“… at five years of age, because my mother wouldn’t give me any money, I actually stood up on the stool, got my bank book out, went across … True story. Went across the road to the bank. They knew me. So they thought it was so funny so they gave me one pound. And then I went to the shop beside the bank and I bought sweets.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, below is a snippet of the wonderful, honest conversation I had with Gillian O’Gorman, founder of The Wellness Lounge on Episode 97 of The Coffee at Eleven Show recently.

“Secondary school … was very uncomfortable, too. What we all want to do when we’re younger is fit in. I mentioned there at the beginning about my height. When you’re always so tall, it’s impossible to fit in. Also, I had a mother who was five foot one. So she had no understanding of what I was going through. So I would always just be feeling so out of place, uncomfortable in my own skin. And she didn’t get it.

So I felt very, you know, the language I used at the time, ugly. I was always very shy, very retiring. And then that was being misconstrued for being a standoffish. So I always had that label. People would say, “You’re standoffish.” So then you’re feeling even worse inside.”

I invite you stick on the kettle, grab a coffee, and find out more about why Gillian can confidently call herself, “The Compassionate Coach” in your preferred way.

Yours Truly: Ladies and gentlemen, you are more than welcome to this, another episode of The Coffee at 11 Show brought to you by WIG-WAM Global. Delighted that you’ve chosen to join us. Thank you for being here. And in particular, I’d like to welcome our very special guest this morning, Gillian O’Gorman. Gillian, pop in. Say, “Hello.” Show us your coffee mug and say, “Cheers.”

Yours Truly: Hi, everyone. Delighted to be here. Cheers.

Yours Truly: Tell us about secondary school. How was all that for you?

Yours Truly: It was very uncomfortable, Colm. I mean, I mentioned there at the beginning about my height. What we all want to do when we’re younger is fit in. When you’re always so tall, it’s impossible to fit in. Also, I had a mother who was five foot one. So she had no understanding of what I was going through. So I would always just be feeling so out of place, uncomfortable in my own skin. And she didn’t get it. That wasn’t her fault because she hadn’t experienced that. I mean, she was quite tiny. So school for me, even though I had friendships, it was very difficult because I felt so . So I felt very, you know, The language I used at the time, ugly. So I never felt relaxed in myself. I always was lucky to have that close-knit group of friends where I felt safe. But I was always very shy, very retiring. And then that was being misconstrued for being a standoffish. So I always had that label. People would say, “You’re standoffish.” So then you’re feeling even worse inside.

So looking back, I got through it all because that’s what you do. You respond to these situations or you react to these situations, but I look back with great compassion. And I feel really, really sorry for that young girl who really, really inside was struggling a lot. Because you can’t do anything about your height. And there was nothing wrong with my height. I’m very grateful for it now.

Always very independent in my thinking. Actually, there’s a funny story about the independence. I remember … Well, my mother would have told me this. I had a bank account in the Bank of Ireland when I was quite young. And where my parents’ house is there was Bank of Ireland across the road. And at five years of age, because my mother wouldn’t give me any money, I actually stood up on the stool, got my bank book out, went across … True story. Went across the road to the bank. They knew me. So they thought it was so funny so they gave me one pound. And then I went to the shop beside the bank and I bought sweets.

So my mother kind of came across me and she said, “Where did you … What’s happening here?” So I told her. So there was that kind of determination from a young age. I did something similar with the Santa list. I pushed my Santa list into the bank postbox. My mother was frantic because she didn’t see the list. So she had to go over. They had to empty the letter box all without me knowing. So again, that independence and determination. And see, secretly, she loved that independence. She loved that. So as much as she would be given out to me, she loved it. She was like, “That’s fantastic. I like that.” So she did definitely encourage her three daughters in particular to be three independent ladies. So I do thank my mother for that.

Yours Truly: Wonderful. Two quick questions. And we’ll get the Princess of Shelley, if that’s okay. Number one is what are you taking with you from COVID that you’re not letting go of?

Yours Truly: Well, actually accepting that I’m an introvert. I didn’t realize that. I think I tried to be an extrovert for 42, 43 years and put myself into social situations that I really wasn’t comfortable with because I would be … “Oh, that’s odd. You have to go out. You have to do this.” So I actually enjoy my own company. I enjoy quieter times. And also, I got an opportunity, when you take away all the distractions, a lot of stuff comes up. And I got an opportunity to really heal by being more compassionate and using the term of self-soothing. So I’ve actually understood myself a lot more. I actually got to know myself a lot more. And when this passes, as it will do, I will be back in the world as a much more grounded, self-aware, happier person.

Yours Truly: Perfect. Yes. Thanks for sharing with us. Absolutely perfect. You’ve put the time to good use. Well done.

Yours Truly: I have.

Yours Truly: And then what one thing would you recommend somebody do? If they could only do one thing to get themselves through it, what would you suggest that one thing is?

Gillian O’Gorman: To talk to yourself like you would your best friend. So to actually learn a supporting dialogue. When I say that to people, “The longest relationship we have is the relationship we have with ourself,” people are like, “What?” Because I was, when I heard that first of all. And then say, “Well, what would you say to your sister? What would you say to your best friend if they actually gave you that situation or scenario then?” And then do that for yourself because it works. And that’s the self-soothing piece. And another thing is, don’t always believe all your thoughts. Just because you have a thought doesn’t mean it’s true. So be aware of your thoughts. So it doesn’t mean it’s true.

END.

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