I remember it like it was yesterday.
The day my doctor’s office called to say the doctor wanted to discuss the results of my blood work. Naturally, my first reaction was one of concern, considering that I had been going for an annual check-up for years and never got a call back. From the second I hung up the phone, my mind started racing, trying to figure out what the hell was going on, what could it possibly be that warranted me needing to see my doctor as soon as possible?
The following day, I arrived at the doctor’s office and waited in the examination room for about five minutes, the longest five minutes I’ve ever had to sit though. Eventually the door opened and my doctor walked in and closed the door behind him.
He reached for my file and began to read though it. After a brief moment he lifted his head and looked directly at me. What he said next, rocked me to the core.
“Brian, your blood, it’s off.”
“Off…what does that mean exactly?” I asked.
He said, “I’m not one hundred percent certain, but I think it might be leukaemia.” And in that very moment, my entire body drained, I never felt so empty in my entire life. Here I was, a young man in my mid forties, with so many plans and things I wanted to accomplish and experience. Just a few years earlier, I had married Janice, my best friend and the woman of my dreams. We had so many exciting plans mapped out for the future. Plus, I had my beautiful daughter Kristen. She is everything to me and she needed a father, so I couldn’t imagine having to accept that this might be the end of my story. The last thing I wanted was to die, What I wanted was to really live!
I got into my car and sat there in a state of utter despair. Realising my life was now hanging in the balance, I thought to myself. Have I been taking my life for granted? I had to get honest with myself and admit the truth. I had been taking my life for granted. I had been drifting through life with no sense of purpose or meaning. I was just getting through life, instead of really living it.
At this point, I had already done a lot of work on myself. I had gone on the personal development journey and I had become a better person because of it. Had I not done that my life would have been very different. I most probably wouldn’t have married the woman of my dreams or had the amazing relationship that I have with my daughter. I wouldn’t have become a coach, written a book or had the opportunity to speak on stage. My life would look nothing like it does today.
My start in life hadn’t been an easy one.
From my very first memories there was a lot of tension in our house. My parents argued a lot which often led to episodes of violence. Whenever this happened, there was alcohol involved, which always added fuel to the fire. My Dad would often throw my Mom out of the house, leaving me in a state of tremendous fear and anxiety. I was abandoned for days at a time and left to my own devices from five or six years old. Just me and my brother who is only 4 years older than me. My messed up environment and lack of support led me to fail at school. I couldn’t concentrate and I couldn’t tell anyone. The shame only added to my negative self image, so I grew up lacking any kind of self-esteem and self-worth.
This tough start set me on a path to nowhere. I dropped out of school at 16 years old, was hanging around the wrong kinds of places with the wrong kind of people. I went from one dead end job to another. I was destined to be one of those sad stories…
There was a point in my life where I actually got on my knees and prayed in complete desperation. I didn’t want the life I was living and I needed to make a massive change. That was my first step in changing my life. I did the work on myself. I made amends, I became a better person, a better father to my daughter, but there was still more to do.
Which brings me back to that pivotal day at the doctor’s office.
Here’s what happened next… My white blood cell count was completely off the charts. My GP referred me to a top haematologist, who tried to figure out what was going on. He confirmed that it was not Leukaemia, but couldn’t explain what was going on. I would see him every six months over the next three years to monitor my blood cell count. After the three years had passed he told me that he could not confirm what was going on and that there was a less than 1% chance I would become sick from my current condition. To this day, I’ve never found out exactly what was going on. It wasn’t until a total of five years later that my white blood cells went back to showing as normal.
During that period of uncertainty, I made the decision to make the most of each and every day, because if I have learned one thing, it’s this.
This is where the next part of my learning and growth came into play. I got honest with myself and realised that as much as I had improved my life, there was so much more available for me. I still had limiting beliefs and self sabotaging patterns that I had carried with me through the years. I knew it was time to break free of the past. Heal those wounds and start really living, and I am so glad I did!
If you’re truly ready to tap into the greatness you have within you, if you’re ready to go all in on you and let go of all the reasons that have been holding you back, here are 4 proven steps that are the foundations to change anything in your life. These 4 steps have not only been the guiding principles for living my best life, but it has also helped thousands of others to do the same.
Step 1 – TRUTH
You must become willing to get honest with yourself. This is accomplished by accepting complete ownership of where you are in life and your part in what brought you there. Despite the guilt, shame, anger, resentment, regret, or sadness, you must be rigorously honest with yourself. This is the foundation for which everything you want to change and improve becomes possible. Without complete honesty, there is little hope for lasting change. Ultimately, when you decide to accept full responsibility for your life and the decisions you’ve made, you will set yourself free from everything that’s been preventing you from achieving the quality of life you want and deserve.
Step 2 – Courage
Truth alone is one thing, but it takes courage to change; to become brave enough to walk into the unknown. To face the difficulties and the challenges, the setbacks, the fear, and the self-doubt that you will have to face along your journey to living an extraordinary life. You must believe in yourself and keep going no matter what – that’s when your efforts will begin to pay off. Have faith in knowing that your most courageous self can pull you through the most challenging times.
Step 3 – Commitment
Commitment goes way beyond setting a goal or specific outcome for yourself to aim for. If setting goals was all that was required to achieve the things in life that are important to you, you’d be living your dream life. The truth is, you have to decide what it is that you really want and why you want it. Once you decide what it is you want and why you want it, then you must burn the bridges by making a genuine promise to hold yourself to a higher standard and agree to do the work required to achieve your desired outcome.
Step 4 – Intentional Action
There’s a difference between taking action and being intentional about the actions you take on a daily basis, including the times when you doubt yourself or feel like throwing the towel in. This means creating and following new daily habits and putting an end to old ones. You have to trade in old habits for new ones, because old habits create familiarity that gives you a false sense that things are not that bad. You need to keep advancing when you feel like you want to retreat. Taking intentional action on a daily basis that you measure yourself against, will ensure that you get results. This will reveal what is possible and what you’re capable of achieving and having in life.
If you would like to learn more about my story and a deeper dive into these 4 steps to transformational change, check out my brand new book Finding Extraordinary – Stop Waiting To Start Really Living. It is available on Amazon now.