Hi, and thanks for taking the time to find out a bit more about me.
This page is a bit longer than usual, but I thought it was important to show you why I believe ANYONE can go from ‘rock bottom’, to the ‘top of their game’, if they’re willing to take a chance on themselves.
In The Beginning
My story starts when I was 11 years old and had just started at High School.
I’d always been a shy and quiet person. I had several friends, most of whom had a similar disposition to me and we got on with our lives, whilst trying not to cause any ripples in the fabric of other people’s existence.
Unfortunately, my way of living became a beacon for the typical ‘schoolyard bully’. There were two bullies at my high school, both of whom took great pleasure in demonstrating their strength and power over others regularly. I was unfortunately one of the targets for their demonstrations.
The experience left me with, among other things, a great sense of loss. Not just a loss of my independence at school, but also a feeling that I’d lost control of myself somehow.
It was as though my time there was spent hiding in the shadows, slipping into the background whenever possible and doing my best to become invisible. I spent every day trying hard to get through it, without drawing attention to myself.
They say that your schooldays should be the best days of your life, in hindsight, my high school days were possibly the worst of my life.
During my five years at high school I’d was punched, kicked, verbally abused, and constantly humiliated in the classroom when the teacher wasn’t around.
By the time I left school, I was at a point where I had absolutely no self confidence, was suffering terrible Social Anxiety and I’d lost all interest in pursuing any sort of life outside of my close knit friends and family.
It was incredibly difficult to start a conversation with anyone, including people I already knew and I believed I was destined never to make new friends, or develop a lasting romantic relationship with anyone.
I was a total introvert. I would explain to my friends and family that I enjoyed my own company, and I relished the opportunity to spend time alone. All the time wishing I was confident enough to go out socializing and having fun with them.
This train of events continued for several years, with me constantly trying to convince everyone that I was the ‘normal’ one and my friends were just ‘crazy extroverts’.
As time went on, my social anxiety even stopped me from answering the telephone in case I didn’t know the caller, and I wouldn’t even sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to my children in our own home, for fear of being judged!
My countless experiences at the hands of the schoolyard bullies had taught me that I was unworthy of a normal, stress free existence and that my lot in life was to pander to the desires of the Alpha Males in my ‘Tribe’. Over time I began to believe it myself.
By giving in to their relentless bullying I’d given them covert permission to change my beliefs about myself. Once the seed of doubt had been sown in my own mind, the resulting harvest was inevitable.
The Pivotal Moment
That self-destructive state of mind continued on until one day, for no apparent reason, I suffered an unexpected seizure, and my life suddenly changed.
I was 27, and was told that the seizure was caused by a tumor on the Frontal Lobe of my brain. After various scans and tests, the Consultant Neurosurgeon went on to tell me that, in his professional opinion, I almost certainly had a Malignant Tumor (Cancer). I had the operation to remove it the very next morning.
For four days after the operation I made very little recovery, in fact, on more than one occasion, the surgeons were close to taking me back into theater because my brain kept swelling and was beginning to press against the side of my skull.
Then, on the fifth day, I was told that the tumor had, in fact been benign. I still don’t remember any of this happening, including being told that I didn’t have Cancer. However, three days later, I was at home with my family, well on the road to recovery.
This dramatic internal change in my circumstances lead me down a path to explore the workings of the mind and ultimately, to develop a strategy for beating my low self confidence and starting me out on a world of wonderful experiences.
I realize now, that at the time, my subconscious mind was protecting me from the future I BELIEVED I had. After all, the night before the operation, I was told that assuming the growth was cancer, the good news was that it wouldn’t spread to other parts of my body and IF I survived a further five years without it coming back, I would be as good as cured!
In the years that followed, I put a huge amount of time and money into trying to discover how the mind was able to achieve such great tasks. Then, to use that information for the betterment of not only myself, but anyone else that was suffering unnecessarily and wanted my help.
Over the years, I’ve formally studied Clinical Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Psycho-analysis and Psychology, gaining my Ph.D in 2006. I’m also a qualified Cognitive Behaviour Therapist and have completed a professional course in Advanced Child Psychology. I’ve also probably read about 200, or so personal development books and I spend a huge amount of my free time reading more books and listening to audio courses.
I’ve used many of the skills gained from these subjects to help not only myself, but many, many people overcome their social anxiety and low self confidence issues.
In my own life now, I’ve launched and continue to have a major interest in two successful businesses, I have made presentations and provided live training events to rooms full of people, I was a senior lecturer at a college for seven years and then spent four years training CEO’s, Managing Directors, etc of multi-national companies. Currently I’m the President of The National Association for Self Development and Managing Trustee for Teen Anxiety UK.
Most of my time now is spent continuing my progress and helping people like you.
By developing programs, training and information products (and of course this blog!) my wish is to help you increase your awareness and build your understanding of the simple ways that can make big changes to your life.
I still have times when social anxiety plays a part in my own life and I’m sure that’ll always be the case. But, with the correct information, correctly applied, no one would ever know it.
After a while, you get to a point where you don’t even think about the possible bad outcomes in a situation, because you know you have the tools to handle any criticism.
Before the tumor, surviving each day without feeling embarrassed, or foolish was the mainstay of my life. But… with the realization that we each have the power to change the way we react to things and with the knowledge that we alone are responsible for the way we feel and act, I’m now certain that anything that has been achieved by anyone in the past, can be achieved by YOU!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this page. I hope you’ll let me go on this journey of discovery with you. I promise to be your biggest fan and I’ll help in any way I can 🙂