If you know me, you’d probably describe me as unapproachable, arrogant, or conceited…and that’s if you LIKE me.
I was not always the man I am today. I was once scared, insecure, and judgemental. Continue reading to discover how finding personal happiness and breaking cycles can lead to realizing your full potential and living the life of your dreams.
Loneliness, Fear, and Feeling Unworthy
But you probably don’t know that I’ve been lonely and scared and felt unworthy of love most of my life. You probably don’t know that I grew up on an emotional roller coaster, with one parent drowning in depression and addiction. At the same time, the other battled anxiety and panic from a lifetime of sexual and emotional abuse.
Both of whom were locked in a cycle of repeated abuse trying to raise a family without Oprah.
Needless to say, my emotional needs weren’t a very high priority, and my adolescent brain interpreted that those needs weren’t being met because I didn’t deserve for them to be.
Withdrawing and Becoming Unapproachable
So, I withdrew. I went numb, and started living between the lines, trying not to call attention to myself. I put up walls and became unapproachable.
If I didn’t talk to you at that party, networking event, or in the hallway, it’s not because I thought you were beneath me but because I was taught that whatever I needed wasn’t important. I didn’t think you’d be interested. I didn’t think I’d have anything to offer you.
Perfectionism as a Mask for Insecurity
If I looked perfect from the outside, it’s because I felt so ugly and small inside. Maybe if I made the outside look perfect, I’d be worthy of your time.
But if you know me, you’d probably also say I was wicked smaht, ambitious, and self-sufficient. I owe those traits to that same childhood.
So you’d expect there’s no way I was living with such pain that I’d figure a way through. You’d be right again, and I know exactly when it happened.
A Turning Point: Protecting the Next Generation
The first time I looked into my daughter’s eyes before she knew I was her father, I knew I would never let her grow up that way, and I vowed to protect her and, eventually, her brother from that kind of loneliness.
Breaking Cycles and Finding Personal Happiness
I’ve broken a lot of cycles in my life in an attempt to not pass them on to the next generation, but I almost lost sight of the fact that finding my happiness is as important a lesson to teach as any other.
Doing as I say and not as I do never works with any mentee, child, or otherwise.
Reflecting on Life’s Challenges
2018 was by far the hardest year of my life. The private and public events that played out shook my very foundation, and I have not yet fully recovered.
I’m thousands of miles from the only people I truly love, and I’m not living near my purpose or to my fullest, but that’s changing daily.
But some good has come of it; it’s caused me to take a sober account of my life and its choices.
Understanding the Impact of Choices
Back in 2012, as I watched my father’s choices narrow by the day, I instinctively understood that choices he’d made years, decades prior, were bearing fruit. Or, in this case, not bearing fruit. He had lived very much in the moment; addiction makes those choices for you.
So, as I sat sanctimoniously at my computer for close to ten months searching for a ‘job,’ I realized that the circumstances of my life were, inescapably, the result of my fucking doing, just like I’d decided he was.
Searching for Identity and Happiness
And what’s worse is that I couldn’t figure out what I wanted for my life, what I could do to make me happy. Who I wanted to be. Almost fifty and no closer to those answers than I was when I ran away and joined the Navy right out of high school.
But I did know some stuff. I had begun to understand what made a business successful. What made some of the most successful people alive happy – which weren’t mutually inclusive, by the way.
Success, Happiness, and Purpose as Internal
But the most important thing I knew is that none of it: success, happiness, or purpose was external. We’re born with absolutely everything we need to love and be loved, to be successful and happy. Only our choices cause deviation.
I’ve coached a LOT of people facing a similar obstacle. Who am I? What do I want? What am I good at? What’s my passion?
Knowing the Important Parts of Me
In the past 18 months, I’ve become more centered, grounded, and focused on what makes me tick than ever before. At a cellular level, I finally discovered the tools to uncover what is important to me, regardless of what others think or believe. And to be OK with those choices. IDGaF – I like soccer.
Why none of those past relationships or jobs worked out, why I can’t stand to be around hypocrites, no matter how nice or rich or attractive they are?
I know the important parts of me – the hard-coded me, the unapologetically and nonnegotiable me.
A Personal Apology for Misunderstandings
So, if I ever made you feel unwelcome or it felt that I was unfriendly or uninterested in you and your story, I’m sorry; it wasn’t you; it was me.
Ready to break free from cycles, find personal happiness, and create a life that aligns with your true desires? Take action now and book a Strategy Call with Charles. Together, we’ll design a roadmap to unlock your full potential and make your dreams a reality. Don’t hesitate – schedule your call today and start living your best life!