Most people attribute their personal growth to others (guilty!). I began exploring and taking my personal development seriously when I started my first ‘side hustle’ in 2013. I listened to Les Brown, his inspiring stories and his little chuckle – that man is funny! and thought, wow. This man has changed the way I think about EVERYTHING!
Little did I know this was just the tip of the iceberg lol.
I spent a lot of time listening to mentors, reading and finding others I could vibe with to learn from. I came across Gary Vee (Vaynerchuck) who blew my mind about lots of different aspects of the human experience.
And the first time I heard Dr Wayne Dyer, oh my days! Just have a read ….
When you squeeze an orange, you’ll always get orange juice to come out. What comes out is what’s inside. The same logic applies to you: when someone squeezes you, puts pressure on you, or says something unflattering or critical, and out of you comes anger, hatred, bitterness, tension, depression, or anxiety, that is what’s inside. If love and joy are what you want to give and receive, change your life by changing what’s inside.Dr Wayne Dyer
It made so much sense! What we display externally is always going to be a reflection of what’s inside us, especially under stress, pressure or – my speciality – mental health struggles.
For those of you that have never heard of him – here is some background. He was abused by his Dad as a child, in and out of children’s homes and as a kid did not have the easiest of times. Some of the stories of his life, well, they’re pretty intense. But throughout his struggles, somehow, he never lost his positive outlook that things would eventually turn out for the best.
As an adult he found the strength to forgive his father for what he put him through. Forgiveness is really an act of letting go, releasing the anger, the hatred, the bitterness, the thoughts of revenge that we have been carrying around. We can do this letting go without even encountering the person we want to forgive. I’ve tried to practice this for some time but it isn’t easy. If you conquer it though, it really does change things.
Around 2006 my mum told me about a book she’d read. It was written by the son of someone murdered by the Yorkshire Ripper called Just a Boy. Living in Manchester and with this horror taking place almost on our doorstep, she – and I – were fascinated with the impact this awful time had on people’s lives had changed forever.
Richard McCann was the author of this book and his story is truly heartbreaking. For Richard and his siblings, this tragedy triggered decades of deprivation, abuse, pain, suicide pacts, drugs, prison and a lost childhood.
Richard’s moment of change was on release from a stint in prison in his mid-twenties and the influence of an amazing teacher that helped him see further than the anger and pain of his past. He made a decision to turn the pain and anguish of going through so much hardship into inspiration and motivation.
I was fortunate enough to meet Richard twice in 2016. Once when he was a guest speaker for my company and the second time when I attended one of his ICan stage events.
Next and late to the party for me, I came across the legend that is Tony Robbins. I’ve got to say (and I hope he never reads this btw) but his voice used to just grate on me lol! He is one of THE most inspiring, humble and genuine public speakers I’ve ever seen – pretty easy on the eye too, but his voice drove me crazy!
His message though …. wooooahhh! Powerful is an understatement. Reading his books, watching his movies and YouTube clips. People’s lives changed in front of your eyes.
This is where cynical, northern, British me said ‘hang on a minute! Could this be fake?’
I did my research. I was good at that lol. I had friends that went to his shows so I checked out what they had to say. I knew others that had been asked to stand up and share their fears for him to help with. And every single one of them had changed. Like hugely! They continued to work on themselves and make positive changes, but one thing was for sure. There was nothing fake about it.
So. Why am I sharing my shizzle? Why am I telling you about random strangers that have had an influence on my life? (And there are many, many more!).
It is because …………. it’s not them ………… it’s me!
They showed me ways I could improve my life. They shared stories that resonated and solutions that made sense. They weren’t too up their own arse like some can be. And the shit I was going through and had been through was on a level of what they were talking about. I’m not alone either lol.
I used to say things like:
‘They have changed my life!’
‘What they have talked about makes so much sense – everything has changed for me because of what they said!’
‘One of the most inspiring and motivational stories I have ever heard. They have made my life so much better’
Which is truly great! But completely misplaced.
THEY didn’t take the action. I DID.
THEY gave me the reasoning and the rationality to think about things in my life. But I MADE THE CHANGES.
THEY shared stories that blew my mind and also shared the lessons they had applied for themselves. I APPLIED THOSE LESSONS to my life, not them.
I guess what I’m saying is if you have the tools, knowledge and inspiration, YOU can change your life YOURSELF! I am in no way taking anything away from these incredible people that are experts at what they do. But if we implement their lessons, we are making those changes ourselves. We just needed the guidance.
Tell me your thoughts on this?
Love and light.