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Have You Wasted Your Life? Nope! Things Can Change

February 27, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 124

It is very rare for a Therapist to self-disclose. We only do so when we think it is necessary and will aid the client.

I will do so. This is not for one client in particular. It is for the thousands of people in their late 20's and early 30's who may be feeling the same thing, but are unsure of what to do about it.

Today started like any other day. I got up, showered, dressed into my suit and caught my normal train into London to see Clients and progress the business. I was chatting with some others in the building and one guy mentioned how his partners oldest son is going travelling to South America for 3 months. They were catching the last day of the Rio carnival, going to Argentina and Columbia and then ending in Miami.

As he was speaking, something that I have tried for years to bury started to rear its exceptionally ugly head. It was like a sinking feeling in my stomach, or a hollow feeling like you get when bad news is being delivered to you.

As a Therapist, I managed to take a step back from it until I was alone, where I grasped that feeling and pulled it firmly into view.

I was shocked (and saddened) to see that a lingering regret that I had thought had been well and truly dealt with, still had an echo.

What I will do now is tell you what that regret is, why it came about and what I will do about it.

What it is...

The feeling is that I have wasted a lot of my twenties and not done half as much as I wish I had. That other people have achieved far more than me. The regret of a life only half utilised.

Why it came about...

I was always an ambitious child. Massively confident until I got to about aged 12. Then for some reason I changed. I became introverted, shy and awkward. Before that moment I used to run around as a child cheekily saying that one day I would be a lawyer, live in America and be rich. Looking back, my wide-eyed optimism was brilliant, something that almost all children have, and something that sadly gets buried a lot of the time by the world.

After I changed into the introverted and shy child, I went through all the normal experiences a young person growing up encounters. Girls, alcohol, complete disregard for parents! When my personality became 'moulded' if you like, was probably around about 18 or 19 years of age. When I look back at that time, I cannot believe the way I was. I was the 'weak' member of my group of friends. I used to fancy women and have nowhere near the guts to approach them. I let people take advantage of my kindness and generosity.

I went to Uni and met some amazing friends. More by luck than judgement. They remain key figures in my life to this day. I look back at the times we had and they were brilliant.

After University I started working in a Call Centre selling car insurance. How much further from being a rich lawyer in America can you get?! No offence to insurance sales people J

After 6 months, the majority of my friends from University went travelling. Not together and in separate groups, but they all went. I was offered to go. I said no. I made many excuses to myself. I said things like "I can't afford it", "I am focused on my career..." The truth was I was terrified of what it actually involved. Leaving my family, leaving my girlfriend, being shunted from introversion to extraversion. The thought terrified me.

6 months after that I was approached by a graduate recruiter and secured a job in Media Sales in London. If I had not worked for that insurance company (which I hated), if I had not regretted not going travelling (which I despised myself for) I would never have taken that job and made the switch to London. Believe me when I say that moving from a small town to London as an introvert is a massive step. It is the best step I have ever taken.

Over the next 3 years my life went as many do. Some successes, some failures. Some highs, some lows. The lows were always the same. I moved positions because the grass was always greener on the other side. I never achieved as much as I would have liked because my real self-confidence was on the floor but my fake self-confidence was always chatting rubbish. I went in thinking that each step was the best and would change my world. It never did. I looked for external reasons for failure. I always found them. Even when they were not there.

I had my mid-life crisis at 25. What had I achieved? Why was everyone better than me? Shouldn't I be doing what that person is doing? Shouldn't I be have done what they had done?

This went on up until I was about 27. Then a chain of events occurred that made me hit my threshold point. My girlfriend at the time split up with me. I was working in job in which after a typically fantastic start I was struggling. I had no money. I had a minor health scare. I was a mess.

I had never felt more alone and my self-esteem had never been lower.

One day I was in a book shop near where I was working. A very well-known self-help author had his book on display. I picked it up. It struck so many chords with me. I bought it there and then and started reading it that night.

Over the next few weeks the change was brilliant. I felt better about myself, my passion had come back and things were looking up.

I left that job and went back into recruitment. I had a great few months and secured an even better position after that.

The next couple of years were brilliant. I lived with some brilliant people who became brilliant friends. I had changed as a person. But not enough...

Old bad habits were still there. Old limiting beliefs were still there. I guess it showed that the self-help industry could only help so much.

So, at the recommendation of a friend, I saw a Cognitive Hypnotherapist. The issue we worked on was confidence. I saw him 3 times. I was a changed man. My belief in myself sky rocketed. When he asked what I wished to achieve I think I had something like "Jose Mourinhos confidence without the arrogance and still being humble." I did not quite become a trophy laden football manager but I did see a massive increase in the belief in myself and what I could achieve.

Off the back of that, I studied to become a Therapist myself. I have started my Practice, and have enjoyed success in my chosen field, particularly in the field of Performance and working with sales people. Last year, I had four holidays away. This for me is the biggest indicator of living a life I want. I am getting married in September to a wonderful woman. I have a few wonderful mentors in my life. My trainer, a sales person I know, plus my business partner.

So, why this regret today? Being a Therapist I have come to the conclusion that it is about opportunity. The majority of my twenties was what I consider to be the 'old me'. The latter twenties and into my thirties are my 'new me'. I am pleased with how I have changed and how I wish to continue to grow. But part of me is acutely aware that I cannot get those years back.

What will I do about it?

See a Cognitive Hypnotherapist.

It's simple really. Change can be quick. I am proof of that. Does that mean I am perfect or how I want to be? Definitely not. But I am closer to how I want to be. A brilliant therapist once told me that starting the therapeutic process can be like peeling an onion. Most of my layers have been peeled to reveal the 'me' whom I want to be. Is this the last one? Maybe. But one thing I know is this. There is no shame in admitting that you want to change. There is no shame in asking for help. Even if you are the one who normally provides it.

One of the worlds biggest Business Coaches once said that land is the only thing that they don't create more of. I would disagree that it's only land. For me, far more importantly is time. Time you cannot get back.

I am going to make a decision to see those 'wasted' years not as wasted but as a blueprint of how we can choose who we want to be. Back then, I thought the only choice I had was that one. To be that person. But now I know that we have so many choices.

Who will you choose to be?

What choice will you make to get yourself there?

I know what I will do.

I am going to see a Cognitive Hypnotherapist.

Why don't you?

Jamie Panter Founding Partner City Therapy 0845 519 6836 07876 752699

Source: EzineArticles
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