Heartaches, Hopes and High Fives

Kate’s advent blog theme of heartaches, hopes & high fives really resonated for me personally so I felt compelled to publish this.

Firstly, I am an optimist and an ambivert.


My glass is always half full so in terms of hope, I am always hopeful and can sense finally, that the world is moving towards a more connected, inter-dependent, singular human race.  A long way to go for sure and there will always be challenges, but at a principle level, I can just sense it.

To accelerate this re-connection however, one of my biggest hopes for anyone that may read this, is to be inclusive.

In a world that ‘appears’ to be fearfully disconnected, I just don’t buy that.  Below the farcical political systems and fear-ridden news, I am hopeful.  Human beings are innately hardwired to connect, collaborate, to be well & to serve.

By going first, by being vulnerable not to need to have to be right.  Going first to talk to someone else that does not look like you.  To go first in saying “I don’t know, can you help me?” By being curious to understand & open to learn we can all be more inclusive.

My hopes are deeply human and & I believe we are on the right path.

I have been very grateful to all of my 40+ guests to date on the https://anchor.fm/value-through-vulnerability podcast since I started this crazy learning journey in May 2018, but especially with regards these inclusive hopes, @rehana_begum9, @Benlunn, @JoKandola, George Kiley & @K_Beaven who have all offered such rich insight and whom all role model what it looks like to be inclusive.



In terms of heartache, I had not really seen that I had much to heal until Feb 2018.

In Feb 2018 I invested in some personal coaching to help me get out of my own way and into a position to try and make more of an impact.  What showed up during my time with the awesome @kelly_swingler, however, surprised me.

Emotional suppression was the a key reflection.

Suppression from:

  • Being physically and mentally bullied for 2 years aged 12 & 13
  • Self-harming at university after heavy nights out as I (sometimes) enjoyed the trappings of regular recreational drug use, which continued well into my 30’s
  • I gambled excessively at university
  • I had a mental health challenge 2 years ago in 2016 when I believed that the external world was out to get me, in every direction that I looked
  • I told myself I was not good enough, did not deserve the promotion, did not deserve to be successful etc etc

None of the above defines me, but as a man, I did not talk about any of this until my coaching with Kelly.

Part of my healing for myself and for the world, is to speak openly about these challenges and indeed, my energy and desire to serve people, especially men, out of their own way, is a base foundation for a human-centred people consultancy https://thelisteningorganisation.co.uk/ which I have recently launched.

There will also be an online summit to follow in the New Year called “Have Courage: get out of your own way and unleash the potential of the inner you.”

I have learned over the past 2 years with support, coaching & guidance from @tracifenton and the @WorldBlu team that we are all a 10/10.  I know, from personal experience, that we over-think our way away from that innate state of well-being and self-worth.

We need to give ourselves more permission to stop, get present & to drop our thinking.  All the creativity and innovation we could ever need, already sits within every one of us.

High Fives

high 5

I am so grateful to live within an abundance of high fives.

  • High five to my incredible spouse Jackie
  • High five to my gorgeous immediate & extended family
  • High five to my friends
  • High five to my giving, challenger & growth-fuelled personal learning network (too many people to name, but a few include Perry Timms, Katy Snell, Cat Hase, Rich Cooper, Rob Baker, Helen Amery, Shakil Butt, Jenny Andersson, Rehana Begum, Matt O Neill …the list is truly exceptionally long – thank you one & all)
  • High five to my 6 peer to peer coaches that meet most months
  • High five to line manager who understands what autonomy, mastery and purpose really looks like
  • High five to anyone & everyone that has the courage & vulnerability to ‘go first’ in whatever context
  • High five to myself for getting out of my own way
  • Finally high five to @KateGL for curating this awesome advent blog series

I do appreciate reading this back that it seems like an Oscars roll call!  Guess what, all of those mentioned deserve an Oscar for the energy & light that they bring into the world.

In summary, I genuinely feel that we all have a lot more that connects us and to be grateful for, than what divides us & makes us afraid.

Wishing one and all a safe and enjoyable Xmas break.




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