Realising my own self worth
“Success is a high level of happiness”
My name is Chris Delaney. I’m a life coach and hypnotherapist but, most importantly, I aim to help others become more confident in any way I can.
I grew up on a council estate in North-East Manchester as 1 of 5 children. I had no dreams or aspirations for a very long time. I struggled a lot growing up, I had a severe lisp and dyslexia so reading, writing and speaking were challenging.
These limited communication skills left me feeling very shy and isolated. I didn’t want to speak to people and I believed because of this I wasn’t destined for a successful career.
I managed to help my lisp through weekly speech therapy and I was sent to a class for people with learning difficulties to help my dyslexia. There were lots of different types of people with learning difficulties within the class so I felt we had all just been lumped together and little was done to help with our specific needs.
I was offered a dictaphone to help my dyslexia. This would mean that, instead of writing, I could simply speak it into the dictaphone and my teachers would mark my work this way.
However, I turned it down because I was worried my classmates might laugh at me or find it strange. I don’t know whether I helped myself or held myself back by turning it down. Although it forced me to improve my writing skills, I wonder if I would have done better in school if I had taken it and worried less about what my peers thought.
Throughout my time at school, I had developed a secret desire to help people. Due to my quiet nature, I always found people would tell me their problems and I enjoyed listening; offering my advice and asking the right questions.
Despite this, after leaving school, I got a job at a warehouse, thinking this was what I was destined to do. I had a really strong work ethic and threw myself into the job even though I knew it wasn’t truly what I wanted to do.
I began volunteering to satisfy my craving for helping others and I’d take disabled adults rock climbing, in my spare time. However, I viewed this as something I could do in my free time, I didn’t realise I could build a career around helping people.
An opportunity shortly arose for me to train to drive a forklift truck. I was very successful, unlike my fellow students who seemed to struggle with their confidence. I gave them a talk about the importance of visualising their success and they seemed to become noticeably more confident.
About a year later the instructor from that course approached me, telling me my words to the other students didn’t go unnoticed and asked me to come and train to become an instructor myself. The course cost £3,000 but they saw such a spark in me and they offered to pay. This definitely helped my confidence, it seemed to reduce the imposter syndrome I’d experienced most of my life.
After that experience, I got a job at a jobcentre helping others find employment. During my time there, I realised the main thing holding people back was a lack of confidence, something I’d also struggled with my whole life.
This role sparked an interest in hypnotherapy and life coaching. I gained lots of experience and changed to one-to-one careers advice. Now I am a life coach, hypnotherapist and even have my own book.
Even though I struggled in school I am now a lifelong learner. I’m constantly searching for techniques that will allow me to help my clients quicker and more efficiently.
During the coronavirus lockdown, I read a lot of research papers on employability, realising they were aimed towards the employer so I switched the focus to the job-seeker and now use these techniques to help my clients.
I have also begun researching neuroscience to help speed up the process of building confidence. I love helping people and watching the impact of my work on individuals.
I want to highlight the importance of self-belief to change your life and that this can start today. Through my own experiences, I have learnt that it is possible to make your own luck and your circumstances don’t define your potential for success.
This blog was written by Elena John based on the interview with Tales to Inspire.