Hi, and thanks for taking the time to find out a bit more about me.
Apologies, but this page is a bit longer than usual.
I thought it was important to show you why I believe YOU can beat your social anxiety. As long as you’re willing to take a chance on yourself.
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.
Unfortunately, my way of living became a beacon for the typical ‘schoolyard bully’.
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 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.
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.
It was incredibly difficult to start a conversation with anyone. 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 spending time alone. All the time wishing I was confident enough to go out and have fun.
As time went on, my social anxiety even stopped me from answering the telephone and I wouldn’t sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to my children in our own home, for fear of being judged!
I felt unworthy of a normal, happy life and spent most my time shut away from society.
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 the seizure was caused by a tumor on the Frontal Lobe of my brain. 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. They said 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.
I was amazed at how quickly I went from not being able to talk, feed myself, or even use the toilet on my own, to being a fully functioning human again.
So, I decided to explore how my mind worked. And ultimately, I developed a strategy to help me beat my social anxiety, boost my self-esteem and live a life full of wonderful experiences.
I realize now, that at the time, my subconscious mind was protecting me from the future (or lack of one), 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!
Over the years that followed, I put a huge amount of time and money into learning how the mind was able to achieve such monumental changes. Then, once I’d made some huge changes in my own life, I wanted to use that information to help anyone else that was suffering and wanted my help.
Over the last thirty years, I’ve formally studied Clinical Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Psycho-analysis and Psychology, gaining my Ph.D in 2006. I’m also a qualified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and I’ve completed a professional development course in Advanced Child Psychology.
I’ve also, probably read about 300, or so personal development books and I’m a pathological learner. I’ve lost count how many short ‘specialty’ course I’ve attended over the years. Even though these courses are very similar in a lot of ways, if I get just one more nugget of information, or an alternative viewpoint from them, it’s worthwhile.
All this experience and learning has given my the ability to help not only myself, but many, many other people to overcome their social anxiety and low self-esteem and confidence problems.
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 things 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, I’m now certain that anything that has been achieved by anyone in the past, can be achieved by me, or 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 🙂
Until we talk again, Be Brave.