Beating bullies decades later

Generic photo to illustrate bullying.
Generic photo to illustrate bullying.
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In her job Michele Walsh sees the effect that bullying suffered as a child has on adults every week.

The confidence and life coach and neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, who lives in the Derbyshire Dales and has lots of Sheffield clients, said: “I’ve had two clients this week who were bullied as children and are in their 30s and 40s. They’ve been carrying it around for all that time.

“It’s stopping them from going out there and achieving all they want in life. They are really good at what they do and successful but something is holding them back.

“It’s a fear of judgement and of what people will think or say.”

Michele says that dates back to being bullied and going from being a child who was perhaps quiet or shy to someone whose confidence has been undermined by what they went through.

She said that another client, from Chesterfield, finally dealt with issues around bullying at the age of 62 in a six-week course with her.

Another client she first helped at the age of 15 stopped being bullied at school when her self-esteem was heightened.

Michele said: “She didn’t do or say anything to the people who were bullying her. It’s a message that you give out.

“We all know of those people who you wouldn’t tackle and those who you would.”

Michele, who also works with young people, said she had a crisis in her own life that led to her walking away from a computer services company that employed 30 people at the age of 48 because she grew to hate it.

Her decision was spurred on by the news that a close friend’s husband had cancer.

She said: “I thought, ‘he’s got no choices in life now but I’ve still got choices’.”

Michele decided that she had to move on, so she put the firm into liquidation. She realised later that she had been close to a breakdown at the time.

She said: “I had a big mortgage, no savings and no husband or partner.

“I thought, what’s the worst that can happen? I’ll get by.”

Her new business came about by accident, when she went to a free coaching weekend.

“I realised that I had a natural aptitude to getting the best out of people, so I trained to be a coach,” said Michele.

For more information about the coaching Michele offers, go to or call 07787 820875.