How the hell did I get here?
By all sensible measures I shouldn’t be here. I still expect that tap on my shoulder and a gruff voice to tell me to bugger off, that I don’t belong in this life, that this belongs to someone else not me. Imposter syndrome they tell me. Well it’s not hard to work out where that came from. I grew up in the back streets of a working class town in the north of England. The first house I lived in had no toilet, bathroom, bath or hot running water. My parents were working class poor and it was the best we could do at that point. A quirk of fate changed our fortunes when I was four (that’s a story for another time) and we moved to a different suburb where there was indoor pluming and green fields and trees.
Just as things were going right…
I can actually remember the first few days at school. The noise and smells, the free milk and new things to play with. The first couple of years went fine, I do remember struggling to read, other kids were reading to the teacher and exchanging books, I was stuck with the same one. Eventually I was labeled stupid and laughed at by the other kids. With my lack of ability and wearing second hand clothes, my self esteem was battered. I was made an example of, humiliated, and even beaten by teachers for not applying myself. In the end I stopped trying, I kept my head down and got by. When we got the chance to choose our subjects for exams I chose woodwork, metalwork, art and technical drawing. I left at 16 and no surprise went straight into factory life. Still believing I was stupid and my future prospects were dire.
There have been a few people who had no interest in the image I had for myself or my life. They dismissed my reasons, excuses and perceived limitations as illusions and challenged me to prove them wrong. At different times in my life these crazy, amazing people pushed me so hard that I smashed the “reality” that I was creating for myself, the self-fulfilling narrative of poverty and disillusionment. They pushed me to go beyond what I believed was possible… and they were right, every time, more, much much more is possible when you don’t accept the limits that you are creating for yourself.
I travelled the world. I went to university. I became a husband and father. I became a social worker and therapist. I emigrated. I set up a business or two and became wealthy. Despite being dyslexic I became a business owner, an author, speaker, facilitator, coach and mentor. I have spoken to audiences all over the world. I live in a sun filled house with a pool overlooking two beautiful beaches (far away from my place of origin) with my lovely family.
I saw a pattern that intrigued me. It showed up everywhere where I saw success of happiness. When three aspects of a person’s life were working in sync they were happy, fulfilled, growing and by there own or other’s measures successful. The three areas are Mindset, Skillset and Environment. There are more refined elements within the original three (actually nine elements) that I coach people on so they too can experience mastery over themselves and the situations they find themselves in in life. I have become the one who challenges other’s perceptions of their world and their place in it. I’m the one pushing them to go beyond their self imposed limits. I write, speak, coach and teach. If you are interested in experiencing more than you think possible right now. Get in touch.