I am currently writing my first book and I recently shared chapter 1 of this unedited book with my email list. I’ve had many people contact me because they missed it, so I have decided to share the raw unedited chapter as a blog post here. Enjoy and I look forward to your feedback. I will share further chapters in the lead up to the final book being published, so do click on the subscribe button on my homepage if you wish to receive these in your email inbox.
CHAPTER 1 – WHEN DOES YOUR STORY BEGIN?
I thought my story began when I was nine or ten years old.
At that time my parents loved hosting family and friends at our house in the suburbs of
Walsall, a town in the centre of England. I remember that whenever people visited, whether I had met them already or not, I would be incredibly shy and scared to talk with them. I would stand there, not answering questions and staring at my feet.
My parents commented on this, telling me, “Boys aren’t shy.” But I couldn’t help how I felt, so I took that on as my personality: I was forevermore a shy person.
I thought my story started there and carried on through my teenage years into my twenties, when I discovered the self-help and personal development world. Then, by taking deliberate steps outside of what many would describe as my “comfort zone,” I started to show up more confidently in life, both personally and professionally. This wasn’t a dramatic change but one that seemed to involve many small steps over many years. If you had told me back then that one day I would write a book about my journey I would have guessed it would contain the step-by-step path I took from shy boy to confident adult.
However, a few years ago I had a revelatory insight that showed me my story didn’t start when I was nine or ten years old. In fact, it began much earlier.
What happened was that I suddenly recalled a memory of an event that had taken place when I was far younger in Mumbai, India. My family and I had gone to visit our relatives. One day we were at my uncle’s apartment. He lived in a colony, which is a group of tall apartment buildings surrounded by a wall. While I was visiting my uncle, he took me to another apartment in the colony to meet his friend. My memory is a little hazy, but I remember meeting a young lady there who was perhaps in her late teens or early twenties. In an innocent, childlike way I remember that I liked her and decided that she was now my friend.
After meeting her, my uncle and I walked back to his apartment. As we were getting ready to leave, my sister and I were given some sweets as a parting gift. I distinctly remember refusing to leave unless I could share my sweets with my new friend.
My family tried in vain to convince me that the sweets were mine but I wouldn’t have it. I forced my uncle to march me across to my new friend’s apartment so I could share my sweets with her. I remember feeling so excited as I waited for her to open the door.
She was really surprised when we turned up. There was such joy in her eyes when this small child told her he wanted to share his sweets with her.
In that moment I certainly wasn’t shy. I didn’t lack confidence. I didn’t have a problem connecting with women and I certainly wasn’t overanalysing the situation. I was my true self— unfiltered. I was free of all the mistaken beliefs about who I was, the ones I picked up in subsequent years.
In these pages I share insights and stories that I hope will help you remember who you are— once you drop your own false beliefs, misconceptions and misunderstandings—and to understand the value of this remembering. It frees you up to live without your insecurities and doubts holding you back. It helps you return to the state of childlike creativity, playfulness and joy we all once had.
I have spent some eighteen years exploring self-development and learning from some of the best teachers, mentors and coaches on the planet, as well as coaching others towards the insights in this book. I’m also simply a guy whose experience of life was pretty average at best but who underwent some pretty huge transformations as I began to understand what I share with you in the following pages. The extent of these changes has been miraculous to me. Before them I simply could not imagine enjoying life as much as I do now.
But this book isn’t really about my transformation. Rather it’s about remembering who I really was back then—and right now, for that matter.
This remembering is possible for everyone. When does your story begin?
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