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So, what is holding you back?
You have that dream job in mind, the draft for your first book is ready, heck, your dance skills are looking smooth but you just can’t take that final step. Why is that? The answer is usually a very simple one: fear.
We are all seeking something, looking for success, triumph, peace of mind or big achievements, and some of us actually make it. Sadly, a lot of us don't. And here is why;
Legitimate versus Bogus.
Reasons throw themselves at us. For every reason we have to "do," we find a dozen reasons to "don't."
Lack of money, not enough hours in the days, no babysitter, long hours at work, the list goes on, and does it all sound familiar? To me they do, because at some point, I am sure I have used at least two of the above and many more besides.
Many times, the guy who tells you he can't train because of lack of funds can usually be spotted on that damn social media site with a beer in his hand, singing away to the Karaoke.
The lady who wants to write that book but just can't find the time due to those pesky kids. Well, when the kids are safely tucked up in bed, she too turns to social media to share her Candy Crush score as her manuscript sits at the table beside her, begging to be posted.
Maybe it wasn't the kids stopping her hitting The New York Times bestseller list. Maybe it was her doubts and fears.
I could go on. The kid who yearns for the stage, but has promised to play football with his friends instead of drama school. Except it's hardly the Champions League, but a kick about with a few kids from school.
He may watch on with envy as his braver, but not as talented, neighbour can be seen packing her bag into her dad's car on the way that very same drama school, for the part of Tallulah in the production of Bugsy Malone. Some courage that girl has got.
She dares and she dares big.
I am sure that at times the reasons to "don’t" are legit, but a lot of time, our avoidance to succeed, our seemingly bizarre self-destruct button, can all boil down to one big/small word...
We as humans dislike the word and the emotion quite intently. It stops us in our tracks, denies us our dreams, and makes us feel inadequate. It makes us fail to achieve. It backs us into a corner, pushes us into caves and refuses to let us see over the hill.
How do I know this?
Because I've done it, I’ve felt it, I’ve been it. If there was something to be afraid off, trust me, I found it.
I was physically and mentally badly beaten on many occasions as both child and man. The beatings and verbal abuse were so bad that my nerves became so fraught, my fear so big, that sometimes I shook with it all. Panic can do that to you.
Nothing I could do to banish the fear worked, and so I never prospered, I was never successful. My fear simply wouldn’t let me.
So, what happened?
I went thought the motions, plodding along day to day, always hoping something would change, but it never did until the penny dropped.
During yet another miserable bout of anxiety, self-pity, and soul searching, I came to realise that I had to be the one to change things, and the first thing I had to get my head around was that the goal was not to banish fear, it was to control it. To harness it and let it be fuel for our journey. Once I realised this and got to grips with it, accepted it, then my life truly began. I also began to develop a "f**k you" attitude to my naysayers, tormentors, and villains.
I began to succeed and prosper and with every small war, every goal achieved, I created another one to be chased and chase them I did. My fear still came along for the ride, but it no longer drove me.
Every time it would raise its head and offer its negative words, I would beat it down and remind it of its place in my life; If it were lucky, I’d let it come along for the ride. If fear got lucky, my ride wouldn’t happen at all, so I started to win the battle of wills. I didn’t like to lose.
How can fear help you?
The first thing you do is measure both yourself and your goal against the name of fear. If you really want the dream, then you must turn toward the fear and exam it.
If, after weighing it up, you realise the downside of fear out scores the benefits you’re going to get, then you really didn’t want the dream in the first place.
However, if the opposite is true and the benefits are your Kingdom and fear is just a block on the road, then your dreams are yours. You must want it so bad you are prepared to take knocks, losses, and setbacks, but still keep going.
After all, you now know you really want to achieve, otherwise you would have stepped aside a long time ago.
How adversity and fear made me. How that same fear can help you.
My fears definitely had their background enshrined in violence; but at the end of the day, fear is fear.
As my fear was built on said violence, I knew it was the first fear I had to accept and overcome, but I needed a vehicle to do so. I entered Martial Arts for some solace, a quick six moth trip in a Karate school to learn some self defence, which held its own fears, but they were small ones considering the thug with a knife, desperate to end my life.
However, that fear was present when I entered a dojo and part of my internal dialogue screamed, "Run!" whilst my courageous side assured me, "Six months and we are gone, kid."
That six months became 38 years, and I now own my own dojo along with my wife and childhood sweetheart (I hope they never meet each other!). I hold multiple Black Belts and awards, have fought full contact against kickboxers twice my weight (and won), and talked on the stage about my journey. My aim here isn’t to brag, but to hopefully enlighten you as to what you need to do to get to the good side; and sometimes, realising the things that frighten you actually leads you to a better place.
So, my fear of fighting/violence actually led to me learning to fight, and that led to me realising/believing that, if I could overcome my biggest fear, then what next for me? Bring it on, world!
I love writing. My first present I can remember was a small typewriter and I tapped away for hours on it. Writing was the only thing I did good at in school, the only formal qualification I received. Once I left school, all thoughts of writing vanished.
“We don’t write,” father, dear father, told me. “Get in the factory and get to work.” He said the same about my choice of Martial Arts instead of soccer.
So, I didn’t write; after all, what did I have to write about? All I knew was his factory and his controlling ways, but all that changed when a very positive, wise man learned of my past and my achievement of Black Belt. He called me and told me to write down how it felt, he would read it and give me his opinion on my words and the trip I had taken. (Enter father, “What the hell are you doing now?”)
I scribbled and scribbled, enjoying my short time at the pen until, gobsmacked, my mentor called me and informed me I was a writer and that I should write. “A book,” he suggested.
Fear called. It knocked on the door and asked to see me. I met it and measured it. Of course, it was scary writing a book, but now I had a subject. A subject delivered to me by fear. I was a victim of violence who overcame my fear and became bloody good at fighting (read overcoming fear), so what could writing a book do to me? Kill me?
The book wet on to become an Amazon Five Star reviewed, worldwide seller, inspired people from all over the world to write to me, featured in mainstream media and was followed by six other titles with a seventh on the way. All born through fear and my desire to control it.
So, when I look back and my mind wonders (as it does a lot), I see in my mind fear and its bodily reactions, emotions, and memories, and I realised that violence had created fear and fear created my ambitions and my ambitions created my rewards.
I remind myself that if I was afraid of entering a particular bar because I knew inside there may be somebody with a dislike to me and may become physical, if I could overcome that fear and enter that bar, then surely I could overcome the fear of putting pen to paper and writing a book. After all, a word processor isn’t going to want to head-butt me into unconsciousness.
If I was afraid to travel into a town centre because I might bump into my latest nemesis who held a grudge against me because I was a shy, polite human being. If I could overcome that obstacle, then surely I could jump in my car and travel for four hours across the country to train with and fight some of the best fighters in the world.
And if I was forced to address a hostile workforce because my boss couldn't face it, if I was forced to do this to deliver some bad news, then standing on stage and sharing my stories with an enthusiastic crowd would be an honour, not a fear.
I have faced 53 years of fear and I am still alive and now prospering because I learnt to control it, so what the hell can I achieve next? Anything I want if I’m prepared to walk the walk, do the work, accept the bad, and expect the good.
So, YOU examine your fears, educate yourself on the bodily reactions that create the mental anguish, learn to accept those physical reactions, learn to argue with your negative thoughts, fill your days with positive energy (not always possible I know, but WE MAY AS WELL TRY!), and visualise your rewards. Work for them, expect setbacks, and develop a will so strong you won’t jump over them. You will smash through them.
Think of your dream, the one that is really worth the pain, the energy, the hours, and the willpower. Look forward to how you will feel when you achieve those dreams and just where the hell they will lead you next. And never give up, ever… I truly believe I can help via my own experiences, but don't take my word for it. This is what others have said about me and my work.
- Geoff Thompson (BAFTA winner and bestselling author): 'Simon is an authority on Fear Control. His work is lifesaving.'
- The New York Post: 'Morrell is the UK's answer to America's gut-wrenching bullying problem'.
- The BBC: 'Inspiring, an incredible story.'
If you think I can help in anyway the please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] I will try and be a good companion on your journey.