The Lone Leader Weekly

1st Feb 2023

There Is Always A Path Through

Over. Under. Through. Round.

#1. Use The Difficulty.

The obstacles you are presented with are not there to stop you; they are there to test you. You can only pass if you want to move forward.

#2. Observe Your Emotions.

Don’t be a slave to them. We all fall victim to our emotional responses. But if we observe the source of our emotions, we start to understand where the solution lies.

#3. Life Will Be Shit. Get On Board.

The moment you accept that life is hard and imperfect, you become free. The obstacles don’t become a shock but your next challenge. Change your mind, change your emotions.

What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. But it comes with pain.

As I sit and write this piece I am very much in the moment.

Stressed, emotional and reflective. But at the same time I can see the light through.

In my last article I talked a lot about the importance of having an anchor to hold you firm. And it’s times like today, in my life that an anchor must be as strong as possible.

The reason I share these stories in this context is that I believe that being in business brings a high level of trauma, especially when you are a lone leader.

Mental, physical and emotional trauma, we know isn’t a fleeting thing, but leaves scars.

Our family motto is very simple; ‘Difford’s Don’t Quit‘. And we deeply believe in this mindset, while it is in our natural view of life we have had it tested over and over.

So much so that we never see ourselves as victims, but people that are willing to overcome, this can be both a blessing and a curse.

Let me show you how:

1. My mum dies of brain cancer > We buy a house and commit to our lives in NZ.

2. Our first daughter passed away from complications after a long infertility journey > I found a coach to help me heal that turned into my best friend.

3. I was diagnosed with cancer > I simplified my life and business to do more of the things that give me joy.

4. On Friday part of our property flooded as we are getting it ready to sell > We went house hunting and found the right place for the next stage of our journey as a family.

None of these situations are unique to us. So many people have trauma in their lives. But what is so important is to use those moments/situations as rocket fuel.

You don’t have to go set the world on fire, or become a monk to protect yourself from future pain.

But you must use that pain to train your mind to both accept that pain is there to help you and that more often than not it is temporary.

When you are a lone leader it is so easy to convince yourself that this is only happening to you, but thats the story you use to stay a victim.

For example here are the perspectives I gained after each of my traumatic moments:

Mum dies > We all die. But she showed me how to leave a legacy. She was the kindest soul.

Isabelle dies > We were not the first and won’t be the last to lose a child. But through my journey of healing I found a human that I call my best friend and that showed me how to connect with my life fully.

Cancer > So common it’s scary. But fuck its really scary when it’s your turn. From this I decided that I was living a life that wasn’t fully my own. So I took it back. We shouldn’t need a shock, but they work. Don’t take the risk.

Flooding > We got off lightly compared to some. Watching the water pour into our house I realised there are some things that we cannot control and we use a-lot of emotion trying to control them.

What we have learned as a family and me as a person is that we must spend more time on what we can control.

Our thoughts, our responses and our actions.

Our agony lives in the out of control, but our lessons come in the acceptance of the pain and the actions we choose to take.

To be human is to live with pain. But it is also to be conscious of what that pain is trying to teach us.

I am sure that the appropriate professions would find all sorts of diagnosis in my words, but this is my truth, our truth. The lessons are the new truth in how we design our lives.

While many choose a less productive strategy to heal, it’s important to know that observing and embracing these moments can be the source of much joy.

Even if it hurts right now.

If we see lessons rather than failure, we grow.

Until next time. Be brave.


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