As we emerge from the bizarre and insular world of the coronavirus, I’m beginning a new phase of my life and, alongside remaining a speaker and a coach, I’m becoming an adventurer.

As a speaker and coach, I spend a lot of time encouraging people to push the boundaries of their comfort zones, to be brave and face their fears. This is the way to become authentic and strong, and to build a fulfilling life, but it can be scary. It’s therefore only fair that I should push the boundaries of my own comfort zone and face my own fears. I have, I do… but this is going to be a much more central feature of my life for the next few years.

My plan is to report here what I learn from the various adventures and experiences, in the hope you will find it useful – or, at least, interesting.

The Peak District Challenge last weekend was epic. The rolling hills, villages and woodlands of Derbyshire are stunning to look at - which helps - but, my goodness, they go on and on! In other words, 100 km is a *really* long way! I learnt so much in two days.
It's all very fine going on a course but the proof of the pudding is in the eating - which means, in this case, I need to get up high and test my reactions. I came away from the Overcoming Fear of Heights course confident I'd made a significant shift, but I wouldn't know that for sure until I'd put it to the test.
My dear aunt, Hermione, has been gradually withdrawing and deteriorating for a few years, as a result of Alzheimer's disease. My dear uncle, Jeremy, is an absolute hero, supporting and looking after her without a word of complaint, sacrificing opportunities to travel, socialise and enjoy himself, in order to keep Hermione safe and content. Lockdown was particularly difficult, since they had to
The course I attended in the Peak District to overcome fear of heights turned out to be a lot of fun, as well as helping me to stretch my comfort zone and face down fear. I learnt a great deal in two days, much of which chimed with the messages of How to be Perfect... and with what I teach my own clients when I'm wearing my public-speaking-coach hat. In other words, the lessons apply to all sorts of fears, not just heights. Here are the five big lessons I took away from the weekend:
It's Mental Health Awareness Week and, although this news is not hot off the press, since I did it in February/March, I thought I'd let you know I've qualified as a Mental Health First Aider. This course is run in many different countries (see MHFA International) but I did mine with MHFA England. My impression is it's a franchise, so I suppose the quality of the teaching will depend to some extent on the instructor(s) you choose, but I struck lucky.
I've signed up for a course to overcome my fear of heights. I can't say I'm exactly looking forward to it, but it's going to be wonderful to have achieved it and, as they say in therapy circles, the only way out is through. My fear of heights is holding me back, preventing me from doing things I want to do, and it's high time (pun intended) for me to face it down.

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