There are moments that I call the Zero Moments Of Truth. Moments where you stand with your back against the wall, and have to make a very deliberate decision about how you want to live your life from that moment onwards. Moments that define you and which are a test of character. Moments that profoundly impact the trajectory of your entire life. And once you make that decision, everything changes and nothing will be the same again.
Earlier this year, I was standing in front of ±250 of my classmates, giving a talk about a zero moment of truth that I had experienced in my life.
I told them the story of how I grew up in Germany. How I became a person who was strong on the outside (225 pounds heavy) but fairly weak on the inside (very low self-esteem). I shared the story of how something as simple as a break-up was enough to break my back and throw me into a deep depression. How I had become very unhappy with the person I had become.
But I also talked about how I had a moment one day which went down for me as my zero moment of truth. How I looked into the mirror one day – in the midst of my struggles – and decided that I was tired of being depressive and exhausted of carrying around negative feelings. How I wanted to regain control over my mind and body again. And how I worked on changing everything in my life from that moment onwards.
And while I was talking about a zero moment of truth that had happened to me in the past, that very moment of sharing was a zero moment of truth in itself. I had never opened up like that to talk about some of the my past’s struggles. Yet in that moment, I was literally with my back against the wall, and making a deliberate decision to open up and to share. And while it wasn’t easy, I look back on that moment and I can see how everything changed from that moment onwards.
The reason why I write about this is because I want to encourage you to think about your own zero moments of truth from your past. Moments where you took deliberate decisions that changed everything. Those moments are powerful and thinking about them can be very empowering. And if you don’t have any of those moments from your past, try to think what a zero moment of truth could look like for you in future.