Fur Lined Mouse Traps

Fear is a combination of terrible and wonderful. It can paralyse or it can be the challenge that makes us achieve more than we ever imagined was possible.

About five years ago I decided to change the direction of my life and embrace fear, slapping it hard on its back the way men sometimes do with other men when they (uncomfortably) hug it out. My fear at the time was change. I was afraid of changing my mediocre existence. At the time I was working as a teacher with a permanent contract (!), living with two of my most treasured friends in a beautiful Georgian house in the leafy suburbs of Dublin, ‘living the life’ yet utterly bored and fatigued by it all. I didn’t feel any real sense of joy and contentment with my life as it was, so I blamed external factors (but of course!) and moved to Glasgow. On this quest I studied a Masters and discovered the true meaning of the statement, ‘wherever you go, there you are’. Then came the real work, that was location specific, and it started with me. I realised that I was not living a life that was true to who I am. Why not? I was afraid of the unknown. Although my current existence wasn't great, at least it was familiar. Self-awareness came to my rescue through my mindfulness practice. It taught me how to respond to my fears from a self-compassionate place. From this space, I began making decisions to improve my life.  One of which included taking action steps to become a relationship coach.

I have always been fascinated by human relationships. In particular, intimate romantic relationships. I’ve always wanted to know what it took to create healthy connected relationships. I was sure there must be some theory or formula that I missed because I found them difficult. My struggle in relationships was two-fold, I wanted to retain my independence and also be intimate, but how? Were others experiencing the same struggles, I wasn't so sure? I began to read and read. The psychological theories on development and attachment didn't describe adult relationships as straightforward. Finally, a conclusion that made sense to me, perhaps relationships are in fact difficult?! How liberating and much kinder is that message than some other variant of the following list? ..'You’re too picky, 'You’re too intimidating', 'You’re commitment phobic'? The list really does go on and it’s all on YOU, it’s YOUR problem.

One commonly held misconception, fed to us through society is that relationships are easy, we instinctively know how to behave in them and if we don’t there is something fundamentally wrong with us. Lies, lies, and more lies. The more people I speak to, the more I realise we all struggle in our own unique way in relationships and yet we all desire human connection. Seeking support to understand and improve the way we relate to our self and others needs to be normalised. Very few of us have journeyed through life without adopting some unhealthy ways of relating. My role as a relationship coach is to support people to enjoy their life whether single or coupled, creating connections with themself and others in a way that is uniquely authentic to who they truly are and will lead to a more deeply fulfilling life.

My new service supports those who are single or in relationship to reach their goals through skills-based programmes and one-to-one coaching. Informed by psychological development and attachment theories, I want to help others transform the relationships they have with others by working on the relationship they have with themselves. If you would like to read more about one-to-one relationship coaching, visit my website at www.relationshipcoach.ie. I can meet with you face-to-face or we can work over Skype together. If you have any questions, drop me a line at annie@relationshipcoach.ie.