Many of you may not know that back in 2013 I did something I never thought possible …
I was in London. It was the 10th May 2013, I had travelled to London on my own. I wanted the chance to see one of the people who inspires me, one of my idols, Tony Robbins at his Unleash The Power Within event.
I vidly remember arriving at the EXCEL in London, walking into one of the huge halls and seeing hundreds upon hundreds of people – I gingerly approached the check in desk, collected my manual and followed the crowds into the waiting queue. Those of you who know me, know that I’m am generally a confident sort of person – but I felt nervous … uncertain …
Set your intention
Now, I’ll be up front with you, I didn’t really know what exactly was going to be involved across the 4 days. I set my intention that I was going to throw myself into this and take as much as I could for me … after all I was here alone, no-one to worry about looking silly in front of (I’d probably never see these people again, right?) – what did I have to loose? – nothing (other than a missed opportunity if I didn’t make the most of it). I wanted to focus on health and relationships.
The main hall where the event was being held had around 6,000 people from all over Europe in it – it was huge – full of people all passionate about learning and personal development. I learnt loads in the first few hours and Tony was as amazing as I had imagined. I felt privileged to be part of it. Tony asked thought provoking questions, provided wise advice, put the spotlight on behaviour we all do (if we’re brave enough to admit it) and we had a ton of fun too! Things started to become clearer for me – I lost count of the number of Aha! moments I had. As we approached half way through the session, I remember the mention of the fire walk, a picture of the burning fire from the Excel car park up on the big TVs screens in front of us …. (inside my head my jaw dropped … I have no idea if my jaw did in fact drop – ‘you want me to do what?!’ I thought to myself) the hot coals were real … I saw all the people on camera who had given their time freely to support thousands of us complete the fire walk …. I looked around the room …. I remember turning to the lady next me and saying ‘I don’t think I can do that’ and she looked back with equal disbelief … we carried on the session and it was another 3 hours till the time came …. ‘take off your shoes and socks … roll up your trousers’ …
The Fire Walk – moving beyond your fears to a better you!
Tony says success is 80% physiology and 20% skill – I agree. Nothing was more true about the fire walk. Fire is a metaphorical symbol. More than that, we are all programmed from a small age to be scared of fire and to keep away from it. Undertaking the fire walk means you are facing your fears square on and moving beyond them. The fire walk itself, those red hot coals, represent what was stopping or holding each one of us back from living a fulfilled life. Walking over the hot coals was itself a symbolic experience designed to prove that if you can make it through the fire, you can make it through anything.
As human beings we tend to develop patterns, many of them result in undesirable results or outcomes. Often we become successful in one area of our lives (e.g. our career as I did) and less so in other areas like health for instance (as I equally had). That is what the fire walk is about; pushing through any and all limitations to become a better version of you! It’s not about positive thinking, it’s about finding and using the tools you need to dig up everything it requires inside of you to take your life to the next level – so you can create the extraordinary life that you deserve.
I didn’t realise it at the time, but the 3 hours leading up to the fire walk contained ladles of NLP. We worked on our issues. We clarified our goals and what we wanted to achieve. We talked about the 6 human needs (the subject of another blog). We covered beliefs and fears – answering questions like ‘what is your greatest fear?’, ‘what benefit has this fear given you in the past?’ and ‘why be free of this fear now?’ I also remember lying on the floor and undertaking a ‘relaxation session’ – we were told just to let our minds drift and that we could listen to what he was saying or not … if we fell asleep that was fine too. When we got up at the end of the exercise Tony asked the audience how long they thought that had taken – I guessed about 15 minutes … it was in fact nearer 45 mins (or maybe longer, I can’t quite remember). I now know that that was hypnosis, but to me at the time it was just relaxation – I really enjoyed it.
Tony says in a Huffington Post article “Walking over any hot surface does encompass some risks, but it has been done safely for centuries, and when administered properly can have enormous value as a reminder of what we are truly capable of. And again, it’s not some magical mind-over-matter process. As I tell people in our events… anyone can walk on fire!”
We had ‘anchored’ a particular word and physical move during the 3 hour preperation. There was a certain set of rules you must follow when attempting a fire walk. I can’t recall them all, nor can I be sure I can recall them exactly (which is probably a good thing – as no-one should ever attempt a fire walk without being trained and supported by professionals and the necessary health and safety practices). I remember being pumped up into a ‘peak state’ (full of energy, clarity, passion, determination, certainty etc), being told to walk at a normal direct pace over the coals, controlling my internal dialogue by saying clearly and loudly ‘cool moss’, looking up as I went and I had to walk with absolute certainty. I won’t go into detail here about the essential nature of each of these parts – but I do want to mention the power of controlling your internal dialogue (what you tell yourself inside your own head) and about having absolute certainty -what you focus on you get and equally important is that what you tell yourself has a funny habit of coming to fruition (regardless if what your are telling yourself is true or not!) – there was no way I was going to be allowing my mind to wonder into dialogue of ‘do I really think I can do this? maybe not? what if I burn myself? etc etc’ – that dialogue ladies and gentlemen is how you get burnt during a fire walk! – that negative dialogue has serious and significant consequences that evening.
So we arrived in the car park. We stood in rows behind each fire walk. It was dark. You could feel the heat and see the red glow from the coals. We were in the ‘zone’, we had absolute certainty that we knew (there was no doubt) that if we followed the instructions we would indeed successfully walk the hot coals and smash through the fears, limitations and what was holding us back in the area of our life we wanted to focus on. As I got to the front I was met by the ‘greeter’, I was told ‘make your move’ (for the NLP’ers reading this – it triggered the anchor), I looked up, I started saying ‘cool moss’ and I walked. I walked with certainty, with determination – one step at a time … before I knew it I had reached the people on on the other side … I glanced over my right shoulder – hang on …. I couldn’t believe it – yes … I had just done it – my face must have been a picture, I hugged the people nearest to me … I jumped up and down … I had a clear reason for walking the firewall – I had broken through limitations, fears and as an aside done a fire walk! (p.s. for those wondering, my feet were totally fine).
The story doesn’t stop there … the following day I was sat on the floor having lunch with a lovely young lady, we were chatting away and a gentleman walked up to us, knelt down and started chatting to her. She introduced him as her dad. A lovely gentleman. She pointed out a massive blister on his nose – he had been one of the volunteers that had been stoking the fire and creating the fire walks the night before. He told me tales of the fire walk preparation – the number of heavy hot wheel barrows he moved with hot coals in them … he reached into his pocket and he handed me a couple of fragments of wood and coal …. it was from the fire – he said I could keep them – I still have them – a permanent reminder for me of that day in 2013!
As amazing as the experience was, you don’t need a fire walk to decide to face your fears and move beyond them. To free yourself from what is currently holding you back. To be able to realise your full potential …. if you have decided that you can’t carry on like you are any longer and you want to breakthrough to a more fulfilling life, to live life on a new level – I know I have the tools to be able to help support and guide you to achieve this – simply get in touch 🙂