compassion is really important and being curious about what is going on and asking yourself about the bigger, deeper questions about what brings you meaning day-to-day.
It’s really about asking yourself if you are standing at the end of your life looking back, are you really proud of the contribution you have made in your own life and in the lives of others?
Ask yourself, what contribution have I made personally to making this little corner of the earth better in some way because most people crave that meaning.