I am incredibly grateful for 2019. But just between you and me (and the rest of the internet) what a sh*t year…
Romantically, it began with the end of a relationship of almost 8 years, an extremely difficult and painful decision.
Mid-year fell madly in love, only to be dumped unceremoniously out of nowhere. The emotional whiplash was stunning.
Next I experienced a short but dysfunctional and surprisingly abusive relationship.
Meanwhile I was on hormone replacement therapy 4 times a day for my adrenal insufficiency throughout the year. And even then I still felt fatigued most days.
My business was struggling. I knew I was capable of so much, I’d proven that in the past over and over again. And yet my self-esteem was dropping like a stone. My positivity and cashflow dropping also, falling further behind.
I then had a climbing accident, falling 4m onto my neck and very nearly ended up seriously disabled or worse. I still feel pain from that fall daily.
I had lost track of the meaning of everything and anything. Why bother getting out of bed in the morning? Complete existential crisis, depression and suicidal thoughts.
I hid the full extent of how I was feeling from friends and family. They had glimpses, but I didn’t want to burden them. And amongst even the darkest times my pride meant I couldn’t ask for help. I couldn’t admit defeat.
But inside I felt sorry for myself. I felt like a victim. I felt defeated.
Strangely, something inside drove me to continue looking for a way out.
I had been working with coaches, therapists and healers for the past 5 years, and it always provided a glimmer of hope that perhaps I could have the kind of breakthrough they talked about.
I’d been chipping away at layers slowly for sure. I’d even had some personal development events I’d walked away from on a real high, feeling fantastic!
But it didn’t last. The fear, uncertainty and doubt were still there, and when the hits kept coming, so my spirits continued to drop.
It wasn’t till August that it all started to turn around, rapidly.
What happened in August? Well I started Robert Kirby’s Breakthrough Leadership program. Now I can’t give this program 100% of the credit for what happened next. As I say, I’ve been working on this for a while now in one form or another, chipping away at my defences and the layers of blocks, fears and limiting beliefs I’d built up over time to keep me “safe”.
I’ve also had to put in the work. Personal development is not easy, it’s not for the feint-of-heart. It’s confronting AF. It’s scary facing your deepest darkest emotions, grief, anger, resentment, self-doubt, self-hatred, hatred of others, sexual urges and often split intentions. It’s all fair game, it’s all a part of each of us. And The Work requires we get real with ourselves and face it.
So although the Leadership program doesn’t get all of the credit, I will say that I’ve invested a lot of time and money over the past 5 years in different personal development and healing approaches. And there’s no other work I’ve done that went as deep, as skilfully or had the ability to make as rapid shifts for me as this program did.
And a large part of the power of this program was the group of peers that went through it with me. There is no substitute for doing personal development work in a group. The honest and direct feedback from many sources, and the group support just can’t be replicated in one-on-one or self-directed work. And I was blessed to be in a group with some of the most generous, switched on, authentic, vulnerable and determined people I’ve ever had the pleasure to get to know (Robert must attract them).
As a result, I can now honestly say I’ve seen the following changes that I’m incredibly grateful for:
- Vastly increased self-confidence, self-belief, and self-love.
- Fears, uncertainties and doubts significantly decrease or drop away completely.
- Reclaimed my authentic self and masculinity (in a healthy way) after being ashamed of it most of my life.
- Reduced background stress/anxiety, which led to restored adrenals, so I was able to ween off and stop my hormone replacement therapy.
- Reduced need for self-soothing activities (over-eating was the big one), and escapism which has led to much easier to maintain a healthy weight (lost around 9kg of fat and gained 5kg of muscle since 12 months ago and found it much easier to maintain—also lost 0.5kg of beard haha). This has been a life-long struggle for me, so very glad to have addressed the source of the problem.
- Found personal meaning to life, and passion to not only get out of bed but live with purpose.
- So much cynicism melted away, and hence the ability to now commit to a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) and vision to heal and transform the world.
- Dropping the cynicism and the experiences of deep connection I’ve had through the program have also restored my faith in love.
- I’m also excited to say I’ve attracted a romantic relationship into my life with a beautiful, strong yet sensitive woman (Daisy Nguyen). Someone I feel incredibly connected with, but who is also committed to her own personal development, and committed to making our relationship work. And when you get two who are willing to own their 50%, what a powerful and beautiful thing it can be. I feel supported and challenged in this relationship in a way I never have before, and I know that gives us the incredible opportunity to make an unstoppable team!
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want a medal. Or a pat on the back. I’m not perfect, or enlightened. Far from it. I have a big list of scary things to continue to work on next year, including my fears around being a father and I still clearly care what people think of me far too much.
But I’m also not done. I will continue to work on myself, and plan to for the rest of my life.
Sadly, Robert is taking his show on the road over to Silicon Valley middle of next year. But before he goes he’s running one last major program down under: Transcendent Warriors 2020. So needless to say I’m in! And very excited to continue the work with him while I can.
If this sounds interesting to you, I strongly recommend you check out the website, and get along to the 1 Day Program for a great taste of what Warriors will be all about.
I also want to sincerely thank my coach Rosie Chehade, who has complemented the other work I’ve been doing this year perfectly and powerfully. I’ve never had a more present, wise and incredibly supportive experience being coached. Rosie has so much experience and skill that she was able to seamlessly coach me around energy and fatigue, business, marketing and sales, personal relationships, as well as helping me understand my story and how to step out of it and into my future. So Rosie gets a lot of the credit for the wins I’ve had this year too. I would not have been able to make such rapid shifts this year without her support!
I also realise what a privileged position I’m in to be able to tap into all this support. And I’m surprised I denied myself this kind of support for so long, for any reason. If you’re on the fence, do yourself a favour and jump in. Don’t feel guilty for being indulgent, or privileged, or like you’ve done enough reflection and work on yourself already, or any other block to giving yourself the best opportunity to shine as bright as you can. It’s up to us, the privileged few to do this work near the top of Maslow’s hierarchy so that we can then help the less privileged without having one foot on the brake the whole time! Also know that investing in yourself is the best investment you can make for your business, your career, or your relationships and your life. And we all still have work to do.
So that’s it for 2019, the good, the bad and the ugly. My personal source of daily wisdom Daisy has a saying for situations like this: “F*ck you, and thank you”. (I can’t wait for her to start posting more on social. For now, I’m posting this wisdom for her).
It’s f*ck you for the pain, and thank you for the lessons and other gifts the situation or person has brought.
I am truly incredibly grateful for 2019. Every single one of the challenges this year has also brought me incredible lessons and opportunities for growth. Without everything I’ve been through I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wouldn’t be who I am today.
So to 2019 I say F*CK YOU and THANK YOU!
And to 2020 I say BRING IT ON!!
PS I’m sharing my personal routines around how to naturally be in a productive and positive mindset and feel energised every day for free, starting 1 Jan. So if you haven’t signed up yet, jump in now for my 7-Day Fill Your Cup Challenge over at transform2020.com It’s going to be a lot of fun, I can’t wait!
PPS Let me know what you’re grateful for this year, and what are you grateful to leave behind in 2019?