Although my disability is noticeable, there are many people with disabilities that cannot be seen. People with invisible disabilities should be treated with the same amount of understanding and respect.
As a part of our “Unstoppable” series, I had the pleasure of interviewing David DeCoster.
David DeCoster is a dating coach and program director for MForce, a men’s training company, specializing in dating, fitness, and internal self-confidence. He grew up in the northern California town of Tuolumne. He moved to San Francisco to attend Academy of Art University as an illustration major. During this period in his life, he spent a lot of time in the men’s community honing his social and dating skills. He slowly gained attention and respect for his skills, knowledge, and leadership, despite being a short man with a disability. After years of experience, he started teaching other men and found his passion as a coach. Leaving California to further push his boundaries, David moved to Vietnam where he would work and travel as an english teacher and freelance artist before diving into coaching full-time. You can join his free facebook group for men atwww.whitepillguys.com
Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is really an honor. Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Yeah sure. I grew up in Northern California. I was the shy, short, awkward kid with a disability. Most of my life I wanted to go unseen and unnoticed out of fear of ridicule, judgement, and pity. I believed that I would always remain low on the dating and social totem pole. I found meaning in my own world and escaped into creative hobbies like art and music. I have a loving family and supportive friends that helped me push past these struggles and move forward in life.
Do you feel comfortable sharing with us the story surrounding how you became disabled or became ill? What mental shift did you make to not let that “stop you”?
I was born with a condition called Multiple Hereditary Exostoses (MHE), which is a rare bone disease that causes growths of multiple benign bone tumors that result in short stature or limb length discrepancy, bone deformities, and restricted joint movement.
The mental shift happened in my mid-20s. I was a virgin and still afraid of meeting and dating women. I was riddled with anxiety, insecurities, and self-doubt. I had the excuse that I was genetically inferior and was meant to be weeded out and would likely always be alone.
Before I changed my life, it was incredibly lonely, isolating, and sad. And I knew that I needed to do something — anything. But I wasn’t sure what to do. So I started diving deep into self-help books and videos mainly focusing on confidence and meeting women. I suppose the tipping point was my need for change became stronger than all of my fears and insecurities that previously had held me back. I wasn’t exactly sure where this path would take me, and I never imagined the success I would end up with.
Can you tell our readers about the accomplishments you have been able to make despite your disability or illness ?
After my mental shift, I moved to San Francisco to attend college and work on my social and dating life. I spent years consistently working on my confidence, my social skills, and overcoming my social anxiety and deep insecurities.
Over time I learned to love and accept myself. I went from being the shy awkward nice guy to being very social and confident. I went from being scared to talk to women to being able to confidently approach, meet, and get dates with attractive and amazing women.
My goals were very normal when I started. I wanted to get good enough at dating to lose my virginity and get a girlfriend. But my drive pushed me beyond that. I started achieving much more than I had ever expected. I surprisingly achieved a dating life that was above most men — not just disabled men. I couldn’t believe it. And these normal, even sometimes quite good-looking men now wanted me to teach them how to improve their dating lives. When I started, I was teaching these men for free. But eventually I started getting paid to teach them. It grew from there.
Now, I work as a full-time dating coach and program director for a company called MForce. I have the luxury of working remotely, while living and traveling in Southeast Asia for the last 5 years.
What advice would you give to other people who have disabilities or limitations?
Don’t allow your disability to define you. It’s a condition that you have — not who you are. And it certainly does not make you less worthy of love, attraction, or having a fulfilling dating life. A lot of disabled people allow their condition to become their identity. They dwell in self-pity and accept mediocrity. It’s not necessary. Not only have I found success as a disabled man, but I have coached other men with disabilities to find success in this area.
I also stress the importance of treating yourself with respect and love. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Self-pity is poison to your soul and will hold you back. Practice gratitude and shift your perspective. Focus on your advantages rather than your disadvantages in life.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
I’m extremely grateful for my boss and friend Josh Reif who found me and hired me on as a coach in his company. He has also taught me to be more successful in life in general and to become a more capable coach to our members. He has given me an opportunity to work my dream job and help people for a living.
I’m also grateful to some of the mentors and friends I had in the past that helped me push myself, gave me valuable feedback, and taught me many lessons in life that have allowed me to come as far as I have.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I have coached, helped, and given hope to many guys that I’m fortunate enough to have worked with. I can’t describe how rewarding it is for me to help good men find hope and happiness in their lives and help them meet amazing women.
The program I coach always places importance on treating women fairly and respectfully. In contrast, many other dating coaching companies see no reason to include ethics. So, I’m proud that I not only teach men how to achieve a successful dating life, but it’s done so in a way where everybody wins, including the women they meet and date.
Can you share “5 things I wish people understood or knew about people with physical limitations” and why.
- Although my disability is noticeable, there are many people with disabilities that cannot be seen. People with invisible disabilities should be treated with the same amount of understanding and respect.
- Please don’t treat disabled people with pity because no one wants to be pitied. Instead, treat them like anyone else. Kindness is always a good place to start.
- Everyone has their advantages and disadvantages in life, so never underestimate what a disabled person might be able to accomplish.
- Many disabilities cause fatigue, so sometimes we cannot go at the same speed as others. Sometimes we just need more time to get tasks done.
- It’s easier to accept excuses from someone that is disabled, so don’t necessarily hold back on encouraging them to push themselves further than they think they can go. There’s no reason they need to live a mediocre life when they can achieve greatness.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.” — Roy T. Bennett
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
I would choose Joe Rogan because I already know he’s a great conversationalist, and it would be a practice run for his podcast if I’m ever fortunate enough to be on it.