Fitness trainer and nightclub DJ turned business coach, Simon Lovell, knows exactly what it's like to lack self-awareness (and the troubles that can bring to your life). Following a journey from drug and alcohol addiction, to building million dollar business, Simon shares real-world insights into becoming self-aware and transforming your life.
Simon, tell us about your life…
- Back in 2005 I certified as a personal trainer in the UK and in 2009 I produced a book called the Lunchbox Diet.
- At the same time as I was a personal trainer and helping people with health and fitness, I also lived a destructive life of gambling, drugs and addiction.
- I was unaware of this being a problem, I actually thought it was all quite normal.
- On a journey of personal development, I started to build my confidence and hired mentors.
- Eventually I grew my business from zero to $1million in 18 months, moved to the USA, got a Ferrari and a big house. Everything on my vision board, I got.
- After I got everything, I realised that none of those things made me happy. They were all attached to my self-worth, but didn't make me happy.
- Through this ‘spiritual awakening' and working on my self-awareness, I reached this massive inner-peace and everything started to shift.
- Instead of grinding in my business, everything was from a place of ‘flow'.
- What I considered ‘Success' to be has totally changed over this 4-5 year journey of personal growth.
- Now I help entrepreneurs and people to live a happier life.
If you had to identify the worst moment in your life, what would that be? And what did you do to overcome it? What was the lesson from that?
- It was in 2010, when I was working as a personal trainer during the day and a nightclub DJ on a weekend.
- It was non-stop attention, and I was taking a lot of drugs.
- On Christmas Eve 2010, I'd been taking ecstasy and then on Christmas Day, I had to be at my sisters for 11am.
- I looked in the mirror and my eyes were bloodshot, I was sweating and feeling paranoid.
- Eventually I went upstairs and lay down on my nephew's bed, while the kids were playing downstairs and just fell asleep.
- I slept through Christmas dinner and I left that day feeling totally ashamed.
- We have these callings in life, where we take ourselves out of the mind and our guidance system tells us to get out of a situation.
- A month later, I got an opportunity to live in my friend's house and that change of environment got me to change everything.
What's your biggest and most exciting epiphany that you've ever had and what impact did that have on your life?
- It was working with mentors and the energetic exchange that happened between them.
- Also in my time of working with clients, I've realised that it was never about a particular strategy, it was just this one word which kept coming up, which was ‘Confidence'.
- If we're not in an environment where we're breeding our own confidence, that reflects on the actions we take, the people we connect with and how we grow ourselves.
- It was the realisation that the work that I did on myself which removed fears and boosted confidence, had a massive impact on me and my business.
- Some of the biggest jumps that I had in my business came from the depth of work that I did on myself.
- Lost of entrepreneurs don't wanna go there because it's scary.
This is all about being self-aware. What does that really mean and why is it important to our self-development?
- It's absolutely critical.
- I talk a lot about being congruent and happy. Happiness is just about being in alignment.
- Alignment comes from being aware of what we're doing so that we can get rid of negative patterns.
- For example, I drank for many years as a habit, back in 2005 and living that life. But I was unaware of the impact that was having. Throw growth, meditation and mentors, I started to grow and remove things from my life, like alcohol.
- Once there was this night where (through consistent working on myself), I woke up the night after and I noticed that I was drinking to ‘fit in'.
- In that moment, I changed and didn't desire it anymore (and I haven't drunk since), in well over a year.
- I realised that it's our own self-awareness where things can fall away from us without a pill or a book or hypnotherapy. I just needed to be self-aware.
- Imagine a line, drawn down a piece of paper. Some awareness is ‘pre-line', where we know not to do something. Then there's ‘during', where you catch yourself in the moment and stop yourself taking a specific action. Then there's times where we do something and a week later we look back and apologise (after-line).
- Think about how this happens in our reaction to arguments with our partners? This all comes from so many different things in our lives.
- When you become self-aware, it radically transform you, because you can look back and decide to make a change for better.
If people aren't aware of the bad things in their life, how does that affect them? What can they do about it?
- This is down to being in the ‘head' a lot, not the heart.
- I remember when I was struggling, with anxiety and depression. The symptoms were mostly me living in the past a lot. Bringing the painful things from the past into the present. OR from jumping into the future and creating a story about something that hasn't happened yet.
- Meditation has helped me so much because it brings me and grounds me.
- It comes from the awareness that we need to centre ourselves and live truly present, in the moment.
If someone wants to become more self aware, that might hold some painful realisations, so how do you prepare yourself for something you might not like?
- Don't go into judgement mode, or beat yourself up about things. Understand that you're not the only person going through it.
- I know from working with so many people, that pain is created when we believe that the thing we've done is only happening for us.
- It's all about the shame of what's happened and admitting the truth (which is difficult to do) and then deciding to make a change. It takes courage.
- It's actually a really cool thing to look at. I've had a lot of clients share something that they were ashamed about and I'm able to make that go away by helping them realise that they're making a much bigger deal out of it than it really is.
- The mind wants to blow things up bigger than they are, because sometimes we try to protect ourselves.
- Reading and studying and listening to podcasts helps us to get awareness around the things that we don't know we don't know!
So, let's imagine we have found something about ourselves that we don't like. How do we change those things?
- There are so many different ways.
- There are some things that you can do on your own and there's things that you'll need help with.
- Here's an example of something I changed in myself.
- It might sound weird, but I had a habit of not brushing my teeth on an evening, which I know wasn't healthy. I decided to change it, so I had to change the habit.
- Every thought we have creates a belief system and those beliefs power our habits. That habit was formed into my identity.
- By having awareness around that, I could set up triggers to remind myself to brush my teeth in the evenings. Eventually that habit started to change.
- Again, all of the nice things like the Ferrari and the big house came to life because I had the vision board, which allowed me to see it every day and create a mental trigger to put me into action.
- We're being triggered by things all the time, like social media.
- I did an experiment where I meditated for 2 hours, so I felt amazing. It was like a high (but not from drugs). So I asked myself, ‘What is going to take me down from this heightened state?'.
- The thing that brought me down was a Facebook post from someone who triggered me negatively. That's all it took.
- All of the time, things are taking us from feeling good, to not feeling good.
- Everyone just wants to feel better, so we have to be ‘at guard' [Jim Rohn] about the things that go into your mind.
- Understand that we can set up triggers to put us into a better state and push us forward.
- When this interview finishes, you can take a left turn or you can take a right turn. You can decide to read a book or start another project.
- But so many people go through the world thinking that they don't have the ability to change the course of their life.
When you become self-aware you might become aware of things that other people are already aware of. How do we guard ourselves around jumping to our own defence?
- This is interesting. I had a lot of people telling me that I didn't smile a lot, which used to really annoy me.
- We have to look at how many people are saying the same thing.
- As a leader, I used to ask myself where I was leading people. I'd made millions of dollars and had the nice house and car, but I still wasn't happy in myself.
- There's a great quote from Jeff Foster (Jim Carey's spiritual coach), saying “Depressed is the need for deep rest from the character that we've been playing in the world”.
- We have to just really continue to work on ourselves but appreciate that when someone is saying something to us, sometimes it can be a reflection of pain that they are going through… but we also have an opportunity to look within and realise that they could be right.
Are there some ‘top things', in your work with clients, that you've seen a lot?
- There's a lot of people who feel ‘stuck'. Sometimes in procrastination.
- When people go into self-development, sometimes their business starts to feel ‘off'.
- There's a lot of people that I work with because their business has grown out of alignment, because they have grown and the business hasn't gone with them.
- For a lot of entrepreneurs especially, they need to work out what they need to let go of. Like, imagine a balloon with a lot of weights on the bottom. The balloon wants to rise, but it can't. So for a lot of people, it's about chopping the weights off the bottom, without adding anything new.
- When we start to remove things, that frees up a lot of energy. Everything is energy.
- When we start to free up energy, people feel lighter.
- A lot of people are holding shame, which takes energy, and so that's a theme that I see a lot.
- I see a lot of people attaching things to their success, saying things like “If I make this amount of money, then I will be successful”, forgetting that the people around them just want them to be present, but their business takes them out of ‘presence'.
- People think they need to do or achieve things for people to love them, but they don't get that people will just love them for who they are, if they're present.
- It's a benefit of working with other people…. is that sometimes it can speed up this process of helping people become aware.
What are the top things that you'd recommend people do, to start making tremendous changes in their life?
- I have a program called True Transformation and the first thing I do is tell people to double their meditation.
- It takes a good 30 minutes to even get to a heightened state to access the things that you need to access to start really changing your life at a deep level.
- What most people do is 10-15 minutes, using an app, and they never get to that level.
- So double whatever meditation that you're already doing.
And into the quickfire round…
What is the best self-development advice you've ever received from someone else?
- “Get a dog” – Tony Robbins. It's one of the most grounding things imaginable.
Can you give us a personal ‘habit’ or personality trait that you think contributes to your success?
- Going with your intuition, which comes from meditation. Also giving yourself space and getting into nature.
What does success mean to you?
- Being present. Success is not about the things you get, but the experiences that you have. and given back.
Where can we find out more about you?