Turning Adversity into an Asset
Turning Adversity into an Asset
My Dad was an alcoholic and would put me down a lot, regularly telling me I was a buffoon and I would never amount to anything. He would hit me, and call me ‘bad’. I believed him. This created voices in my head. You know the ones? “you’re not good enough”, and “you don’t deserve to be successful”. This inner dialogue completely paralysed me. I was scared of people thinking I was stupid. I was scared of failing and proving my dad right. I was even scared of succeeding and proving my Dad wrong.
After suffering sexual abuse at the age of eleven years old, I began getting into trouble. At the age of thirteen I was being arrested for shoplifting, lighting fires and criminal damage, at fourteen, I had an Antisocial Behaviour Order, at fifteen I was expelled from school and by the age of eighteen I was in a young offender’s institution.
The next seven years to follow were years of violence, drug and alcohol abuse, prison sentences and completely destructive self-sabotaging behaviour. I had my jaw broken, my teeth knocked out, my gullet torn, slashed with a knife, and hooked up to an ECG machine for my cocaine use, more times than I can count. I was diagnosed with three different mental health disorders including: Antisocial Personality Disorder, Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, and Bipolar Type 2 – for which I was prescribed antipsychotics. I was banned from driving, once due to a police chase, and the second time due to having alcoholic epileptic seizures, and amongst all the chaos, I also had to deal with the death of my Dad, after walking in and finding him dead one morning from pancreatic cancer, as a result of his alcoholism.
I didn’t speak about my feelings with anyone, mainly because they were so suppressed, I didn’t even know they were there. I just felt angry, restless and discontent all the time, and like something was missing; a void that could never be filled or satisfied. I tried to fill the void by taking drugs, drinking alcohol, fighting, sex, gambling – you name it, I tried it; but nothing ever really seemed to ‘do it’ for me. I now know that the reason nothing was working, was because I was trying fix an internal problem with an external solution. I looked at everything around me, but failed to look at myself. It seems so obvious now!
Perching on the edge of my tiny prison bed, after being sentenced to eighteen months for my third prison sentence at the age of twenty-fourth years old – I remember saying out loud “I can’t keep doing this to myself; I can’t keep blaming everything and everyone around me for why my life seems so hard!”. I finally starting taking responsibility, and for once understood that if I wanted my life to change, first, I needed to change myself.
From this point on, I’ve taken the most amazing journey of self-discovery. I engaged with counsellors, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, read every book imaginable; moved away from my friends and family; admitted myself into a 6 month, fully intensive, live-in rehabilitation treatment centre; and started to attend 12-step recovery drug and alcohol meetings every single day.
I started to volunteer for charities and realised how incredible it felt to help others, but also how powerful my experiences were! Everything I had ever been through had been the world’s best life coaching training! ‘Wait, I could be a Life Coach!’ – I thought to myself. So, I became a qualified coach and started helping people by connecting with people I thought I could help on social media. Within 6 months, I had created enough money to travel South-East Asia whilst coaching people online, within 8 months I was earning a 6-figure income, and by the time I hit my first year in business, I was fully-booked, had an online community of thousands of people, and a monthly membership subscription service to cope with the demand of clients.
I started to become inundated with requests from other coaches asking for my secrets of how I was able to rise to the top so quickly, so I told them, and then they got amazing results too! Fast forward just 2 more years in business, and I am now a senior accredited coaching trainer, and the founder and CEO of The Coaching Masters, a 7-figure international coaching training platform and online community. We now qualify, accredit and help people become online coaches. I am also a motivational speaker, speaking on stages across the world, whilst managing my team of over 25 staff, working remotely, living in Bali, Indonesia, with my beautiful girlfriend, Dayana.
I no longer recognise my past life and can honestly say that I don’t recognise myself as the person I once was. I’m now teetotal and that void I felt filled up a long time ago when I started building a better relationship with myself. I’ve now been told that I don’t display a single symptom of mental illness. Whether I cured them, a miracle occurred, or I even had them in the first place, I will never know; but, what I do know is, they don’t affect me or my life anymore.
I always wanted to change my life, but I never in a million years thought I’d be the kind of person to help others, and to change the world in my own little way. For that, I will always be grateful for every single thing that has ever happened to me, as it was never happening to me, it was always happening for me. And the most exciting thing about it all, is now I’m moving forward with my life every day, I know the best is yet to come.