Addicted To Struggle

The dust has settled and the reality of the last 12 months of struggle has been a topic of discussion for the little people that live in my head.

As I sit here in my new fixed abode, my princess castle as I prefer to call it, I am flooded with feelings of gratitude,

To go from having nothing (my own perception of having nothing back then) to now have everything falling in to place for me just cements the fact that everything happens in our lives for us, and always gives us an amazing opportunity to learn.

I’ve learnt so much over the last 12 months and I just like to share with you 3 of my toughest moments that i’m genuinely so grateful I went through;

  1. I was in a really vicious cycle of getting off my head (alcohol and cocaine fuelled) and driving back to the gym early hours of the morning. Well this one night I was incredibly intoxicated even by my standards and I left the club, obviously have no recollection of this got into my car and drove back to my gym/home. I woke up the next morning about 9am fully clothed in the back of my car. It took me a few seconds to realise where the hell I was and then I began drowning in feelings of guilt, shame and fear! When you’re in such a dark place you don’t give a fuck about anything and this is where the danger lies. The rest of the day I spent beating myself up (rightly so) but desperately wanting help, unfortunately my pride and ego were still controlling me as I was struggling with my own issues of self worth so I refused to ask for help.
  2. This one taught me the biggest yet hardest lesson over the last 12 months and is the one i’m the most grateful for. I used to go to my dads one evening a week for dinner which I really enjoyed, not only was it a chance to have a nice home cooked meal each week but also because I knew I was walking in to my dads home who loves me unconditionally, something I was struggling to do for my self at the time! Around Christmas and new year time the temperature was as low as -8 and my clients will know that the gym was even colder inside than it was outside. One evening I wasn’t feeling particularly great, i’d had a shit nights sleep the night before and my stomach had been playing up all day leaving me feeling drained and frustrated. Dad had cooked a really nice dinner and after we decided to put a film on. About an hour in to the film dad had fell asleep on the sofa and as it was nearing 22:00 I decided to go ‘home’. I got up off the sofa walked to the front door and put my trainers on, just as I walked out the front door I looked back at my dad asleep on the sofa and within seconds I had tears coming down my face, I just wanted dad to say to me don’t go back to the gym it’s freezing cold, put his arm round me and say you can have the spare room for as long as you need it. I shut the door and got in to my car. When I got back to the gym I walked upstairs and laid out my bed (leather sofa with a blanket to sleep on and another blanket to cover myself with. It was so cold I couldn’t get undressed so I laid on ‘my bed’ fully clothed with my hoody, trainers and coat on. On reflection this was my lowest point not just because I could see every breath I exhaled but because I felt so ashamed for getting myself in to this position.
  3. After another cocaine and alcohol fuelled evening I made one of my most shameful mistakes i’ve ever made! This was the one that gave me the kick in the balls to really get my shit together! It’s so shameful that I can’t even go into detail about it but lets just say my words really hurt some people very close to me. I woke up the next morning devastated with myself for the things i’d said but it was then that the real work began and this opportunity to turn things around was not going to be snatched from me again by my pride and ego!

Now I’ve gave you the facts (or as many as I can possibly give you) I want to now explain to you why I am feeling so grateful and what each of these 3 experiences taught me.

  1. Even when we are in a really dark place, our self sabotaging self absorbed narcissistic behaviours can still cause potentially fatal consequences and we still have to take full responsibility and own our fuckups.
  2. No one, not your parents, your friends or your partner/s owe you anything and just because we put certain expectations on others it does not mean they are obligated to fulfil them.
  3. True love is unconditional! It has no conditions!

We are all victims of circumstance but that does NOT take away our responsibility for the actions we choose to take.

I went from being in a really shit place, to finally making the tough decision for myself to close my studio and get a job, and maybe P.t a bit on the side, but since then a whole load of doors have opened for me, and now I can truly believe that life happens for us NOT to us. things that happen in our lives are always there to teach us something so that we can get back on to our true path.

If you can see the lesson in everything ‘good’ or ‘bad’ then you will be able to see the blessing!

I’ve recently come to the realisation that a part of me is and has always been addicted to suffering, everything i’ve chose in my life has been the hard way, which is why I struggle with mediocrity. I never truly believed I can have the life of my dreams, so instead of falling in to the trap of an average life, I opted for the other extreme which is suffering, because that is something I knew I could do.

I don’t want to bore you with the psychoanalysis of my mind but what I do want to get you thinking about is a very important question I now regularly ask myself…

What is this teaching me?

If I hadn’t of stepped out my comfort zone and applied for that apprenticeship 10 years ago, I never would of experienced the amazing highs and lows in the forms I have (I still would of ended up on the same path but the route would of been different) and had the opportunity to meet the amazing teachers (all the people) that have come in and out of my life, and as I sit here at my desk in my bedroom that I love, I can hand on heart say I am mentally in the best place i’ve ever been. to have complete self belief, and confidence in who you are, is the most powerful state to be in, and if you’re currently going through something that you feel you can’t get through, just remember…

You’ve made it this far and you have the strength to keep going! Once you make it through the other side, you will feel so grateful that you went through it in the first place!

I may still be addicted to suffering, but that addiction is now what fuels me, because coupled with self belief and a vision I know wherever it takes me is exactly where i’m supposed to be!

Bring on the next 12 months of my life!!!

Unbecome The Master Of Manipulation And Speak Your Truth

Very few of us ever become a master of anything, because to master something, you have to be so dedicated that you will do whatever it takes to get to the top of ‘your game,’ and for most, this level of commitment is seen as selfish,

But…

I want to impose on you an alternative, a paradox if you will, where your mind will begin questioning whether or not you are indeed, a master of manipulation.

Now I don’t want to use the kind of terminology you’d hear from a hugely respected athlete that has come to the end of their career, and whose life’s mission is now to inspire and influence others to achieve greatness,

But instead, authored by a 31 year old man sat infront of his laptop, in a vest and a scruffy pair of ‘lounging shorts’ whose life’s mission is to provoke thought, and inspire change, so you can visualise and experience an amazingly fulfilling life outside of societies little cage.

Feeling dubious?

Well put on your big gender neutral pants and follow me in to the fray…

Tread carefully my little apprentice for the ground is treacherous as we embark on our first mission…

Apprentice level 1: Do I look fat in this?

You’ve got a meal out planned with a few friends and their partners and as always the painstaking process of ‘operation queen’ begins hours before you’re due to go out.

a couple of hours later, you fearfully walk towards the flight of stairs as you try to pluck up the courage to make the climb…

The sound of ‘it’s raining men’ bellows into your ears as you are met with the intense smell of perfume, sweat and tears,

Every fibre of your being is telling you to retreat back to the sofa as you are hit with the apocalyptic feeling of deja vu, but for the greater good you trundle on.

You walk into The Lovemaking Quarters, where you are faced with a beautiful lady fighting with an equally beautiful garment, just as you were about to intervene the battle is won, and your beautiful lady turns around and utters the most earth-shatteringly feared words of all…

‘Do I look fat in this?’

You take a huge gulp and swallow back down your pounding heart as you wipe the sweat from your brow.

Although you think it’s not the most flattering how can you let her know this without her taking it personally and refusing to go out?

‘No, you look lovely’ as the weight of the world has just removed itself from your shoulders.

>>> LEVEL 1 COMPLETE <<<

That was a close call but don’t get complacent now that was just the beginning.

Putting on your mask: level 2

This is probably the most important of all, to hide your true identity,

Let the lesson begin!

You lift your left foot up, and just before you can put it infront of your right foot, you are immediately transported back in time to when you first met your partner.

You’ve got a jd and coke in your hand and vision impairment goggles over your eyes.

You see a stunning girl over at the bar ordering her drink, and in your drunken courageous state you decide to do the peacock walk over to her, puffing your chest out in the hope you can bag a date, or at the very least a phone number.

Obviously this is the stereotypical ‘good looking girls end up with dickheads’ because through your egotistical ‘trying to be alpha’ persona, you managed to persuade her to go on a date with you.

You wake up the next day with a mouth as dry as *insert a filthy metaphor and the sense of conflict bigger than the battle of Winterfell…

Do you show up as the deep thinking, polite emotional man that you are, or do you show up as the alpha, egotistical man that got you the date in the first place?

*Sidenote, think about every area of your life where you have to interact with people,

Work,

Social occasions,

Family gatherings,

Relationships,

You hear the words of your master in your ears ‘this is probably the most important of all, to hide your true identity’

Before you have time to ponder anymore, you are catapulted into the exact moment before you walk out the door to go on your date…

I MUST NOT appear as my true vulnerable self, and with that thought you put on your mask, and walk out your front door.

>>> LEVEL 2 COMPLETE <<<

Awesome work soldier, now this next phase will grant you Master status!

Are you ready to become the Master Manipulator whose ninja like in stealth never truly being seen or heard?

Society conformity: Level 3

Suit up partner, this is where it could all come crashing down and you could giveaway your true identity.

You’ve been in a relationship for *insert how long, and you are happy, content and excited to continue creating a future together, but recently your sex life has become vanilla and routined at best, that’s when you are actually fortunate enough to have sex.

You’ve been watching more and more porn in private, and often find yourself fantasising about other people.

The last few weeks have had you scouring the internet for alternatives, as you DO NOT want to go behind your partners back and cheat on them.

You soon find blogs from couples and relationship experts that talk about consensual non monogamy, this begins to bring up a flurry of emotions that you’ve never had to explore,

Such as;

Could I have sex with someone else guilt free even knowing my partner gave consent,

Could I deal with the fact my partner slept with someone else and not take it as a personal attack,

Could I deal with all the awkward conversations and judgements from friends, family and anyone that felt they were entitled to an opinion,

As the days go by and the sex is becoming a bigger issue and bringing up feelings such as resentment and frustration the thought about this whole consensual non monogamy begins to get louder.

You fear that if you openly communicate about this then you will hurt your partner and potentially end up losing someone you love,

You also fear that by not communicating openly and honestly then you aren’t showing up as your true self and this can only mean one thing…

Your partner doesn’t love the real you, only the version that you are allowing your partner to see.

Do you ask for advice from people who will only give you back their emotional biases and insecurities,

Or

Do you speak to the person you love in order to be able to go another layer deep in your relationship and connect on a far deeper level,

TIMEOUT…

I want you to think about your sex life now and ask yourself ‘am I showing up as the true me, or am I only sharing the parts of my self that I know are safe and easier to ‘love”

Is your partner a possession of yours or are you individuals supporting eachother to become the best versions of themselves and giving yourself permission to explore every part of your desires and curiosities?

It’s crunch time son…

Master status or removing your mask and identifying yourself?

In life we have a few constants but none greater than to tell your truth or to ultimately manipulate.

Every time you choose to hide your truth no matter how big or small you are falling into the manipulator role, trying to manage someone else’s feelings is a recipe for disaster and an unfulfilled life where you’re only teetering on the edge of all the amazing possibilities out there for yourself.

When you tell your truth it allows others the chance to really see you instead of a facade that you portray.

Your life is exactly that, YOURS and if you aren’t being true to yourself then your pushing people away from you that really should be in your life and attracting people that maybe shouldn’t be playing as big a role as they currently do.

NEVER stop exploring your personality and ALWAYS communicate your truth because who knows, by not having a potentially uncomfortable conversation you might be stopping your relationships from becoming something you have always wanted.

Do you want 110% real genuine people in your life?

Then first you need to become 110% real and genuine!

Assumptions only make an ass out of you and me 😉

To unbecome anything you have to first realise what you have become.

Since i’ve been communicating openly and honestly i’ve attracted someone into my life that pushes me to be the best I can be, and this allows for a relationship built on something far greater than just societies mould of what a relationship should look like, where we can both explore parts of ourselves that we’ve never felt comfortable before.

Social Media Is NOT The Devil YOU Are

So if you are an open-minded, deep thinking adult who accepts responsibility and understands that your insecurities and emotions are yours to manage then this blog will be like a breath of fresh air that elevates your already empowered self.

If you are a victim of the world, your emotions and society then this blog is everything you need right now to trigger you into a psychedelicesque ego-annihilation without the risk of ending up in the slammer, so you can begin to take back control of your life and stop looking for something outside of you to blame.

I want to discuss what it is about social media that everyone seems to blame instead of looking at what the real issues are. Just like the Brazilian government tried to cover up and ignore the problems of homelessness before the world cup I’m going to explore how we refuse to accept responsibility for our flawed childlike emotions and stop looking for someone or something to shootdown in blame.

Now this is one of them blogs where treading carefully would probably be advised but all of us respond differently to things and in my own humble opinion, I feel that we all need a form of tough love at times.

Now with all of that in mind I hope you will walk through the metaphorical door of harsh truth with me and begin to think about this objectively.

Firstly, welcome to the land of responsibility it’s good to see you here 😊! I want to discuss one of societies largest scapegoats over the last few years…

Social Media!

What a horrific platform full of narcissistic humans, relationship destroying green eyed monsters and ‘my life is so much better than yours’ aristocrats.

I jest.

I absolutely love social media it has so many pros, like the fact you are probably reading this right now via my social media page 😉.

It’s a sad reality that we have become a society of victims that want to blame anything and everything that makes us feel a certain way we don’t like but unfortunately (if you’re a glass half empty kind of person) it’s your responsibility to put on that coat of armour and fight back through self care and self love so that nothing can pierce that *insert superhero suit* of yours.

Now here are the top 3 things that people blame social media for,

  1. Ruining relationships.
  2. Portraying an unrealistic body image.
  3. Comparison and not feeling good enough based on what others put on fb.

Now lets say you are in a relationship with someone and they post a selfie. Instantly you begin checking up every few minutes to see who has liked it, before you know it you’ve spent the last 20 minutes going through every one of the likes and have found yourself on some unknown persons profile going through every photo to see how many your partner has liked of theirs.

^^^ Social medias fault or your insecurities…?

Someone who is in amazing shape who works hard on her health and fitness trains hard and prioritises her diet and training posts a selfie in a bikini when she is on holiday. She instantly gets backlash because of the fact that she looks amazing and loves her body and wants to share a photo of herself on social media.

^^^ Social medias fault or your lack of self-love…?

It’s Christmas time and everyone seems to be posting loads of lovely photos of their trees and all the presents they have bought for their children to enjoy but all you can think about is the fact that you couldn’t afford to buy everything you wanted to for your children.

^^^ Social medias fault or your lack of gratitude for the fact that you can enjoy xmas with a roof over your head and your family around you…?

This is where we really go deep down the rabbit hole…

Suicide.

Suicide rate over the last 30 years has actually decreased according to the Samaritans, but men still account for three-quarters of suicides in the uk.

Now this statistic should of risen if social media was to blame but the fact that it’s decreased actually proves that social media isn’t to blame.

Side-note* suicide is still the most common cause of death in men in the UK.

Now let’s back-pedal.

Why do you personally think that social media specifically gets a bad rap???

I think it has a lot of facets to this but the main two HAVE to be,

Entitlement,

Insecurities/self-love.

We live in a world where everything is accessible at the touch of a button and is all about giving us instant gratification without doing the work previously required to attain that thing.

You feel entitled to be happy all of the time,

You feel entitled to never be offended,

You feel entitled to voice your opinion but no one can disagree with it,

You feel entitled to find an amazing partner that ticks all of your boxes without actually being someone that would attract someone like that,

You feel entitled to have money and holidays and a nice home without having to work for it,

You feel entitled to never be criticised,

You feel entitled to your health but don’t look after your body,

You feel entitled to everything you’ve ever wanted but don’t do anything that warrants having that life.

We are only entitled to what we work for and put effort into consistently.

Our insecurities are exactly that OURS! NEVER do they become anyone else’s problem by you forcing them on to them.

We all have insecurities but it is absolutely vital that we work on them daily instead of looking to blame external factors such as Facebook for your lack of self-love.

A question I always like to ask myself is,

“Is that thing or person to blame or am I in fact looking through my subjective goggles?”

9/10 an emotion/feeling has just been triggered in me that I don’t like so instead of looking to blame something external It’s so important that I look to understand why I felt that way this in my opinion is the most valuable tool we have access to… self-reflection!

Once you focus on becoming the best version of yourself, not just sharing the odd inspirational quote on that platform you blame then you begin to realise that NOTHING is personal and EVERYTHING is down to how you feel about yourself.

Below are the dictionaries definitions of insecurity, blame and responsibility.

Insecurities – uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence.

We all have them but we have to focus on taking the time to acknowledge them and work through them so they no longer control our lives and relationships.

Blame – feel or declare that someone or something is responsible for a fault or wrong.

This is a huge ego defence mechanism that we use to justify any of our wrong-doings and keep us locked in this state of victim mentality, ditch it, STOP blaming everyone and everything!

Responsibility – the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.

This is the part where you collect your badge of honour and go back out into the ‘real’ world where you now see everything in front of you as a representation of everything that is inside of you…

Just like the ending scene in Shutter Island (my all time favourite film!) where Teddy says to Chuck

“Which would be worse: To live as a monster, or to die as a good man?”

You too have to make a decision, do you accept responsibility or do you live in blame…?

The Keys To Perceived Failure

The end of January 2017 my dream had just become a reality and I took the plunge into becoming a personal training studio owner. I handed over everything I had to my landlord (£2200) and got to work on transforming the recently raided ‘weed den’. Yep, the previous tenants had been caught growing weed in here and as you can imagine it was in a bit of a state!

It took 6 weeks to get the electric connected again and to get get rid of the stench of weed, strangely enough I wanted to eat everything in sight 😉?!

Mid Feb and the doors were officially open I was going into this with not even enough money to pay my rent and bills, I’d been paid £900 by a handful of clients and was already on the back foot to have enough money to get through the first month.

By March 1st I took £1300 which was just enough to pay my rent on the place I was living my car insurance, food, phone bill etc and most of my rent on my studio, I explained to my landlord that I would increase my rent from £900 to £1000 a month to make this up for a few months which is what I did.

Mid march my tenancy on the property I was living in was up for renewal but I made the huge sacrifice to sell my car that had taken me just over 3 years to pay off (£10k bank loan) buy a cheap van and move into my studio.

I part-ex’ed my car for a small van that was up for £2,200 and got £2000 cash my car was worth atleast £6000 according to autotrader some were even selling for £7000 but I didn’t care as my main goal was to put as much into my studio as possible and reduce my outgoings so I could put everything into creating an amazing experience for my clients.

Things were going so well and I was loving creating and growing this dream of mine!

August 1st I hit my first £5000 month and everything was growing at a nice steady rate that I decided it’s time to start looking for a place to live, somewhere I can enjoy my time away from my business and get a decent nights sleep and cook a decent meal.

After 2 weeks of viewing places I found this lovely 2 bed house, nice little conservatory, cute little garden to have bbq’s and maybe a hot tub 😉.

I told the estate agents I wanted it and started the ball rolling.

Everything went through and I was set to move in the 30th of August 2017.

The 24th of August proved the universe had different plans for me and I will be eternally grateful for this day!

I was running one of my personal training group sessions, due to the heat the shutter was wide open. A little fiesta pulled up right outside the open shutter and out stepped this police woman in full uniform and her sidekick in normal mumsy clothes.

As you can tell I don’t have much respect for these individuals especially the one in uniform.

They told me I was under arrest for an allegation of attempted rape and that I had to go to the police station (about 30 minutes drive away).

I gave my studio keys to one of my clients who very kindly said he would lock up and drop the keys back to me later.

Apparently the police have 1 year, 365 days to tell you the outcome of the investigation.

On that same day my relationship broke down.

30th August I moved in to my home feeling completely broken and like I had nowhere to turn.

I done a facebook live video on this just at the top of my ‘word fuckery a place to brain dump’ page.

By December 2017 going in to my 30th birthday (19th December) I earned £900 in 3 months I’d lost over £4000 worth of income purely through my self sabotaging actions/behaviours.

After going to a mindset business seminar just before xmas I set myself a goal get out of debt and get my business back to where it was at the start of August.

I made a lot of silly financial decisions purely our of desperation to grow my income and no longer feel like a failure, this only got me further into debt and by this point I was at the -£8000 mark.

Now things were getting serious!

I have always been so ‘happy go lucky’ (<<< not a fan of this phrase but it fits) and very rarely would I stress especially about money because money comes and goes and it’s easy enough to earn, one of my first coaches told me, there is no risk when it comes to money in the pursuit of a dream because you can always suck cock for money…

In other words you can earn money so easily doing anything so why worry about something that is going to give your life so much purpose!

The majority of 2018 right up until 23rd August 364 days after my arrest was spent just trying to get by and make it to the next week. At about 10:30am just after my morning sessions I received a phone call from the unprofessional police woman that had turned up in uniform at my studio 364 days prior.

Let’s just say the phone call was ‘short and sweet’ and wasn’t full of niceties but basically the case was dropped.

I made a promise to myself as soon as I got off the phone that I was never ever going to allow someone to control my life and nearly lose everything ever again!

2 things I’d never suffered with was anxiety and claustrophobia, but these were 2 feelings that were trapping me everyday.

Fortunately I’ve managed to work through my anxiety and only experience it now around supermarkets but the claustrophobia has not left, in fact it’s firmly holding on and anything that makes me feel even remotely restricted triggers this ‘run away’ stomach churning emotion.

I want to take you back to April 2018.

Financially things were at an all time low, to save my business and on reflection my pride I decided to give up my home and move back in to my studio. This was a really hard decision as I felt like such a failure and more devastatingly, I had to give up my Simba, I got him the week I moved in to my home as a tiny little kitten and as stupid as it sounds to some, he literally kept me going.

Apologies for this paragraph of self pity but this is important to help you understand where and why this blog is heading where it’s heading.

No one knew I had moved back in to my studio and I wanted to keep it that way for obvious reasons.

The layout is similar to a bedsit upstairs, except it lacks basic amenities such as a cooker, a washing machine, a bed, heating, carpet, natural light, you know, the things you need to live not just survive.

After that phone call in August 2018 I spent the next few months trying to get out of the habit of self-medicating with drink and cocaine that I’d used to block everything out for a year.

Winter was fast approaching and I remember August 2017 just before moving into my house just how cold it was starting to get living here so I was really not looking forward to the next 6 months.

I was sleeping on a small 2 seater leather sofa and in the coldest months I was fully clothed with my hood up and trainers still on laying in the fetal postion with my duvet over my head visibly able to see every breath I exhaled.

Safe to say these few months had a huge impact on my sleep and energy levels and made it hard to get up and motivate my clients at 6:30am, unfortunately I let people down cancelling more sessions than I wanted to and would then spend the rest of the day sniffling and feeling guilty,

Yeah I think you call that a catch 22!

Just over 3 months into 2019 and I’ve completely eradicated the need to go out every weekend and have actually only been out 2 or 3 times but my health is probably at an all time low.

Mentally the past 18 months are behind me hence why I can now talk so openly about it but physically my body is crying out for help.

I have suffered with ibs for as long as I can remember and I’m also gluten free due to a wheat intolerance diagnosis, I’ve had cameras shoved in places and fingers from just about every doctor (slight exaggeration about the amount of doctors lol) to try and ‘fix’ the biggest problem I have which is the bleeding 90% of the time when I go to the toilet.

Over the last couple of months I’ve been spending about 4 times a day on the toilet and bleeding 75% of them times which leaves me feeling very lethargic, uncomfortable and frustrated, to say it’s having an impact on my day to day life is an understatement.

Rarely sleeping well, spending a couple of hours a day in the toilet and trying to ‘clean myself up’ while not having a washing machine means that I can’t just change 3-4 times a day leaving me feeling even more uncomfortable.

The financial stress these past 18 months+ and the toll it’s taken on my health has made me become a hypocrite…

My message to clients and potential clients is ‘nothing is more important than your health,’ yet I’m choosing to substitute my health through fear of upsetting current clients but also hurting my ego.

When I say ego I mean that thing we all have that doesn’t want to be hurt and always wants to come across as amazing. Our ego will have us make excuses, tell lies, keep us in shitty relationships through fear, we have to learn how to master our ego so it works with us.’

These last couple of years have been such an eye opener for me and I know why it all happened for me…

We all have a true purpose in life and I now know what mine is!

I’ve always felt uncomfortable praising myself but now it’s something I try to do regularly because we HAVE to celebrate our wins.

I’m amazing at inspiring people to live the lives they want and deserve and knowing their true worth, I’ve helped people leave shitty relationships through empowering them, I’ve helped someone that had very little confidence and had lost her identity take action and sign up to college and then uni, I’ve helped someone who was so far in her shell I didn’t even know what her voice sounded like, lose a load of weight gain a shit ton of confidence, get a boyfriend and now is looking forward to giving birth to their baby, I’ve helped 2 people with heart conditions be told by the doctors that their hearts are the strongest they have ever been and one of them now no longer needs heart surgery, these are just some of the success stories I have off the top of my head.

I love training people that are 110% committed,

I love writing,

I love helping people,

But my health has to come first so I can be the best version of me and ultimately help more people.

Ok so what does this mean…

I have thought long and hard and Monday (8th April 2019) I made the decision to close MindBody Performance personal training studio.

I’d thought about it a few times over the course of the last 2 years but the reason I didn’t was because I felt like a failure and I was scared that I’d upset my clients, yeah that people pleaser thing I have.

Sunday night I had so much going round my head but I thought my bootcamp was starting at 9:15 in the morning and 9 people were due to be in so I knew if it went really well it would be the sign I needed to continue and if it didn’t then it would be my final sign I’d need to close the studio.

3 people turned up…

Don’t take this the wrong way but in all honesty the relief that went through me was so overpowering that I just knew that I needed to get out of here and get back to full fitness!

My training is so important to me it’s been a part of my life for over 12+ years and has shaped me mentally into the person I am today, if it wasn’t for my training I would never of applied for that apprenticeship almost 10 years ago and I would of never grown into the Dan I am proud to call myself as I sit here writing this blog now.

I’ll still continue to personal train a select few people because I genuinely enjoy it but I will no longer be training anyone out of my studio.

I will be handing the keys back to my landlord who has been amazing to me on the 1st June and hopefully have somewhere else to live but if I don’t then hey summer will be here and there is nothing like being out in nature 😉!

Me and a friend/local business owner are starting a new venture which is based around mental health and raising money for charity with the goal to remove the stigma around opening up and teaching people techniques and things that improve wellbeing so they are far more mainstream 😊!

All I’ll ask is please don’t feel sorry for me or sad for me because everything happens for a reason and this is exactly the path I’m meant to and excited to take!

Accountability paragraph…

One day in the near future I will be delivering talks, sharing my book/s and be a part of something that is changing 100’s of peoples lives!

I want to say a huge thankyou to everyone that I’ve come in to contact with and connected with throughout the last few years that has supported me in anyway big or small and for those of you that I let down at all when I wasn’t in a very good place I’m deeply sorry!

p.s I chose to write this instead of do a Facebook live because I didn’t want to miss anything out.

FAILURE DEFINITION; Lack of success.

It’s taken me up until this point to see just how much success was achieved with MindBody Performance Personal Training Studio and now it’s time to impact many more lives through other means 😊.

THE JOURNEY IS ONLY BEGINNING…

Are You Who You Say You Are?

We all would like to think of ourselves as kind, caring, thoughtful, human beings that have zero flaws and are always right… unfortunately that is not the case and never will be the case and this blog is going to explain and hopefully provoke some thought as to why.

As imperfect humans we have become masters at creating defence mechanisms so we don’t come across as the bad guy and instead we opt for things like taking on the role as a victim even if we are the one in the wrong.

We are Derren Brownesque manipulators and use all sorts of justifications, explanations and excuses to protect our behaviour, some of us have got that good at it that we actually believe these bullshit stories and justifications as to why we acted a certain way instead of just holding our hands up and admitting that we fucked up.

Now I want you to think about the things you’ve done in the past that you said you would never do again…

I’m going to get you to think about the types of labels we are given based on a negative action we have taken.

The first one is someone that got convicted of a murder and served 25 years in prison, once he is released is he labelled a murderer or does that label now leave him as he’s served the time for the crime…???

The second one is a cheat, this person cheated in a previous relationship and is now entering a new relationship, is this person still labelled a cheat because of his/her actions in a previous relationship…???

The third is a pisshead (my use of the word pisshead is defining someone who gets pissed atleast once a week) who decides to limit their drinking to once a month, do they keep the label a pisshead…???

As humans it’s in our nature to be very judgemental and hypocritical and look at things very black and white which in my opinion has no real place in society.

If you’ve followed my blog since day 1 then you’ll know that I cheated in a previous long term relationship and I had a very hard time dealing with the guilt afterwards (using my defence mechanism to soften the blow of the full force of consequences I deserved). Now do I continue to keep the label of a cheat or do I have to prove that i’m not and if that’s the case what is the timeframe in which I have to prove myself for??

The murderer that is now out of prison should also be able to drop the label of a murderer if I am able to drop the label of a cheat, if he/she doesn’t kill anyone again and I don’t cheat again then these ‘laws’ need to be exactly the same right across the board?!

My next argument I would like you to think about is one of self growth.

I have dedicated a lot of time to self development and who I am now is certainly no longer who I was a year ago let alone when I cheated. My morals, values and beliefs are completely different and i’m much more open-minded to things that I would of been very black and white about before.

One of the most important things to self growth is visualising the type of person you want to become and adopting that persons belief systems, morals, values and work ethic so you begin to think how the type of person you want to become would think, i suppose it’s a similar premise to that of ‘fake it until you make it’ but nonetheless will disable you from identifying yourself as that label you had from that act of negative behaviour/s.

The long and short of it is that person that murdered someone 25 years ago has undertaken the deepest most transformative amount of self growth that they are worlds apart from the person they used to be.

I’m not going to share my opinion on this although i’m sure you can probably guess what it is as I want you to try and think about this without having any external influences.

I just want to digress and say that the excuses, justifications and explanations we use to protect our negative behaviour/s although could potentially be true, still DOES NOT mean that we have the right to take ownership of the victim label, a perpetrator does not deserve to take anymore away from their victim!

*Sidenote if you believe that the person that murdered someone always remains a murderer then with this belief system you too remain a,

Smoker

Cheat

Pisshead

Druggy

and anything else that you perceive as negative that you have partaken in atleast once.

More often than not if you have cheated, done drugs, smoked, drunk too much etc you actually become even more judgemental towards those that are currently doing one of these things that you no longer do and I actually think that if it’s coming from a place of love because you know how detrimental these behaviours are then the label ‘a hypocrite’ is possibly a pretty good label to have to help inspire change.

I would really love to hear your thoughts on ‘the murderer’ and your reasons why :)!

Self Acceptance

Part 1: The first and most important step in your journey towards self love.

So what is self acceptance?

Self acceptance is coming to a point in your life where you can physically and metaphorically look in the mirror and just say “yes, this is me” warts and all.

This takes a reasonably high level of self awareness because you have to be able to reflect on your life and the mistakes you’ve made while beginning to understand the reasons behind them.

If you can’t embrace your imperfections and fuck-ups then you have work to do,

But fear not, I will end this blog with some action steps you can take to begin to accept who you are.

Now why do so many of us struggle with self acceptance?

We are naturally emotional creatures and are hugely vulnerable to having our emotions controlled either by our subjective thoughts or even something as trivial as having to queue for a few minutes at the supermarket.

Just like anything in life responsibility is paramount and we have to take full responsibility for who we are and the things we’ve done wrong. For some people this can be the hardest part, all you narcissists out there are not ready to come crashing back down to earth and admit that they’ve ever been in the wrong so will live in denial and deflect all responsibility while seeking to point blame in someone else’s direction.

This can be a hard pill to swallow if you have overpowering narcissistic tendencies but what I want to throw into the mix now is insecurities…

Every single one of us has insecurities but some people let their insecurities control the majority of their lives,

Let me explain…

You’re in a relationship and your partner is getting ready to go out for a night with the lads/the girls, (wouldn’t want to be sexist to either of the TWO genders we have in the world ;)) you start to get a sudden sick feeling in your stomach as a result of your insecurity being triggered. This feels horrible to you but instead of being a mature adult and communicating with your partner openly you start ‘acting up,’ you know, how a 3 year old toddler does when they don’t know how to express themselves. You ignore your partner, go quiet and begin to sulk…

Now what someone who has got to that mirror stage of self acceptance will do is,

Feel the emotion and the sick feeling in their stomach, take responsibility for the fact that they are feeling insecure, accept that it is THEIR issue and either,

Option 1: Choose not to speak about it just before your partner goes out, say how amazing they look and that you hope they have a good night and promise yourself you’ll speak about how you feel tomorrow.

Option 2. Say to your partner “you look amazing, I sometimes wonder what I done to deserve you” you have given them a genuine compliment and also outlined the fact that sometimes you feel insecure which opens the door for your partner to reassure you.

Another very common insecurity is hating parts of your body,

Your mummy tummy,

Your beer belly,

Your double chin,

Cellulite on the back of your legs,

And this can have a huge negative impact on not only your own emotional well being but also your relationship.

Now someone who hasn’t reached the self acceptance stage in their life yet will wear clothes to hide their body, make excuses as to why they don’t want to go out, stop having sex with their partner, refuse to do anything about how they are feeling and look to blame.

Now someone who has reached the self acceptance stage in their life will take responsibility for how they feel about themselves and take the first step towards exercising regularly, embrace going out because they know that will improve their social confidence and speak to their partner about wanting to reignite their physical relationship.

Now you can see and possibly relate to how difficult it is to earn self acceptance, because it takes looking at all the things you want to change about who you are and instead of spiralling in to a self pitying mindset full of excuses, resentment and blame you use these things as motivation and inspiration to take action steps in becoming better, better than you were yesterday.

As always I want to reiterate the fact that I had to put a lot of work in over the years to earn this level of self acceptance I now have, it’s not something that you just have, the same as a confident person isn’t born confident they have to earn it.

So why is self acceptance the most important step towards self love?

In a nutshell, before you can address something first you have to recognise it’s there.

You are imperfect,

You have flaws,

You fuck up,

YOU ARE HUMAN!

My top 3 tips to achieve self acceptance:

  1. Exercise, particularly weight training because as you see and feel your body getting stronger this will massively boost your confidence and have a huge positive impact on your mental strength.

2. Set yourself goals, start off with goals that are smaller and easier to achieve and this will begin to open your eyes to what you’re capable of when you put the work in.

3. Journal, this is hugely beneficial. Buy yourself a little book, I like spending a few quid on one that looks a bit pretty (princess, I know) so you actually take a bit of pride in it, and at the end of each day write down how your day was in regards to your emotions, what triggered certain ones and reflect on why then finish it with writing down 1 thing that you’re grateful for, ending your day in gratitude is reaffirming the positives you have in your life.

Self acceptance is like a muscle, if you don’t train it then you will lose it!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and any tips you have for accepting yourself so please do get in touch :)!

The Curse Of The Intimacy Mask

Part 2.

So part 1 was all about my struggle with expressing myself fully through sex and keeping part of myself hidden behind a mask.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while now you will know that this is exactly how I like to write these 2 part blogs because I feel it’s important to always share my own struggles and experiences first almost as a way of gaining permission to move on to expressing my opinions without coming across as a keyboard warrior that has no clue how the world works, and since, yes i’m blowing my own trumpet here, I feel I have a very good understanding of how the world works my aim is to help you, at the very least look at your struggles and experiences more open-mindedly.

Now i’m pretty sure this blog will ruffle a few feathers and if you suddenly feel a burning desire to kick me in the uncircumcised genitals then please be my guest, remember that whole fetish thing way back when 😉 I may or may not be serious!

One of my favourite quotes is,

“What doesn’t trigger you, doesn’t change you”

So, my aim is to trigger you into action to improve your current situation and be able to live a much more fulfilled life rather than settling for a shitty relationship that you feel trapped in.

Now let’s get into the nitty gritty…

First of all I want to talk about the 4 different kinds of intimacy and why they are important and even vital, not only in a romantic relationship but also your most basic needs as a human being.

  1. Emotional intimacy
  2. Intellectual intimacy
  3. Physical intimacy
  4. Spiritual intimacy

A relationship can survive without 1 or 2 of these but it will never give you everything you desire from a relationship.

*Bold claim number 1…

You start looking elsewhere when your relationship begins to lose 1 or more of these intimacy needs.

  1. Emotional intimacy – For me this would come in the form of stability and security, knowing that when I am feeling down my relationship and my partner will provide me with the feeling of safety to fully open up about how i’m currently feeling with no judgement and enable me to ‘get through’ whatever the issue is.
  2. Intellectual intimacy – Now for me this is probably the most important type of intimacy. I am always reflecting on the things i’ve done who I am and how I can become better and I need intellectual conversation daily, it’s like without it I get VERY bored and if that level of intellect isn’t there for me I can actually get quite frustrated and no longer want to be around that person.
  3. Physical intimacy – This is a whisker behind intellectual intimacy for me. I love physical intimacy and need a lot of it, I don’t just mean sex but more so just the physical touch of my hand on her leg, a grab of the bum, a stroke of her hair while she’s laying on me, our legs over eachothers while going asleep. I think that the most intimate touch is with hands/fingertips and lips, sidenote* having your finger sucked while having sex is somewhat magical and it really sends tingles down the whole body!
  4. Spiritual intimacy – Now this is the deepest form of intimacy you can share with someone. My take on this is when you are both aligned with eachothers visions and dreams and whatever they may be you NEVER hold your partner back. This takes true unconditional love to have this tight spiritual intimate bond and is very rare to find as it will almost certainly trigger insecurities in your partner. For instance, your partner wants to go travelling for 6 months and (this obviously applies to BOTH genders but lets use a female) she has asked you what you thought of her leaving her job and going next month. This has been a life long dream of hers well before meeting you but your initial response is that of narcissism and you turn it into ‘what about me’ if you have spiritual intimacy and unconditional love you may still feel that tummy churning ‘what about me’ reaction but you will support her unconditionally to fulfilling one of her dreams.

If you look at these subjectively you can certainly relate to why your past relationships have broke down.

Now i’m going off on a bit of a tangent here but as males we can have sex with virtually anyone just to fulfil that physical need, females on the other hand predominantly need or definitely prefer to have one of the other 4 intimacies met and are far less likely to just sleep with a stranger for a quick orgasm.

So what am I getting at here?

Newsweek estimates that 15-20% of couples are in a sexless marriage. studies show that about 10% of the married population below age 50 have not had sex in the past year and about 20% report only having sex a few times a year under the age of 40.

Now these statistics are shocking as it’s one of our basic needs but what I am questioning is why do some relationships end up like this,

First of all lets remove the bullshit excuse of we haven’t got time, because come on seriously a spontaneous quickie can be just as exciting as a long drawn out romantic night of endless passion, you do have time and here is the reason that you are choosing to not have sex with your partner.

This is in regards to monogamous relationships where both of you are physically and mentally able.

Blokes, as much as we want to be able to just pull our partners panties down and have our 3 minutes of fun sadly this will only be possible when your partners intimacy needs in the relationship are being met.

If you’re not there for your wife/girlfriend emotionally, intellectually and/or spiritually then why do you expect her to be there for you physically…

Remember a relationship is 2 sided and if one of you isn’t get one of your needs met then the other will start to shut down and not be willing to meet one of your needs, try and look at intimate relationships as a set of scales and if one side is getting more than the other then the relationship isn’t going to be balanced and therefore to balance it back out you both start refusing to take care of the others persons intimacy needs leaving the relationship empty.

My advise is to take some time out this week to really think about who you are and what you want, DON’T think about your partner, your kids, your family just think about what YOU want.

If your relationship is lacking 1 or more of these intimacy needs then you really need to address this and NOT bury your head because you have kids, a home, bills to pay, etc etc

We are all on our way out so we might as well live the best life we can!

I want to end this with something for you to think about,

If we look at all of our intimacy needs from the list of 4 above and we view cheating as getting your physical intimacy met by someone else outside of the relationship, then what about if you start choosing to get the other 3 intimacy needs met by someone out of the relationship?

^^^ Devils advocate.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this read and i’d love to hear your thoughts.

The Curse Of The Intimacy Mask

Part 1.

I suppose i’ve been wanting to write this blog for a while but as my coach says,

“We’re never ready until we’re ready”

I want to start off by letting you all in on one of the real reasons I write my blog, and why I am more than happy to share it with whoever stumbles across it.

Ok, so the first blog I wrote was a hugely emotional representation of the hurt I was feeling in the hope that my ex would stumble across it in some corner of the internet just like you have,

I know…

Cringeworthy!

The more I began to look inside myself and be brutally honest with why I do certain things, it became evident that i’d been wearing this mask in a botched attempt to disable my deepest form of self expression.

I’ve been carrying a little shame but mainly fear that if I share who I truly am I would lose those close to me.

I talk about sex a lot, and I think about sex a lot, but this isn’t just because I have a high sex drive, this is because I want to get rid of all the stigma surrounding sex particularly self expression and fetishes (suppose they could fall under the same bracket) and give others the courage and enable you to give yourself permission to fully express who you are without fear.

As we all know there are very few absolutes in life so everything I share are just my opinions based on my experiences.

Now let me take you back to my first relationship when I was 22…

We were together 6 years, she was my first love and even to this day we still care about eachother a lot.

Truth is I never ever showed her who I truly was, I showed her the parts of me that I loved but anything that I was a little unsure about or thought she couldn’t handle I kept hidden through fear of losing her.

I have a fearless adventurous side in all areas of my life, and HATE, to the point where I cut people out of my life, those that put limitations on things, but when it comes to rejection I think we all have this huge fear that we continue to feed so it actually grows into something that really becomes an issue.

Now i’m not one for what you would call ‘vanilla sex’ not that their is anything wrong with that if that’s your thing but neither was I ready to openly ‘bare all’ and potentially be rejected.

So I done what us humans do and buried my head (I mean in the sand, not between her legs)

I lived in fear that if she ever saw that side of me I would lose her and I really DID NOT want that!

Porn became a bit of an addiction for me and a way that I could express myself judgement free, but of course this is not what porn should be used for, in fact I often think we substitute things in order to actually address the real issue.

The more I think about intimacy and why we all crave it so much but very few get the real genuine connections we are looking for is because just like me you too are afraid of ‘baring all’ and taking off the mask.

Intimacy is really about standing in front of your partner while you’re carrying all these different bags of things we would call ‘issues’ and them looking in to your eyes and telling you ‘I SEE YOU, AND I STILL WANT YOU’

In reality this is all we want, we want to be accepted for who we truly are instead of living in fear and keeping parts of ourselves hidden from our loved ones in case they get up and leave.

This was literally the biggest breakthrough i’ve had which is why now I am so open about everything and actually have received comments like ‘maybe you shouldn’t put that out there’ or under the radar comments aimed at me by people that must think i’m stupid 😉 ‘why do people share so much on social media,’

Well let me tell you right now…

If you feel the need to water down your personality or hold back on expressing yourself in hugely important areas of your life such as sexually then you are setting yourself up for a very bitter unhappy unfulfilled life and you only have yourself to blame!

My personal reason for cheating was because rejection from someone you don’t love is an easier pill to swallow than rejection from that one person you want to be accepted by.

Start showing up as your true self and those who are meant to be in your life will naturally gravitate towards you and those that aren’t will drift away.

Labels And Identities

For a long time now i’ve been my usual stubborn self and wanted to do everything without any help. This comes from the fact that I want to prove not only to myself but also everyone else that has ever doubted me that I can and I will do this.

This, i’ve recently realised is my own definition of success (nice car, nice home, a lot of money in the bank) which was something that started off as a way for me to grow in confidence and not be that shy little boy that I was all through my life, until I applied for that apprenticeship in the health and fitness industry at the age of 21.

The last 2 years for me have been particularly tough and have led me to attach certain labels and identities to who I am and i’ve allowed these to take control and be the main driver for a lot of the choices, decisions and actions I have been taking that not only no longer serve me but are now beginning to scare me…

My biggest fear is now that because of a choice or action I take I will ruin a friendship, my reputation, that has taken me a long time to build (I mean the people’s opinions that actually know the real me, not the people that THINK they know me) and the respect others have for me.

After a certain weekend a while ago when I could of potentially seriously fucked up and hearing the words of someone say to me just before I was going to go in to the toilet of a pub, to be face down, with a £10 note up my nose ‘I’m just worried because I want the best for you’ I knew that something drastically had to change, and as much as I could justify what I was doing to make it sound that in some weird way that I deserved to be doing this, I finally held my hands up and admitted that I could no longer do it on my own, I needed help.

I believe that every single one of us needs help to get out of our own way and become the best version of our self, but there seems to be some weird stigma surrounding this notion that if you ask for help you are ‘broken’

I like to think of us in a way that doesn’t promote this mentality of being broken, and rationalising by admitting that none of us are ever broken because none of us are ever whole.

My theory is that when something is whole it’s complete and when something is complete it can’t be added to but if we cannot be added to then why the fuck are we bothering to better ourselves in the first place because we have reached our full potential already and where you currently are is where you will always remain,

Fuck that!!!!

December 2017 before my 30th birthday I was in a holiday inn just outside Manchester with only big ted, my pen and my journal to keep me company the night after i’d attended a mindset and business seminar, for the previous 4 months leading up to this night I had been telling myself and my journal just how broken I was,

I made a promise to myself that night that tomorrow will be day 1 in search of Dan under all the labels, identities and versions of myself that i’ve been to please others around me.

it’s been the most transformational year of my life and I am so glad I went through it because if I hadn’t then I would not have the level of self awareness and confidence in who I am that I do now, in short (yes like me!) I am now able to start dropping the identity of Dan the struggling homeless PT step into the new identity I have been creating for myself for just over a year.

After having a couple of conversations with this amazing life coach whose seminar I went to back in December I realised just how kind, caring and genuine she was but I was still playing ‘stubborn Dan’ and chose to continue to go at it alone.

over 12 months of trying to do it alone, almost ruining friendships and hearing a few very close friends and family members say to me ‘this isn’t you’ COINCIDENTALLY Shari the amazing life coach i’ve been speaking about was speaking on a facebook live about her new 12 week maverick life program and right at that very moment I knew this was exactly what I was meant to see at the top of my Facebook newsfeed!

Yesterday was the end of week 1 and i’ve already uncovered a lot of things about who the ‘old Dan’ is that is trying so hard to hold on so the new Dan can’t come out.

I have also learned a lot about why it has taken me so long to shed the struggling, broken, homeless PT Dan and who the real Dan is that has been pushed so far down that he’s become lost.

I’m fucking excited to see where these next 11 weeks take me and who I will become without fear of judgement or needing to be someone for others and just stepping into the Dan that I want to be. for me.

I’m A Liar And So Are you

I wanted to explore a concept that baffles me time and time again every single time i’m faced with it,

I like to call this the people pleaser syndrome.

None of us like to hurt people intentionally and will even at times ignore our own wants and needs through fear of someone being displeased by a decision that doesn’t suit them unless of course you have zero empathy, fall into the category of a psychopath and your aspirations are to be just like the man, the legend Adolf Hitler <<< sarcasm level 101%.

Now let me put this into some real life context for you before my mind wanders down that rabbit hole of sociopaths, psychopaths and Satan worshippers.

Lets say you have recently made the decision to stop doing cocaine because you realise that some of the worst decisions you have made are a result of being face down in that white powder with a £10 note up your nose.

Now you know that your decision making is completely in your control when you are sober, but add some tequila, Strongbow dark fruits or Prosecco (if you are a proud owner of a vagina or are gender fluid) into your bloodstream and this becomes a whole new conversation if you’re fortunate enough to not of bypassed the should I shouldn’t I stage.

Your friends birthday is a few days away and you know this means going out and getting drunk and disorderly and you will without a doubt become victim to some shocking decisions after being face down in that substance that makes you believe you are untouchable.

Now they come out for your birthday a couple of months ago and you tell yourself it’s only right I should go out for theirs even though you know the things you are going to be getting up to are the opposite of what you promised yourself you were going to do.

This is where this people pleaser syndrome comes into play…

Do I break the promise I made to myself and do the things I no longer want to do,

Or…

Do I speak to my friend and just mention that i’m not going to be coming out drinking but we can go for a bite to eat and i’ll pay when you’re next free,

It takes a very strong person to not follow the crowd and most of us will choose to go out and justify it by telling ourselves, it’s only once and it is their birthday, i’m not hurting anyone,

But…

In actual fact making promises to yourself and then breaking them every time a difficult decision that will potentially upset someone comes along is hurting YOU and if you are so easily willing to hurt yourself then why do you get so upset when someone else hurts you?

I think this people pleaser syndrome comes about because we are all looking for instant gratification and can’t handle when we feel bad ourselves by delaying instant gratification for long term gain.

You can’t go out for dinner and choose a lower calorie option when everyone else is eating burgers and pizza because you don’t want to feel left out, but you’re more than happy to over indulge knowing that this is going to be far worse for you in the long term.

You can’t have a year without a holiday and invest that money into that course you want to do even though you know that a week abroad isn’t going to help you start a new career but yet you will still go away and get back to the same shitty job with that arsehole boss you always moan about.

You can’t be single for a while even though you know that jumping from relationship to relationship is only bringing you more unhappiness in the long term because you’re just getting with anyone that shows you a bit of attention because you feel lonely on your own.

You are not willing to feel bad yourself in the short term which is exactly why you are so scared of upsetting others based on a promise you have made to yourself that is all about improving your life and requires the delaying of instant gratification.

2019 for me is going to be about doing more things that I want to do that will bring me more fulfilment and a much more meaningful life rather than worrying about upsetting others.

Think about the decisions you are faced with every day and decide if you are making them based on what you actually want to do or if you are just choosing the easier instant gratification decision so you don’t upset someone.