I had every material thing that I ever dreamed of, but I was suicidal. I wouldn't seek support because I was scared to let anyone know I didn't have it all figured out.
I was a Marine veteran, a Fortune 500 executive, and I was supposed to be a powerful leader, right?
The truth was that I was an alcoholic, 300 pounds of undisciplined chaos, and an abusive husband and father. I was in so much pain inside and I didn't want anyone to know, so I punished those around me to try to feel powerful.
Hurt people hurt people.
In March of 2016 I was fired from my second significant executive position in 20 months because I just kept so many secrets, and kept all of my struggles to myself. I led organizations of hundreds of people, but I couldn't lead myself or my own family.
I reached the breaking point.
When everything fell apart I had to relearn how to live. I had to create internal results - where I had only sought external results before. I thought titles and wealth could fix everything. I was wrong.
I started from scratch by hiring a coach. I shared all of my pain, fears, doubts, and concerns, and we began separating all of the mental and emotional noise from reality.
We implemented basic elements of physical, mental, and emotional health into my life. I read hundreds of books per year. I learned to create an intentionally healthy and purposeful life. I learned a new way to live.
I learned how to feel because I was taught not to feel and that feelings and emotions are weak. The truth is that stuffing emotion is weak, and there's strength in vulnerability.
Over time I learned to be real, raw, and vulnerable, and to expose all of my struggles and pain. I documented my story in my first book The Imposter In Charge so that there were no longer secrets, and so that I could finally take off my mask. I could breathe because I stopped fearing being found out.
I found the internal personal power that I always thought I would find outside.
I rebuilt my life with my family, and learned how to lead - not expect, manipulate, control, guilt, and shame them as I had learned.
Finally, I found my own purpose in the world to lead thousands to new levels of success, happiness and freedom.
My life is completely different today than just a few years ago, and each day I wake up on fire for life. I put my self-care first, my purpose next, and my family reaps the rewards of my powerful presence, purpose, and time and financial freedom.
Purpose and passion create powerful lives, relationships, and income. But we must be willing to step out of the shadows and finally lead through stewardship, respect, and love of everything we touch.