The story of the hyphen in "Nik-Wood.com"

A few years ago while speaking with a dear friend she said; “you don’t need a special occasion to change your life, any random Tuesday will do”. 

I’m not sure if it was a Tuesday then, but it is a Tuesday now and that feels appropriate.

Launching this site, a site baring my name, seems like small thing in some ways. It’s a simple site that serves the purpose without doing too much more but I can remember a time, not too long ago when the thought of a personally branded site would have felt absurd.

There’s a story behind the hyphen in www.nik-wood.com and it represents the growth I’ve personally gone through for the last 20 years or so.

At 18 I was depressed, scared, hopeless. My stepfather was physically and emotionally abusive and I thought that there was no point in continuing... except I wanted to continue. Taking killing myself and feeling depressed off the table as options forced me to look forward.

I dreamed of living an extraordinary life. I didn’t know quite what that would look like for myself but I had a general direction. The problem was that I didn’t believe that I deserved it.

This lack of self belief was shoved down and ignored for a while but that doesn’t work long term. It would pop up all at the least convenient times and no amount of ignoring it or numbing myself worked.

Once while working on an on-line project I was offered a free domain name. A friend suggested that I get “nikwood.com” and I did, all the while thinking that it was a waste of a domain because there was no way I’d ever use it.

At the time I thought that only egomaniacs, or the truly great had personally branded sites. I didn’t want to be the former and didn’t think I could be the later and yet I bought the domain.

On I went in my quest to elevate the people around me, sometime succeeding and sometimes failing but always caring and always wishing that someone would do the same for me but again thinking that I didn’t deserve it.

The transition into believing that I deserved to feel great about myself came when I realized the hypocrisy of my mission at the time.

Wanting everyone around me to experience their own awesomeness, while ignoring that they wanted the very same thing for me, was incredibly selfish. 

Tony Robbins often says that he’ll go first with any challenge to step into greatness and I realized that that's really the only way to go.  I followed Tony's lead and allowed myself to feel worthy of being extraordinary by dropping into the space of seeing myself as I saw most other people.

Embracing my normalcy, my membership in this club called “humanity” is what allowed me to start feeling awesome. Trying to be awesome made me feel bad about myself but by forgiving and embracing my humanity allowed the ways of being that I’d always craved. 

The simplicity of it now makes my heart ache when I see people where I once was, and it makes my heart swell when I see myself and others stepping out and owning who they are. 

This is all incredibly self congratulatory but it’s also extremely vulnerable. I used to think that vulnerability was showing weakness, but it’s something else. Revealing myself as someone who now thinks that creating a website with my name on it is acceptable opens myself to the scrutiny of others and to my past self.

Standing up and saying that I feel great is to dare to be a tall poppy and risk having people trying to take my head off.

I am using a domain with a hyphen because I didn’t renew nikwood.com when I had it because of the fear of stepping up. It’s now considered a premium account the asking price is in the thousands. I opted for the hyphen because it was two dollars and because it reminds me of the time I’ve wasted on self doubt while also reminding myself of the courage to keep going, sometimes imperfectly.

This site is a celebration of growth and expression. It’s a catch-all for the randomness of me and a place where I can share fully and freely. The real hope is that people who are holding themselves back in any way will start to feel more free and more awesome because they see my humanity and forgive themselves their own.

We all deserve greatness to be the new normal. I’m on the path, joining those who have gone before me and inviting those who want to come along.

Nik

Nik Wood