Words have power, and it's astounding how words can leave a deep impact on our Children, no matter how benevolent our intentions. When I was younger, I was a talented, but undisciplined student. I was consistently near the top of my classes, so I indulged in video games. Because my Parents were concerned and wanted the best for me, they compared me to others: "Can't you be a bit more hard-working like Sue?" or "You have so much potential, if only you'd put some time into your studies".
This developed a deep rooted fear, which would define my life for decades to come: "I am not achieving my highest potential".
This became my internal story, and most of my self-talk revolved around this negative belief that I could be so much more.
I read law at the University of Manchester but it wasn't enough. I became a Vice-President in one of the country's most prestigious Investment Banks but it wasn't enough. I was married to a lovely woman and had two lovely children but it wasn't enough. I remember going on holiday with my little family and being obsessed by sales figures on my phone, unable to enjoy myself.
You see, the Universe has a funny way of teaching you life lessons.
I was so miserable, I sabotaged myself so badly that I lost my businesses, almost all of my money, and ended up divorced.
In pain, we grow. As I was so desperate to end the suffering, I read and read and read some more. I shall forever be indebted to texts such as Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now", Dr. Jordan Peterson's "12 Rules of Life" and the Buddhism texts my mother shared with me.
Over time, as I better understood my own psychology and emotions, I found a tool which was suitable for ME - self-love and meditation. And life slowly started to become better.
I was terrified that I was not achieving my potential so there was a lot of resentment and impatience. Obviously, this impacted my relationship with my bosses, clients and colleagues. I made myself so miserable and stressed, every day.
One day, when I was in Investment Banking, I woke up and started coughing. I vomited into the bathroom sink and to my horror, the basin was full of phlegm and... blood. I remember being so terrified that I delayed seeing a doctor. Finally, after a week of bloodied basins, the searing pain in my throat was too much to ignore.
The doctor had good and bad news for me. The "good" news was that I did not have a critical illness.
Turns out, I was so stressed and miserable that I had ulcers growing down all the way from my throat to my stomach. Whenever I coughed, all the ulcers would rupture and bleed. The bad news? Well, the doctor promised me a young and early death if I continued this path.
So, I made the difficult decision of putting down my lucrative career and starting my own business.
But you see, changing your environment without changing your psychology doesn't help - in fact, over the next few years, it got worse.
my insecurities and fears deepened after leaving Investment Banking, and it ultimately culminated in my business failures and the collapse of my marriage. After my failures and divorce, I read and learnt about self-love.
It was extremely frustrating, at first, because everyone tells you how important self-love is, but no one actually teaches you how to achieve it. Yes, it's extremely difficult to overcome our negative self-talk and self-loathing, because we've had decades of practice and experience. We are REALLY good at bashing ourselves up.
Today, I believe that self-love is a SKILL, and it can be trained / practiced.
Today, as a Parenting and Teachers' Trainer, I have devoted my life to bringing happiness and hope to Parents and Teachers. A large part of my syllabus is teaching my clients how to love themselves and to control their thoughts, because thoughts breed emotions and actions.
Our emotions (and mental health) are a direct result of what we think about. There are other factors, of course, such as hormones and chemicals. Primarily, however, we can choose how we want to feel by deliberately choosing what to think about.
If you are suffering, it is not wise to suffer alone. Reach out to talk to professionals, like myself, or a therapist. We CAN help you feel better really effectively.