I have been going through some tough times lately (yes, personal and business coaches go through stuff too). It has been quite possibly, …. no …. most certainly, the toughest time in my personal life that I have ever faced. There is lots of pain. It’s all very messy and very dramatic at times – at least from my perspective. As a success coach for many years now, it’s ironic that I would be walking through much of the same things that I have helped coaching clients walk through. It’s not that I have not had to deal with many of these issues in the past, but that this time around it all seems very more deeply impacting on my life. Indeed the process of personal success can be very messy at times.
I’ve been very fortunate to have trustworthy people that I could turn to who have been able to help me gain insight and wisdom from these tough times. There is pain in this journey. There is internal conflict. There is disappointment. There is uncertainty. Yes, there is everything that can make a life messy, BUT… with this messy drama in my life, there is growth like I have not known in my life in years, a wealth of knowledge about relationships, insight into things I have internalized and struggled with for most of my life, and with it all, everything that make life worth living. I am becoming a much better (and hopefully more likable and lovable) man. Isn’t this what we all want in life – to be more likable and lovable?
It’s Not an Easy Process
Growth and change bring conflict. It’s just how life is. When you attempt to do great things in your life, to achieve, to excel, to improve how you relate to others, you will most always face some sort of criticism, ridicule, skepticism, and/or opposition. In short, things can get messy. It’s just how life is when you seek to rise above mediocrity. Not everyone will see things your way. Not everyone will be excited for your growth. Not everyone will be encouraging about what you are going through or about the progress of your journey.
Jesus Himself faced continual criticism for what He said, ridicule for the things He did, and skepticism from even His own family and friends at times. He faced intense opposition from the very people He sought to bring the Truth of who He was and what He offered to those who would follow Him. As far as the Truth of who Jesus is, even today – 2000 years after He was resurrected from the dead – His name still brings conflict, criticism, ridicule, skepticism, and opposition. Don’t believe me? Stand out on a busy street corner and proclaim Jesus as Lord and see what sort of response you get.
We must get used to things getting messy at times in our lives if we want to see real growth in our character. We must be willing to work through the challenges that come our way if we want to excel in the things we most want in our lives. We must be ready to come to terms with the things in our lives that keep us from becoming everything that we were created to become. It is in all this – life’s greatest challenges – that the greatest success stories are born out of. These ‘success stories’ are made out of the torn and tattered fabric of human experience. The heroes in our lives are most often those who have weathered the greatest storms. These heroes in life provide the greatest inspiration for others to aspire to become like.
Success – lasting success – comes at a price. The caveat in being a great success story is that you must be willing to be transparent, honest, and open to being real with your life. There are a great multitude of superficial, insincere, shallow people all around us – those fake it until you make it sort of people – that confuse success with money, things, popularity, and sexual appeal. These are NOT the heroes in life or the examples of what the masses really want. At the core of our existence, humans want authenticity. When they see it, it’s like a drink of cool water to their dry souls. They just can’t get enough. In our superficial Hollywood driven world, people are screaming for authenticity, honesty, sincerity, and realness. BE THAT AUTHENTIC INDIVIDUAL!
Don’t Choose to Live the Hollywood Version of Yourself
Remember that while the Hollywood version of yourself may reflect a good life with no problems, challenges, struggles or heart aches, it is not real life. Living superficially in your relationships or living the deceptive ‘fake it until you make it’ lifestyle, only robs you of the deeper and more meaningful things that allow us to live an authentic purpose-filled life. When we live behind a mask of perfection in hopes that others will like or accept us more, we will ultimately fail both ourselves and others who need an example of the strength and courage that comes from the furnace of hardship, trials, pain, and personal failure. Don’t sell yourself short and settle for the Hollywood version of yourself. There are enough superficial Hollywood characters in life. Determine to start living your life authentically so your life can be the life of a hero to someone who needs one.
Be willing to live authentically by embracing the messy and the dramatic in life. It is what best shapes our character and future success. Those who live authentic transparent lives, and are willing to be real and honest with the world around them are the true heroes. This sort of realness in your life will bring you the sort of things that cannot be bought, cannot be traded for, and cannot be leveraged into. This realness will spill over into every part of your life – into your family life, into your school life, into our work life, and into your relationships. As you strive to live authentically and embrace the messy things of your life as opportunities for growth, you will see amazing things happen in you from the inside out. When you determine that no matter what may come from your choice to be real, honest, and transparent in your life, you will begin to live and to love more passionately. The best part of the whole process will be that you will have a positive impact on those around you who will want to have what you have.