Years ago if you were caught talking to yourself, people would say to you that the men in the white coats would be coming for you. Self talk is natural and we all have inner thoughts; sometimes these inner thoughts translate into inner voices.

Years ago if you were caught talking to yourself, people would say to you that the men in the white coats would be coming for you. Self talk is natural and we all have inner thoughts; sometimes these inner thoughts translate into inner voices. We sometimes notice that when we make a mistake or forget to do something we may blurt something out and that’s an example where we externalise what is going on in our heads at any one time.

Negative Self Talk –In Every Complaint there is a Hidden Desire

A number of years ago I was blessed to have a great employer who spent a lot of time mentoring and coaching me. These were crucial formative years in my early twenties that I still value dearly today. I was always overcome by stress, which from time to time manifested in ill health. One day my employer sat me down and said to me, ‘You know, I never have to give you a dressing down if you make a mistake, you do enough giving out to you for both of us.’ This really made me think, I seemed to let a negative thought enter my head, and then have a full scale conversation or scenario visualised in my head before long. This usually happened when I was disgruntled, and could happen weeks after an event. I was not conscious of what I was doing; I was stressing myself out. It usually started to occur when I was relaxed, whether brushing my teeth, cooking, or even having a shower. A thought of a person or an incident about which I was embarrassed would enter my head, and before I knew it I was back into the situation again, practically reliving it. Sometimes I would even create scenarios in my head of events in the future that didn’t ever happen. It seemed I let a negative thought snowball out of control. I heard the story of Victor Frankl who was a prisoner of the concentration camps in World War 2. He was one of a group of very brave people who refused to be stripped of their dignity and who by focusing on the positive, inspired other people to survive the Holocaust.

Positive Self Talk

Once my employer brought it to my attention, I felt there was nothing I could do. This realisation made me powerless against the negative thoughts that entered my head and the ensuing stress that followed. Then another person pointed out I had a choice, even though I felt I had no control over the thoughts that were in my head.

He told me we all have choices to make in life; you can choose to be happy or sad. I honestly felt like punching this guy in the face, I was so incensed. I felt that this guy who barely knew me or my circumstances was making light of my stress. However, slowly but surely I started to realise that I did have a choice. Once I acknowledged that I had options and choices I started to feel empowered and in control.

The only way is forward

I look back now and really appreciate the wise words that those men were brave enough to tell me, even though I was at my wits end. Once I started to let go of the past and focus on a positive future there was no stopping me. I started a personal path of discovery that continues to this day. Some people call this lifelong learning. While I was not a fan of study and school, I can now say I have continuously educated myself for the last 15 years. Due to this learning I feel empowered even with the negative media and economic climate. Over those 15 years I realised every single ambition that I ever had. In my early twenties these were just pipe dreams, something that happened to other successful people with unlimited resources. I know now that we are all blessed with internal resources and that our potential is unlimited. I went from someone being shy and stressed to becoming content and confident with my ambitions realised.

“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.”

The above statement is so true; it is only when I started talking about myself in a better way that I truly started to feel comfortable in my own skin and began to feel ambitious. Before that I felt that because I was a nice guy and worked hard I was just lucky. People are sometimes unaware how we minimise ourselves and discount compliments or achievements. It is fair to say that as an Irish nation we find it hard to take compliments and do not value ourselves fully. It could stem from the fact we were oppressed and colonised for centuries. The statements we often use are sometimes referred to as ‘self limiting beliefs’.

These statements below capture some of these self limiting beliefs:

  • Ah stop
  • Sure anyone could do it
  • I’m not that good
  • I don’t do compliments
  • That’s not a problem (discounting the existence of a problem)
  • I’ll try, perhaps, maybe
  • I can’t think
  • I’m not able to
  • It’s not for me to say or do
  • I couldn’t do that
  • I’m not good enough
  • It’s only my opinion
  • I should, I must, I have to , I mustn’t

We often ignore the positive affirmations that people give us, and think they praise us merely for being nice or just to be heard by others. By discounting and minimising ourselves we keep ourselves small and do not realise or fulfil our full potential. By using all of our resources we can grow into the people we always wanted to be.

It’s never too late to become the person you always were meant to be.

You have the potential to do whatever you dream to do. It is your personal responsibility to be happy and realise your dreams. Once you identify the skills and resources you need you can determine the paths like other successful people. As an award winning coach I often see people who want to realise their potential for change and open doors to new possibilities. People then take accountability to take action and become empowered.

Coaching is a support for people to create sustained change. Coaching provides the ideal platform to improve organisational performance and to maximise individual potential. I create a

safe environment to raise awareness and explore opportunities for growth and to facilitate change. My coaching style is based on transactional analysis which is a client centred approach that is forward focused and solution orientated. Desired outcomes are mutually identified and agreed in advance, which then places the client in a position of empowerment to take action. The actual coaching process is a conversation of moving the client to gain personal insight and to be responsible to focus on goals set.

About William

YellowWood was established by Galway man William Corless to improve the performance of their organisation and optimise individual potential. YellowWood provides clients with a 360° approach through coaching, training and business solutions. A key benefit of Yellowwood’s coaching and training services is the long term value offered to organisations from more effective time management, improved decision making, clarity on strategic direction and improved dealings with staff and stakeholders.

William Corless brings to YellowWood over fifteen years’ experience in general management, technical sales, customer service and marketing. Corless was previously Operations Manager of (National Youth Organisation) and a key player in the growth and development of the organisation. Other positions included Operations Manager of Cahergowan Developments (Hotel, Retail and Property) and General Manager Goldfish Electronics (Import and distribution of custom electronic components from Far East)

A lifelong learner, he has a broad education in a variety of disciplines: Electronic Engineering, Diploma in Business (Specializing in Supply Chain), Counselling, Coaching, Neuro Linguistic Programming, Training and Psychometrics (Leadership, Team and Career Development).

William is a mentor for the Executive MBA in NUI Galway, Coaching Development and Galway Enterprise Board. William is currently the Director of Operations and Finance for the National Board of the International Coaching Federation (ICF). He is also a regular contributor to print and broadcast media and has addressed the National Forum on Resilience in Áras an Uachtaráin.