I felt so sick that I just couldn’t face it. I simply drove as far as I possibly could and ended up in some car park miles away, just sitting there wondering why I had the overwhelming need to escape…
I had been on my way to work having just returned from a three-week family holiday. I got there, walked upstairs to my office and sat down at my desk. But almost immediately I stood back up, walked out and got back in my car. I started the engine and an hour later I arrived at that car park in Oxford.
This was my first experience of a midlife crisis and I was only 33 years old. But what made that event so memorable was I knew something had changed within me.
On that family holiday in Singapore, I had experienced freedom, choice, happiness and real fulfilment. On the long flight home, there was no feeling of excitement – just despair and anxiety at what I knew I was returning too.
But what happened next?
Nothing. I felt stuck on the corporate wheel of life. I had a mortgage and a family to provide for and I had no way out. I felt truly stuck.
Throughout my years at work I got promoted several times, but each promotion filled me with more and more dread. I knew I was becoming even more trapped in a life I didn’t want. I felt like a fake. I was really trying to be this person I knew deep down just wasn’t me.
I was craving freedom and to be me, but my default had become to conform. Do a job and just accept it.
Often I would struggle to get time off to watch the kids’ school activities. Then even if I did get there, I felt guilty I wasn’t at work and constantly checked the phone or Blackberry. I was trying to squeeze a lifestyle into corporate life – and I was failing.
I often left the office feeling totally unfulfilled, and I knew what I was doing was so meaningless to me and to anyone else. I longed for the weekends and being able to escape. But I often lost those days to hangovers having drunk too much. That horrible Sunday night feeling of dreading Monday morning was never far away.
I was out of shape, bored, listless and irritable. I did not like the person I had become. I spent too much time on social media and drove myself into a state of envy. I looked at all these seemingly perfect lives – lives that everyone else was living – while at the same time despairing at my own.
I tried to fix myself by using the classic external things. I bought a BMW and joined the gym (I never went), but none of it really did anything to make feel any better about where my life was. My stress and anxiety levels were sky high. I had never felt more trapped and helpless. I really felt I had completely lost any control of my life.
June 16th 2016 – I was sitting on a train in an emotional straight jacket and feeling utterly depressed. But that was MY moment – the time I said: “Enough is enough.”
While on that train, I thought about what my life would look like in five years if I just carried on as I was. I wanted to change my life and I knew that for change to happen. I had to take action.
I made a note of the date and made the best promise I have ever made to myself. I vowed that on the exact same day the following year I would revisit that same spot on that train journey and I would have regained control of my life and I would be HAPPY.
I knew the most important thing for me was to find something I could really believe in. I wanted to feel in control. I wanted freedom and happiness, and I wanted to have the life I’d always wanted.
I invested in seminars, training, mentors and pushing past fear and stepping out of my comfort zone. I loved exploring, learning and devouring new opportunities for how I could live my life. I became more selfless and started really focusing on me and what I needed to change to make me happier.
I fronted up to the fear of failure and the need to conform. I really worked on my mindset to help me turn my dreams into real life projects.
My mindset had changed forever and the feeling of being set free was amazing. I bought a bike and discovered the joy of the open air and the countryside. I started running and being fit again gave me so much more energy.
I started to drink less alcohol and the pleasure of losing fewer days to hangovers was a joy.
I also hugely reduced the time I spent on social media and started reading actual books again instead.
All of these changes in my life – working on my mindset, getting fitter, leading a healthier lifestyle, and having far less social media envy – made me feel so much better in myself. I now knew I was ready to tackle the biggest obstacle I had faced in my entire life and that was to make the decision to leave my job!
I had explored other business opportunities, such as selling on Amazon and opening a coffee shop among others, but none of them gave me that “hallelujah” moment.
Then I stumbled upon a coaching course and experienced that lightning bolt moment – I wanted to help people. The very reason I had felt so unfilled throughout my working life was there was no meaning to it. I wasn’t really making a difference to anybody. I was living a life where I didn’t feel I was playing my part and I just wasn’t being true to myself.
I decided right there that I was going to be a coach and I knew I was going to love doing it.
Since then, I’ve trained, qualified and become a fully-accredited coach. I have the luxury of working for myself, helping people and living a hugely fulfilling life. I love what I’m doing – it just doesn’t feel like work. Helping to inspire people is a feeling like no other.
I wake up happy and look forward to every day. Everything I do now has real meaning. I love feeling inspirational and setting myself goals and disciplines to create a successful and profitable business.
I also have so much more time to do the things I love doing.
No more of those horrible Sunday nights or post-holiday blues. No more just having four or five weeks a year where you get to do what you really want.
I enjoy the sunshine when it’s out, I am around to spend far more time with my family and I have more time to indulge a real passion of coaching my daughter’s cricket team.
I now feel completely free, no boss to answer to anymore, and I just love the feeling of living a way of life that is SO right for me. Before I was scared of failing, but now I feel I could do anything.
But the most important part of it all is I have total clarity around what I want. I’ve been able to use that clarity to make better choices and that has helped me completely change my life.
I now help other people in exactly same way. I help professional men avoid their midlife crisis by getting clarity around what they want, make new choices and change their life!
If anything I’ve spoken about above resonates with you then I am currently offering complimentary discovery sessions. During this session, we will work out what choices you could be making to change your life today, so that you can avoid a midlife crisis and change the direction of your life.