“It sounds like you’re self sabotaging your relationship” Jade reflected..
I nodded sagely, then power walked to the bathrooms to Google self sabotage.
I was 23 and had been ranting to my coworker, Jade, about my relationship woes.
I couldn’t seem to stop creating random fights and drama with my boyfriend.
“Self sabotage” was a foreign concept to me. (As were all forms of self knowledge and personal development).
My tiny mind was blown by the accuracy of what Google had to say about self sabotage.
For the first time in my life, I had a cautious think about whether maybe I might maybe, potentially see a psychologist. Perhaps.
I was enormously sceptical about psychologists.
I grew up in a family that didn’t believe in counselling or psychology. Due to some tough circumstances they’d faced, they’d come to form the opinion that if you talk about negative things, they get worse.
Best to just sweep, carpet and smile.
I was pretty sure psychologists were only for people with problems.
I had no problems.
I just wanted to fix my relationship.
A friend of a friend had *allegedly* had her life transformed by seeing “Psychologist Fiona” after a break up.
I booked in with much trepidation.
Then cancelled last minute.
Caused another unexplainable fight with my boyfriend.
Psychologist Fiona asked me a few routine things.
The routine things required me to wander into a large, abandoned warehouse in my brain.
She gently asked me to pull dusty box after dusty box off the shelves.
One box was labelled “NEVER LOOK IN HERE.”
Another was labelled “BEST NOT TO OPEN.”
Another, “BIN THIS.”
The boxes were duct taped, shrink wrapped, and padlocked. Surprisingly well, for a 5 year old.
I’d forgotten I’d put them there to be honest.
What came out was a childhood containing several highly traumatic experiences, none of which I’d ever talked about with anyone ever. Apart from the one time.
As I casually reeled off 5 of the 10 worst Adverse Childhood Experiences* with my signature “haha, no big deal” tone, I noticed her neutral psychologist mask slip slightly.
I glimpsed a hint of wide-eyed flabbergastion.
I mentioned I’d never spoken to anyone about these things before nor seen a psychologist.
She fell off her chair.
(*If you’re curious about ACEs, you can read more about them here: How to be less of a dick to yourself (and others, probably))
Psychologist Fiona was the first person to suggest I try this thing called “mindfulness.”
I remember calling my Mum as I walked home from the session and telling her incredulously,
“She told me that if I’m feeling stressed, I should stroke a leaf and notice how it feels?! What the actual fuck?!”
I saw Psychologist Fiona a few times, then successfully self-sabotaged my relationship to the point of final breakery a few minutes later.
A week later I sold everything I owned and
leapt on a plane to France to work on a Russian Billionaire’s superyacht.
Back then my Standard Operating Procedure was as follows:
Section 5B: Breakups and emotional difficulties:
1. Fly overseas.
2. Start a new life.
3. Do not return to the scene of difficulty under any circumstances.
Which means I can no longer live in Auckland, Nendaz, La Ciotat, Montenegro, Antibes, Sydney, or Melbourne.
It worked a treat, mostly sort of kind of not really.
Psychologist Fiona had given me a bottle of orange essential oil and suggested that when I felt stressed, I could smell it and to try to focus on the present moment.
I smirked at her “mindfulness” hoodwinkery.
But I liked the smell of the orange oil so I took it with me on my superyacht expedition.
I kept it for the next 5 years and sniffed it sporadically until the oil turned into a hard rock.
The mindfulness seed was planted.
10 years later I booked back in to see Psychologist Fiona again to tell her that I was now a full time mindfulness coach and corporate mindfulness consultant.
She laughed and laughed, and then we unpacked some more trauma and I cried and laughed and she told me I use humour as one of my defences.
So I made another joke.
She was the first person to tell me that because of some of my early experiences, including growing up with an unpredictable alcoholic who also took a lot of drugs, that another of my defences/ superpowers is that I’m highly attuned to the moods and thoughts of others.
My nervous system works overtime to tune into the subtle cues of other people’s feelings at all times.
Which means I often feel like I can read people like a book.
Which turns out to be very bloody helpful as a coach.
Our greatest challenges often lead to our greatest passions.
I shudder at the term “life coach.”
The term was long ago stapled to a rock and buried beneath mountains of influencer baggage.
But discovering life coaching was such a gift. I’ve been a coach for a decade now, and I bloody love my job.
Done right — with a dash of humour, 10kgs of authenticity and 8 litres of integrity — working with a life coach can shift things 72% more quickly than just eating more Toblerone.
And you can even have fun doing it. AND keep eating Toblerone.
Since retraining in mindfulness & coaching a decade ago, I’ve had the most epic privilege of coaching hundreds of legends for many thousands of hours.
One of my great passions is teaching people the tools that helped to reduce my negative mind chatter and improved my confidence exponentially.
I love helping people to make big decisions they’re stuck on, and helping my clients unpeel the layers of overthinking to become more vibrantly, ridiculously “themselves”.
There’s a warm inner glow of excitement and contentment that only comes when you’re living a life that is true for you.
Not for Martha down the street. Not for your parents or your dog or your neighbour’s dog Bob.
I love helping people get that warm feeling of aliveness back after years of treading water.
You don’t have to work everything out by yourself. We’re built to thrive with the support of other humans.
Instead of the ol’ “sweep, carpet, smile” method —which keeps us stuck, repeating the same patterns— I’ll teach you one of the most important life skills I’ve ever learnt — how to handle your difficult emotions in a way that frees you up to be more you.
It’s not as scary as it sounds.
As Heather put it, “Andrea’s way of communicating is so authentic and she makes the whole experience fun — Imagine being able to address your shit while giggling for a good portion of the hour — I didn’t think that would be possible!”
“I kind of quite like me now. Thank you Andrea for this amazing gift you have given me! I feel like I now have a way forward. The Bloody Good Life 1:1 coaching program honestly changed my life.”
You can check out the Bloody Good Life 1:1 coaching program here.
And/or book in a free chat with me here to see if we’re a good fit to work together.
We’ll laugh a lot, you’ll learn about your mind, and I’ll be here to walk beside you as you become youer.