A Better Life For You

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My Bootie on the Line

I often talk about the nature of fear as False Expectations Appearing Real - in other words, the fear is of an outcome which is not going to happen. I also talk about stopping being who you are so you can become who you might be, and about how hard that is, because our egos act in various low ways (most notably through fear) to keep us who we are - warts, anxieties and all.

So today, I thought I'd show you how I apply my coaching techniques in my own life. It's ugly! But it's real, and I hope you can get a real-world grasp of how these things actually work.

... he's talking again...

Firstly, you should know that I have had a lifelong struggle with my physical appearance, especially in the presence of women. For far too much of my life, this was crippling and corrosive. It kept me away from so much fun and learning. Rather than accept the truth I made a version of it which, unfortunately, required me to think badly of women. That way, it wasn't my fault. But of course, it also further isolated me from them. I had painted myself into a corner, the resentments grew, and the trap became a fortress.

I knew I had a big problem. I realised no-one was going to stroll up and fix it for me. The misery would just go on, and it was this misery which sparked my interest in self-improvement. It's also, eventually (through a highly cynical phase) why I received some life coaching and finally became a life coach. But that's a long way in the future.

My self improvement journey proper, began when I put down the books, and picked up my life.

My first "fire walk" happened when I took up Latin dancing. That's Salsa, Bachata and Merengue mostly. It's partner dancing, it's quite physical, and of course, it's got them ladies in it! Eek!

I recall one Winter's Monday evening. I sat outside Bedford's Harpur Suite, peering in through the open door at the mysteries inside. Then I summoned up all my strength, stood up and ... buggered off home :o)

But! I knew I had glimpsed something that seems right for me inside. So, the next week, intensely stressed - I somehow kept putting one foot in front of the other and went in, and the process began. I was correct - dancing was right for me. I got good at it, I have taught it, and 15 years on, I still love dancing today. My hostility to women left me long long ago, and I've had a great deal of life from that first fire walk.

So here I am fifteen years on. I'm 52, losing my hair and a little overweight. Clearly, it's time I became a Zumba instructor for a little light relief here and there. HAHAHAHAHA. You have to be kidding, right? Well, not really. See - my partner has been a dance instructor for many years, and she jumped on the Zumba wave a year ago. I've helped her at venues. It's almost entirely ladies, trackies, ducking and diving to Latin dance music. It tickled me pink to watch it, and I decided to make the change to become an instructor.

I've been a coach for a long time, and I've done a lot of work on myself. I'm not immune from fear, but I have come to understand that the voice in my head is not to be respected. He's not a bad fellow, and he feels he has my interests at heart, but he's afraid of anything which changes his world, and he can't see the bigger picture. So, I heard him say:

But you'll look ridiculous! For God's Sake give it up!

But I booked on the training for July.

Leading up to the big day, I heard him say:

Look, boy (he calls me "boy"), you can drop out. It'll be OK. The wasted money isn't really an issue.

Come on. This is really frivolous and trivia beneath our dignity (who does he think we *are*??).

Chris - get real! Everyone there will be young with a perfect body. You'll have to wobble in public, dammit! This is intolerable.

They'll look at you when you walk in and point out that you must have taken a wrong turn - the disabled toilets are down there (he can be a real pig sometimes).

But I smiled as I heard him say these things, as I walked to the train station on the morning of the training workshop (photo above).

You get the picture. He's had more to say since then:

OK, smarty-pants - so you qualified - now leave it!

But I went on to choreograph some routines, and then to teach them. More recently, he's changed tack. He's very resourceful and cunning. The biggy now is this:

You'll forget the routine, with a room full of ladies watching me, and the floor will open up and swallow your sorry behind.

And you know what? A couple of weeks ago, I DID forget my routine. Bugger! I stopped. I smiled, looked at my partner, and then she showed me the missing steps. The audience paused when I did, smiled, then picked it up where I did. The floor remained intact, as did my sorry behind.

So What?

I wanted to show you, through personal disclosure, a few important points:

  • I really do get it - on a very personal level. I'm not trying to paint a happy-clappy world, in which human weakness is banished. Like you, I sometimes struggle. Working with our weaknesses is what my coaching is all about.
  • We often protect our self-image by telling ourselves things which aren't true. Finding and removing those un-truths is key to moving forward, and it's hard to do alone because "you" don't want to find them and take the self-image hit.
  • As an adult, you can't really switch off the voice in your head. It comes with the head. But you can learn different ways to respond to the voice in your head, and that's almost as good.
  • The difference between those who can and those who can't lies in the responses they choose to the voice in their head.
  • There are very few "can't"s. Mostly, they're really a "won't"s. They're attitudinal, not circumstantial.
  • Fear is real and it's not pleasant, but it's also seldom rational and it lies to you, so cultivate a healthy disrespect for it.
  • This stuff is not easy, it's difficult. But it's not impossible, and it can as be life-changing as a big win on the lottery.
  • Reading about it has no value if that's all you do. Understanding is also worthless alone. DOING IT is the only thing that delivers results.
  • I can help you, and if you book this week, you'll get all your future coaching sessions at a recession-busting £40 each!

>> Would a £10 initial phone consultation be a helpful start?

Your feedback, as always, is encouraged and welcomed. Just hit reply - I'm listening.

Best Wishes,


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