This Man Completely Changed My Life!

I had the pleasure this week to meet up with Dave Clarke, the man who 15 years ago completely changed my life. A dramatic statement but as I look at my life now and where it was then I can see a magnificent change in everything around me. Let me explain.
Around 15 years ago I was working for an Advertising agency, and I was working from home. I was introduced to David Clarke by a business associate Chris Payne who informed me that David was looking for some motivation and encouragement in his new venture.
He loves a challenge
David is an adventurer and had previously sailed across the Atlantic solo and held a Guinness World Record for the crossing. Now around 12 years later he decided to row solo across the Atlantic! Now there is a world of difference between sailing and rowing.
When you are sailing the sails do the work when you are rowing you do the work. The 3,000-mile crossing from the Canary Islands to Antigua would take around 90 days – that is 3 months of rowing up to 8 hours every day! That is insane and at that time only 60 people had crossed solo whereas around 4,000 people had climbed Everest.
We started to work on his mind
So, I agreed to see Dave every couple of weeks to coach him and develop his belief that he could accomplish this feat. I went through visualisation exercises as he lay on my couch visualising himself getting stronger in the second half and drinking a beer when he landed in Antigua.
We developed a range of positive affirmation statements that he memorised which worked on his subconscious mind and over time he started to believe.
During our time together over several months, he came to the realisation of the huge task he had taken on, but it was too late to pull out as he had left his role as CEO of his company for a year to train for this and had brought a new Director in to run the company while he was away.
I was surprised by how much I had learned
Over the next few months, his confidence grew, and I was using everything I had learned from all the conferences and training sessions I had attended over the years in sales. I had read many books on positive mindset development, and I was using everything I knew to help Dave prepare mentally.
The day came for the launch, and he set off. Over the next 3 months, he faced incredible ups and downs. He faced waves over 30 feet in height, various injuries and pain but also enjoyed incredible highs like amazing sunsets and flying fish!
He did get stronger in the second half and landed after 87 days and the first thing he asked for before he did anything was a cold beer. He lost around 3 stone in weight during the crossing, and he achieved another Guinness World Record for crossing the Atlantic in both a small yacht and a rowing boat.
I take my hat off to Dave as I know for a fact there is no way I could ever do something like that. To be alone for 3 months not knowing if a back injury or leg injury could put an end to the crossing would be huge.
Here are 5 benefits of taking on challenges in your life: 

  1. Personal growth: Challenges push you to go beyond your current capabilities and expand your skills, knowledge, and abilities. They provide opportunities for learning, self-improvement, and personal development. 
  2. Increased resilience: Challenges often come with obstacles and setbacks. By facing and overcoming these challenges, you develop resilience and the ability to bounce back from adversity. This resilience can be applied to various aspects of life and can help you navigate future challenges more effectively. 
  3. Building confidence: Successfully taking on challenges boosts your self-confidence and self-belief. When you overcome difficult situations or achieve goals you previously thought were beyond your reach, you develop a sense of empowerment and belief in your abilities. 
  4. Expanding your comfort zone: Challenges take you outside of your comfort zone, forcing you to confront new situations and experiences. By regularly stepping outside of what feels familiar and safe, you expand your comfort zone and become more adaptable to change. 
  5. Overcoming fear: Challenges can help you face and conquer your fears. By willingly engaging with difficult or intimidating situations, you build courage and confidence in your ability to handle them.

This experience made me think about my future
It was a few weeks later when I realised that I had made a difference to Dave, and I had helped him in a small way to achieve his dream and it made me think. It made me think about a life helping people through coaching perhaps life coaching and this is where my new dream was created.
I was very excited about this potential and when I was made redundant at the age of 56 I made a decision not to try to secure another sales role but to build my own life coaching business.
Many years ago, I had run my own business for a couple of years, and it failed so trying again was a risk but it was one worth taking as the chance that I could live a life helping people was very exciting.
This is where it all started. It has been a very challenging time with many ups and downs. I have had the highs of working with some amazing clients and the lows of struggling in the early years with no money and no clients.
It’s all about persistence

Mental resilience is about bouncing back when things go wrong and getting back up again and again. If we fall 77 times but get up 78, we win! So, every time things went wrong, I would get back up and I did this hundreds of times.
Now I am not only coaching people to become a better version of themselves, but I am also running Mental Resilience Masterclasses, speaking on stage and I have written two books. I am travelling the world and making a difference for thousands of people working with amazing clients like Rolls Royce, Siemens and NSG Pilkington Glass.
So, Dave, you may not be aware of the impact you have had on my life and how those months together sowed a seed which has grown into a beautiful life. I love the fact that we have stayed in very regular contact through coaching and friendship, and I am honoured to call you my friend.
Thoughts for the week: 

  1. How often do you avoid taking on something difficult?
  2. Do you avoid this because you may fail?
  3. This week think about something you have been avoiding and see if you can take it on.
  4. By doing this you will start to create a habit of accepting challenges which will result in amazing changes in your life. 

Well, that’s it for this week, have a wonderful weekend and keep believing.
Warm regards

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