Someone asked me recently if I ever have times when I feel down or lacking in self-confidence, where I struggle emotionally. It seems (especially with Facebook) that every trainer or teacher or coach in this space is continuously happy with no problems at all. We need to appear that way it seems. If we don’t, well then how can we stand on stage or sit in front of a client and claim to be able to help?
Well, I am here to give you some brutal honesty. I get down from time to time. Sometimes I am moody and I am not pleasant to be around. Sometimes I doubt myself and sometimes I feel sorry for myself.
Now maybe there are gurus/coaches/trainers that never feel this way and have successfully cancelled any possibility of feeling down and if that is so… great… and yet I feel sorry for them. Because, to me, the struggle that we have as humans on this earth is part of what helps us to grow, to appreciate things, to become stronger.
I believe that any of my emotional struggles are evidence of me being more true to myself than ever. For it is in overcoming such struggles that I get to live what I teach. The wonderful Zig Ziglar once suggested that motivational speeches were like taking a bath. We need to do them every day to keep our minds as good as possible. When I teach, I remind myself of what I most need to know.
Teaching something like charisma opens me up to people scrutinising any shred of doubt or timidity that I have as evidence that I am not living what I speak about. Sometimes I am shy. Sometimes I am nervous. But I know what to do if I want to change that. Sometimes I don’t do much about it. The truth is that nobody lives everything 24/7. The rub is to do your best and when you are not doing your best… remind yourself to live up to your own standards. When I compare myself to who I was a year ago and ten years ago, I am certainly far better than I have been. That’s what counts.
I met Sir Richard Branson last year at an event we were both speaking at and I remember a piece of advice which he gave. He argued that he made more mistakes than people and failed far more than most. It was about being persistent and determined in the face of challenges. Success is all about how we respond to failure. It is not the absence of failure, rather the utilisation of it that matters.
To those out there who say they never have bad times or bad moods, who never feel hurt, betrayed or impacted by others actions or life’s circumstances, I say good luck to you and I wish you growth and strength regardless. To those of you who do struggle but fight through and get stronger, I say keep going. You will become tougher, like you always do.
Handling the tough times is something I learned I am more than able to do. I owe that largely to a deep belief that I have cultivated in myself and a know how of the amazing tools at my disposal. This belief and these tools are the ultimate resources that I teach in the work I do. I get down. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that I keep getting up. And I will continue to do so for the rest of my days. So will you.
So, if this is a challenging day, week, month, year, period of your life; if you find yourself out of work or dumped or lost; if life seems a tougher gig than normal…. just pick yourself back up and dust yourself off. Keep moving forward. Everything will work out.