TO START CREATING YOUR SHIFT, LEAVE YOUR DETAILS BELOW.
To survive and thrive in this disruptive world, we need to create a shift – a shift in our way of thinking, living and leading. Yet it’s often only during the most challenging circumstances that we find the courage to create this shift.
Ten years ago, I woke up in a hospital bed after having spinal surgery. Despite being on a high dose of pain medication, I suddenly had full, confronting clarity on how my life had got to that point.
There were a number of reasons why I was in hospital. The heavy, at times unsafe weight training I’d been doing had damaged my vertebrae. I’d also experienced a series of stressful events that had deeply impacted some of my relationships and physical health. The most significant of these was when an especially good friend of mine broke up with his wife unexpectedly, and he had become extremely difficult to keep in contact with.
And then there was my decision to sell my 31 investment properties. I’d achieved tremendous success in investing: the assets were paying for themselves, I was cash-flow positive and in a good place. But I sold all my investments due to fear. I’d received ill advice about the “end of the property boom”, which had fed into my psyche of self-sabotage. After selling the properties, I invested my money into other assets – options and share trading, small franchises – and basically entrusted my money to other people.
Of course, it all fell over. I went from having a successful investment portfolio and no mortgage on my own home to having no investments and a big, chunky mortgage once again. As I lay in my hospital bed, I could see how all these factors had crashed down on me. They crashed so hard, my back had literally given way and I needed spinal surgery.
I recalled what I had said so often to my kids: “Nothing is unachievable for you because you are amazing.” I realised I hadn’t been listening to my own advice. Fast-forward to 2017. I was unwell again, physically and mentally. I had caught a virus which lead to Bell’s Palsy and being partially blind.. For the few years prior, I’d spent varying amounts of times in high-profile roles at different organisations and felt unfulfilled. I believe this illness was my body again telling me I was not leading the life I was meant to lead.
For a long time, I’d wanted to set up my own business. But rather than empowering myself to achieve this goal, I spent my time empowering others. I encouraged others to step up, but when it came to my own opportunity to create the shift, I didn’t take it.
In 2017, I knew it was my time to create my shift. I set up my own organisation and it went from strength to strength. But as the business grew, I wasn’t making my health a priority. Again, my body started to break down, you’d think I would have learnt by now. By the end of 2017, I was the most unfit, unwell and unhealthy I’d been in my life. I remember walking up a set of stairs in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast and running out of breath after a flight of steps. I realised I needed to make massive changes in my life. I overhauled my diet – no bread, rice, pasta or sugar. I also started to exercise every day and rewired the way I thought about, dealt with and managed work and life challenges.
It was a painful process. Shifts often aren’t easy. But they are always positive. After six months, I lost six belt holes and felt more able than I had for a long time. This shift was not a single event – it is a continuous process that is now part of who I am.
Realising that you need to take a different path is the first step. It’s not easy. It can be extremely confronting. But to take your place in the world and succeed, it is essential.