Posted on October 27th, 2011 by Colin and is posted in Interviews
Welcome to this next interview in the series of Meet the Experts. This interview is with Ian Banyard - www.ianbanyard.com - who is an expert in the area of something that I think every single person on the planet experiences a lack of at certain times in their life – confidence! Ian runs confidence clinics, which he’s been running for seven years. He’s been featured on ITV’s “This Morning” show, GMTV’s “House of Fear,”and he’s also been on Channel 5′s “Help! I’ve Got a High Maintenance Wife!”
Ian talks about three books that have inspired his thinking. Here they are, just click on them if you want more information.
Enjoy and remember, leave us a comment and give it some Facebook love.
To your happiness and success
Colin (aka The Midlife Maverick)
(The video take about 30 seconds to download, so be patient. You can download the mp3 by clicking on the icon below the video)
Colin: Welcome to this next interview in the series of Meet the Experts. And today I have Ian Banyard, who is an expert in the area of something that I think every single person on the planet experiences a lack of at certain times in their life. I know I certainly have, and that’s the area of confidence. He runs confidence clinics, which he’s been running for about six or seven years. But he’ll tell us a little bit more about that. He’s been featured on ITV’s “This Morning” show, GMTV’s “House of Fear,” and he’s also been on Channel 5′s “Help! I’ve Got a High Maintenance Wife!” which sounds like a very intriguing title! So, welcome, Ian.
Ian Banyard: Welcome, thanks, Colin.
Colin: So, why don’t we start with you just telling us a little bit about what you do today?
Ian: Yeah. Well, today, I kind of describe myself, because so many people are trying to describe themselves as something these days in the personal development field. And actually, the one I like is, I’m a social entrepreneur. And quite interesting, people know what an entrepreneur is. But they’re not always so sure of what a social entrepreneur is. And social entrepreneurship is, it’s kind of about taking all those skills that we use in business as an entrepreneur to set up businesses and have successful businesses. And actually putting that back into the social environment, so, finding something that needs to be done in society. Not waiting for the government to do it, or not waiting for, you know, people to do it for themselves.
And actually say, look, I’ve got strategies, I’ve got mindsets, I’ve got ways of thinking that enable me to create success in my life in terms of business. How can I actually, then, start to put that out into the world and start changing some of the things I see around me that are not working very well? And that actually need some of this in order to maybe make money so that they can, through a charity, for instance, to do more, or to help people who need more success in their lives.
So, social entrepreneur is the kind of word I’m using at the moment, Colin.
Colin: Very good, very good. And why don’t you just take us back, then, because I would imagine in doing what you’ve just been talking about, confidence is, once again, it’s a big area. And from my own experience, I know, standing up in front of groups and speaking when I very, very first started, there was definitely a lack of confidence. I mean, I stood up, my brain sat down. And confidence affects people in their working lives, and you know people that are looking for a relationship, a lack of confidence can affect them there. Social situations for some people can be an absolute nightmare.
For some of the children that I work with up at the school, you know, moving towards doing exams and everything around that and they can find that, once again, they sit down, they know all the information, but it’s not there, as they’re just about to fill out that answer.
Weight and shape for some people, that confidence for sports people that I’ve worked with, once again, confidence. So, it’s a subject that permeates into every area of our lives, like dropping a stone in the middle of the pond, right?
So, how did you get into this subject? And what led you to really becoming an expert in this area?
Ian: Well, yeah, I think, I mean, if I go back to when I was very young, and I thought about what I do today, running businesses and setting up schemes, things like that. I would have said, that’s, I could never do that. Because as a child, I was scared of a lot of things, I was brought up like a lot of other people, I guess, with, you know, fear was the way to control me. To stop me talking to strangers, I was made to be scared of strangers. To stop me running across the road without looking, I was taught to be scared of the road. And that became a theme through my life, really, that I noticed, just not myself, but other people, were kind of made to feel scared about things. And some of my friends, they would rush out and do things and get into trouble and hurt themselves. And it was kind of, that was the point, that’s the wrong way to do things. The safe way, the right way to do things is to do as you’re told and be a good boy and get the answers right.
So, I kind of set out that way and I went through school, and I went to grammar school and I did my qualifications and I worked hard, and I tried not to have fights at school, and I tried not to upset people. And I’d come home, and I’d try and be a good boy at home. But actually, it’s kind of, you know, all that, trying to be good at school all day long, when I got home, I was a bit of a monster I suppose when I got home.
But it was always this battle to try and do the right thing and be good. And, but it was driven by fear.
So, I went into a job in, when I got to in 1980, my very first job was a post office clerk, I was a post office counter clerk, which was a, I had seven weeks of training, which was easy, because I was playing post office behind the counter, behind the scenes. I didn’t actually meet any people in seven weeks, which was fantastic. I could do that. I learned all of the skills to deliver passports at the time we were selling and pensions had to do. And lots and lots of, I had 91 transactions I had to learn how to do which I did very well.
But the first day on the counter, when the real people came in, I forgot all of that. It went out the window. I couldn’t remember a thing. I even remember we had these old date stamps at the time, the big metal ones and I clunked it down. Instead of using the soft pad, I clunked it down onto the pension book on the counter, made a massive bang and the poor pensioner obviously jumped out of her skin, because of this noise. And the guy next to me said, “Look, we use these pads too, that’s simple.” How come you don’t know that?”
But it’s quite interesting isn’t it? All those things you were talking about with confidence is that we know, logically we know how to do things but when those nerves come in, all that logic seems to go out the window and our body takes over. It’s like you said, your brain sits down.
And certainly then when I went through work, and I started on the post office counter, but I was good at what I did. And I very quickly learnt about people. I very quickly started understanding people. Everybody was different. I had to adapt my behavior in order to bring the best out of different people.
And I used to set myself a challenge which was I want the most miserable person coming through the door and see if I can cheer them up a little bit and it was interesting that way. But I learned at a young age a lot about people. It was a great little introduction to the weird and wonderful in life.
But very quickly then I was spotted. I moved up then into the personnel branch as it was. And I went back to college and studied in HR management and training and development. And that really got me interested then in developing people and learning how I could coach and train people.
And so I actually spent 18 years working in this organization doing HR and training and development. And in that time I got married. I had a nice house. I had a good income. I was becoming a middle manager, three children. To everybody else, life was great. Life was kind of, you know, you’ve got the perfect life.
And in comparison to my childhood, which was quite traumatic, to be in that position, I had succeeded. I had a great life; what a fantastic life. Married 2.4, three children, the two cars, Holidays every year, everything was perfect.
But part of me was saying “But this isn’t me. This isn’t Ian Banyard. This isn’t me.” It’s almost like I’m an observer of my life. I’m watching my life go by. I’m playing out the life, I’m doing it, but I don’t feel connected to it. And imagine with young children and a wife and things like that.
I found that unnerving, because it was like why am I not connected to this? And I got to around 1994 or ’95 and I came across neuro‑linguistic programming. I was looking at training we could bring into the business. And I came across it in ’94‑’95 and had an opportunity to go and work with Paul McKenna who was running NLP trainings in London with a guy called Michael Breen.
And I thought, “You know I’m going to go and work with these guys. I want to learn about this NLP stuff.” So I called him up. I actually called him up five times and put the phone down four times. This is again around confidence. I picked the phone up and it would be ringing, and I’d go “Oh no, no, no, no, why would he want to talk to me? Why would he be interested in what I did?”
There was a lot of self‑consciousness around that and I was out of my comfort zone. But there’s part of me that went on out; I wanted to be outside of my comfort zone. But it’s how you get the confidence to be outside of your comfort zone?
And following that through, eventually after the fifth ring, he picked the phone up. We chatted. He invited me up to London. I did a lot of work with him, Michael Breen, Richard Bandler, the creator of NLP. I spent quite a lot of time. I think that’s when I first met you, probably about 1998. I think you were on an NLP trainer training course at the time.
Ian: And quite a lot of my friends I’ve got links with from that course, because it was an incredible course and it kind of taught me that confidence is about the way we think about a situation. There’s life going on out there, but actually it’s around how do we think about that. So I had this idea of NLP and I could think myself to a confident me. But I’ll tell you what; it’s a bit like running before you can walk, Colin, and I think life sometimes gives you this opportunity to develop and I ran with it. And of course, I ran and I fell. And around about 2000 I crashed. I left my job. I decided I was going to become a consultant and earn twice as much money doing half as much work.
Well, you need a plan for that. I didn’t have a plan. I just thought it would just happen. And as a result of that there were a lot of problems within my marriage and my marriage broke up in 2000, an awful time. I went through the three D’s at that time, which they say are the most stressful things in life. I had divorced, I had debt, and then I had death, because in 2002 both my parents died within six months of each other.
Ian: Which was a massive, massive blow to me because I had expected they were going to be there for a lot longer than that to support me and I was suddenly on my own. And I was in the Lake District, because I had gone off in the wilderness to find myself. I divorced, so I run off to the Lake District and see if I can find myself. I spent five years up there and I did find myself because one of the things that I learned was that if you have always gone in life trying to win back what you’ve lost, because I wanted to win back. I wanted another wife. I wanted another business. I wanted to win back all the stuff that I felt I had lost.
And you get to a point where I realized the opposite of losing isn’t winning; the opposite of losing is finding. And what I actually found, I think, when I was in the Lake District for five years was I found the confidence to be myself.
Ian: And that’s always been the key. That’s why when I had the idea to create the Confidence Clinic because I was doing work, as you said, on GMTV with Pete Cohen, actually. We did some great stuff, live on TV helping people overcome fears and phobias and things. And really the secret of that success to me was it was just helping people find the confidence to be who they truly are. And it’s not about confidence to pick up a spider or confidence to hold a snake. It’s confidence to be you because if you’re being you, you’re not scared of spiders, you’re not scared of snakes, you’re not scared of life, because our natural state isn’t to be scared of the world. Our natural state is to be curious, to explore, to go out and to find out things, and to grow as human beings and become more aware. Fear to me, wasn’t natural, confidence was natural. So I’ve always felt that confidence is the antidote to fear.
I came back eventually from the late district. To cut a long story short, I came back. I’d been running confidence kits, going on the radio and talking about it and helping people by setting up little conferences for people to run. And eventually run themselves, people that came to the idea came with the idea was that then they would run them for themselves and then they would keep the confidence kits running.
And we’re doing confidence connects in businesses now, and in all my business training it’s basically about people developing the confidence. Are you a confident leader, are you a confident manager, are you confident to do your job? Basically it’s are you confident to be you? I think since that realization then, my life is just completely turned around. I turn 50 this year. I’m married, I’m very, very happily married. I have a great relationship with my children now. I work with my son. He does work with me in the business. I’m setting up businesses and ideas. I’ve mentioned Pathfinders TVTE which is another of my Wide for Success is another project I’m working on. I’m just about to launch another business with my son.
Love’s great, life’s great, health’s great. I don’t feel 50, I’m enjoying myself. And it’s almost like to me, confidence was the antidote to fear. It has enabled me to create anything I want in my life, without the fear of what if I fail, what if people laugh at me, what if I get it wrong, all of that sort of stuff. I live without that now, and I want to share that with other people.
Colin: Very good, thank you. So how would you answer the question, what is confidence?
Ian: Confidence for me is a feeling and it’s a feeling I get when ‑ I know what fear is, it’s a feeling that’s stopping me from moving forward ‑ confidence is that feeling I get when I just go what the hell, I’m going to do it. And I just step it, it’s almost like what’s the worst that could happen? I’m just going to do it, I’m just going to step in and do it. And it’s a moving me forward feeling, as opposed to a hold back feeling. And what I’ve noticed though is the longer you hold yourself back, there’s almost an elasticness to it. You can be overconfident. So if you hold yourself back too much, when that’s then released and you shoot forward, there’s an overconfidence. So confidence to me is a feeling, but it’s that balanced, grounded feeling that I call knowing.
There are a lot of feelings I have that I know I’ve learned those feelings. Frustration and anger and those things, I’ve learned them from other people. But there’s a deep feeling of knowing. So I say for me, confidence is that deep feeling of knowing that whatever you do, you’re going to be OK. You’re not going to lose, you’re not going to fail, you’re not going to be rejected, you’re not going to be trapped, you’re going to be OK. You’re going to be the opposite of that. You’re going to win in life, you’re going to be loved, you’re going to be right, and you’re going to be free. To me, confidence is the opposite of fear, it’s the antidote to fear.
Colin: Very nice. And we talked about all of the different context in which confidence is absolutely key. Then for the listener that might be listening to this right now that may have a situation, maybe they’re in business, they’ve got a very important meeting or presentation coming up. Maybe they’re in sport and it’s a very important match. Maybe it’s a teenager that’s about to go into the exams, or someone about to go out on their first date. What would be some tips or techniques that will help, that could help them improve their confidence, or make sure that they’re experiencing confidence rather than something else?
Ian: The first thing to bear in mind is in our brain, we have two areas of the brain. You have the emotional, the mammalian part of the brain, which is an older part of the brain. And then you have the neocortex, which is a new part of the brain. So what people try and do is they try to logically work out what they should do. They try and plan and fix the problem. That’s an intellectual way of doing it, which we’re not great at controlling that when our emotions kick in when we have an amygdala hijack, as I’ve heard some people talk about. When the emotions kick in and the adrenaline and cortisol start going through the brain. So really the key thing is that your focus will be on balancing your emotions. And the emotions that we tend to go through when something is scary or it worries us, is we go into the fight, flight or freeze kind of emotional reaction to it. So part of us wants to fight, and part of us wants to run away. Generally speaking, I think we’ll run away unless we’re cornered. We’d rather flee a situation than stand and fight in that situation. So it’s about recognizing that that’s happening.
And I know you enjoy surfing, and there’s a lovely little analogy around surfing that a friend of mine said. She was surfing in some of these big waves, and went down under the water. And at one point, didn’t know whether she was upside down, because she’d been turned over and over and over, and was totally disoriented and suddenly felt very, very scared. And we’ve all felt scared, not necessarily surfing, but in life.
We’ve suddenly had that feeling of dread and oh no, I’m in trouble here. Now that’s when the cortisone and adrenaline shoots into the system and stops us from thinking properly.
What she said she did, which was brilliant, is she said, “I recognized I was scared, so I acknowledged that I was scared. OK, I’m scared, now what?” And it was really interesting, she said, because once she acknowledged that she was scared, it was almost like she said to her body I hear you, I hear that I’m scared, I recognize that. I think that fear is just a warning. If you don’t acknowledge it, then it’s going to keep on shouting at you. If you acknowledge it, then it’s done its job. The very next thing she said, “Now what?” And she said “When I said now what, I suddenly remembered physics. If I let some bubbles out of my nose, the bubbles are going to go to the surface. So I just follow the bubbles.”
Now that was a moment of clarity in a position of fear, and being very scared, but it worked. What she did was she acknowledged the feeling, then said to herself now what, which accessed the higher part of her thinking, which then came up with a very logical or creative way of coming at this. So my advice to people is if you go for an interview, not even surfing, if you go into an interview and you’re scared, acknowledge it. OK, I’m a bit nervous here. It’s actually OK to acknowledge to somebody at the interview panel that I’m a bit nervous here, because actually nine times out of ten, the interview panel is as nervous as the interviewee coming in for the interview. I’ve been on both sides of the table, and I know this.
So acknowledge that you feel fear, or you feel angry, or you feel whatever you’re feeling. And then say to yourself now what? And then listen, because we know what to do. When we’re not fighting, when we’re not fleeing and when we’re not freezing, our natural state is flowing. We flow. And I find a lot of the work I do with people is getting them back in the flow of life because the flow of life is our natural way of being. You know that, Colin, because I know about your life, and I see what you’re doing, and you’re flowing. And my life is flowing now. When my life hasn’t been flowing it’s because I’ve been stuck. And when I’m stuck, I don’t need therapy when I’m stuck, I just need someone to come along and nudge me back into the flow again, get me back into my natural flow.
So for me, that great technique for getting back into your natural flow is when you find yourself fighting or fleeing or freezing, acknowledge the feeling. I acknowledge this, I know I’m feeling this. Now what? Then you acknowledge you’re higher thinking, which is have I been in this situation before, and can I plan my way out of it? Or do I need to come up with a new, creative way of doing it? And my clients find that the more they get into the flow, the more they’re able to access their creativity, their ability to remember past events and plan their way through new ones. So there’s a little technique people can use, acknowledge the feeling, and then say to themselves now what, and see what comes.
Colin: Fantastic, very good. I like that. That’s very simple.
Ian: But it needs to be simple. We do in the training and the professional development field it gets so complicated. People create these models and all these ways of doing things, 24 page workbooks and things to go through. To me, life should be simple, it should be easy. As I said before we just need a nudge. We don’t need therapy. We need a nudge to get back to the flow of life.
Colin: Yes, I’d agree entirely. I use the analogy of when as children we used to play pooh sticks, where you stand on a bridge and you throw the stick in, and it goes under the bridge. And you go run to the other side, but sometimes your stick didn’t come out. And you then go under the bridge and find that it got stuck. And it just needed putting back into the stream, and away it would go again. And we’re no different. One of the principles that I think guides anyone that does this type of work really, really well, is you’re not in front of someone because they’re broken and need fixing, they just need a nudge.
Ian: Absolutely right, absolutely right.
Colin: Just a nudge. And as I look back on my life, there’s been times when good friends, good mentors, good coaches have just nudged me and they’ve not necessarily known that’s what they’ve done. Maybe the nudges come from a book that I was reading. Maybe it just comes from having a coffee with someone, and they said something. Conversations like this can just give you a little yeah, I hadn’t thought of that. How simple is that? Just acknowledge, and then ask the question now what? That’s actually so simple, but it takes us to the higher order of the brain in terms of how do I get myself out of this, now what do I need?
Ian: It’s a great way for parents actually to help children. Because obviously as I’ve said before, a lot of my issues around not being confident in life came from how I was brought up. My parents did the best they could, but as parents, we don’t have a lot of time these days. I see parents these days, and they want a quick way of stopping children from running before they can walk. And the way we tend to do it, we’re not even thinking with some of these. It’s unconsciously we’re putting fear into these children. And so sometimes to be able to help them understand that there are ways of dealing with that themselves by saying and I feel fearful, or I feel like this, now what? It’s helping those children themselves to start develop that higher level of thinking as well. It’s all about the brain. As you said before, it’s like your brain had fallen out. It is about the brain, we need to learn a little bit more about the brain and how it works.
Colin: Yeah. Very good, and I know that you’re doing some work around the brain right now, and you’ve got a profiling tool and stuff, so . . .
Colin: . . . could you share a little bit around what you’ve learned from science, now ‑‑ because I know that’s something that you’ve really studied ‑‑ from science around the brain and some of the research ‑‑ breakthrough research, really ‑‑ that’s going on, that’s really helping the likes of people that are really interested understand what actually goes on in the brain in situations where we fight, flight or freeze ‑‑ or I say, “Fight, flight, and shit yourself” but [laughter] same thing. So, yeah, just share some of that with us, because that’s really interesting.
Ian: Yeah. Well, I’ve always been fascinated in the brain. I mean I had a mad mum, which corrected a lot of my problems in the past, but she was great, but she was mad, totally mad. But I learned at a very young age that the brain can help you achieve things in life and it can also mess life up for you if it’s not working very well, so I’ve always had this fascination for the brain and how it works. I came across a book in the ’90s by Rita Carter called “Mapping the Mind” where she actually was taking all this information from neuroscience and writing it in a way that people like me could understand. It wasn’t written in neuroscience writing. And I started learning about the mammalian brain and the reptilian brain and the neo‑cortex and most people know about sort of left and right hemisphere of the brain.
And one of the biggest breakthroughs that has come through just recently is this idea that the brain has got plasticity. It’s a whole field opened up called “neuroplasticity,” and there was a time when neuroscientists were pretty certain that the brain was fixed at a young age. And what we’re finding now is there are areas of development in the brain that seem fixed.
There’s some work around imprinting in ducks and geese where there’s about an eight hour window that when a duck or a goose breaks out of the shell, in that eight hour window, it connects to its mother supposedly, but it will connect to anything moving around, so if it happens the mother’s not there, and a different creature walks past or a person walks past, the ducklings will imprint on that person, and they will always be imprinted on that person. They can’t break that, because there’s a window of susceptibility in the brain for that duck’s survival to connect to something that will protect it.
And we as human beings, we have that same thing. There are certain windows of brain development that after a certain point, it’s very difficult. Language is a prime example. If children aren’t exposed to language in the first formative years of their lives, they won’t ever be able to grasp grammar and the way we kind of put syntax and stuff together within language, and that’s been shown.
So it was thought that the brain was fixed, but actually, what’s happened since then is we’ve now found that in certain areas it’s fixed, but actually through looking at people who’ve had strokes, where part of the brain’s been damaged, and seeing how the brain regrows, and actually they can get movement back and people have been able to, who’ve been blind, to be able to see through stimulus to the tongue. So they get an internal image coming through stimulus being put through their tongue.
It actually shows that the brain can rewire itself into old age, and enable us to continue to learn, but also to adapt to what’s going on, so if we lose an ability in one way, we can adapt and develop it in another. And this is fascinating, because what it’s beginning to look like, now, is we can use the power of our mind, our ability to think and understand the brain to start to develop new neural pathways in the brain which change, start changing things like the way we behave and the way we act.
And actually think about it, it’s a survival mechanism. The brain should be geared towards helping us adapt to whatever the environment throws at us. So this is fascinating and there are some fantastic books around. There’s a book called, “The Brain that Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge which has got lots of information about medical evidence that shows how people’s brains have changed. They’ve mapped them and they’ve looked at how they work and they’ve seen changes over periods of time, and how the neural pathways have regrown and developed in certain ways.
And I’m also reading a book at the moment called “Nature Via Nurture,” which is all about the genome and genes and how genes within the brain we have, we inherit certain ways of using the brain, which if the environment suits us, we will continue to develop. So when people say, “Is talent and success ‑‑ is it nature or nurture?” The reality is it’s a bit of both, actually. You can be born with the potential for that, but if your environment doesn’t nurture it, it’ll be lost.
On the other hand, you can be born with not a lot of potential for that, but if you have the right environment, you will develop that potential. So, it’s a fantastic insight on ‑‑ for people like you and I that work with other people and work to develop ourselves. And we can start understanding the brain and genes a lot more to be able to say, “Do you know? This isn’t so much now a mystical ‑‑ there’s actually a science behind this that is showing how people can develop.
People can use things like the law of attraction to bring more into their lives. There is a process at work there that actually is more than just universal. There’s something that’s going on that biological as well.
Ian: It’s fascinating. So I mentioned some of those books, and I’ll give you the links and you can put them on this interview for people that want to check out books.
Colin: Will do, fantastic. For people that are or a person that’s listening to this right now, what are, where could they go, what additional resources do you have for them if this is something that they would like to explore a bit more themselves ‑‑ where could they go, Ian?
Ian: Right. Well, OK. The first place I’ve got ‑‑ I’ve got a website, which is ianbanyard.com, and from there you can get links to the Confidence Clinic and see video ‑‑ I’ve got videos on there that are good fun and information about confidence. I’ve got Pathfinders TV, which they can go to via that. Wired4Success, which, again, you can get to from ianbanyard.com, and actually take my little brain quiz. It’s a fun little brain quiz that kind of identifies which areas of the brain people are tending to use. Opens up some more awareness about their brain.
And then like most people now I’ve got a Facebook page, there’s Ian Banyard’s Confidence Clinic, there’s Ian Banyard’s Brain Mapping Online, there’s Pathfinders TV ‑‑ can all be linked through my Ian Banyard Facebook page. I’m on Linked In as well and I’m on Twitter as well, ian‑‑banyard. So, yeah, I’m out there. If people Google me, they’ll find me. And if you find me, you can find more information.
I’m very much about giving a lot of this information I’m learning about away. I always say my advice is always free. My coaching and my training I charge for, but my advice is always free, and people are welcome to contact me and ask, yeah, and I encourage people to get involved.
If people are interested in setting up Conference Clinics for themselves, let me know, because, again, I want to empower people to not just overcome fears in their own lives, but then take what they’ve learned and go out and help others. Because the best people to teach people to be confident are the people who have overcome fear and learned to be confident themselves.
Colin: All right, great, I agree. And lastly, then, a question for you. It’s a question I do like to ask. It’s an interesting and intriguing question, so let’s just see where it takes us. So my question is what’s becoming clearer to you?
Ian: What’s becoming clearer to me? Yeah, right. This is ‑‑ what’s becoming clearer to me is speaking my truth. When I came back from the Lake District ‑‑ as I said, I went off there to find myself ‑‑ when I came back, people started noticing I had a big lump in my throat I couldn’t work out. I hadn’t noticed it, because I ‑‑ actually, I thought I had a muscular voice box because I speak a lot!
Colin: A physical, a physical lump?
Ian: A physical lump there, and they said, “You know? That’s not right. You need to get that checked out.” And it was on my thyroid, funny enough, and anyway, to cut a long story short, I had a partial thyroidectomy. They took half my thyroid away because there was a growth on it. When I was under the anesthetic and they took out, they brought out quite a large lump of growth that had grown down my windpipe towards my chest. And it was nothing ‑‑ it wasn’t cancerous or anything like that. We didn’t know for a while, but it was OK, and they took it out. And while I was in hospital recovering from that, and I was thinking, “Gosh, you know, I had my throat cut.” I had scars across here where they had taken it out, and I was thinking about this and I thought, “You know? I actually think that that lump for me represented every time I’d swallowed and not said what I should say.”
Every time I thought I should say this, but I haven’t got the confidence to say it ‑‑ I should say what I think. I should tell people what I think, and I should talk about really what I believe, but I’ve always gulped it down. You say some things are hard to swallow? It was kind of that idea, really. So I kind of thought, “You know, that’s all that stuff that I’ve not been talking about and I’ve not been saying.”
So for me, what’s become clearer is I need to speak my truth, and very much now, I think everybody needs to speak their truth. I have this kind of belief that we represent a whole lineage of ancestors going all the way back to the year of dark. Every one of them struggled to survive and reproduce so that there would be somebody going forward, and we are those people, now. We are alive and we owe it to them to be here. And we’re not just speaking our truth, we’re speaking their truth as well.
So what’s becoming clearer to me is everybody out there has a truth that they want to speak, and if fear is stopping you from doing it, as I know, it can cause, it could cause a physical symptom there, but it’ll certainly mean that you live a life with less joy in it. You’ll live a life that’s based on fear rather than based on passion and love and going out there and growing and being who you truly are. So it’s only really when you speak your truth, you become who you truly are, so the confidence to be you and speak your truth is what’s becoming more and more clear to me.
Colin: That’s a great book title. [laughter]
Ian: Yeah, yeah. Just find somebody who listens to me speak and write it down because I don’t know about you, but when I sit there and I go to write it, it doesn’t quite look the same on paper as it sounds when I speak it, but yeah, yeah. There’s a lot ‑‑ there’s a book in everybody, but isn’t that just their truth? Isn’t that just another way of speaking your truth, through books? But I think the joy of the Internet and social media now is that our books can be just put out there through video and we don’t have to be able to sit and discipline ourselves in the middle of nowhere writing ‑‑ it’s a lonely world to sit and write. It’s quite enjoyable to go out there and speak to lots of people. So speak your story through your truth. Talk to people, maybe using things like the Internet and video.
Colin: All right, Ian, thank you very much for your time today. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and your understanding and your experience around, I think, a really important subject, confidence. And I’ll make sure that all the links that you’ve talked about are below and everyone can then click through or above, and everyone can click through. So, thank you.
Ian: Well, thank you for the opportunity of allowing me to speak. It’s been great.
Colin: You’re welcome. Bye for now.