Growing up, I had no idea what I wanted to be. At the age of seven I’d convinced myself that being a stunt actress was my calling. After leaving myself with two badly bruised kneecaps and a painful limp from diving down the stairs, my ambition soon lost its attraction: time to reconsider my options.
I’ve always been fascinated by the way people behave, communicate and get on with each other. As a teenager, this was way more of a struggle than I care to admit. Why did everyone else seem to have this nailed? I was trying soooo hard to be liked! Why were my boyfriends more crappy than others? Why did everyone else seem to be getting on better with each other? Through natural curiosity I buried myself in books on people and behaviour, searching for answers about the connections that everyone else seemed to build so effortlessly.
Ask anyone who knew me and they’ll tell you I was super-confident and happy. I was ultra sporty and got into all the teams. You’d also find me up on stage playing rock guitar and singing quite a bit: can’t get much more confident than that, right? Wrong! That’s because people judge you on what they see – not how you feel! On the whole, people seemed convinced by my confident front. But I was simply performing.
I basically became an accomplished actress: only problem was, I didn’t have a clue who the hell I was any more.
By my late twenties I had a string of really shit relationships behind me. I’ll spare you the morbid detail but take my word for it some of the stories I could share are harrowing.
I was also terrified of upsetting people and would constantly worry about what people thought of me. The tiniest bit of conflict and my brain would freeze. During conflict when I tried to speak, I’d stutter and a load of incomprehensible noise would come out. So naturally I avoided conflict at all costs: I became a submissive people-pleaser, still wearing my big fake happy mask. I was happy, sporty, rock-chick Angie after all. I was unshakeable!
I was exhausted.
I knew so badly something needed to change, but I didn’t know what or how to change it. I’d read every confidence book available to mankind, tried counselling and therapy, and still couldn’t fix it. They gave me some good insights, but I still continued to react horribly to any sign of ‘rocking the boat’. Despite me doing everything I was aware of to better myself I was still leading a very painful existence. The fact that everyone else was so convinced I was happy, robust and self assured simply made my real world all the more isolated.
I was slowly imploding. Overall, I guess I’d made a fair amount of progress over the years, but it was slowwww and I was absolutely sick of feeling this way.
By my mid to late twenties I was beginning to carve a nice career for myself too. Oh my god – another area of my life to battle the plague of low confidence. I was always ambitious and keen to over deliver but riddled in thoughts of ‘I’m not good enough’ and consumed with worry that one day someone was going to ask me ‘how I had this job, tell me there’d been a mistake and ask me to leave’. The fact I was getting really good feedback from colleagues or managers was irrelevant; I didn’t believe a word of it. I’d simply justify it by telling myself “I fluked that” or “I got lucky” or something equally as dismissive.
I basically started to think “it’s just who I am, this is just how life is”. Feeling a bit shit on a daily basis was a thing of the norm. I accepted it. I didn’t like it, but as far as I was aware I’d tried everything to fix it.
One day I stumbled across an amazing article online about living authentically and confidently. The symptoms and side affects described when you didn’t live in this way were uncanny. It was like this author had known me forever and he’d written this article about me.
Turns out he was a confidence coach. What the hell was that?
Little did I know at the time, but that little email I sent him was the beginning of something that was finally going to change my future. After working with my coach (and working hard), my life started to turn around. I quickly developed self confidence and became assertive; more assertive than I could ever have dreamed of. What I learned was being assertive was about boundaries, but my boundaries were so blurred and warped it was no wonder I couldn’t judge situations accurately. I got to know myself fully and learnt the importance of value based living. I became the me I should always have been. I honestly felt like someone had removed an emotional straight jacket: it was like I was seeing the world through a completely new set of lenses.
It changed everything. I was able to ‘just be’ and not worry about what people were thinking of me. I was able to speak my mind in such a controlled and assertive way. As for stuttering and brain blanks – well they are a thing of the past.
Once my boundaries were clear to me and I’d established what my values were, living the fulfilling life I wanted suddenly seemed effortless.
I am very passionate about living every single day being open, honest and true to myself. By understanding my boundaries and embracing value based living my confidence exploded. I finally started to live the confident life I’d been yearning for.
I learnt to respect myself which without question, stopped me from dating utter morons and my relationships became respectful and kind. My friendships also became way more mutually balanced. As for work, well people couldn’t stop commenting on ‘how different I was’. My whole world changed for the better.
These days I shudder at the thought of being the old brain-blocked, stuttering, insecure me.
However, amongst all the changes, there were a few things that stayed the same. I’m still fascinated by people, communication, behaviour and basically how the human mind works. After gaining a totally unmeasurable amount of beneficial change from being coached I developed a burning desire to help other people in the same way.
Which brings me to now.
I look back at my journey with pride these days. My past also enables me to connect on a really deep level with my clients because I too have been there and I remember it well. Sometimes when I do particularly deep coaching with a client it resonates so much I’ve been known to get goose bumps. It was such a bloody painful period of my life I honestly wouldn’t go back to feeling that way for all the money in the world. Not. A. Chance!!!! You can’t put a price on being happy.
I’m so passionate about helping others follow their own journey. So much of it is based around communication – which I’ve gotten pretty good at over the years. I absolutely love coaching people to become confident, resilient and assertive in the work place or in their private lives. I love hearing stories from my clients when they have done something they would never have dreamed they were capable of. Especially when they realise it is way easier than they imagined. I absolutely love watching people transform into who they want to be. Seeing them do things they only dreamed of previously and seeing them glow with inner confidence. It’s by far the most rewarding work I have ever done.
If you’re reading this and any of it resonates, maybe you’re on the same journey I was, and maybe you’re ready for your change.