The Power Of Self-Esteem And Confidence – Yahya Bakkar’s Transformation Story*
*Results may vary by individual
Written by: Yahya Bakkar
It all began when I was 11 years old. I was walking home from school one day and across the street there were 3 older guys who were looking for some trouble. One of them crossed the street and bullied me to give him some money. All I had was my Ninja Turtle lunch box and so I offered it to him in good faith with a big smile on my face.
Next thing I knew, I was being woken up by a lady who parked her car in the middle of the road after she saw what she described as “this poor little kid lying on the ground.” Wanna know how I got there? The guy knocked me out. I had a huge bruise on my left eye for about a month.
That’s when my father decided that I should learn how to defend myself. So he did what most fathers would do… He sent me to a local Taekwondo school. Little did I know that I would end up becoming one of the top fighters in the country.
Four years later, I became a 2-Time National Jr. Olympic champion, 10-time state champion and a first degree black belt.
Truth is, I never liked to fight. I would always feel bad after I fought someone… except for this one time at my first Jr. Olympic championship in Las Vegas. My opponent kicked me in the “YA-YAs” (if you know what I mean). I ended up getting disqualified, because I broke his nose with a spinning roundhouse kick. He learned to never mess with Yahya or my Ya-Yas again… but I digress.
During my freshman year of highschool, I realized I was more of a lover than a fighter. So, I quit Taekwondo, but I missed the training and discipline that came along with it. Believe it or not, the training itself – not the fighting – helped increase my self-esteem and confidence.
I was on the lookout to find something to channel all my energy without hurting anyone. That’s when I got introduced to the world of bodybuilding & weightlifting. I got tired of competing against others, so I mainly trained for myself.
I’ll be honest. At first, I was trying to get buff and get that six pack so I could look good for all the ladies… but, overtime, it became so much more than that. Food became my medicine. Training became my therapy. The gym became my temple. All the challenges that I faced built my character. How I ate and trained physically reflected how I was treating myself psychologically. Everything else was secondary.
Since I was 15 years old, I’ve been reading books on the topics of health, fitness, relationships, spirituality, anatomy, physiology, psychology and personal development. I’ve explored and experimented with COUNTLESS diets and exercises, from raw vegan to Paleo, from bodybuilding to Yoga. You name it. Because I was passionate about so many topics, after I graduated high school, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life.
So, my parents suggested that I become a doctor. And that’s what I decided to do.
Although I got a full scholarship to Arizona State University, I ended up transferring to a one-of-a-kind accredited college called Maharishi University of Management. Even Jim Carrey and Oprah herself went to visit the school, because it was such a unique place.
I majored in Physiology and Health. As I took my prerequisites to get into graduate school, part of the curriculum was to learn how to meditate and do yoga every day. Not to mention… I was a vegetarian for quite some time, because it was an all organic vegetarian school. This was also when I started to learn more about the principles of cleansing and building the body from the inside out.
Now, I know this is going to sound crazy, but one semester short of graduation, I dropped out of college. Why? Because I realized I was living someone else’s dream. I also felt like there was something else that I was meant to do.
I wasn’t sure what it was at that time, but I trusted my gut, because it had never steered me wrong.
Since I dropped out, I had to face the consequences of my decision. I had no degree, $40,000 of debt and only $7 to my name. I didn’t have a job and I couldn’t stay at my father’s house. My friend heard about my situation and he invited me into his home to stay until I could figure things out.
After struggling with the fear and anxiety that came with not knowing what to do next, he suggested that I speak to young people by becoming a motivational speaker and life coach. I thought, “Who in the world was going to listen to a 22 year old guy giving life advice for a living?” But I shut that voice up and took action. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. I got a job as a waiter, took whatever money I had and invested it into what turned out to be my calling.
Almost 5 years later, I’m now a full-time motivational speaker and confidence coach. I travel around the world inspiring thousands of young leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs to dream big and never give up on what’s possible. I also help people become more confident without faking it. In other words, I show them how to live their truth and love themselves, regardless of what others think of them.
So, where does FitLife come into play and why did I decide to become a Certified Transformation Coach? Thought you’d never ask… 😉
As you know, by now, health and fitness has been a fundamental part of my journey. The truth is, it would be selfish of me to not share the valuable lessons I’ve learned and will continue to gain throughout my lifetime.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about this multi-billion dollar industry, it’s that not everyone has your best interest in mind and at heart when it comes to your health and well-being. Plus, there’s just too much misinformation out there that can cause a person to go mad or become paralyzed through analysis paralysis. That is, until you stumble upon rare resources like Fitlife.TV.
30 DAY TRANSFORMATION
I found out about FitLife almost two years ago on Youtube right when I was thinking of starting my own health and fitness channel. After watching a few random videos, I saw one of Drew’s juicing videos and I remember saying, “Now here’s a guy who knows what he’s talking about and looks the part.”
Although I’ve decided to focus my channel primarily on personal development and building confidence, if I were to ever create a community from scratch and share tips and strategies to improve people’s mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health and well-being, it would be almost identical to FitLife.TV. Seriously.
The FitLife principles, practices and philosophy already confirmed everything that I’ve researched on my own through trial and error. Also, the products are of top notch quality and are made with love and integrity, which is very rare to come by.
Needless to say, I’m proud to support FitLife’s mission and vision, because it’s also in alignment with my personal mission and vision to build a body, business and life that rocks while inspiring others along the way.
I don’t know where my path will lead me, but I’m honored to be a Transformation Coach. It’s another tool I can add to my arsenal to help people believe in themselves and transform their lives. Personally, I feel like I’ve come full circle without wasting the wisdom I’ve gained over the years. I can finally integrate all my knowledge in a holistic fashion that could add even more value to the people I’m currently serving and will coach down the line.
Growing and healing the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of our lives is a HUGE part of my purpose in this world. But, just because you know what to do, doesn’t mean you will always do what you know. Of course, I’m speaking about myself here as well.
I’ve discovered that information alone isn’t enough to create transformation. One has to become an inspiration and empower others to implement what he/she already knows. That’s why I do my best to live and lead by example to hopefully invite and inspire others to do the same for themselves.
This doesn’t mean that I’m perfect or that I have to be perfect in order to help others. This means that I’m always aiming for progress and my shortcomings don’t make my experience or existence less valuable.
When I’m not speaking, coaching, shooting videos or spending time with my loved ones, I’m usually reading books or working out in the gym. I’m currently experimenting with different training methods that help express the freedom within my body while exploring different ranges of motion. This looks like a combination of mobility and flexibility exercises, strength training, bodywork and a balanced meal plan that works for my goals, body type and lifestyle.
The journey is just beginning and I’m grateful to be able to share my imperfections and accomplishments with you. If you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to support you. 🙂
Yahya Bakkar is the creator of The Confidence Blueprint, an online course to help others become more confident without faking it. He is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Teen Life and is a motivational speaker, confidence coach and transformation specialist. His journey of reuniting with his birth mother after being separated for over two decades was captured in the full-length documentary film, The Secret of Destiny. His mission is to inspire the next generation to live their truth and love themselves by reminding them that they are valuable without having to produce value.
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