In many ways, I’m just like you. I struggle through life and often question the meaning of it. I'm not immune from those "what the hell is the point?"days. I have baggage, lots of it. I have insecurities, many of them. I’m doing my best to survive in this sometimes troubled world but I’m not superhuman. So why am I a life coach? What do you need to know about me? And why should you trust me to help you if on the face of it, I’m just your equal?
Push me to answer in just a few words, I’d say this - because I’m your equal.
A few years ago I lost everything. My marriage failed and a few months after that, the business I’d spent nearly 10 years building evaporated overnight because my Finance Manager stole a truck load of cash. I was up the creek without a paddle. Unsurprisingly, shortly after all this I was diagnosed with depression. I began to question the point of living. They were incredibly dark days.
I didn’t feel like I had an identity anymore. I couldn’t see a way forward. I didn’t know who I was and I didn’t know how to start rebuilding my life. On the walk home I spotted a tram in the distance and decided if I threw myself under it the suffering would stop. I actually felt my pace getting quicker to achieve that goal. My head was now as much a mess as my life.
I am so grateful that in that very same moment I felt the love of all my friends and family envelop me. The words of my Grandmother came to me – “we are never given more than we can bare.” With the love and support of my family & friends, a load of therapy and plenty of tears, somehow, despite the storm going on around me I got my act together. Things changed after that day - not least because having a panic attack on a tram in Manchester during rush hour wasn’t one of my finest moments (if the lady I sat next to heavily breathing for 15 minutes ever reads this – I’m sorry, thank you).
My priorities shifted. I felt I'd been at my lowest. I was still chronically depressed but I could see with absolute clarity how my life had led me to this point and why I'd been spiralling downhill fast – I didn't know who I was and I didn’t love myself. I had little self-respect. I was using casual sex, alcohol and drugs in a desperate attempt to validate myself and numb my painful emotions.
I knew I had to switch things up. I decided to go travelling. It wasn't the kind of travelling you see with these 'Instagram famous' people. I had no money, so I took a loan. I found some work ahead of setting off. With that and the loan I had just enough money to keep me going for six months. I was basically a travelling emotional car crash, visiting parts of the world I'd never seen before. It was my best decision to date, genuinely.
On my travels around South East Asia, Canada, America and South America, I met so many amazing people and witnessed all the best bits of humanity. People shared their homes with me, took me out to dinner, listened to my story, offered me kindness and taught me gratitude. I am forever grateful to them.
After completing the Inca Trail my final stop was in Cusco, where I sought out a spiritual healing retreat in the Sacred Valley (I experienced ayahuasca with Peruvian shamans. It's the world's strongest hallucinogen, known for it's emotional healing powers). There my life changed and my depression disappeared overnight. I spent a week with two strangers and a husband and wife team who helped me along a journey I could never have planned. I revisited all my life’s traumas and made right the emotional wrongs. I learned lessons about materialism, humanity, ego and kindness. It was there I discovered that my sole purpose in life is to help others.
I returned from my travels and studied psychotherapy. I formalised the coaching skills I had gained over the previous ten years. I became interested in the world of Positive Psychology, how it spoke of infinite human potential and made it my mission to learn as much as I could about human behaviour. This isn't an arrival point - I continue to learn every day and hold a beginner’s mindset. In this line of work, remaining humble is the only way.
All my adult life, I found people wanting to talk to me about their struggles, but I never felt I was ‘good enough’ to help them. I now realise that to help, I just have to be me - to be human. I follow my instinct more than any text book or theory. I accept that I’m not the right person for everyone – chemistry is such an important thing in life coaching. I am Adam, and I try not to be anyone or anything else. I believe if I can be authentic, flaws and all, you'll realise that you can do the same and nothing bad will happen.
We are all fighting our own battles, dealing with our own stuff. Some of us are on the front line, whilst others are back at base, breathing deeply before they have to go out into the field again. The kinder we can be to each other, the better all our lives will be. I realised in Cusco that happiness isn’t about accumulating ‘things’, nor is it about ‘status’. Peace and happiness is about authentic connections with other people, it’s about helping each other in our hours of need. And that is what I’ll seek to do every day, for the rest of my life.