“Go ask the Coach” – from the April edition of Upside News

This is a copy of my recent column published in Upside News (April 14) ….enjoy

It’s funny – coaching has been around since the early 90’s and yet people are still confused when I tell them what I do.   My job is to help you get from where you are in your life to where you really want to be.  I know my clients have the resources within themselves to unlock their own potential and come up with their own solutions. My job is to help them navigate through that change, ask the challenging questions, support them if the water gets choppy, believe in them when they doubt themselves and always in a supportive, confidential and non judgmental way.

Here are some of the topics that often come up for discussion during coaching. To make it easy to read, I have answered this in a Q & A format:

Q:   I find it very difficult saying no and when I do I am eaten up with guilt. Please can you give me some tips to help me be more assertive when I need to say no?

A:    This is something lots of my clients tell me they have difficulty doing, so don’t worry, you are not unusual. Very often, the reason people find it hard is they don’t want to disappoint someone or it’s just easier and will lead to a quieter life. I have lots of different coaching tools that I use with my clients and this is one of my favorites. Try this simple technique the next time you are asked to do something you really don’t want to do. “Put yourself in the center of the decision” and feel the difference. When we do this, it will ALWAYS be the right decision for us and it will immediately feel right. Any hang-ups of guilt will disappear because we are doing what is right for us. If this still sounds scary, that’s normal. Start off easy and make a commitment to yourself that you will try this out once over the coming week. It doesn’t have to be a big fat NO it that feels easier for you. Try it on something small – maybe you don’t want to go somewhere at the weekend? The great thing about putting ourselves in the center of our decision is, that we will over time, just do it without thinking and our family, friends and work colleagues will respect our decision when we give it.

So go on, try it and remember – the more you practice the easier it will become.


Q: I have a lot of negative thoughts running around in my head.  I always see the glass half empty rather than half full. Is there anything I could do to stop these negative thoughts?


A:  Most of us can relate to this but the good news is YES there is something you can do to get your thoughts under control. One simple technique that works really well is, when you become aware that your brain has gone off at 100 miles an hour in the opposite direction, stop and ask yourself “where is the evidence of this?” or “is that really true?”. Very often, when you answer that question HONESTLY, you will discover the answer is – ‘there is no evidence!’ This allows us deal with the facts, gets rid of the negative thoughts and allows us very importantly move forward in our thinking without the garbage.

Have you a question or specific topic you would like me to cover in the next edition of Upside News – please email on paula@paulahanlon.ie. No names will be published