Leaving Cert – Reflections


As the Leaving Certificate Results arrive, I am transported back to my own school days. I remember it was a challenging time, with dreams and ambitions battling with  the need for reassurance that my wishful hopes could become reality.

I remember when I phoned about my Leaving Cert Results, (was too scared to go to the school). The teacher that answered the phone tone of voice as they gave me the results came across as one of surprise that I had actually passed. Ah! the art of the spoken word can be so critical at such times. However, after getting my results I too was surprised 🙂 so the teachers lack of belief in me only served to affirm something I had thought myself and now with the results in had been proved wrong on all counts. Sure the results were not all ‘honours’ but were a fab result for me. Some years later I went back to college as a Mature Student in my late Twenties and went on to further studies and became a University lecturer and also a Motivational Speaker about living life with passion and purpose. :-).

Many years later as I walked through the corridor of a large University where I was studying and researching for yet another major qualification I happened upon that same teacher who was visiting there. We both recognised each other and stopped to chat. I noted a look of surprise and a little awkwardness in the conversation from said person as the conversation unfolded and they asked me what I was doing there? and what I had been doing in my career? We duly said our goodbyes and as I walked away I smiled within. I had achieved so much despite lack of self belief and the lack of belief of such significant people as this person had been at that pivotal time in my life all those years ago. They now held no such power or influence on my life and our encounter on that University corridor was just two adults meeting to chat. Yet because I remember the feelings still from that phone call about my results it serves to remind me how such moments can have a major impact on a life.

My journey  as a conscious educator, because of my own experiences has always given me an empathy with those who struggle with self esteem and who have so much untapped potential to share. I am so aware that we influence the universe word by word and so my work in schools and colleges over the years has firstly been focused on connecting people to their own amazing uniqueness and potential. Instilling the self confidence to be the conscious creator of their own lives. It is my firm belief that ‘Life Skills’ ought to be taught in every Education Institute as the foundation subject upon which ALL other subjects are built on and ‘critical thinking’ encouraged at all stages and levels of education.

When we utter words to ourselves and to others, they have a tone and a sound wave and this sound wave carries and transmits with it positive or negative feelings and can become a belief. It therefore is so important how we speak to ourselves and others because those  invisible and intangible energies can carry a lot of weight in creating a life.  No word is empty, as we speak it engages energy that either supports or hinders us. For example, If we constantly tell ourselves or hear from someone else “You can’t,” the energy of these words has a powerful force. Likewise if the words  “You can!” are consistently spoken they support an energy to connect to the  creative ability to do just that.

So the day has arrived to get your exam results and you are teetering on the brink of a new stage and new beginning for your life. Well done, firstly on actually doing the exam, because there is so much pressure from so many other areas of life on your shoulders. Secondly, if you have got great results well done, and if those results are not what you or  others expected you to get well double well done. Also if the results are not what you hoped for or what others hoped you would get, well let’s connect with the feelings and give yourself time to look at ALL the options. Believe me these results whatever way they have panned out DO NOT define you. This is the opportunity to create and predict your own future with ALL that untapped and as yet unlived potential. This experience can be a catalyst moment from which to learn, grow and build your life.


Here are a few great affirmations to start with.

“I am the architect and creator of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents”

“I have endless talents and potential which I begin to utilize today”.

“I go forward from this moment to create an exciting new adventure and new beginning and fresh start”



Bernadette Phillips is Founder of New Insights For Change, she is a Social Scientist / Sociologist, Motivational Speaker, Conscious Educator & Facilitator,  Radio Broadcaster/Presenter, Writer and Blogger.



Tel: 087-2756282  – 0035387-2756282



5 comments on “Leaving Cert – Reflections

  1. Richard Hatton

    Beautful – and every word an inspiration!

    • bernadette phillips Post author

      Thank you so much Richard 🙂

  2. Good job Bernadette! So much resonates..wasn’t until my 40s that I gained the confidence to go forward and obtain my doctorate in Homeopathy..10 years in the making with no confidence and no self worth. Aside the school system making me feel incompetent and a genuis, literally for a father..I not dare even attempt to achieve anything for fear I would get what my dad called a “dummy diploma”. Sadly I waited for my folks to pass to return to school..lol. Acing my thesis on mind, body spirit connection I would have made them proud. So I celebrated with my children whom I had home schooled and graduated with them!..the story you share is of great value not only for our young ones but for All all the Mature students “out there”. Keep rockin’ Sister in Light.

    • bernadette phillips Post author

      Marie thank you for your comments much appreciated. Well done on all you have achieved. Will sure “keep rockin” you too. 🙂

  3. “Be careful how you speak to yourself because you are listening”…! Lovely blog, thank you. And as one whose life was a battlefield between Yot can”, “You can’t”, but “You must”, this sort of blog makes my heart sing; words like those on my battlefield are life-wreckers. Happy to have been in similar work for so many years and to have them so much quieter now. 🙂