Today, 9th August 2016, is exactly 30 years to the day since Queen’s last ever concert with Freddie Mercury, at Knebworth Park in England. Among the 160,000 – 200,000 people (reports vary) in the audience was a young, very shy, Scot who had come down especially for the gig. This painfully shy young chap (who could not bring himself to speak to anyone else in the crowd other than the friend he went with) marvelled at this amazing performance by Queen who were undoubtedly at their very peak, and could not help but greatly admire the phenomenal showmanship exhibited by Freddie up there on stage, holding the entire audience in the palm of his hand, looking for all the world as though this was what he was born to do! There was no doubt about it, this must be one extremely self-confident person to be able to stand up there like that; no way could Freddie have been shy, he must be the complete antithesis of this shy young Scot (who, as you probably guessed by now, was me).
Like many people, I assumed that Freddie was extremely confident, and longed to be like him. I wondered how different my life would be if I were like him, instead of being painfully shy and unable to connect with people or talk with strangers.
It wasn’t until many years later that I discovered the truth.
Despite his stage persona, in “real life”, Freddie Mercury was a very shy individual.
And what better time to pause and reflect upon that than right now.
“OK”, you might be thinking, “But what does that have to do with me? Our lifestyles are completely different!”.
The key thing to learn here is not about lifestyles or any of that, but to realise and appreciate that we can not go by external appearances, nor can we afford ourselves the luxury of sitting back and blaming our failures upon our being shy.
After all, if a very shy and retiring young immigrant from Zanzibar can go on to front probably the biggest rock band in the world, and to confidently perform in front of 6-figure audiences around the world, then perhaps, just perhaps, we have it within us do start to overcome our own hurdles.
As I know all too well from bitter experience, when we face obstacles, it is all too easy to allow them to enable us to chose to believe that there is nothing we can do to overcome that obstacle, which in turn enables us to decide that we can succeed. Of course, it’s not our fault we can’t succeed, right? We could have done it if it wasn’t for the Obstacle. It’s not our fault, right? If only we didn’t have the Obstacle, we’d be a winner. It’s not our fault. It’s different for other people…
Sound familiar? I bet you can probably think of someone who has often thought like that, often made those excuses. I know I certainly did, a lot.
The thing is, that’s all just a pack of excuses, a load of nonsense which we tell ourselves.
Goodness knows I struggled and fought against that pearl of wisdom for a very long time,
But every time I thought back to seeing Freddie on stage, and realising that he was a shy and retiring person in real life, I realised that I really had no excuse.
It’s either accept that we do have the ability to face our fears and overcome our obstacles, but only if we really want to; or carry on not living the life we think we want to live.
Once we accept that we can change, that we can transform our deepest fears into our greatest strength, then the world starts to become a much more exciting place indeed!
Even more exciting are the results which my clients get when they apply themselves and make use of the tools we have for reclaiming their confidence.
Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!
Also published on Medium.