Since I started Lifeworks 12 years ago I have been privileged to work with extraordinary people with extraordinary stories from all backgrounds and sectors.
The following personal accounts give a sense of the kinds of circumstances that bring people to Lifeworks, the ways in which we work together, and the positive impact that an engagement with Lifeworks can have on one’s personal life and career.
I was introduced to Stephen by a client as a 'corporate head mechanic'. I had been working crazy hours and life felt like an endurance test on all levels. I was carefully 'looking the other way' in relation to all of the things which were not working – both in my business and my personal life. Soon I realised that I couldn't afford not to start working with Stephen. I have passed through an enormous transition in the last 3.5 years – a period in my life that has included separation, becoming a single parent and dealing with significant business challenges. Stephen's support has been invaluable. I am slowly and gently unravelling the old baggage and beginning to enjoy the journey. Stephen really, really, 'sees you', and this makes the work with Stephen very special.
I heard about Stephen through an acquaintance of mine. At this time I was looking to improve relationships at work. Working with Stephen makes what seems difficult and impossible, possible. I now personally have a deeper understanding of myself as well as improved relationships – both at work and at home. Stephen's skills and understanding make this process safe.
After 20 years with two employers I was embarking on a new career decision. I had become personally tired and stressed with work-life balance issues, struggling with the meaning of life and in dire need of 'mental detox'. Meeting Stephen has resulted in an evolving awareness of who I really am and what really matters. I have a greater sense of self, a feeling of being more grounded, become capable of trusting my intuition more and am enjoying better quality relationships. And, crucially, I am pursuing a career that is more consistent with my values and aspirations. I'd like to encourage Stephen's potential clients to trust the process. Starting the work itself will help you overcome your fears and inhibitions.
Originally Stephen and I connected to explore business opportunities. However, after talking with Stephen, I discovered that I was disconnected from myself and was running or hiding from my story. As a result of working with Stephen I have a greater peace of mind and have gained the confidence and support to make bold decisions. Time spent with Stephen is time spent figuring out who you really are. Working with Stephen has been one of the greatest gifts I have given myself and, consequently, a gift for those around me.
I heard about Stephen at a sales course I had attended. Eveywhere I went, this name Stephen O'Reilly kept cropping up. At the time my children, my work, my family, myself were all being neglected in some way. Working with Stephen for the first time I was able to speak completely openly and freely about me – my feelings and my thoughts – with no guilt or fear of being judged. That was unbelievably liberating. I have got my life totally on track. I have a very happy home, contented children, a more profitable business and I have real and honest relationships. It was an investment in time and money in me – and me alone – that carried some guilt but I got over that too! I think everyone should have a Stephen in their life.
Stephen has become an integral part of our HR Strategy. With his help we have become a much more inclusive company, involving and developing staff in all areas of our business. We have improved our communication lines with staff, which has, in turn, created an open and transparent culture within our organisation. In more recent times, this new culture of openness has helped us implement some major changes to both our company's practises and structure. I have found working with Stephen to be both challenging and rewarding for myself and our company. Working with Stephen offers a fresh perspective on reaching our goals, and with his guidance we invariably achieve them. We have continued to engage Stephen because of the unique skill sets he possesses.
I had participated in a program that had a material impact on my overall awareness. The program facilitator suggested that the next step in my development would be to work with Stephen. I haven't looked back since! I would describe my experience of working with Stephen as “enlightening”, “alive”, “gentle” and “respectful”. Stephen has been a great coach and mentor and I look forward to continuing to develop under his respectful guidance.
Stephen has helped me achieve a firm belief in my capacity to successfully work through very tough circumstances – as others have done – and to live a more joyous and fulfilling life. He has helped me get in touch with my feelings, to hear their timid voice, and to dare to trust them. I have managed to broaden my view of what counts as true happiness and success in life. My relationship with Stephen has been one of the most important and formative ones in my life. Stephen's professionalism and discretion can be absolutely guaranteed.
Stephen was recommended by a course facilitator as somebody who would help me to explore some personal issues. Prior to meeting Stephen, I did not have a lot of confidence in my abilities and achievements. I was also concerned about my tendency to be emotional with people that I care about – something that I saw as a sign of weakness. I felt that I needed to suppress these emotions and be strong all of the time. I was very hard on myself, always feeling that I had to do more and be better while never giving myself credit for anything that I did well or that I have achieved. As a result of working with Stephen I have more confidence and a stronger sense of myself. He has also helped me to better understand other people, have a kinder disposition towards others – and, more importantly, towards myself. Working with Stephen was a very positive, enriching, nurturing, empowering and developmental experience. I have been privileged to have the opportunity to meet and work with Stephen. I am still reaping the rewards. I would describe Stephen as kind, intuitive, sensitive, humble and respectful. He is very knowledgeable but he is very modest and understated about it.
I was Sales Director at a fast-paced sales company in Dublin. I was hard working, tenacious, committed and good in the role yet completely unchallenged, unfulfilled and unhappy where I was professionally. Working with Stephen and Lifeworks has given me a second chance. I was so focused on the wrong things in my career that I couldn't see straight. I simply couldn't stand back and see the whole picture. Working with Stephen and Lifeworks helped me clearly see above all the noise! I was unhappy in my career for so long but felt this was the same for everyone so just carried on with it. It also had a negative impact on my wellbeing and particularly how I was at home with my wife and family. We all carry the answers to our goals – it just sometimes feels like it's hard to locate them. Working with Stephen has helped me so much and I can never thank him enough for the work and help he has given me. I'm on the right path now and loving every moment of it personally and professionally. I would describe my experience of working with Lifeworks as Life changing. Stephen is truly gifted and has a skill set that not many other possess in this field. His honesty, insight and guidance gave me the freedom to work out the steps and changes necessary for my own life. I'll always be grateful to Stephen and Lifeworks for the work that I'm now embarking on.
I am a vice principal of a large urban disadvantaged primary school in West Dublin and have been teaching since 1985. I am married and have two daughters aged 19 and 17. My parents are both alive and I have a wide circle of friends and a supportive loving family. So far so great! Why then was I feeling anxious, overwhelmed and lost? My health was being affected, my sleep disturbed and I felt I was spiraling. I am the go-to girl and always present myself as capable, efficient and in control. So it has always been hard for me to admit I need help. A friend of mine had been to see Stephen and spoke very highly of him, so I reached out. I immediately felt welcome and at ease. I talked and Stephen gently probed and helped me to discover what was going on for me, both personally and professionally. He allowed me space and opportunity to unravel the strands of my life that were holding me back and denying me my voice. It was challenging, tough and hard work, but so rewarding and invaluable. Stephen gave me personal skills to quieten the critics in my head, the courage to assert myself in quiet and respectful ways and to act as an adult in difficult confrontations. In short, he helped me regain my confidence and to cherish myself. I still use the techniques and strategies he shared and have used them in my personal and professional life. I am calmer, more centred and happier. They are still difficulties and issues but I know I can handle them in the best ways for me, my family and my work.