When you try your best but you don’t succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse.
Lead singer of Coldplay
I was alone, scared and experiencing an overwhelming feeling of being trapped. There I was, sitting on my bed totally unravelling and coming apart. There’s a song on my phone that starts playing and it triggers a complete outpour of tears. Correction: sobbing.
What are you supposed to do in those situations? Call for help? Sit there and freak out or get out?
Throughout my life, I’ve pushed myself to mentally overcome my challenges. Looking for solutions to the most complex of my problems. It was my way of dealing with the trappings I felt were being imposed on me. From pre-school to high school, getting a job, being bullied, being diagnosed with ‘untreatable conditions’ and last but not least, depression.
Sometimes it feels like a battle
My life felt as though it has been summed up into a stack of challenges. Me fighting for my freedom from what society expected of people. Each day I woke, I found myself in a constant battle. But not with anyone or anything. I was in a constant battle with myself. A battle with my beliefs about myself and the world around me.
In some way I still am, I’m just fighting with more technique and have been mastering the art of belief kung-fu (that’s not a real thing).
The reason I started the Genius Institute was to provide a home for people to learn how they can stop the fight with their beliefs and find some sanctuary within their own minds. The world can be a scary place as much as it’s full of wonder, and while we’re taught how to explore these wonders, we’re not taught how to deal with these scary challenges, whether they’re real or imagined.
I was doing this for others because I wanted to do it for myself. So, I started to reconcile my life experiences and found that there was no one directly teaching me how to deal with my fears and my incredibly stubborn lack of self-belief.
So I’m sitting there in my bedroom, alone, coming to the realisation that everything I had been doing up until that point was being done because I was so damn scared of the world. I had spent years of my life working on building my confidence and self-worth, so I could look at myself in the mirror without a sense of shame and go and do something that was fulfilling in my life.
I was living a life that I wasn’t grateful for. I was completely resenting my waking hours like I was a waste of space and time. I wasn’t enjoying my job, I didn’t like the place I was living and had come to totally resent my roommates. My marriage was being affected and my health more so. To sum up, life was shit and it came down to one reason. I wasn’t living it. I wasn’t doing anything that felt inspiring.
I didn’t/don’t want to spend my life wondering what could’ve been and living in regret like so many older men in my life. I wanted to go and impact people. How many people doesn’t matter, honestly. It’s that I want to give something to people to alleviate their fears of what seems to be an incredibly scary world. That’s freedom to me. Imagine not being afraid of your dreams. Picture yourself doing something with your life that is equal parts scary and inspiring. Something that you feel no desire to be publicly recognised for, because doing it satisfies your soul’s belly.
Imagine sharing your talent / genius / gift with people and feeling their appreciation was enough of a payment from them. That’s worth going after. That’s worth living for. It’s not about praise and not about anything else other than fulfilling some kind of purpose in your world. Payment and money are just a bonus to help you do more of it.
Well that’s easy to say right? When you begin to think about how to do it, you probably begin to realise doing something like this is incredibly scary. Why? Because it means exposing who you really are to the world. It means no longer hiding behind some bullshit facade that’s been created to protect you from being hurt by the opinions of others. The thing is, those critics are just as scared as you and I of showing people who we really are. (That’s usually why they’re being critical, because that’s what they’re like with themselves).
What if it’s not that scary?
I have fears that show up on a regular basis. Sometimes, they’re fears that overwhelm me into paralysis. Sometimes they lead me to a point where all I want is my mother or wife to come and give me a hug and tell me that I’m ok. Someone to tell me that I’m safe, loved and not alone.
Isn’t this what makes the world so scary? The idea that if we are truly honest with ourselves and the people around us, we believe we’ll end up ostracised and alone? This is why so many of us live lives of conformity. Scared of being oursleves. Scared of having to let go of the person we believed we were up until this moment.
Here’s me telling you now, the world can be scary. The idea of being the real you is even scarier. You’re not meant to be completley fearless. It’s ok to be scared, it’s ok to be vulnerable, it’s ok to be you. People love you for who you really are, they’re just patiently waiting for you to share yourself with them. Just like you’ve been waiting to read an article that shows the real fears of a fellow human (me).
This article can be a testament to being human. Professionally, this can come across as sappy, weak and embarrasing. But you know what? It’s real. I’ve had my reservations about sharing this with strangers and more so with the people I personally know who have had no idea I feel this way. Either way, let this article be proof that you can show people who you really are and survive to tell the story. Let it be a testament to the fact that you, just like me, have something worthy of sharing that others want to receive. That’s why it’s called a gift.
Don’t worry, you’re ok and you’re not alone. If you need to, go and get a hug from someone you love and hold tight. You’re not as much a burden as you think.
Whatever your gift or genius is, it’s meant to be shared with others. After all who doesn’t like to receive gifts?