“You actually think (a glance away/slight eye roll) that because I’m sick of my life, sick of my job, sick of myself…That somehow YOU believe that means there’s a Champion in me? You’ve got to be kidding me!”
I just nodded.
He was on a roll (like a steamroller) so I let him talk.
“I’m only here for one session because I promised my sister I would do it. I have to admit that she’s different since I saw her last year. But this Champion stuff is just a little bit much for me. I’m an executive…not a ‘make me feel good’ kind of guy!”
I smiled while he continued to drive the bulldozer over anything that I might want to say…
“And before you tell me that my life will get better…My life has been great. I was the youngest person in my company to ever get promoted to a C level position. I drive the car of my dreams. I live in a loft overlooking the ocean. Everyone in my industry knows me. Like everyone else, you think my life is great. That’s what you’re going to say, right?”
Before I could even open my mouth, he continued: “You are used to talking about this Champion thing to people whose finances are a mess, right? Or to people who drive beat up cars or live paycheck to paycheck, right? Well, I’m none of that and there’s no Champion in me.”
He pressed pause, to choke back the tears and steady his quivering chin.
But it was long enough. Long enough for me to state and emphatically say, “There’s indeed a Champion in you. You’ve just been looking for him in all the wrong places. You’ve looked for him in your career, your flashy vehicle, your amazing home, your notoriety.”
He recovered enough to say: “That’s my point. I’ve looked for him everywhere and he’s nowhere to be found.”
I smiled as I leaned forward to connect with his eyes. Although he tried to avoid the eye contact, I looked into his soul and said: “What you’ve done and accomplished is truly remarkable. But our Champion is not found in finances, careers, classy cars, or homes with astonishing views. All of those are amazing. And, good for you that you’ve achieved those things.”
He sat staring at the floor as I shared.
“But the Champion in us is always driving us toward a life of meaning and fulfillment. Toward a life of difference making… a Champion who finds great joy in Championing others!”
“I learned long ago that it does not come in bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, or doctoral degrees. Inpatient treatment centers, outpatient treatment centers, or in a fabulous private practice.”
We were eye to eye now.
“It came in watching lives being transformed. A life of meaning and fulfillment in Championing others to help them embrace their Champion too.”
“He’s getting it,” I thought.
“Your Champion is within you. He’s been buried. Buried by shame, pain, and ‘what if’ messages that’ve reassured you that you’re still not quite enough.”
As you read this, I bet you too can relate. That revolving message in your soul plays on in ‘loop’ way too often.
Our Champion within, that spirit to make a difference, is found when we work through the layers that buried the Champion in the first place. Layers of messages that has left us in scurry mode … trying to discover that Champion … “out there” somewhere.
Loosing and freeing the Champion in you is how you can relieve that emptiness and the stress of trying to achieve and attain more. OR relieve, the ongoing nagging soul-haunt, that continually cries out: “There just must be more.”
If it weren’t for the Champion in you hounding you to get your attention, you’d just “settle” for all the good things that you’ve done and be satisfied with your life as is … and go into coast mode.
Your life might be rich in accomplishment, status, and wealth. But that buried Champion within, made of soul, spirit, and longing, waits for you to trust the ‘intangible tangible’ heart-tug:
- To lead you toward your dreams …
- To create an abundant destiny of purpose …
- To become the Champion you were born and gifted to be.
This pull, this call, never goes away till you say… “LET’S DO THIS!”
But instead, we do more, seek for more, accomplish more and wear ourselves out … and end up asking ourselves like Jack Nicholson’s character in the movie, “As Good As It Gets” says, “What if this is all there is?”
Are you sick and tired of trying to mute your daily “sick and tired” head noise?
Believe it or not …
That’s because there’s a Champion in you … made of pure virgin soul and spirit …
And that Champion is not saying:
- “See what I got?”
- “See what I did?”
- “See who I am?”
But, in a non-stop whispering mode our Champion says:
“There’s more! There’s got to be more! There is more … Let’s do this!”
My new client asked me, “Are you certain that being sick of my life and myself is proof that there’s a Champion in me trying to get my attention?”
I told him I was glad he asked…because I was absolutely certain. And in addition, there were other things that can feel like anything from disappointment to despair that indicate the Champion in us.
Like I did with him, I would love to share them with you!
1. THE CHAMPION IN YOU IS SPEAKING IF YOU ARE DISAPPOINTED WITH YOUR LIFE.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you said something like:
“My life just didn’t turn out the way I thought it would…”
I had that moment early on in my life.
By age 18, I was the credit manager at a department store.
I had been working in the music department selling cassettes. The district manager of the credit department came by about once a week. He’d always comment, “You need to transfer to my department and I’ll give you a raise.”
Not only did I get the raise, but I was promoted to credit manager within three months and got another raise.
After a long shift one evening, I had my elbows on the counter and was watching the second hand on the clock go around one more time so I could leave.
I had made friends with the manager of major appliances, and as he walked by and saw me, he stopped and turned around and said, “What’s wrong?”
I just laughed and said…“Well, my life just isn’t turning out the way I thought it would?!”
All day long I reviewed credit reports and stamped “approved” or “denied.”
Although I knew nothing about Champions at that time … that night, I knew I had to do something more meaningful. More meaningful than helping people try to buy “stuff” they couldn’t afford … to do what they thought would improve the quality of their lives. “Stuff” that didn’t matter.
Within six months I’d joined a music, sign language, drama team and was traveling all over the United States bringing awareness to the world about the hearing-impaired community and delighting deaf kids and their families.
Most people have that moment much later, usually in their late 30s to mid 50s, not at age 18. Thus…the midlife crisis.
I say the definition of a midlife crisis is: “Any time period in life when we realize that we didn’t have the meaning or fulfillment in our lives that we desired.”
Many people do crazy things to resolve that crisis (buy expensive cars, get divorces, change careers, etc.) but it’s the perfect moment to resurrect the Champion within.
Little did my new client know that although he was only giving me 45 minutes (one session)…we were going to continue his journey via zoom.
Our mission: To resolve his midlife crisis by resurrecting his Champion!
(Let’s pause a second. You’re here now where your life-choices have brought you. Life is now a manifestation of those choices.
But there’s a new desire for a new adventure in you towards making a difference.
The Champion within is calling a timeout. To regroup, rethink, and recast your every tomorrow … instead of allowing your yesterdays to impose indifference or every reason to “settle” in your heart and mind.)
If you were or are disappointed in your life in anyway…It’s a perfect time to dig deep and free the Champion in you!
2. THE CHAMPION IN YOU IS WHISPERING WHEN YOU KNOW IN YOUR HEART “THERE HAS TO BE MORE!”
“I always knew that there had to be more. I never doubted it for a minute. But I had checked off all the boxes that I knew to check off and I didn’t find the ‘more’,” My new client bemoaned.
“I guess there were times when I’ve had opportunities that may have led me to finding ‘more’…But I never expected to find it in those ‘opps’ (took me a second…got it now…his ‘opps’ was short for opportunities). So, I let the opps pass.”
“Like the time that my corporation sent a group of people to do some relief work in the Bahamas after a destructive hurricane. They were paying people for their time off to go and help rebuild some schools.”
“Something about that tugged at my heart a bit, but I knew that a new opportunity for promotion was coming up and I thought I should stay here and make myself known.”
For him, the promotion campaign won, and the voice of the Champion remained unheard.
We all want more.
Every one of us.
That’s the Champion in all of us.
We often think things like:
- I’ll do “that” when I retire
- I’ll do “that” when I get out of debt
- I’ll do “that” when the kids are grown
- I’ll do “that” when I’m not so busy
- I’ll do “that” when I get in better shape
I feel quite sure that if any of us had known the incredible fulfillment that would come from listening to the voice of the Champion within calling to us … We would’ve heeded that voice much sooner.
Each time you get the sense of longing for more press … pause and acknowledge that’s the difference maker Champion part of you. Deep within, you really do want follow and embrace those Champion leadings.
This is the life giving kind of desire that’s still there and still calling you to … Trust it!
When people are new to this concept, I often have them write to their Champion at these moments. Just short little notes.
Inevitably, new opportunities (to do more, be more, become more, make a difference) appear “out of nowhere”.
Once any of us have just a taste of the meaning and the fulfillment that comes, there’s no turning back.
My client shared, “I couldn’t even stay in the conference room for the slideshow when they returned from that relief work trip to rebuild schools. They were transformed. My heart welled up and I was afraid tears might well up too. So, I stepped out of the room.”
With his head down he continued.
“No one knew. But in my heart, I truly wished I’d gone. What I saw in them was greater than any promotion. Maybe they’d experienced the real ‘more’.”
The next time you feel that longing and the desire for ‘more’…Say out loud:
“Yes there is MORE! And I am ready!”
3. YOUR NEGATIVE THINKING IS YOUR BEST EFFORT TO SILENCE THE CHAMPION. BECAUSE YOU’RE AFRAID TO HOPE AGAIN! BUT THE CHAMPION WILL ONLY CALL OUT LOUDER.
I’m amazed at the amount of negativity that pours from people who are afraid to hope again.
My new client was sharing with me via Zoom about his trip to Texas after returning to the East Coast.
In the first three minutes, I heard:
- It’s hotter than hell there
- The traffic is just stupid
- People who don’t even know you talk to you and that annoys me
- All that country music playing everywhere just drives me insane
- It’s a must to have a car, the public transportation just sucks
- You can’t even find a street vendor to get a good hotdog
- Oh my God! The humidity…
And while he took a breath, I inserted:
- “And then there’s that crazy Coach/therapist that my sister sent me to…”
We both laughed as I continued:
“It’s clear to me that you’re afraid to hope. And by the way, the Champion in you is the king of hope.”
He gave me a “deer in the headlights” look. I continued.
“We’re only afraid to hope if we’ve been very disappointed in life. Or very hurt. Or perhaps we’ve had trauma.”
I had his attention with word trauma.
“So, we spew negativity to keep hope at bay and feel safe because that requires zero response on our part.”
He rolled his eyes as he spoke: “Yes, I guess you’re right. I had hoped you’d let me off the hook with this Champion stuff, so I guess I thought I could drown it out with negativity.”
I smiled and said, “We all do it at times and… No such luck!”
He then mused, “You said we only spew negativity in order to keep hope at bay if we’ve been disappointed, deeply hurt, or have experienced trauma. What if I have experienced all three?”
I leaned in toward the screen to see his eyes better and said, “I’m so sorry, but not surprised. Because those are the things that bury Champions. But if you will allow me, we’ll get through the layers that sets the Champion free.”
He almost whispered as if he hoped I wouldn’t hear, “Believe it or not, I really do want that. I want to hope again!”
If you sense yourself spewing negativity, you too have probably experienced some of these things and are doing your best to keep hope at bay.
Just remember, the Champion in you is the king or queen of hope … And they fuel our souls and spirits to dream and truly make a lasting difference.
They’ll never give up trying to pull you back into hoping again. To living again…OR…truly living for the first time.
You see, every heart starts out as a dream machine. Where our Champion lives. Then life happens. And the noise of all our yesterdays piles up on us, burying that Champion.
But just like hope is eternal, so is the Champion’s call.
I hope and pray that you’ll allow the Champion in you to hope again!
4. YOU KNOW THE CHAMPION IS WAVING A RED FLAG WHEN YOU’RE SPIRALING DOWNWARD IN YOUR LIFE.
Many people think this means when your world is falling apart. And of course, it’s true then too.
But my client looked stellar on the outside, but he was spiraling downward on the inside.
Whether your spiral downward is external, internal, or both … Your Champion is waving a red flag.
Without your Champion, you might just say: “Oh well…This is my life.”
And give up!
But the Champion in you is waving a red flag furiously…Saying: “HEY! Pay attention! We can turn this around!”
Desire is NEVER negative when the changes you pursue will change everything…
Get off the bench …
Get back in the game …
And follow this “new desire” for change …
Stay after it!
I can help…we can do this!
The truth is we’ve all been there. Those moments when it felt like all hope was gone, it was too late, and our lives were beyond repair.
But something in us…Actually, someone in us (our Champion) keeps us in the game with bargaining or making promises to ourselves. Your ‘for such a time as this’ moment is now and what you’re hearing and feeling pulling at you…IS…YOUR TRUTH!
Those are the moments that we think we’re ‘bargaining with God’…
- If you’ll turn this around, I promise___________(whatever promise) we think we can make will lure God into helping us
- If you’ll help me with this mess, I’ll quit drinking (or whatever hurt habit or hangover) you have going on
- If you’ll just help me out of this financial disaster, I’ll give money to the church or synagogue (or whatever charity you think would make things better)
That bargaining is simply the result of the Champion inside of you trying to give you hope, while you are stuck on predicting the worst.
My client had an “aha” moment when I shared this with him.
“Is that kind of like the night that I was googling “how to end your life so that it appears to be an accident? And I told God that if he’d give me a reason to live when I went to visit my sister, that I’d never consider that again?”
He paused and said, “Oh my gosh … Is that the only reason I finally agreed to see some crazy therapist that has a ‘golden shovel to dig up Champions’?”
I looked at him with curiosity and inquired, “Hmmm … Could it be?”
He looked at me with the facial expression of a little boy while confessing, “I never really wanted to die. I just didn’t have a reason to live…”
He’s done some excellent work with “the golden shovel” … And he’s now begun to find his reason to live
What about you?
Hopefully you’re not in a place in your life at this point where you feel like you’ve no reason to live.
But if you begin bargaining with yourself or making promises to yourself.… Promises like:
- I’ll stop drinking after the holidays
- I’ll start making charitable contributions when I get out of this financial mess
- I’ll deal with my anger issues so that I’m not always angry with my spouse and my kids
- I’ll stop wasting so much time on social media and Netflix after this weekend
Just remember…That’s the Champion in you doing their very best to reignite hope in you.
Grasp and embrace this eternal truth that ‘hope’ is the beginning of changing everything! Hope is what fuels the steps and choices of every Champion!
Grab your golden shovel…we can do this!
And keep showing up for more and more ways to resurrect your Champion!
There’s plenty of hope in your Champion!
5. YOU KNOW THE CHAMPION IN YOU, IS ALERTING YOU, WHEN YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET ENOUGH ENERGY.
One of the ways that I know when any of my client’s Champion is buried beneath the pain, shame, misguided messages about who they are and what they’re capable of (and certainly beneath any trauma) …Is the constant comment and complaint about the lack of energy.
I’m not just talking about needing a cup of coffee in the morning…I’m talking about needing a cup of coffee all day long (or your caffeine tablets, or espresso shots) … And you’re still dragging around … It’s a great sign that a Champion in you is longing to emerge.
How do I know that?
Because we know, from research, that the amount of energy spent on a daily basis to keep the pain, shame, faulty messages, and trauma buried is immense. And the Champion (in this never-ending desire to make a difference) is beneath that.
Yes I get it … It’s hard to believe!
We work so hard and spend so much energy keeping the part of us that’s creative, a great believer, and one who attracts fulfillment like a magnet buried … That all our energy gets expended. Drained!
My client demanded: “Are you kidding me right now? Are you trying to tell me that all the time I invest in getting my testosterone checked, going into Mexico to get Adderall, and spending $50 a day at Starbucks for espresso double shots is all because of some little guy inside of me that looks like the Tin Man on the wizard of Oz?”
I couldn’t help but laugh. But he was very serious.
I responded: “Well, first of all the Tin Man is inside of all of that armor, not because he’s a Champion … But because he doesn’t have a heart.”
He was really listening.
“Your Champion has a heart. A big heart! When you dig beneath the layers of pain, shame, faulty messages, and trauma … all that energy you expend on keeping him buried will be available to you!”
What about you? Do you need espresso shots or caffeine pills to function?
If you’re deficient in energy, grab your golden shovel …
We might expend a lot of energy getting to your Champion, but once they’re freed … You can expect energy levels to change dramatically.
There’s a Champion inside of you longing to do something you’ve always desired … and it never goes away because it’s not supposed to go away!
Your life may not seem rich at all. I hope that’s not the case.
But if all the richness in your life is based on your financial status, your accomplishments, your profession, or other external things…You’ll not find fulfillment and you’ll keep living with a Champion stuck inside, calling out on an endless loop: “NOW IS YOUR TIME!”
You may enjoy your external riches, but when you put your head on the pillow at night…
- “What if …”
- “There has to be more…”
- “Hopefully I will be happy when…”
True fulfillment comes from making a difference.
The Champion in you will guide you to making a difference!
- You don’t have to be the president of your country …
- You don’t have to be a clergy member …
- You don’t have to be a millionaire …
To make a difference.
All you need is the Champion in you to rise-up!
Then, whether you’re in the subway, at Starbucks, in the break room at work, or spending time with your spouse or family…
You’ll find yourself making a difference.
And when you put your head on the pillow at night, my friend, you’ll be …
There’s nothing else like it!