This may sound like a negative start to this week’s blog, but I want to ask you to stop and think about all the things you don’t have you wished you did. What are you going without? What are you frustrated that you don’t have? What are you angry about that you wish you had done? What have you stopped even thinking or dreaming about because you feel like it will never happen for you? Yep, I told you. Sounds negative. The question is, of all the things you are currently going without, would you like to have them happen in your life? If you answered yes, then stop looking outside, and go within.
I had an incredible conversation on this week’s podcast, Overcome overwhelm and burnout, with the wonderful Geneviève Pépin. It was a powerful and inspiring podcast, and just as I was about to wrap it, I asked Geneviève for one last tip for listeners. I caught her off-guard, as she thought she had given enough, which she had. But it was this last statement she made that really brought the whole podcast together. After a moment of reflection, she said, Get to know yourself. Look inside and look within. If you don’t look within, you will go without. Wow, what a show-stopper that was.
The question you may be asking is, what does that mean? I want to bring it back to the questions I asked at the start of this blog. When we think about all the things we don’t have or are missing out on, we often find external factors to blame. I know I have done that in the past. I have told this story before many times, but it is relevant again here. I was sacked from the professional football team I played for seven years, after reading about it in the newspaper on a Saturday morning two weeks after the season had finished. At that time, I was young, dumb and I spiralled very quickly into blame and victim mode. I looked outside of myself to find all the factors I could blame. The club, the coaches, my lack of physical prowess, bad-luck and anything on which I could lay blame. Except the real reason for my sacking. Me!
I was an immature and insecure 23-year-old and didn’t have the wisdom Geneviève spoke about in the podcast. I couldn’t bear the thought that it was my fault, so I certainly did not look within. Hence, I went without continuing my professional football journey. Even today, it is challenging and often uncomfortable to go within and truly understand myself, my thoughts and my mindset when an undesirable situation occurs. I mean, how easy it to blame the government and COVID right now for many things we are going without? That is, unless, unless you decide to go within. I promise you; all the answers are in there.
I spoke last week about my tantrum when all my speaking gigs were cancelled and money was lost after the first COVID lockdown. Had I stayed stuck in the traumatic circumstance, I wouldn’t have been able to transform my business so quickly to online. The only way I did it, is because I stopped, I reflected, I went within, and I found the answers that were there. Those same answers are waiting within you. All you have to do is have the courage to go there.
The most challenging time of my life was also in 2020 during the long lockdown in Melbourne. I was living alone after my third marriage had ended not long before. I was feeling lost, lonely, scared, and insecure. I couldn’t understand why I was in this position in my mid-fifties. I mean it was certainly not the plan, that’s for sure. It would have been easy to blame other people but, for the first time in my life, I decided to go within and try to understand myself. It was terrifying because I was so scared of what I would find, and that things would never change. I went in anyway. Incredibly, as a result of that introspection, understanding, acceptance and forgiveness, I am a new man. Had I not had the courage to go within, I know I would be continually going without.
So, we are at that stage in the blog when I ask the question, what about you? What is it you are currently going without, at the moment, that it is ever so tempting to blame someone or something else? I want to suggest you go within and find the answers there. That means, thinking about what you really want. It means, listening to your self-talk about the circumstance. It means assessing your feelings and try to understand the thoughts, beliefs, or the perspective you are focusing on. It means thinking about what you can change, what you can do and what you are in control of. It means thinking about your strengths and your capacity that you can create the change you want. It means loving and believing in yourself.
All of the answers you are looking for lie within you. That is the best news you will ever hear. It means that no matter what is happening around you, nothing or no-one can steal or affect what is happening within you. As you move forward in one of the most challenging times in the history of our lives, just know that the only way you can ever go without is if you don’t go within.