People See What You Do. They Rarely Know How You Feel.
I was bullied by a colleague in my first ever job. I never made a high school sports team. I didn’t get top grades in high school or university. I didn’t get into medical school.
I was devastated when I was fired from a job I loved. I left my teaching career before ever becoming a headteacher, which had been my big dream.
My first coaching client paid me $10/month – that was $2.50 an hour. I struggled to pay my bills for my first two years as a coach. I resigned as the CEO of an international coaching organization before I ever had a chance to create a lasting impact.
I spent most of my life trying to prove myself to my father. I’ve found marriage challenging. I find it hard to switch off. I’ve had conversations with my wife where the only thing in my head was the business challenge I needed to solve.
I sometimes struggle as a parent. I’ve played with my boys, whilst secretly checking email on my phone every few minutes because on the inside I felt overwhelmed.
I’ve struggled to finish my second book for the past two years. I feel weak, lazy, insecure and not enough, on a regular basis – sometimes all at the same time.
It’s often easier to stay home than go out because I don’t know how to make small talk and I struggle to be sociable at parties. I can feel incredibly lonely, even in the middle of a crowd.
I can spend hours on Facebook, Netflix or email, avoiding the really important things I know I need to do.
Within minutes of a big success, I almost immediately feel the pressure of what I need to do next, or I judge myself for not achieving more.
I’ve been overwhelmed many times by the emotional roller coaster of business. I was devastated when my father died – I stopped bringing in money for almost 9 months and used up most of our family’s savings.
Other people’s successes sometimes make me jealous. I’ve seen clients make more money than me, have more success than me, sell more books than me, become more famous than me.
Unlike my clients, I’ve never served in the Armed Forces, never sold a company, never been a leader of a multi-national corporation. I’ve never done a TED talk, never been interviewed on TV, never had an article published in Forbes. I’ve never built a $10 million firm, never spoken at Google, or taught at an ivy league university, or presented to the leadership at Microsoft.
I can feel exhausted – mentally, emotionally and physically – but the last thing I’ll ever do is ask you for help, or accept your help.
And I sometimes feel more scared the more successful I become, because it feels like I have even more to lose, or even more to prove.