Anthony at Mt Everest Basecamp 2007
“I’d really like to thank those who’ve shared their heartfelt feedback for my story. Hearing it has been enlivening and helped me to value my journey even more by seeing it in a different light. The greatest value, highlighted by the feedback, is the way I’ve seen myself and still do to some degree, which has either empowered or disempowered me. Having the right people and the right guidance of a positive, progressive and upbuilding nature is key to seeing things differently – to make the necessary changes in our lives or to take the opportunities that present themselves. If I didn’t have the right influence, undoubtedly the belief systems would be held firm in place and it would have been a mission to try and turn my life around.
It’s been an enlivening experience to reflect on my journey which has instilled greater clarity on my gaps and reaffirming what I need to do to overcome them completely.
There are many, many lessons directly and indirectly connected to this experience. They are interrelated but I pulled out two that really are significant in me making a shift in my life and hopefully they’ll be useful for you…
Seeing Pain as My Guide – Not My Enemy
My relationship with pain was such that I avoided the things that I believed were causing it; people. I saw pain coming through people subconsciously, so speaking to people was painful. I needed to change how I saw emotional pain from this nasty, icky, horrible feeling that I shouldn’t and really didn’t want to feel to what it really is – an emotional and mental warning light for something that needs to change internally. My belief systems were – and to a degree still are – inappropriate for what is really going on – they were out of alignment with reality. The turning point was when I realised I needed to face my emotional pain rather than ignore it or drown it out.
So now I can embrace pain and welcome it for the opportunity it is bringing me to grow and achieve what I want in life. It’s highlighting gaps, showing me what I need to do to become internally free, thereby closing my gaps to get what I want. The only thing stopping us from getting what we want is wholeheartedly going after what we want. The biggest hindrance is fear and the potential pain we may experience in following our dreams. Once I shifted how I saw and felt about pain to seeing it as my guide, I could start achieving more in my life as I felt less hindered.
How We See the Problem is the Problem
I came to understand, through mentorship and reading the right material, that incorrectly, my sense of worth lay in what others thought of me. My happiness and what I achieved in life was in the hands of others. Until people laughed with me and called me to join them on a night out or accepted me in whatever form, I felt unworthy and unable to interact. I was looking outside for permission to live and for others to give me want I wanted.
I believed I had to be something special; charming, funny, articulate, have well-formed opinions, be knowledgeable – basically perfect. My stammer contradicted that and created beliefs that rendered me far from that notion. Because of how people behaved around me, I believed I would get rejected, so the easiest course of action was to step away and protect myself from this until I was in a place to be worthy enough. This became a downward spiral deepening my negative belief systems, widening the gap that prevented me from genuinely connecting with human beings. As a result I achieved less and less in my life and life become stale.
When I shifted my beliefs and my perceptions, almost totally through the care and attention from my mentor and the community supporting me. I began to believe in myself as a human being with infinite potential having the power of choice. I can only deem myself worthy or worthless – no one else can – after that, the continuous breakthroughs came. I started to accept myself and the gaps I have, knowing they can be filled, that I can be whoever I want to be and achieve what I want to achieve.
The issue wasn’t with my stammer, it wasn’t the problem. It was how I saw myself and other people. What was amiss were my beliefs and my level of understanding of the fact that my apparent difficulties were largely self-created.”