‘Take control of your mind and live your best life’ says leading coach who overcame depression

by Rose Barrett
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Shane Cradock

Movember is the month which highlights men’s health in Ireland and sadly one of the key issues is depression, with three out of every four suicides here being Irish males. Shane Cradock is a leading Irish performance coach and currently Number 2 in the Irish non-fiction charts with his book, ‘The Inner CEO’.

Who better to advise and write about men’s health, about the intensive grip that depression and suicidal thoughts can latch onto – even within the most seemingly ‘successful’ man – than a man who has survived the blackest inner turmoil.

Dublin born Shane is now happily married and the father of two teenagers, working in a career he loves and where he can benefit so many others. But it wasn’t always that way. 

Despite a good education and a high-flying career in his mid 20’s – he was a young management executive working with Pepsi Cola International, all was not well with Shane. 

“Life should have been good, but on the inside, things were way off,” said Shane who had fallen into a deep depression which he masked at work and out socially.  “Work colleagues would not have had any idea of the pain I was enduring.  That’s the problem with depression, it can be so well hidden and totally masked.  For 18 months, the pain was so intense, and I was exhausted from living in a dual façade – not sleeping, my mind racing at night.”

Feeling lost and alone, his on-the-go lifestyle resulted in burnout, stress and suicidal thoughts. As Shane contemplated ending his life one night, he dialled home from a rural telephone box wanting to speak to his mother but really contemplating a final call. 

“It was Dad who answered the phone, he picked up on the vibes. Normally he would hand over the phone to my mother. He kept asking me: ‘What’s wrong, Shane?’ I couldn’t say, I couldn’t verbalise. He asked me to stay in the phone box until he rang me back.”

Shane’s father rang him back with the number of a counsellor Maurice and asked his son to call the number. That intervention was life-saving, when Shane made the crucial call, Maurice simply said ‘Get yourself in touch with work and tell them you’re sick and then get down to me in Waterford.’

How different that day might have been but for that critical connection. Now Shane works full-time as a leading professional coach, and has worked with companies like Apple, Prada, Louis Copeland, Sherry Fitzgerald and several Entrepreneur of The Year Finalists. 

His book, The Inner CEO, entered at Number 2 on The Irish Times best-seller list for paperback fiction last week. The book is about how to become the boss of your mind and Shane shares his experience of over 30 years working as a coach and advisor to people across various fields, including business, sports and everyday life.

Author Shane Cradock at the launch of his book, The Inner CEO
Author Shane Cradock at the launch of his book, The Inner CEO

“What’s so exciting is the early feedback from readers on how accessible the book is, how easy it is to digest and that it’s not just for business people”, Shane told the Dublin Gazette.

The book weaves storytelling from his experience with memorable metaphors and profound insights, he advocates a new way of managing the ‘mind’, taking back control, lifting your mood, building your self-belief, and helping you to achieve your full potential. It’s not enough just to survive suicidal thoughts and bouts of depression – it’s about developing a unique form of mindset, and becoming your best and happier self.

In conjunction with Movember, could Shane’s ‘The Inner CEO’ change your life? This is not a formula-led narrative, this is the real life experiences of a man who was once swamped in negative thoughts, and he shares the means to evade the shackles of depression and lead a better life. 

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