Get it is joined by Anthony Noud, founder and director of Awakened Lifestyles, who shares his incredible true story
Recently approached by Warner Brothers to attend a casting of The Bachelor, living riverside in New Farm, and running a successful coaching business servicing clients worldwide…
By all accounts he fits the cliché of modern-day success. But feeling ‘not good enough’ as a man is perhaps the last thing you’d expect to hear from the tall, dark, ripped and handsome Anthony Noud.
His story from teenage drug addict, to prison, overdoses and near suicide is anything but what you’d expect to hear in a modern-day success story. Anthony speaks candidly with a rare authenticity with us today…
“As long as I can remember I’ve cared about what others thought about me. Kinda like if you knew the real me, then you certainly wouldn’t like me. In response to this, my mind has always seemed to think of ways in which I can prove my ‘worth’, essentially postponing my happiness and contentment to a future date when I am a better version of myself.
“So, if I look a certain way, dress a certain way, earn a certain amount of money, have a certain amount of things, prestige, status… whatever! Then, and only then, will I feel like a successful human being, like I’ve made it, like I’m ‘good enough’.
“As a society, our culture reinforces this – if you have a certain watch, that car, x amount of money in the bank, a fit body. These are the things that are supposed to make us happy and content, right? That’s certainly what I was taught, and that’s how my story begins.
“I remember a time when I was young and bounding with excitement declaring that I wanted to become an ambulance driver (fast cars, sirens, blood and guts – pretty much heaven for a 7-year-old boy). Anyway, I remember when an older family member shot back, ‘Why would you want to be an ambulance driver when you can be a doctor? Doctors are much better and more successful, and they earn more money.’ I vividly remember thinking this seemed strange. How would that make me better? I’m just here trying to have as much FUN as I can, I don’t care about money.
“But the seed was planted-If I wanted to be ‘successful’ then I had to be better than I was, which I took to mean that ‘as I am now, I mustn’t be quite good enough’.
“By about age 10 I decided that if you guys (the world) weren’t gonna love me as I am, and that in order to feel ‘good enough’ I have to be, do, have certain things, then I’ll show you just how not good enough I can be.
“This started a progression into juvenile delinquency – playing pranks and being a somewhat ‘naughty’ kid. On some level this felt good – it was okay to be me, even if that me was the naughty kid.
The promised payoff was always the same. When you achieve x, y or z, then you will feel like you’ve finally made it.
“From there, things snowballed pretty quickly… I started smoking pot, which turned into speed, which had me first try heroin at age 15. I finally felt like I belonged, and the expectation to be ‘good enough’ had been pushed down somewhere between the daily drug use and the fact that as a ratbag, the ‘worse’ I was in societies’ eyes, the more ‘successful’ I was at being a terror. I was still chasing that good enough!
“The next 11 years saw me strategically burn my life to the ground. A $1,000 a day heroin and ice habit, and trouble with the law saw me land in prison at age 19, with multiple detox units, rehabs, court ordered programs and well wishing family and medical interventions that left me in a state of despair. Wanting to die started to become a familiar feeling each morning. I was unemployable with pages of criminal convictions, overweight, and I couldn’t feel my feet because of the poor circulation (a result of constantly injecting drugs into my neck). I had absolutely NO idea of how to live life, let alone anything that resembled self-esteem or self-worth. I certainly didn’t feel good enough.
I mean, society told me that as a man it was things like big muscles, a nice car, pretty girls, lots of money and power that would make me feel like I’d made it…
“I got to a point that is common among drug addicts, where I was well and truly ‘sick and tired of being sick and tired’. Something in me clicked, and I made a decision that I was going to turn my life around.
“In addition to seeking specialized help for my addictions, I began to look at society and became curious about how people became ‘happy’, because what I was doing certainly wasn’t working.
“If only I could look a certain way, dress a certain way, have a certain amount of money… then I would feel ‘good enough’ and like I’d ‘made it’. This was the story that my mind told me. And so, it began, a crazy obsessed mission which saw me transform my entire life. Beginning with my drug polluted body, I lost over 35kg, got fit and began
a strict eating regime. This saw me win a Novice Heavyweight Mr Qld title only 6 years later. Surely now I’d feel good enough, right?
“I mean, society told me that as a man it was things like big muscles, a nice car, pretty girls, lots of money and power that would make me feel like I’d made it…
“So simultaneously, it was onto the next thing: ‘I need to get a job’. Not an easy task for someone with an extensive criminal history and no qualifications. Perhaps out of pity, I was warily given a casual job at a family member’s gym, initially just vacuuming the place and answering the phone. It was then I decided that if I could become an established personal trainer, I would then feel worthy of my incessant mind’s expectations. I did that, and then some.
“Beginning my journey while still detoxing and having withdrawals from being on the highest legal dose of methadone, a very powerful narcotic and sedative used to minimize heroin dependency, I began building a team of nutritionists, dietitians and trainers under me servicing thousands of clients across the country. But the story still wasn’t true!
“For the deadbeat junkie and methadone addict to now be a shining example of health and fitness, business and personal success, this would surely be ‘enough’ to feel happy and content, right?
I came to learn that the ONLY way I will ever feel good enough is when I treat myself like I matter.
“It was like as soon as I achieved or reached a goal, my mind would instantly shift the goal posts on me and set a new, loftier target. The promised payoff was always the same. When you achieve x, y or z, THEN you will feel like you’ve finally made it. Essentially postponing my happiness to a future date when I am a ‘better’ version of myself.
“Only the story just wasn’t true, and this is ALL too common among men these days. Over-working, drinking and drug taking, increased body image pressure, needing to provide material wealth as an adjunct to life purpose. This is the story that the youth of today are being told, and I’m here to tell you that it simply isn’t true.
“If external success, money or physical appearance was going to make me happy, it well and truly would have by now. Don’t get me wrong, I think all of these things are important, and are a nice addition to your life, but in and of themselves will not create lasting happiness.
“I began looking inside, and challenging this inner critic constantly comparing me to others and telling me ‘I’m not good enough’. I came to learn that the ONLY way I will ever feel good enough is when I treat myself like I matter. What I have learnt, is that the degree to which you feel your life is a ‘success’ is directly proportional to how safe and ok you feel to BE YOURSELF.
“That is, listening to those inner whispers that tell you ‘this situation isn’t for me’, saying yes and no in the right places, speaking up for who you are and what you want, having those conversations that you avoid for fear of rejection. Essentially making it more than ok to BE YOURSELF exactly as you are, no holds barred, zero f*cks given. THIS is when you begin to feel good enough… Why? Because by being yourself (and not beating yourself up for it) you are literally telling yourself through your actions that it is more than okay to be me! In that state, not only is it impossible to not feel ‘less than’, but the idea of being good enough/ not good enough isn’t possible.
“From this place, you can then go on and enjoy (being ‘in-joy’) in all of the external things, like your job, house, car, relationships etc., all the while knowing deep down that they don’t make any difference to who you are or what you’re worth.
“If I could have my time again, I’d tell that little boy that was shamed for wanting to be an ambulance driver that it’s okay – you need to follow that little heart of yours, and you are perfectly safe to be yourself, in fact, it’s the only thing you are here to be!’’
We are a team of inner work coaches with a passion to help others achieve and succeed. We transform minds, bodies and lives – from the inside out. Visit awakenedlifestyles.com.au to find out more.