Hello, my deep-thinking friend. I'd firstly like to say thank you for taking time out of your busy and demanding day to explore a profound ideology of how I think, structure my life, and operate as an individual through this fast-paced, high-pressured world that takes a significant toll on any ambitious and conscientious individual that wants far more than a mediocre lifestyle.
Before we jump into the core of my philosophy and how it's been shaped, let me explain the outline of this blog article so you can decide if you wish to continue reading.
Well, this is expansive, but I'll keep this as brief and concise as possible! The truth is, I'm more like a multiple of people wrapped up into one instead of being this one fixed individual. Some days, I'm a highly disciplined, driven warrior crushing my goals, and other days, I'm like an unemployed bum who doesn't want to get out of bed and feels like telling the world, 'Not today, thanks'.
To give you a little more understanding of me, here are some of the headlines:
Now that you've got all that, sprinkle in my values and traits, and you'll have a good idea of who I am…
My Key Values
My Key Character Traits
These values matter to me and are the features of my personality that I see as important. I'm NOT perfect at these elements, but I hold myself to them and practice improving them daily.
So, there you go, a quick snapshot of me. As you can see, it looks messy, but there's some good stuff there to work on... Welcome to my life journey and how I'm navigating it effectively!
From initially joining the Army in 1995 at the tender age of 16 to the present day, it's been a monster of a journey that has been painful for most of the way so far but also incredibly rewarding. I've been lucky that I've been able to stop myself from falling into the abyss of depression on several occasions due to the incredible pressures I experienced when running my businesses. Now, add on the difficulty of trying to raise a young family and keep my relationship intact; life was challenging, to say the least. This difficulty and experience have given me great insight into handling myself when times get challenging (and there have been some tough times).
Despite my difficult journey, I've also had the privilege to deliver my clients over 18,000 hours of 1-2-1 personal training and professional executive NLP coaching. This has given me invaluable data, leading to identifying common themes within a particular cohort of individuals. Over the last 20 years of professional coaching and training, it has been ascertained that 80% of my clients have been professional women. These women have been corporate executives, have careers with great responsibility, or run their own businesses.
Where I and others were struggling
When I was running multiple Fitness studios, a supplement brand, and a personal training education company, I was enjoying some degree of success for a period; however, it wasn't long before that success moved in the opposite direction and took a significant strain on my physical and mental health.
Despite my calm exterior, underneath, I was paddling like a duck to stay above the surface. If the clients weren't happy, I was under pressure to do more training with my staff. When my team wasn't performing, I had to do more training with the managers and support the team more. When my family life was struggling, I'd have to spend more time with them. When the profits were low, and the bills weren't getting paid, I'd need more sales. When the business wasn't performing, I needed to take more business courses. It seemed more was the only thing demanded from me in all components of my life. These pressures, combined with my character and values of what I see as crucial in my world, built significant stress that was pulling me down a slippery slope to burnout, which led me to believe I couldn't fulfil my role as a business owner, aka imposter syndrome. It was this feeling that pulled me toward the brink of depression. I always felt that life was demanding too much from me, and I didn't have the energy for my personal fitness, family, or anything outside of my working environment. In fact, I'd lost all my energy for everything! In my mind, I felt like a terrible father and a worse business owner.
With all my personal situations, I quickly learned from my clientele that a significant amount of them were experiencing similar symptoms through similar circumstances. This recognition sparked motivation and inspired me to find the answers to my problems and how to navigate them effectively to share strategies to help my clients. Because of my values and character traits, a driving force was ignited because it mattered to me to be a person of integrity and to produce results to help others. I will never personally trust an individual who gives advice or teaches practices they clearly don't do themselves. Therefore, it was time to fix everything that was broken in my life, move into a space of feeling energised, have a clear direction of what I wanted my life to look like, and start moving down that pathway. The real journey was now beginning.
My first port of call was to identify if this was already a problem other people were experiencing outside of my own circle. I knew if this was a common issue, then there would be solutions people had already created. Here is what I discovered.
A 2023 report conducted by KPMG concluded the following:
Reported common solutions
As I'm sure you'll agree, the research findings doesn't look great, and the solutions, although they will have a positive impact, seem to lack much substance. With this in mind, it motivated me to step forward and take on the beast before me and then come away with experiences, principles, strategies, and tools that worked for me and can help others, too. It's this process that has forged my philosophy.
My failure and pathway to high performance
Money was good, business was great, and life seemed swimmingly well. Then, the unfortunate mistake I made was I allowed my ego to dominate my direction. I made several significant financial investments and a lousy choice of people to work in my organisation. Both components were entirely of my own doing. I wasn't a diligent leader, keeping a close eye on my team. I became greedy and focused too much on my external and internal investments, which completely distracted me from what was happening at the core of my business. I also made several poor personal decisions. I do not wish to disclose those decisions as they involve others and do not want to discredit others publicly. Let's say my personal life wasn't going too well either. I was falling into significant debt and had personal family issues. I'd not long lost people I loved, and my world felt like it was collapsing.
Here are the struggle headlines:
My pathway out of chaos
My identity - I knew that all the above points were in my control to do something about. Being an NLP coach, I realised I just needed to coach my own way out of this situation. The first step was to assess who I was and look at what failings I had as an individual were causing these issues and problems. What behaviours did I need to stop, and what new habits did I need to create to escape this mess? In essence, I had to become a different version of myself.
Clarity of direction – Once I established the fundamental values and character traits required to be the person I wanted to be, I could create clarity in my direction in life.
This was incredibly powerful as I realised my ego wanted to be a successful businessman, but the reality didn't match my values. My power, passion, and skillset as an individual were helping people transform to become the best they could be. My ego wanted to be the CEO of a business, but the true me didn't.
Despite the mess I was in, this discovery gave me a profound sense of direction and a good feeling, knowing that now I'm going to walk down the right path… regardless of what changes needed to be made.
This is the power of what the introspective wisdom of NLP practice can do for you! The journey to mastering life begins with the mind. Here, the principles of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) are pivotal. NLP isn't just a psychological tool; it's a way of reprogramming the way we think, feel, and behave. It's about understanding the language of our minds and using it to our advantage. Imagine being able to deconstruct and reframe your thought processes to change how you perceive and react to situations. This ability is a game-changer in both personal and professional development.
Self-Discovery and Behavioural Change
NLP is rooted in the idea that self-awareness is the first step to change. It involves deep introspection, identifying limiting beliefs and understanding the 'why' behind our actions. This level of self-discovery allows us to identify patterns that may hold us back, enabling us to initiate meaningful behavioural change. This can mean breaking free from the impostor syndrome, overcoming undue stress, and achieving a more efficient work-life balance for all executives and professionals.
Using Wisdom to Govern Decisions
Another aspect of thinking like a therapist is using wisdom to govern decisions. Wisdom here doesn't just refer to knowledge or experience; it's about applying it with emotional intelligence, empathy, and insight. In the professional world, this translates to making decisions that are not only smart but also considerate of the broader impact on teams, projects, and personal well-being.
I embraced my military mindset in everyday life.
My Army experience within one of the world's finest fighting forces would serve me well here. Planning, journaling, refining my approaches when things weren't working, and absolutely executing the plan changed everything.
I embraced a no matter what mentality of execution. Regardless of how I felt, the essential tasks that needed doing were done that day without compromise.
Operating like a soldier goes beyond the superficial understanding of being disciplined. It's about adopting a mindset where efficiency, precision, and focus are paramount. Soldiers are trained to handle many tasks under high-pressure conditions, a skill set that has been incredibly valuable to me. This part of the philosophy is about applying these military principles to everyday life. It's about prioritising tasks, managing time effectively, and maintaining mental and emotional composure in high-stress situations.
Routine, Order, and Discipline
The cornerstone of operating like a soldier is establishing a routine that prioritises order and discipline. This means setting a schedule that delineates time for work, exercise, personal development, and relaxation. It's about creating a structured approach to your day, ensuring you maximise your time and energy. For busy professionals, particularly women who often juggle multiple roles, this disciplined approach can be the difference between feeling overwhelmed and being in control.
Strategic Planning and Execution
Soldiers are also adept at strategic planning and execution. They assess the situation, plan their approach, and execute with precision. In the business world, this translates to setting clear goals, developing strategic plans to achieve them, and implementing them with focus and determination. This approach ensures that efforts are not wasted on unproductive tasks and that every action taken is a step towards achieving the desired outcome.
Training for Life's Competitions
Now that I was operating like a soldier and using the wisdom of NLP, I could execute crucial tasks with the peak performance of a high-level athlete. It still amazes me today that even when I feel like that lazy bum, I still perform at a high level on critical tasks. I've connected the dots many times, and regardless of perspective, I keep returning to this robust 3 stage process and way of thinking and being in the world.
Athletes spend countless hours training for that one moment in the spotlight. They focus on their diet, workout routines, and mental preparation, all to ensure they perform at their peak when it counts. Applying this to my life and career has been the bedrock of how I performed at my best during those critical times. It's about preparing to excel in those crucial moments - a significant business presentation, a critical decision, or a leadership challenge. Like an athlete, I trained my body and mind to deliver the best performance when it matters most.
The Importance of Physical and Mental Fitness
Physical fitness plays a crucial role in this aspect of the philosophy. Regular exercise in both cardiovascular fitness and muscular strength keeps the body in excellent physical condition and enhances mental agility. According to a study published in "Frontiers in Psychology" (2019), physical exercise induces structural and functional changes in the brain that benefit cognitive functioning and well-being. This is particularly important for leaders who need mental sharpness and clarity.
By spending time in the gym strength training with regular cardiovascular work, I was back in control of how I felt. This gave me incredible power to face the difficult situations I was surrounded by. Not only did I feel better, but I also had more energy to push through the challenging days in front of me. I'd enhanced the energy through my body mentally and physiologically by producing more mitochondria that carry more oxygen and ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), the body's natural energy currency.
Mental Toughness and Resilience
Performing like an athlete means developing mental toughness and resilience. It's about cultivating an inner strength that allows you to push through challenges and emerge victorious. This mental toughness is essential in navigating the complexities of the stress and pressures of life, especially for people in leadership or those with significant responsibilities who face unique challenges.
By combining this way of thinking, being, and acting in the world, I managed to save the business, deal with my personal life, change my approach to business to suit me, irradicate all my debt, and, more importantly, I still provided for my daughters and maintained my mental and physical health! Today, I enjoy life doing all the things I love, such as mountain expeditions, adventure and career prospects with the Army, serving my clients through my coaching programme, enjoying time with my daughters, and competing as a Hybrid Athlete, all whilst working towards a great financial future. This is all possible because of my philosophy!
Think like a Therapist – Discover who you are by identifying and understanding your fundamental values and character traits. Once you've established this, get clarity on where you want to go in life and what you want to accomplish based on those values and traits. It would be best if you had an alignment of your goals based on who you are. Without this, you'll feel uneasy with your actions because they cause friction on who you are deep down. So don't let the ego dictate the direction!
Operate like a Soldier – Create a thorough plan of what you need to do to accomplish your goals. Once you have clarity, look at your situation, devise a strategy to fix your problems, and set a pathway in the right direction. Execute your plans with the grit, tenacity, and resilience of a professional soldier on a military operation.
Planning can be complex when you don't know how to plan effectively. Within my programme, I show you how to create the ideal strategy following the correct principles that fit you as an individual. Your principles, strategies and techniques must align with who you are. Otherwise, it will be a rough journey, and you'll soon lose the will to continue!
Perform like an Athlete – An athlete focuses on a holistic pursuit to optimise their body for peak performance when it matters. If you push your body hard in training, then you must push your body hard into recovery; otherwise, over time, with life pressure points, you'll inevitably lose the energy and will to continue. Master a hybrid approach of fitness, strength, mobility, recovery, and performance-based nutrition to create a physical and mental machine that looks good and performs great across all areas of life! Optimise your mind and body by being multidimensional in your approach.
This is where a comprehensive Hybrid Athlete Training programme is required for you to follow and where I focus my time intensely with my clients inside my Warrior Coaching Programme. So, make sure you start to at least explore this approach.
Combining the reflective wisdom of a therapist, the disciplined efficiency of a soldier, and the peak performance mindset of an athlete creates a synergistic approach to achieving success. In today's fast-paced, high-stress professional environment, this holistic approach provides the tools to thrive amidst chaos and challenge.
So, to you, the ambitious and driven individual out there facing tough challenges and knowing there's much more to your life, I encourage you to embrace this philosophy. Think like a therapist to understand and reshape your world, operate like a soldier to manage it with precision, and perform like an athlete to excel in every critical moment. Embrace this approach, watch as you transform challenges into opportunities, grow a fit, lean and strong body, and live a high-performance life.
Are you ready to adopt this powerful way of life and achieve incredible results with your career, mind, body, and personal life? The journey to a fulfilling, successful life awaits... Join my Warrior Fitness and Mindset Newsletter to receive weekly FREE workout Videos, Audio Blogs, Recipes, and the latest mindset strategies. See you there!