The Day Everything Changed
I’ll never forget the day when everything that was normal and certain turned completely upside down and forever changed me as a person. Well, to be honest, I’ve had more than a few of these days in my life, but I am feeling called to share this one with you now. I’m certain it will provide great inspiration and give you the tools you need to shift your mindset from worrier to warrior.
It was the morning of Thursday, November 7th 2019 and starting off like all the ones before in my nearly twenty-seven year career in this organization. I was the Director of Operations for the world’s largest scuba diving certification organization on the planet. That was until 6:33am (yes I remember the exact time). My desk phone lit up with the extension of the Human Resources Manager. “Hmm…that’s strange! She never comes in this early”, I said to myself. Without hesitation, she requested my presence in her office immediately.
Not thinking much of it, I walked into the HR area and could see through her office window and suddenly realized, “well this doesn’t look very good.” The HR manager was also accompanied by my boss, who never shows up to work before 9am, and one of the VP’s who, let’s just say, wasn’t my biggest fan. All of them are there before the rest of the staff usually comes to work. Interesting.
Once inside her office, the pleasantries were quickly exchanged, and without much emotion. I immediately felt a sense of impending doom -sure enough, they didn’t waste any time explaining to me the reason why we were all seated together.
“Christopher, your position with the company has been eliminated – effective immediately. This is nothing personal, and all financial. You know how this process works, so we’re going to walk you through your severance details and sign all the forms.”
I began trembling. Breathless and sitting there completely SHOCKED and devastated! The only saving grace I had was that this was some sort of a joke to get me back from all my jokes over the years. They immediately assured me this was not a joke, and their facial expressions reflected their tone of voice. I was overwhelmed with emotion, heartbroken, and speechless. And if you know me, you know I’m hardly ever speechless.
You want to know the hardest part about the whole ordeal? It wasn’t the fact I dedicated over 26 years of my life rising up through the ranks from the lowest position in the warehouse to now overseeing the manager who runs it. It wasn’t all the incredible accolades and awards I received over the years for my leadership and team building skills. It wasn’t that they wouldn’t allow me to even say goodbye to my teams who I truly loved with all my heart.
Losing my Identity
The most challenging aspect of leaving my corporate position was figuring out who I was without my job. My identity and soul were shattered that morning. I had to rediscover who Christopher Rausch really is without the titles, responsibilities, and ego.
“What doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger!” is the mark of my belief now emblazoned on my body as a permanent reminder to me – right on the inside of my right forearm. Those days, weeks, and even a few months after that life – changing morning, I stared at, and consumed those words to get me through. I decided to start believing all of this was for my greater good and preparing me for what was next for my life and career. “Stay focused on where you are going Chris – not where you’ve been,” my inside coaching voice reassured me.
All too often, when something traumatic happens, we focus and dwell on the past. Some of us become permanent victims because we choose to play it over and over like self-inflicted misery, this is the movie and you are the star. The key lesson is we can’t do anything with the past except learn from it and move on. Remember, things happen for a reason, a season, or a lifetime! We get to choose!
You might be right where I was at my day job. A term I affectionately define as being “Comfortably Miserable.” You’re just good enough and safe, but feel like there’s no passion, meaning, or real purpose to your life. Going through the motions, hoping, wishing, and yes, even praying “someday” something will change. That type of thinking only leads to one thing – regrets.
Ask yourself, “When did it become acceptable to be average and mediocre?” I hope you quickly answered “NEVER!”
While I was “Comfortably Miserable” with my day job, I was also simultaneously pursuing my real passions. I wanted to serve humanity in a greater way, to leave a legacy for my son and all other kids that will live in a more peaceful and happier world. I do this by speaking at events and spreading my message of overcoming adversity and by sharing the wisdom of others on my globally successful podcast – Raw and Unscripted w/Christopher Rausch. .
Before the Passion Existed, The Problem
Here was the major problem. I was waiting (more like stalling) for the “right” time for me to leave the safety of a consistent paycheck to fully go after my dreams. I kept convincing myself, “Chris, you have all these amazing things and should be grateful for them considering how you grew up poor and homeless.” To put it bluntly – I had an EXCUSE. “I have a job and responsibilities.”
That traumatic day was over two years now, and I honestly couldn’t be more grateful that morning event happened!
I love asking questions which get to the root of our issues and here is a powerful one I want you to answer with me:
Q: When have you learned the most?
- When life was easy and smooth
- When life was chaotic and excruciatingly challenging?
If you are like the other 99% of the people who answered this question; I’m pretty confident you picked #2 right? Now, please consider this important perspective shift. When you look back on those challenges you overcame, you now see how they happened for you and not to you right?
I know you learned valuable lessons from each challenge which you’ve applied since in your life. So, instead of running away from that which is challenging and scary, why not instead run toward them and become even stronger, more disciplined, and confident as a result?
No matter where you are in your life right now, you have so many opportunities to change what’s no longer working for your best interest (KEY). To finally get out of your comfort zone and create a KICKASS legacy you and your family will be proud of. It’s your time now.
You know I love questions and here are some critical ones to inspire your own thinking.
- What do you want to leave as your legacy?
- What are your priorities?
- What is your best and are you ready to raise that bar a few levels?
- What are you willing to compromise/sacrifice to achieve your biggest dreams?
- What excuses do you need to address and deal with at the root of their cause?
Answer these questions honestly and then determine the next action steps to take and commit to those without fail. I promise your life will look entirely different in just six months!
Another major component of this message I want you to really embrace is about owning who you truly are. One of the greatest outcomes over these last two years is the fact I now own 100% who I am at my core! No more masks hiding who I truly am and it feels incredibly freeing! Now, I teach people how to fly their freak flag as part of my #MisFits4Life community. I have attracted these misfits from all over the world and we are all unique and we all love each other in our own unique ways
I am where I am today largely due to the amount of powerful books I have read. One such book that changed my attitude big time is called “The Five Regrets of The Dying.” It’s by a hospice nurse who recounts the biggest regrets of her dying patients. Guess what the number one regret is?
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
Powerful right? Please stop pretending to be someone you’re not to make other people like you. Trust me, it’s not worth it. Instead, be your unique self unapologetically and love yourself for all your gifts and idiosyncrasies. We all have them!
I have one final gift for you to do on your own. It’s an exercise that I give to my coaching clients. This alone can massively change your life super quickly. Not painless by any stretch, but most definitely worth it.
Write down everything you are tolerating from the following areas of your life:
- Yourself (laziness, excuses, habits, being sad, etc)
- Others (coworkers, family, friends, suppliers, etc)
- Objects (door sticks all the time, the washer has to be unplugged then plugged back in, and so on)
Pay attention to everything in your world for a week and write them down as you encounter them. When your list is complete then decide which threetolerations you are going to commit to in the next week to stop doing!! One from each area! No Excuses!
I want you to envision how incredible you would feel without all the B.S. burdens you’ve allowed to exhaust yourself and consume your heart, mind, and yes your soul! Imagine the absolute freedom and confidence to be who you are without apologizing! Yes, you can! And if I have anything to do with it you absolutely will! #NoRegrets
I’ve been where you are right now, or I’ve surely coached people through it. You are not alone! I believe everything happens for a reason and your time is now, which is exactly why you are reading this. The next steps are entirely up to you. Yes, just you. Decide you’re done being sick and tired of being sick and tired and decide you’re going to bust your ass to overcome your self-limiting beliefs and go after that which you want and deserve the most!
It’s been awesome spending this time with you and truly hope you take these words to heart and take immediate action with your life. I’d love to hear your feedback and answer any questions you might have and can reach me at Christopher@ChristopherRausch.com
Until next time, wish you the very KICKASS best!