Hey everyone, it’s Craig Marchant here, and I’m the author of “Conquer Your Inner Demons: The Ultimate Guide to Better Mental Health“, and founder of “Destination Inspiration“. And today, I want to talk to you about how I conquered my fears and started living my life on my terms.
So, I’m going to talk a little bit about what my top fears were at the time. Let me take you on a journey back to November of 2015. I knew I wanted to do something because I felt I had stalled out in my personal life. My three main fears were:
- I am not good enough;
- I am not worthy of love; and
- Fear of speaking in public
For the first fear, I am not good enough – I have always felt that way. I really can’t tell you where it started, but I always felt like an outsider, that other people were tolerating me or putting up with me and being polite instead of telling me to get on my tricycle and go home. Even amongst my closest friends, I always felt like an outsider.
For the second fear, I am not worthy of love – I felt this way because of my mental illnesses and always felt different from everyone else. As you can see, the first fear led to the second fear a little bit too easily. Over the years, I noticed that my brain processed things a little differently to others, so I kept to myself more and more.
For the third fear, fear of speaking in public – Fear doesn’t even begin to describe this one or do it any justice. In high school, I used to sit in the third row of seats, because I reasoned it was the best place to shit to avoid any attention. I didn’t particularly appreciate being asked questions and being put on the spot. I didn’t want any attention on me; the aim was to eek along until the bell went.
When I worked back with VentraIP, I’d often say I’m the guy who hides out the back in his little tech cave, like I was some hideous and foul beast. I adopted the motto I’m better heard, not seen. I didn’t have any desire to change the status quo because I thought I was happy, but life has a way of showing you how wrong you are.
Have you ever, felt not worthy or not good enough? I know, it’s a massive thing with a lot of people in their psyches. If so, please leave a comment down below, because I’d love to chat with you.
Conquer Your Fears
The Inca Trail
So how did things start to conquer my fears? The Inca trail was the biggest thing that started to get me on this path. The most pivotal part of the trek was day 2. We had gone for a couple of hours, and I was feeling exhausted, sorry for myself and had a little bit of altitude sickness which presented as a headache more than anything. The trek leader Jimmy came over, and we had a discussion which was that I had two options open to me. One was that I could turn around and head back and catch the train to Machu Picchu and meet everyone there. I wasn’t particularly keen on that, as I disliked letting anything get the better of me. The other option was that I could continue with the trek. He also said something that just hit the mark entirely; he said: “Craig, I have seen bigger and heavier people than you complete the Inca Trail, I believe you can do it!”. That was a massive thing for me, someone saying that they believed in me outside of my family unit. So I pushed on and finished up day two. I felt like I had accomplished this great deed at the end of the day.
Day three was even more challenging than day two. It was raining for some parts, and we were walking in the rain, and then we stopped for lunch. The tent was all set up, and I just sat down, and I was utterly exhausted, and it was like 2 or 3 p.m. After a little bit, we continued onwards, which ended with me trudging into camp, probably about an hour and a half later than everyone else because it just took me that long to do it. And I was a reasonably heavy guy at that point, 120 kilos. So I was still sporting quite a bit of weight.
After arriving at camp, I went to my tent and just plopped myself down on the ground, and there I stayed for a while. After dinner, I went to bed pretty much straight away, but in the morning, I was rewarded with the incredible scenery, we were camping above the clouds. I got some fantastic pictures of the trek.
Day four the most prominent challenges were descending from our camping spot and then the final little gotcha was affectionately called the “Gringo Killer Stairs” aptly named so because it is one of the hardest parts of the trek. These things go straight up. There was no particular finesse employed by me to get up the stairs. I just went on hands and knees and climbed up that way.
Speakers Institute Premiere Bootcamp
I learned a lot about myself on the Inca Trail and what I was capable of when I chose to believe it. I also found out what I could do when I decided to do the Speakers Institute Premiere Boot Camp and conquer my fear of public speaking. I was mesmerized by watching Sam Cawthorn up on stage, at a couple of events I’d been to, and, to be honest, I had zero business being there because of all my fears. To my credit, I went and conquered the fear of public speaking. Not because they made me feel unwelcome or anything, but just because of my particular take on talking in front of people that time, it wasn’t the best. However, I thought, well, if I throw myself in it, let’s see what comes out. I did that with the Inca Trail and got good results. Let’s see how we go this time.
So day one, I was up on the stage, and I was very, very, very nervous. And I think I managed to talk for all of like 20 seconds. Day two came around, and I had a considerable anxiety/panic attack, did not want to do it. Didn’t think I could do it, my brain was going at breakneck speed; I thought I would sneak back to the room because I was staying in a hotel and let’s say, my mental health got the better of me. But Sam’s wife, Kate, calmed me down and said, “Now you can do this, believe in yourself”. And so I did that and got up, two and a half, three minutes up there. Finally, on the third day, I don’t know what it was, but some shift in my mind, and I suddenly realized that I could do this. And I did, and I delivered my six-minute pitch, which you can on my YouTube channel.
So, I nailed it on the third day. And I was happy with myself. And that was another time that it just went to show that if you did have that mindset of I’m just going to do this, and you throw yourself in it, sometimes you can get excellent results and you conquer your fears. And so that’s how I managed to start living the life that I wanted to live, not what I thought everyone else wanted me to live and I would highly encourage the same for you as well.
Having a mental illness, It’s really can be all-consuming. It’s a hard slog, and it can be all too easy to move into a position where you just let it coast. It becomes the default where you go, that’s just my mental health, I’m not going to do that, so you don’t challenge yourself enough.
So my advice to you would be to try and challenge yourself now and then do something that might push you outside your comfort zone but doesn’t set you off into a full-blown meltdown because that’s not what we want. That’s not the aim of the game here. And I’m not saying that my way, the ways I’ve been doing things, are going to work for you either. I hope that they do. I’m not going to lie, it takes some challenging work, and it’s up to everyone and where they are in their journey with this to how far they go.