Who am I?

Here’s a few little stories about me and things I have learnt so far in life…

Confidence can grow in time

This is me. Alex O’Neill. Making chocolate.

When I was at school I was nervous and anxious, hated talking to boys, hated talking to new people and shrivelled up in a cocoon of embarrassment if I was ever told off.

My “best friend” was a bit of a captor – I spent many years pleasing her and doing her bidding. I felt really trapped and horrible and worthless, even when she wasn’t around. It’s something that’s framed my life; being a bit of a people-pleaser and not having clear boundaries in my relationships.

Over the years my confidence has grown. I’ve led large projects at work that have affected thousands of people (and therefore inevitably annoyed some of them). I’m not scared (that often) of walking into a room of strangers and striking up conversation and I (mostly) don’t avoid eye contact any more. Learning to love the good and the bad bits of myself has been instrumental in this change.

Tragedy can affect us in ways we don’t expect

After my Dad died, I got horrible anxiety. It used to hit when I was outside the house, particularly going on public transport or if I felt trapped. I was once nearly sick in a theatre because I felt I couldn’t get out. It used to make me feel queasy and panicky.

It took about 6 years to not be a daily occurrence, and even now I still get it when I’m really scared about something. It took time for me to understand what it was, realise I wasn’t crazy and deal with the underlying cause of it (probably my lack of confidence).

Be honest about who you are and you’ll find the right friends

At uni I felt like the odd one out – I had a house and a job and a dog and a long term boyfriend/husband and everyone else was single and drinking until 4am and had no responsibilities.

I felt like I was pretty bad at making friends – once, I even had to leave a room of people to cry because I felt like no-one liked me and there was nothing about me to love. Wow, that was honest.

Well, I did make friends in the end, some really good friends that I’m still very close to now, when I realised that I could be myself and still have people like me rather than putting on a front for the people I thought I wanted to be friends with. It turns out, the more you are honest and yourself, the easier you’ll attract people who are like you. It’s like magic really.

You have more choices than you think right now

I’ve been on a leadership course led by the Vice Chancellor of the University I work at; a man who earns 6 figures and who I saw previously as ridiculously far out of my reach and totally not interested in me. Why would he be?

The course changed my life. It made me realise that he’s just a guy, another human just like me who made some decisions in life. Opportunities came up and he took them. He made changes where they needed to be made and took risks which seemed scary and terrifying. He messed up and then carried on anyway.

I went from thinking “I could never do that (because I’m not good enough)” to “I don’t want to do that (because of all the other things I want to do in life, but I could do anything)”. I’ve done things in life that I never thought I would (led large projects, managed a team, started my own business) and my narrow view of what I could do has exploded with possibilities.

There will always be difficult circumstances and easier ones and your experiences will be unique, but you ALWAYS have more choice than you think with how you spend your time and your money. Some days I still can’t see the wood for the trees, but at least I now know that a vast chasm of opportunities are out there for me – I just need reminding of it sometimes.

No-one is broken

I’ve undertaken counselling, coaching and self-development courses over the past 13 years, and it’s shown me how life-changing understanding yourself better can be.

My confidence has boomed. I can see possibilities where I used to be unable to see beyond my current perception. I’m more curious. I listen to my mind and body more closely. I (usually) feel less desperate for things to happen RIGHT NOW, and when I do notice those feelings I know there’s something wrong.

No-one is broken. We’re all OK – we just need to realise it.

I really like inspirational quotes

I just do. I have a whole Pinterest board for them. Here’s some of my faves:

And I really do want to inspire people, just like so many people have inspired me in so many ways

After my own experiences I want to help people see new perspectives and new ways of living in the world. To change their lives as dramatically as mine has changed, from seeing in one direction to seeing the whole world as full of potential. Getting through those crappy days and making the good days fantastic.

If you want to get to know me a bit more, read my blog – I post on there completely irregularly and try to be honest and myself as much as I can.

I hope we get to meet soon. Come and try out a free Exploration Session if you want to do some life adventuring with me.