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:
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.
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
You get the picture. He's had more to say since
- 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:
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.
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
- I can help you, and if you book this week, you'll get all
your future coaching sessions at a recession-busting £40
Would a £10 initial phone consultation be a helpful start?