Over the past 8 months I have had some amazing changes in my life. Some have been massive, others subtle. Some of them have been very obvious and others have quietly crept up on me. This week I had one creep up on me…and it was very, very cool to “find it”.
I “found it” in a way that was a little unexpected.
Last weekend I was on the phone to a very good friend who was one of the amazing people who guided and supported me over the past 8 months, which has allowed me to get to where I am now – to be in the best emotional place I have ever been in my life. Let’s call him “Crube”.
Crube has coached me and called it straight on me early – “it’s time!” (to deal with your shit). He also happens to be on crew and one of the team leaders at “Real Man”. Crube was at Real Man 1 where I got to deal with my demons. He has been there for most of my journey this year and we have grown to be good friends as a result.
As mates do, there can always be a little banter, a bit of a piss take at times when talking. I have decided to go part 2 of the Real Man series next weekend because I want to grow and understand myself even more (it is very addictive once you start). Crube is also going to be there and asked me if I was nervous.
My reply was a definite “No!”.
Crube kept badgering me, “Are you sure?”, “You may want to reconsider that”, “I’ll remember you said that”, “Mmmm, are you sure you’re not nervous?”.
I told him time and again I wasn’t nervous, in fact I was excited. And I truly was. In the end I told him to “F” off and we had a laugh, or a, "I'll show you" chuckle.
But I realized I was truly excited. When I went to Real Man 1, I was petrified and had to force myself to go, such was my fear.
But later during this last week I relayed the conversation between Crube and myself to some friends, and this wave of realization came over me. I wasn’t scared any more…pretty much about anything. I had faced my 44 year old monster (my child abuse) in Real Man 1.
It was the single scariest and hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
Compared to that, anything I do in my life in the future should be pretty easy…
Later during the week, I heard Simon Sinek (Author of “Find Your Why” & "Start With Why") in a video clip saying how he hated how journalists ask the same questions each week to the professional athletes, partly because every week the athletes would give exactly the same answers.
The questions were “Did you feel nervous?” (post game) or, “Are you feeling nervous?” (pre-game). And every answer was always either “No! I was excited” or “No! I am excited” retrospectively.
The athletes had got to the point where they were no longer nervous about what they did. They were so confident in themselves, their skills and their mind, they did not feel nervous, only excitement.
I realized that’s how I now feel.
Prior to my 15-minute battle with my monster, I was living in a world that, though it appeared to be fulfilled in so many ways, it was filled with fear. Fear about what people may think. Fear about how I would feel about myself. Fear about what will happen to me. Fear about what’s on the other side of the fear I am carrying. The fear of facing my monster.
Now that I have climbed that emotional mountain and got to the other side, let me tell you something. Life is definitely greener on the other side.
Life, for me, feels SOOO much easier. And like I said, I don’t feel like I fear anything anymore. I get excited about the challenges in front of me.
So, "life", you can bring on your hardest day, your toughest challenge, because I know deep down, I can face it, deal with it and win. And I will come out the other side stronger and a better person as a result.
Yes, life is definitely greener on the other side.
I know it will still take hard work, open and honest discussions and a lot of self-reflection. But that is so much better than where I used to be.
If you have your own Everest to climb, then find a way to climb it. Don't be afraid to ask for help (you men especially - we do it a little tougher in that department). Most importantly, have faith and believe in yourself, and…
I hope to see you on the other side!
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