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From the desk of Coach James

Why I'm back on the edge and ready to jump this time.

Time goes by so fast, we don’t appreciate how quickly our lives are ticking by – scary thought. I don’t quite know how to begin this blog. As you can see from the date stamp of my previous post, I haven’t written for a while. I could say the reason is because I’ve been too busy, or that I just didn’t get around to it, or the dog ate my laptop. Truth be told, I lost my drive, and my mind had a bit of a meltdown. Ultimately though these things are excuses, things I’ve been telling myself to let myself off the hook of doing the work, of being the purposeful me.

For almost six years I’ve been drifting through life, from one thing to the next, mostly doing courses, reading books, I’ve written and published a book, I’ve learned to meditate and connect to the Universe (God, Spirit, ET) or however you define it. I have been quite busy, but not productive in my eyes.

You know that saying: Don’t get so busy building a career you neglect to build a life. Well I’ve done that in reverse order. I have been so busy building my life back up from having it torn apart as a child in a road traffic accident, that I’ve not built a career for myself. Becoming the best version of yourself, getting into peak physical health, is great but it’s only good if you do something with it. It’s like having a Ferrari and polishing it and keeping it in pristine condition, making sure the tire pressure is correct, and the oil is filled, but not actually driving the car itself — using it for what it was designed to do.

My life feels, to me at least, like I’m not living it to it’s fullest potential. I could say that because of my PTSD or brain injury I cannot do it, but that would be another excuse. Life was on track once I decided to run the London Marathon, and then train to be a Para athletic sprinter, but then a brain tumour and multiple sporting injuries rescinded those goals.

Follow your own path.

Although I want to build a career as a self-employed Life Coach, and ideally a public speaker, delivering inspirational keynotes, I don’t know how or why. I have done several talks and television and radio interviews, but it is not building me a career. My book, although the feedback was phenomenal, it has not launched my career, or gone towards building my personal brand.

Combine this with the fact that I grew up in a close-knit family, who coddled me in cotton wool because I was disabled in a wheelchair, being me was not permissible at that time. Now I want to launch out of that cocoon and be my authentic Self, which goes totally against the status quo of the way I was raised. I currently don’t feel I have the same level of support I had as a kid being encouraged to walk and get on top of life – from my deathbed – as I do to wanting to brand myself and build my own business. That’s not normal – to be an entrepreneur life coach – to my family who raised me to follow the dogmatic path of life – which frankly bores and depresses me – and want to look after me, and still want to shroud me in protective blankets. I am being pressured to get a proper job, a 9-5 grindstone type job. Whilst I’ve done that before, working in customer service, and then a press office, I felt that wasn’t fulfilling me. In 2013 I left my beloved, yet unfruitful job as a magazine journalist to follow my path. Here we are, six years later and lost – not exactly lost, but at an undesired location in the wilderness of Life.

I’ve been busy, but not productive. We all get disillusioned between being busy versus being productive. I am currently writing my next book, but I’m busy managing life, over being productive writing my book.

Earlier this year someone asked me if I was happy doing all the things I was doing: training for the 2020 Paralympic Games, writing a book, and trying to build an online business. The honest answer was no I was not happy, I can’t remember the last time I internally felt happy. That was a bit of a wake-up moment, and thought perhaps I should do something about that, and make myself happy?

I had read an article in an inflight magazine that said in life it pays to be flexible in your pursuits of your dreams and goals. What a concept I thought. I’ve been at life coaching, and personal development seminars where, yes, the advice is to be flexible in your approach to life. We can hear something a million times and fail to intellectually digest it, and then when we get the same piece of advice at a different point on our journey, it clicks. That’s just what happened here, I got it. I thought I did.

I started applying for ‘normal’ 9-5 jobs, being flexible that if the other career choice of mine is not working out, then if I have a regular job, with a regular income, I will then be happy because I will be self-sustaining myself, which is the underlying issue as to why I’m not happy. Let’s not beat around the bush here, the truth will set you free FREEDOM!!!! (It’s a Tony Robbins in-crowd reference). The truth is I feel empty and unhappy because I don’t have a stable income, I am not providing for myself, and so thusly feel empty and worthless.

I abandoned my pursuit of a career as a sportsman, because a) It was not fulfilling for me, and b) I had sprained my wrist through bracing a fall, which has never fully recovered, and I have damaged my knee from falling on it hundreds of times over the years. My knee turns in, and my foot turns out; so there are many reasons why I should not be a sprinter, but I was doing it anyway.

Naturally I thought, “Oh this will be easy, just get a job and be happy.” First off, I have never been allowed, or been one to take the easy route. Secondly, getting a job in an over-crowded market when you’ve been out of work for some time is, frankly, tough. I’ve applied several times to work in the NHS within the mental health sector, because that’s what I’m good at. That door never opened. I applied for several positions as a hotel receptionist – how hard can it be to say, “Take the lift to the fourth floor, turn left and room 407 is next to 409, off you go, enjoy your stay.”? That door never opened. I had an interview at the hospital to work as an assistant occupational therapist, but that was a no go. To be frank, I’m not cut out to be anyone’s assistant, not even Dr Who’s.

So where does this leave me? I can keep on applying for feckless jobs, that mean nothing to me, apart from a payslip – I’ve just seen a job for a customer advisor at BT (British Telecom), which according to the website I am an ideal candidate for – or I can empower myself to be what and who I want to be by following my ideal path. I’m slightly tempted to apply for the BT job, you get free broadband with it, and be content. But will answering the phone and telling people to turn their router off and on again be ok for right now, but next year will again result in feeling unfulfilled? Will I be doing myself a dis-service by not at least trying to be who I want to be? It was Jack Canfield who said to me when I interviewed him, that his first Success Principle is to take 100% responsibility for your life.

Is it me being impatient, trying to get to the destination ahead of time? People say, all good things take time, what will be will be, a flower blooms when it is ready and cannot be rushed. All these trite sayings are wonderful at the time they are said, but in a real-life context I find them annoying – perhaps a flower should pull it’s finger out and bloom quicker. My life coach constantly reminds me about enjoying the journey, and it’s about who you become as a person on the way to the destination. Who do you need to become to live the life you want, and reach your goals?

From childhood all I have ever wanted to do is make my parent’s proud, I think it is a trait in all of us? But as Gary Vaynerchuck said in one of his recent keynotes, “While it’s admirable to want to make your parents proud, is it admirable when it comes at the cost of your happiness?”

I went to lunch with a friend last week, who happens to be a business coach. I was bitching and complaining, and I said, “I wish the world would stop, so I can get off” She looked at me and said, “Wish it would stop, so you can get on.” At that moment I was unsure how to respond, but it jarred in my mind: “so you can get on.” Yes, I want to get on with creating and building the life I want. Not the life my dad wants for me, not the life that involves playing it safe, but the life that fulfills me.

Although I despise trite sayings – yet I act as if I love them, filling Instagram with motivational quotes – I do like the one: Jump and your life will appear. Not sure how that will work out, but we’ll see. So that is why I am ready to jump.

Here endeth the lesson.

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