Why personal responsibility as a brand? It is the key to having an extraordinary life and it gives you real power to achieve the goals, dreams and life you desire.
What is also great about it is that it is straightforward. All you have to do is ask yourself, "what can I do at this moment to achieve the dreams, goals or life I desire?" If you come from the same mindset I use, see that you have every opportunity to achieve whatever you want. You just have to give up a few internal conversations in your head. It's not easy to let go of those internal conversations because those are true and real about you. I know this because I, too had the proof; look at me; I was the victim of a fatal car crash and sustained life-threatening burns to 75% of my body. This happened to me, and I didn't deserve to have this happen, and I hate that this is now my life, and I am the only one having to deal with the aftermath of that fatal car crash. I can't ever get married now because, look at me, I'm ugly, broken and destroyed. I'm unlovable, unworthy of having a wife or family. I'll never work again, look at my hands; they don't even work. Hell, one hand is all twisted up with scars, and the other one, I can't even open it up. Who is going to want to hire me? I can barely use my hands; I will never be able to provide for myself.
Here's the thing, that dialogue ran in my head for a while as I lay broken and burned in that hospital bed. I believed it for a while; I was consumed with self-pity and was a total victim. I ran with that belief until my dad talked with me, and I saw that if I was going to have any kind of life, I had to take responsibility for it and stop feeling sorry for myself. I had to stop being the victim. I had to stop blaming others for my misfortune. I had to stop blaming the doctors because the surgeries they were doing to fix me weren't making me look like I did before the burns. With time and this important conversation, I was able to stop feeling sorry for myself and start creating the life I wanted. I saw that I could have a life, hell, a life that got me excited to wake up every day instead of the pitiful life I was currently living bandaged up in that hospital bed. What's cool is I also took on the idea that I would be the poster boy for burn survivors around the world, showing society that not all survivors are broken. I saw that I could change how burn survivors were seen in the community. I am pleased to let you know that I am regarded highly in the burn community for the personal growth I have achieved and all that I have accomplished with my speaking business. I am also known throughout Canada, the USA and other countries for demonstrating what's possible after recovering from A burn trauma. I have changed how burn survivors are seen in the community and have helped those who have experienced burn trauma get back to life.
How did I actually get here? The here where I am now married 15 years with a beautiful wife; three beautiful daughters; living in my own home in beautiful Victoria, BC; volunteering with different groups/organizations and causes and running a successful speaking business. That is my humble brag. Oh, and I have even won two community awards. I really do have an extraordinary life, and I look like this. My whole mission is to help people end their internal suffering, live the life they desire, and achieve the goals they set for themselves.
There is a little more to achieving that which you desire, but I want you to understand that you, too, can have the life that excites you. You, too, can achieve the goals that you set for yourself. You, too, can marry the woman of your dreams and have that beautiful family. You can have whatever you desire, set your mind to, and keep taking actions that are consistent with you having those results. You may have to refocus and recalibrate things periodically, but you can achieve it, and if someone tells you that you can't, do yourself a favour and ask them to hold your drink while you show them. The key is you have to be responsible for your life and everything you have achieved and haven't achieved. You have to let go of being a victim, that someone is out to get you. You have to see that you are able to achieve whatever you set your mind to and it is going to take some work. You will have to keep letting go of disempowering internal conversations but understand that you can achieve whatever it is you desire. Hell, I'm living proof.
I love giving people hope and empowering them to take action because that is how you have real power in your life. Otherwise known as the power equations. HOPE + COURAGE = POWER
Life at times can seem to be extremely challenging and even over as you see it. You may not even see light at the end of the tunnel. You may not even see a reason to keep going. It may even seem like you are being punished for something.
I get it. I really do. I have been gifted with an extremely challenging life. Yes, you read that right, I said I was gifted with an extremely challenging life. I have not had it easy at times in my life. Being extremely bullied as a child, sustaining life-threatening burns to 75% of my body, to losing three of my close teen friends in a fatal car crash, life has not been easy. There were times when I wanted to give up because I couldn't deal with everything that was happening in my life. I got used to playing the victim, and I played it well.
However, I was blessed as I was surrounded by a community of people that were pulling for me to get better. My family, friends and community held me up when I wasn't the strongest to hold myself up. Early in my recovery from the car crash, I felt like a victim and wanted to give up, but I saw so many people supporting me. I couldn't let them down, I couldn't let their efforts go unrewarded. They saw something special in me when I couldn't see that something special. That support is what I needed to recover and move forward with my life. I eventually healed, got a job, and started living life again. I then saw that my life was worth living and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I was right; look how extraordinary my life is today.
Whatever you are struggling with in life right now, I want you to understand that it's only temporary. As tough as it is, you are tougher. There are people in your life wanting to support you; reach out to them, and allow them the opportunity to contribute to you. They are waiting for this opportunity. You are worth it. I know that because I was worth it when I was struggling, and I allowed them to support me. Look at how far I have come.
Don't give up, your better life is waiting for you to step up and put in the work to heal and grow. And if you have the thought that you have it tough, yes, you do, but so do so many other people, and they still put in the work. You can do this. Trust me! It's not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.
Today’s drivers are more distracted and rushed than at any other time in history. We are trying to get more packed into our days than we realistically have time for, which leads our drivers to be distracted and rushed. This results in motor vehicle incidents (MVI) which cause unnecessary delays, downed time of personnel/equipment and increased insurance costs. Our driver's bad habits and poor driving choices add unnecessary costs to our businesses' operations and sometimes result in near-fatal or fatal injuries. We all want to get our drivers home safe, and we all want to reduce our operating costs, so our businesses and companies are more profitable.
Book a discovery call with me to see how I can help your drivers increase their safe driving behaviours and reduce the risks of being involved in a MVI. I am a Road Safety Advocate/Speaker who has spoken on the importance of Road Safety for two decades. I am also the sole survivor of a fatal car crash where I sustained life-threatening burns to 75% of my body. I'm passionate about helping drivers get home safely and would love the oppurunity to work with your drivers.
Benefits of working with me:
Book a discovery call today, I'm waiting for your call.
Road Safety Advocate/Speaker
firstname.lastname@example.org | 250-514-5143 | JohnWesthaver.com
Sometimes I get in my head when I don't know how to execute a task or project. I'm often frozen in inaction. I'm afraid to take action or make the wrong choice. Frozen. Stuck. Afraid.
Are you the type of person that is afraid of taking action on something you are not sure how to execute? Are you worried if your efforts will work out? Are you frozen and afraid to take action? Are you concerned about how you will look if your actions and choices are the wrong ones?
I have accomplished a lot in my life and will continue to achieve a lot because I say so. However, often I get stuck, frozen, and afraid to take action or make a choice. I don't want to look stupid. I never learned that mistakes are part of the learning journey; in my eyes, they were terrible.
This is an old wound that likes to resurface its head when I am working on something that stretches my abilities, and these thoughts are no longer needed. It stems from a young John that didn't always have the correct answer in class or didn't get things right away. I thought, felt and knew I was stupid and would collect evidence that it was true, "John is dumb!" I know it's not true, but I didn't realise that growing up. I thought I was stupid, and I would do or say things that proved this judgement of myself. I also notice that I have this feeling like I don't want to put all this effort into this task or project and have it be all wrong. Making mistakes was terrible and wrong in my eyes, and it never occurred as a learning opportunity.
What I know now is that it's ok to be concerned for the outcome of the task or project I am working on, but don't let it stop me from doing my important work, work that needs to be done and work that is saving-peoples lives. I know that making mistakes is just part of the learning process, and I'm just ruling out what doesn't work.
When I am responsible for putting aside those negative thoughts, it's easier to take the actions or make the choices I need to make to move my project forward. With a responsibility mindset, I can achieve whatever I set my mind to and keep taking actions that are consistent with the future happening.
So next time you have that same thought or feeling that freezes you in inaction, thank it for showing up and put it aside as you know you can do the task or project. There is no need to engage with that internal voice from a younger scared version of you. Remember this simple rule; you alone are responsible for your future. So take action and make choices that are consistent with that future happening. Be excited about the future you create because you can make it happen.
Also, follow me as I will be putting together a virtually-delivered program for those that want a little more support and development in this area. Finally, sign up for my newsletter to be among the first to know of the new program.
New Year - New Goals - New Results
I gotta say, I am extremely excited for this year. I finally can sit down and start some real planning for my business, which is my other child that I have been putting energy into for the last 19 years.
My whole family expect me recently had Covid. We have been isolated at home for the required ten days, and now the girls are back at school and daycare. This is great because I can get back to work. The most challenging thing for me is having to put all my work aside when my girls need me. This impacts how much I can get done, but on the other hand, I get to take care of them and this is most important. One day they won't need me, so, for now, I make them my priority.
So this week, I am taking time to plan my work for 2022. I have some pretty big goals that I want to reach, and it will take something for me to achieve these goals. That's ok; I'm ready to put in the work to reach these goals, mainly because the results will impact others and make their lives better.
Some of my goals are speaking in 5 countries virtually this year, and I want to talk to 250,000 people just this year. I have some new talks and programs I will be launching this year. I am increasing my contribution to my local Burn Survivor Peer Support Group as they need my leadership and contribution. I aim to hire a VA this year and outsource some of my tasks that do not require me to do.
This post is also to put my goals out in the world as a declaration and have some public accountability. So reach out if you don't see me posting about my goals. Check-in to see how things are going. I need your support and accountability to reach these goals.
One of the biggest obstacles I had in my journey of life is being with others when they look at my scars. In the beginning, I hated my scars. I thought I was ugly, broken and unlovable. I didn't want people to see my scars. I had so much noise in my head about my scars and the shame around surviving the fatal car crash that took my friends. At times it was almost too much.
In the early days of being a burn survivor, I ran through life not wanting to deal with life or allow others to see me. I ran away from everything. I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror, all I saw was this ugly broken face, and I was a guy that loved the mirror and fixing my hair, so I looked awesome.
Over time and learning to accept the scars, I learned to love my imperfections. It wasn't overnight, but I have learned to love my scars and how I look with time. They are a part of me, and they are not going anywhere. My dad taught me the most significant lesson; he taught me how to accept my scars. Through his love and conversations, I was able to accept my scars. I learned that they aren't going anywhere, and the doctors will never be able to make me look like I did before. When I gave up resisting my scars, my whole world changed. I could actually look people in the eye without any shame or noise in my head. I have done exercises where I kissed my scars or reflection in the mirror as an act of true acceptance. That exercise shifted my whole world. Powerful!
One of the biggest compliments I get from others is that I look people in the eyes when I talk to them. I don't look down or away. I don't talk to their feet, chest or forehead. Instead, I look them in the eyes and allow them to see me. When I do this, I get to truly experience connection at the human level.
If you are struggling with the noise in your head about how you look, I invite you to do three things.
I often think I am extremely normal like everyone else. I say there is nothing special about me, I'm like everyone else. I even say, wouldn't everyone do what I do. It keeps me small and not really playing full out in life. I don't get to be great or legendary.
But the reality is, I am special, just like you. I deflect the conversation of being special because I am secretly scared of how great I can be. I like being that guy that ever so often inspires and motivates people. I have it that it's hard work to keep it up all the time. But, the funny thing is it's not hard being my great self. I get so much positive feedback and encouragement which fills me up to keep going.
I want you to know that we all have fears and anxiety about things in life. I want you to know that you are awesome. I want you to feel it deep down. I want you to get how truly amazing you are and how lovable you are.
You are worthy of love and being loved. You are enough, flaws and all. You probably have been hurt in the past when you let love in. It's kind of part of the whole experience of finding love.
I was hurt too. I hurt so much I use to cry with the fears I'd never find someone to love me for who I am. I thought I'd be alone forever. I thought I was broken, destroyed and ugly. I couldn't get past how I looked or how I thought I looked. I couldn't even imagine the life I have today with the love of 4 beautiful women (Bri my wife and 3 beautiful girls; Abigail, Bridget and Camilla).
With time I have learned to accept my scars and my body. I learned to accept they were part of me and they weren't going away. I resisted it at first, I had lots of reasons to hate the way I looked and my scars. But, when I stopped resisting my scars my world changed. I stopped being ashamed of them and started to embrace them. I started to love my life again.
I invite you to embrace your flaws or what you consider flaws. They are part of you and they are not going away overnight. What is possible when you let go of all the noise in your head and love yourself? You are worth it!
I am currently booking presentations for schools, companies and organizations to help those struggling with fear, anxiety and life. This is the work I am great at. This is the work that breaths life into me. This is the work that makes me legendary. Reach out to start the conversation of working together. There is no group too small or big.
Survivor - Speaker - Coach
Most people are paralyzed by the fear of failure. I am one of them.
The problem is that failure is often seen as a negative thing. How often have you told yourself, "I can't do something. I just can't do it." That's not how the world works. The truth is that it's all about how you look at failure. You can look at something as negative, or you can look at it as an opportunity for your next success.
I often have that negative voice in my head that says, "I will fail. Do not try.' That voice in my head is trying to keep me safe, or at least not put me in a situation that will cause me harm or pain. I have had to learn to let go of that voice in my head and take risks in order to grow and make the real difference I am out to cause in the world. If I let that fear take over, I would never have gotten into speaking to people about safety or helping other trauma survivors get back into life. I saw an opportunity to make a difference in the world and had to put that negative fear conversation in my head aside. I had to put the fear aside and see the real opportunity that is there. It was not easy, but it was possible with practice.
Over time that voice has diminished in power and volume, but it is still there trying to keep me safe. I now choose to thank it and then ignore it. I want you to know that you can do the same. Focus on what is possible versus the fear of failing. Learn and practise letting go of that internal negative voice, the one that is based on fear. Look at what is possible and choose to focus on that. Get that you are safe and you are growing.
What goals or accomplishments are you putting off because you are fearful of failing? What opportunities are you missing out on because of your fear?
Survivor | Speaker | Coach
John Westhaver (Courageous Leadership)
Hope | Courage | Power
#leadership #success #mentalhealth #motivation #coaching #inspiration #mindset #safety #power #opportunity
In my life there has been a lot of trauma and death. It's hard to escape the thoughts and memories at times. I'm getting better at not letting them control me. This is something that I am working on.