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Suffering with Depression and learning from my Mistakes and Setbacks…

18/07/2018
Suffering with Depression and learning from my mistakes and setbacks...

The other day a client said to me “Nick, why are you always so positive and upbeat? I wish I could be more like that!”

It was a nice compliment, but it got me thinking…

Am I always positive an upbeat? 

The answer is NO! 

I do like to try and keep myself feeling good and a lot of the time I am very positive and see the good in most situations, but definitely not all of the time. 

I’m pretty certain that I still have very similar doubts, worries, and insecurities as most people!

Days when I mess up…

There are days when I don’t feel like going to the gym. Days when I go massively off my diet, for example on my honeymoon in Edinburgh I gained 11lbs! Basically for a week my diet consisted of a double Five Guys burger everyday and either cheesecake or a chocolate brownie for dessert! That’s not mentioning the countless double whiskeys I had each day either… 

Maybe I could use the excuse “it was my honeymoon!” or “you’re only young once” (even though i’m 30 now and getting on a bit lol!) but the truth is I just fancied stuffing my face and felt burnt out from working hard the previous 6 months without a break!

I also have days when I lack motivation and don’t want to move from my bed! 

I have days when I wish I would have dealt with situations differently, and days when things get on top of me and I feel totally overwhelmed with life’s antics! 

In the past things could happen and they would affect me for months. For example when I started LEP Fitness (over 6 years ago!) I suffered with bouts of depression, that would sometimes last for months. I didn’t want to get out of bed and numbed myself with substances…

I was still smoking 40 cigarettes a day, drinking heavily and found it hard to accept that I wasn’t a university student anymore! I was also struggling to build a business and had to deal with the harsh realities of rejection and lots of hard work but for very little return.

At my very lowest…I remember one day waking up and thinking that if I could just press a button and disappear of the face of the earth, and that nobody would  be hurt… I would have pressed it. It pains me to say this now, but at that time that’s how low I felt, and how much I was struggling with my own thoughts and emotions.

Looking on the brightside…

Luckily my attitude has changed and these struggles have been a silent blessing, teaching me a great deal about life. I’ve learned some of my most valuable lessons during these difficult times.  

I’ve learned through my previous experiences, and by hiring private mentors and coaches and also from reading plenty of books (probably over 200) on psychology, human behaviour and self development. 

Here are some tips that i’d like to share with you to help those of you who are struggling with motivation and want some guaranteed strategies to help you regain your own personal confidence back…

#1 It’s Ok to Talk and it’s OK not to be OK!

In 2015, 6,639 people in the UK commited suicide!

Suicide is the single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK – 84 take their own lives every week. That number is heartbraking and makes me feel sick.

There’s still a strong stigma around guys being perceived as weak if they show any sign of emotional instability (this is total bollocks! pardon the Italian!). 

It’s ok to talk and it’s ok to have your bad days. You are not weak if you cry, you are not weak for feeling insecure or overwhelmed. Acknowledge your feelings and talk to somebody you trust. For me I go to my mum, dad, and wife. I never feel judged and they are there to listen and support me. I’m forever grateful. 

By talking to somebody you trust you process out your emotions and allow yourself to heal. Talking is one of the best healers. I can say this with 100% certainty. 

#2 Surround Yourself With Good People

I would not have been able to get through my struggles without my wonderful wife Sally. She’s supported me through thick and thin and been there by my side through some of my darkest hours. 

I also have a wonderful and loving family that always have my back and a great bunch of mates. You need good people in your life, whether that’s a friend or family member or even hiring a coach – make-sure you surround yourself with positive people, who have your best interests at heart. 

#3 Know Your Why

Why did you get out of bed this morning? What was your purpose? For me the biggest driver in my life is my son Noah, he’s one of the main reasons why I get up each day and work hard on myself and business. 

I do this by going to the gym, reading and constantly trying to better myself. I acknowledge the positive aspects of myself, whilst working on the areas I’d like to improve. 

Noah motivates me to get up, work hard, and be the best dad I can be. One of the best things you can do is figure out “YOUR WHY” – the real reasons for waking up each day and making good sh*t happen. Whether that’s a fitness goal, or starting a business, or being a great husband, doing good by others, etc – figure out your WHY. 

#4 Be Grateful

When was the last time you took a couple of minutes out of your day and just focused on all the good things in your life? for example stuff that may be taken for granted: a roof over your head, a beating heart, waking up in a warm bed, having delicious foods in the cupboards, fresh water to drink from the tap, a loving boyfriend, partner or friend. Take a moment each day and focus on 5-10 things you are grateful for. 

Final Thoughts…

I think the true testimony of a strong man/woman is not about never having bad days but how quickly you are able to bounce back… 

As the saying goes…

“It’s not about how many times you get knocked down, but how many times you get back up”

How quickly are you getting up? 

How quickly are you learning from your setbacks? 

Life is full of lessons, it’s ok to get knocked down, as long as you get back up, and keep evolving into a better person…

Nick 🙂

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