Welcome to my blog. My name is Pete, thanks for stopping by and reading my story. I guarantee there will be something you can learn from my ramblings in these pages where I describe my experience of life so far. I hope you can put my insights to good use to enable you to improve your own life, or at least, avoid making some of the mistakes I have. So, let me introduce myself.
As I said, my name is Pete. I’m 37 years old, single and as you’ll find out on this page I’m yet to really find my true self in this world. I had a fantastic childhood with parents who worked incredibly hard to give my sister and I the best possible start in life. So, my story has no childhood trauma or abuse on which I can blame my poor decisions and actions. Those have been all my own doing, so I have to take responsibility for them. This blog is about learning from them to make a better life for myself.
I worked hard through school and university – I was never the most intelligent person but I was a grafter – and I came out the other side with a promising start to my working life. With a respectable 2:1 BA (Hons) Business Studies degree, but with a lack of purpose or a guiding passion, I blindly started working in a Marketing job, simply because I enjoyed these lectures at university. That small, seemingly insignificant, decision has led me all the way to today, 16 years on, running a small marketing business. I did various marketing jobs until I decided to start a business around 9 years ago. An opportunity presented itself to me and it seemed like the next obvious step to take, so I took it and proceeded to work my butt off for the next 9 years of my life. During this time I was incredibly focused in that area of my life, so much so, the other important areas – my relationships with my girlfriend, friends, family and my health – suffered. Don’t get me wrong I still invested in these other areas but not enough! I took my eye off a few of these spinning plates and focused on the single plate that was my business and I grafted. I was constantly busy – late nights, lack of sleep, poor communication with my girlfriend, family and friends. I felt guilty when I took time off and my focus became seriously skewed – I didn’t realise but the results I got for my clients became more important than my own happiness. As this went on, year after year, the happy guy I once was slowly changed and I started to lose my identity – I was no longer Pete, I was a business owner and that made me feel worthy because it impressed people and made people proud of me. Unfortunately, at the time I didn’t realise that my ego was running the show and I was running a business for all the wrong reasons – for the admiration and love of others. To feel like I was good enough, so I’d be accepted by family, friends and anyone else I met. This brings me on to the
We’re in Egotistical Times…
There’s a growing problem in today’s society. Many of us suffer from over-active egos that are responsible for a lot of poor decisions and suffering. We all have an ego, but the extent to which it runs your life is different between all of us. I hate to admit it, but for a long time, my ego ran the show. Since my early twenties, I’ve had quite a low self-esteem; I think very little of myself and I don’t trust myself to make the right decisions – I am hyper-sensitive to what other people think of me, to the point where I have become a people pleaser. I subconsciously make decisions that I think I am making myself, when in reality it is my ego that is taking over, making decisions that will please others in the hope that I will be liked, admired and ultimately loved. As human beings, our worst fear is to not be loved, because if we’re not loved then we are left alone and if we’re on our own then we don’t survive. This is an innate behaviour that is hard-wired into us all to ensure our survival. In early civilisation, this was an essential survival technique, but in today’s modern society it can cause us a lot of problems. When our ego is in charge we often make the wrong decisions simply to give our ego a boost. When we have the opportunity to make people like us or admire us then we feel better about ourselves, we feel safe and accepted by our group. Ultimately, we all just want to feel like we belong, but this is often the exact opposite of what we should be doing if we want to be happy and fulfilled.
Find your own path…(being true to your self)
As I’ve mentioned before, growing up I was very lucky. I had a safe, happy environment thanks to the love and hard work of my parents. I will always be very grateful for what they gave my sister and I and I love them dearly. My mum and dad always gave us great advice and guidance about our careers to ensure we made decisions that would set us up for the future. Unfortunately, when I was young I listened to my their advice and opinions a little too much, maybe I assumed my dad knew what was best for me or perhaps it was just that I desperately wanted to make them proud of me. Either way, I grew up making decisions about my life to make others happy, rather than really thinking about what I wanted from life. Over time I became reliant on other people’s opinions (not just my Dad’s but friends and other family members) to help me make decisions. In reality, they didn’t just help, they essentially made the decisions for me – I’d listen to everyone’s advice and choose the most popular option. This is fine when you are very young, but if you continue into adulthood like this and never learn to trust your own judgment. You then get to a point in your life where you realise that you don’t know who you are and what YOU truly want from life! And that’s what has happened to me.
Around my mid-thirties my life started to unravel. I was on-off with my girlfriend and I was not happy in any of the areas of my life, but I couldn’t figure out why. I blamed the relationship and I spent a long time (now regretfully) blowing hot and cold with her – I just couldn’t commit because I didn’t trust myself to make the right decision, I needed someone else to tell me that I was doing the right thing! It sounds ridiculous but when you grow up relying on others to help you make decisions, it becomes impossible to decide things for yourself. I loved her but we had had some difficult times over the years and a number of my friends and family members had their reservations about the relationship (their opinions were based on my side of the story I should add). I was torn between the women I loved and the advice of some of the people closest to me that the relationship wasn’t healthy for either of us. So, I sat on the fence for a long time, not wanting to lose her, but not wanting to commit either. This was a particularly egotistical time for me – I was so self-obsessed with what was right for me that I didn’t realise what I was putting her through and how I was hurting her. She never really knew where she stood, I loved her but I didn’t back it up with the right actions. Driven by the needs of my ego, friends and work were really important to me, so she always felt second best to them. I denied it at the time, but I can totally see now that I was a self-obsessed dick! She loved me and would have done anything for me, but I was too blind to see what I had and I took it all for granted. Worse still, I let my ego take over at times, and in search of admiration to bolster my low self-esteem, I did things I am deeply ashamed of. I kissed someone else while I was away on a skiing holiday, I got a phone number of a girl on another night and had a couple of one-night stands when we were separated and I hate to say it but “on a break”. This is a lame excuse though because my girlfriend and I were still in regular contact and intimate when we did see each other. The guilt was horrible, and on every occasion, I immediately regretted my actions when I sobered up the next day and was never interested in taking anything further with any of these girls, yet I continued to make similar mistakes.
So, why do it then you ask? Honestly, I’m not 100% sure, but I think it was a way for me to gain acceptance. I’ve always felt like I wasn’t good enough – not good looking enough, not intelligent enough, not funny enough – so someone showing some interest in me was a way for me to temporarily feel better about myself. Interestingly, it was always a girl showing interest in me, never me making the first move to initiate things.
Inevitably, my girlfriend found out about my behaviour and even then she still wanted to make it work. For a time we’d be happy but I still couldn’t give her the commitment she deserved, so eventually, she left just after Christmas 2015. At the time, I thought it was the right thing for both of us, but since then I’ve spent 2016 and the first few months of this year trying to figure out what the hell I was doing and what is wrong with me.
In hindsight, I know I should have asked her to marry me in our first year together. It’s rare you find a connection with someone as strong as we had. I realise now I had my own issues and needed to fix myself before I was able to fix our relationship. Tony Robbins always advocates that you need to look at yourself first before you blame the relationship. Unfortunately, I learned this too late and I’ll regret that for the rest of my life having lost my soul mate.
Since splitting up I’ve dated other women for a few months, but it has never worked out. After a few months, I’ve had to call it off. I thought I was over my relationship break up, but in reality, all I’d done was to bury my feelings of guilt and regret to the point I was numb emotionally. Trying to make a new relationship work when you’re emotionally not very healthy is a complete waste of time. So, after the second failed attempt at a new relationship earlier this year, I realised all I was doing was hurting someone else, so I did the right thing and ended it.
The feelings of guilt, self-loathing and the sickening realisation of having lost someone very special to me, have all hit me with full force in the last few months. I’ve read a lot about depression but I’ve never experienced it first-hand, until now that is.
In these last few months feelings of regret, guilt, shame and hopelessness fill my days. I find no enjoyment in anything, I try to keep myself busy but my experience of everything I do can only be described as “grey” – there’s no excitement or joy in anything anymore. I’m pretty sure my level of depression is small scale to what some people are dealing with, but it’s bad enough for me to not want to leave the house in the morning.
I can’t allow myself to stay in this state of mind for too long, it’s already having some bad effects on my life – weekends of doing nothing but staying in the house and feeling down have become the norm. I’m not too proud to admit that I frequently spent days in tears, replaying the mistakes I’ve made in my life, wishing I could go back and have the time again so I could do it all differently. But I can’t – what is done is done…all I can do now is learn from it and try to pull myself out of this dark place I’ve found myself in.
So, that’s my story. There are a number of problems I now need to deal with, these being:
1). the need to please others and gain their acceptance / love has resulted in me getting to 37 and having no idea of who I am and what I want from life. I can’t make my own decisions because I don’t trust my own judgement.
2). My ego’s desire for self-gratification has destroyed my relationships and has left me feeling guilty, regretful and ashamed of the person I have been for the last few years. I know that I am better than this, so I need to change my behaviour by re-evaluating my subconscious beliefs that are driving my actions.
3). I’m depressed so I’m spending too much time on my own and that’s not helping. I need to pull myself out of this place and move towards creating a life that makes me happy.
Where do I want to achieve in the next 12 months?
At the risk of sounding totally lame and cliche, I want to discover who I am and what I want from the rest of my life. If I don’t do this now then I’ll continue living the rest of my life for everyone else but myself, and I’ll never be happy or feel content. I’ve already started to look at writing down my values and beliefs
Secondly, I need to learn to trust my intuition more and quieten my ego down. I intend to do this through various methods including meditation that is supposed to strengthen your connection with your true self. Hopefully, in doing so I can start to make decisions from now on that are from my heart and for the right reasons.
Finally, I want to find happiness. Again, very cliche I know but it’s what we are all searching for isn’t it? What would make me happy? Well, that’s the first part of my journey – setting the destination by deciding on what I want from life.
So, how do I get myself from where I am today to where I want to be in 12 months?
Well, that’s the purpose of this blog. I have lots of ideas and strategies that I’m going to work on and share with you. If any of what I have said has resonated with you, particularly guys who have made the same mistakes I have in relationships, I welcome you to come on this journey with me and let’s become better versions of ourselves!
I’m being totally open with this blog, which makes me feel very vulnerable. Admitting to having issues shows weakness from my ego’s perspective, and opening myself up to criticism from other people is something I’ve always found very difficult to do, but it’s time to live from a better place. A place of compassion where my heart and instinct leading me down hopefully a new path to happiness.
Deep down I know I am a good person. My heart is in the right place, it’s just been overpowered by my ego for too long. It’s time to rediscover my true self and make decisions from the heart. Why not join me?
Wish me luck!
P.S. Not many people know about me feeling like this, so I hope me being open with my own issues encourages others to be more open about their situation too. When we know the truth then maybe we can help each other through difficult times, rather than portraying a lie on social media that we all have perfect, happy lives. What a joke – what have we come to when we decide to project a lie to our friends just so our ego’s can feel satisfied!
I hope this encourages you to connect with your friends, not at a superficial level over a wifi connection, but face-to-face where we can actually see whether they are truly ok. If you’re worried about a friend or family member, arrange to have a coffee with them and make sure they are ok. Go on, do it now – you might just make their day!