But what I didn’t know is I was about to go on a journey that was going to be one of the most painful journeys of my life, but also lead to why I’m here today, making this video. You know, when you have a childhood like mine, I spent a lot of time hopeless and consequently suicidal.
For the past several years, I have been making videos because I wanted to educate, inform and inspire people in the helping professions to use Solution Focused Brief Therapy. So over the years I’ve been talking specifically to Counselors and psychotherapists and Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, all the people who with their clients in a helping capacity to use the Solution Focused Approach.
And it’s been wonderful, I mean, it’s been an amazing, amazing journey. I have gone further in this world than I ever thought I would. I’ve written books. I have traveled the world. I’ve been on every continent teaching this approach, but this video is actually going to be different because now I want to talk to you in a different way.
I want to talk to you from a different place of me. I want to share something about me that, to be honest, I never thought I would share. And I want to touch you if you’re ahelping professional in a different way. And I want to touch you, the general public, because something has been on my mind for a little while now that I think I’m now ready to share. I think I’m now ready to talk about, and I think I’m now ready to give it to you in a way that I hope makes makes a difference.
So in order for you to understand where I’m coming from, I got to go back a little bit and go to the pre pandemic world because I think going into lockdown and going into the pandemic is where I started to really,
truly wrestle with the thoughts that I’m going to be sharing here in this video. But, you know, I’ve made no secret about it. If you’ve been following me at all, you know, that my childhood was filled with a lot of trauma and there was a lot of physical and emotional abuse in my childhood. And I left that childhood scarred a bit.
And I had some parts to my personality that I’m not proud of. I had some parts to my personality that just impact the way that you live your life. You know, I tell people all the time that the hardest thing about a childhood like that actually isn’t the physical abuse. It’s the words that people, that my father, would use towards me when he was parenting in that way.
And it really affected me and it caused me to have really low self-esteem. It caused me to think of myself in a really negative light and caused me to have low confidence and not believe in myself or what I was doing. And I found respite in athletics and I would play sports. And that’s where I got a little bit of a self-esteem boost,
cause I was pretty good. And it kept me out of the house, so I felt like I could use that to stay safe. Because I was out of the house at practice and at games and stuff like that. And ultimately eventually found my way into college and then graduate school. And I discovered this thing called Solution Focused Brief Therapy. I felt really inspired.
I felt really, really inspired and very quickly upon getting my Master’s Degree I published my first book within a year of getting my Master’s Degree. And you know, quickly after that, I was traveling the world, delivering lectures to people who wanted to have me speak at their conferences and events and stuff. And at that time I remember feeling like the nagging pain and struggle that I had had in my life as a result of my childhood was going away.
I was busy running a therapy practice. I was busy writing books. I was busy doing research. I was busy traveling the world. I mean, I traveled like once a week, like half a million miles a year, I was going to London, South Africa, South America, Canada. I mean, I was going everywhere all over Europe, Australia. I mean, I was going everywhere and I was doing things like the child ‘Elliott’ never thought I’d be able to do. An I was seeing things that I never thought I’d be able to see. I’ve been to Nelson Mandela’s prison. I’ve been to his home. I’ve been in cages watching great white sharks off the coast of South Africa. I’ve been to Buckingham Palace and just all kinds of crazy things.
And going through that, I felt like I was healing from my difficult childhood and I was reaching levels of professional success. My business was thriving. My reputation was growing. My status was growing. Financially I was doing really well. And you know I would experience that as feeling like I have succeeded and not just succeeded in life professionally,
but like succeeded in overcoming the demons that you battle when you come from a childhood that has so much anger, violence, and hostility and abuse in it. And then I remember ending 2019, you know, things in my professional life, 2019 was probably the best year that I had up to that point professionally, like life is going really, really well.
My professional organization had become the largest training organization in the field of Solution Focused Therapy. And I couldn’t believe that I was experiencing the type of success I was having. I mean, ending 2019, I couldn’t have imagined what was yet to come in 2020. And I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget March 11th, 2020. I was so excited. I had just finished hosting the annual conference for my organization.
And of course by that time you’d heard of COVID-19, but that was something that was happening over there. It wasn’t something we, as Americans, had to be overly worried about. And I had one of the largest organizations in the entire helping professions, had asked me to come and speak on the main stage at their main conference. I mean like 10,000 people come to this conference every year and I was going to be at the main conference and that was going to be happening the following week.
And then I was going to do another lecture that was a big deal at a big university. After that things were really ramping up and I was so excited and I remember sitting at my desk in my office at home on March 11th, 2020, preparing for these things that were yet to come that were signs that it was going to get even bigger, even brighter,
even better. And there was a basketball game on…a little bit about me is I don’t like to work in silence. I need noise to concentrate, which is crazy, but I do. And so in my home office, I had a television off to the right. There’s a little tiny television just to keep noise. And oftentimes it’s a sports game on or something just have noise happening.
There was a basketball game on Oklahoma City Thunder, were playing the Utah Jazz. And as the game is about to start, I notice a man in a suit ran onto the court and that’s very unusual, it doesn’t happen. He, with urgency, ran onto the court and grabbed the referees and they spent two or three minutes talking and it was just so unusual.
The commentators of this game were commenting about how unusual this was. And then they canceled the game. One of the players on one of the teams, a guy named Rudy Gobert, had tested positive for COVID-19. And at that time, you know, we didn’t know what testing positive meant for your health or anything. We just knew this was a serious disease that was spreading rapidly around the world.
Now, here it is in the United States in a full arena. It was, you know, 30,000 people in this arena about to watch this basketball game and they canceled it. And then they canceled the games for the rest of that night. And then the next day they canceled the rest of the season, everything started, the next 48 hours everything’s being canceled,
like baseball games, I mean, everything was being canceled. And that also included all of the live events that I was so excited to be doing. I mean, that’s how I was making much of my revenue and building my professional reputation, building my status. And within 48 hours it’s gone, gone, gone. Like I didn’t have any revenue gone.
And I’m was worried and scared. I remember being really, really depressed. I remember spending about a week not wanting to get out of bed, but what I didn’t know is I was about to go on a journey that was going to be one of the most painful journeys of my life, but also lead to why I’m here today, making this video.
You know, when you have a childhood like mine, I spent a lot of time hopeless and consequently suicidal. And you know, I get bothered sometimes with people think suicide is a correlative like depression. The more depressed you are, the more suicidal you may be, but that’s actually not true. Suicide is actually much more closely related and linked to hopelessness.
And throughout my childhood I didn’t have any hope that life could be different. So it was a very common experience for me to think about how to end my life and to struggle with suicide, suicidal thoughts and ideas, pretty consistently in a real scary way through much of my life and then going to graduate school and undergrad and getting my degrees and then writing books and things I didn’t have those struggles anymore. And kind of thought that that healing had happened and I didn’t have to worry about that anymore. I thought I had grown beyond that, but here we are now, you know, March of 2020, and I literally had lost everything. And now those thoughts were creeping back into my head and it scared me.
It scared me. It scared me. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know the way that life would unfold. I just knew that I just lost everything and those old demons were waiting for me. And I realized that I hadn’t healed from the pain and struggle that I had in my childhood. I realized that the work that I had been doing,
traveling around the world and writing books and teaching all the people about Solution Focused Brief Therapy that just distracted me. So now when the world hit pause, those demons were there waiting for me and I didn’t know what to do and how to get through it. And here I was in a space in my life where work couldn’t be the distraction because I literally couldn’t do the work.
I couldn’t do an event. And you couldn’t see clients. You just had to sit in that space and realizing that I was struggling with these demons that had been there my whole life, I wanted to address them, I wanted to face them head on. I wanted to experience and really get true, genuine healing. So I didn’t have to face these struggles anymore. And I kind of leaned in and started working through that shit that is in your head so that my life literally wouldn’t depend upon whether things were going my way or not. I wanted to lean in so that I could be the best version of myself, no matter what was going on around me and how that was working.
And I did a lot of self reflection, a lot of meditation and a lot of prayer. And I had really open conversations with people close to me, really close friends, my partner, my Mom. I remember talking to my Mom about my experiences and the real demons and battles that I was struggling with. And, shockingly, I could feel myself feeling better. Like for the first time in this process, I mean, I went a year and a half with no traveling at all. I went a year and a half with no live events at all, but yet I could feel myself starting to feel better. And I could feel myself starting to get clear,
and I could feel myself falling in love with life in a way that I don’t think I’d ever experienced before. I could feel myself wanting to wake up every day, even though there was nothing profound to do on that day. That might sound strange to say, but you know, for all of those years, I would wake up every day excited because I was going to go to London or I was going to go to South Africa,
or I was going to go see a cool friend, or I was going to go travel and do this awesome thing. But this was the first time I would wake up and I would be really excited about life. And it was just like Tuesday. I had no plans to even leave my house, but I was beginning to fall in love with life again.
And I was beginning to have clarity. And my work, started to feel differently. And shockingly 2020 became the best year my company had ever had. We had had a lot of success up until that point. And then in 2020, we became a big seven figure brand, doing nothing but teaching people how to do Solution Focused Brief Therapy.
And we reached hundreds of thousands of people using digital platforms, because that was all that was available us. And I had a different experience with it. It wasn’t like, oh my gosh, I’m so excited to be making all of this money or be having all this success. And it wasn’t like a distraction anymore.
It was something that I was more appreciative of. And it was something that I took stock in. And it was something that felt like was happening because of my healing as opposed to something that was distracting me. And then, you know, the more we go through that and I spent a lot of time in 2020 teaching and building my brand from this new place of perspective that I had, now you know, the shift is happening and we’re in 2021 and parts of the world are beginning to open up a bit and we’re starting to move around a bit more as a culture, community and country. And I feel the pull of life kind of distracting again. And now there’s something else burning in me. Like I don’t know that
the best thing I can do with my time and energy is to just spend it teaching and talking about Solution Focused Brief Therapy. You know, I got into this Solution Focused Brief Therapy thing because I was really inspired to change people’s lives. And the original way I wanted to change people’s lives is to become a Counselor, become a Psychotherapist and open a Psychotherapy practice.
And I realized that I could change people’s lives but if I do that as a Psychotherapist, I can only change people’s lives in my local area that could drive to my office and come and talk to me. But I wanted to reach more people than that. And I started writing books and traveling, giving lectures. And then I realize you can only reach people that attend your events and things.
But I think now I have a different message inside of me, and I have a different desire to touch people because what I want to spend my time and energy doing now, which is so different than what I’ve been doing up until this point. But I want to let people know that you can beat your demons and thrive in life. I want people to see me as an example that you can go through real hell. I mean like, you can go through real struggle and it doesn’t have to stop you from being your very best self and it doesn’t have to stop you from accomplishing your goals. So as we, as we come out of 2020,
and that’s why I got this million dollar brand and all of this status in my field and all of these followers and people, you know, and it’s great, I mean, I would be less than honest to tell you that I don’t enjoy my work and don’t enjoy the interaction I have with people that follow me. But I think there’s something else calling me and pulling me that I now also want to express to the whole world that, you know, we go through really difficult things. And so often those really difficult things hold us back in some cases for the rest of our lives. And they interfere with what could have been a triumphant story.
They interfere with our ability to pursue and attain our goals. They interfere with our ability to be courageous and even take the opportunity to chase those goals. And I think if I want to do anything now, these days is I want to help people understand that no matter what you go through, no matter what you’ve been through,
that that you can overcome it and still become the best of yourself. And you can overcome it and still achieve those big dreams and goals that you had otherwise. So I don’t know, I don’t even know how to end a video like this. I don’t know. I don’t know what to say to kind of wrap up something like this,
other than to say, I’m going to lean into this feeling and this calling and this emotion in the same way that I did when I felt called and driven to teach Solution Focused Brief Therapy. I’m going to lean into this experience as well. So I hope that you would follow me and I hope you would listen. Let me know how I’m doing. I hope I share information that will inspire you to dream beyond your struggles, thrive beyond your problems, excel beyond your traumas. Because I realized that I thought I had done that. And then there are those demons who were waiting for me in 2020, and it took some real healing. It took some real work. It took some processing. But once I did it, like my business literally tripled, and my experience of enjoying it went through the roof and my opportunity to be around people was different. And I think that the success that I began to have was a result of the healing. And it really, really inspires me to want to share that with you, and to help everyone out there know that no matter what you’ve been through,
you can overcome it and become who you could have and should have been, had a difficult circumstance not impacted you. So I don’t know, I don’t know what to say other than like, this is a much longer video than I typically make. This is a much more kind of raw experience for me to make this video. So those of you who’ve hung in there and watch all the way to the end,
thank you. It means so much to me that you would listen to me. And I hope that you will continue to stay engaged in what I’m doing. And also help me give me feedback and let me know how you’re feeling about these new videos that I’m going to be making to come as I carry this new message forward.
Like, I need you. I need you to support me. This is really, really hard to sit and be this like unzipped in front of the world and I’m doing it because I know there are people out there who have had an abusive parent, sexual assault in their younger years, drug addiction, whatever it is. You’ve had this thing and you always wanted to be a lawyer, you always wanted to be that thing. But because of the pain and trauma that happened in your past that interfered with your ability to become that thing. And I’m telling you, it is possible. Not only is it possible, it is likely if you can do the work to heal from those traumas. And now that’s what I want to help you do.
I want to help you do the work to heal from those traumas. I sit here now, way beyond where ever thought it would be. I can’t believe I have a million dollar brand. I can’t believe that I sit at the top of a profession. I can’t believe that I get to do the work that I do.
And I want to help you guys have those ‘can’t believe’ moments too. And once you start dealing with it overcoming your demons, it’s not only possible, it is likely. It is not only plausible, but it’s almost yours. You just have to do the stuff to take it. And I want to make material that helps you do the things that you need to do to take it.
So thank you for watching this video. Please leave a comment below. Please continue to comment with me and engage with me and let me know how you’re being inspired or touched or what you want me to say or not say, do or not do as I shift in this new direction, just let me know that you’re there. I’ll be there for you.
And let me know that you’re there and I’ll try and make the best material possible to help you overcome those past demons and become your greatest self. So I guess that’s it. That’s all I have to say.