Hello there! My name is Keith Blakemore-Noble. I am a radio host, an international speaker, best-selling author, hypnotist… I could rattle off a whole load of facts about me, but none of that really matters. Right now, you don’t really care about those. Because right now, all that you really care about is what makes me so qualified to say that I can help you, right? And just what do I mean by “Transforming your deepest fear into your greatest strength” anyway?
To answer that, we need to go back in time a bit – imagine the screen wobbling as we go into flashback mode (no music though, this is a flashback, not a montage…)
I was born at a very young age and lived for the first 5 years of my life in the middle of nowhere with only Mum, Dad and The Radio for company. I got good at interacting with the radio, but it turns out you can’t retune people without asking first!
Computers don’t mind it at all, so that’s where I built my career; I understood computers inside-out, how they worked, how to get them to do what they needed to do. I climbed to the highest levels of my profession, that of Fellowship of the British Computer Society. The only higher level is to be Bill Gates or Steve Jobs; I did apply, but I was told those positions were already taken. I had a team of people working for me across the globe. Professionally I really was doing very well indeed.
But my personal life was far less impressive. I’d never learned how to socialise or just hang out.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]I was always running away from fear – fear of interaction, fear of loneliness, fear of actually meeting and speaking with new people[/pullquote]I was always running away from fear – fear of interaction, fear of loneliness, fear of actually meeting and speaking with new people. I was the person at meetings and networking events and seminars who would be standing in the corner quietly sipping my tea and hoping desperately that nobody would approach me, petrified of interacting with new people. I remember receiving invitations to seminars, getting excited by the content, then feeling a huge sense of dread welling up inside me as I saw those awful words on the agenda – “Registration and Coffee”. That meant I was expected to meet and actually chat with complete strangers. Something I cold not do, something which scared me, often to the point of not actually going (and you can imagine the limiting effect that has on one’s career, where increasingly networking is an important way to grow and progress).
Or worse, at parties or social events, if I actually managed to dredge up the courage to attend, I’d be the one sticking with the people I knew, or else I’d be sat in the corner desperately avoiding making eye contact with anyone (well, unless it was a cat or a dog, in which case that gave a perfect way to pass the time without speaking to people).
Indeed, it was a party situation which finally convinced me to Do Something about it.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”How hard can it be?” – that Fateful Day[/pullquote]I can still remember it as clearly as if it were yesterday. I’d been a member of an online social group (this was just before FaceBook) for a while. I’d even got to know quite a few of the people there through chatting away online and occasionally email. Never telephone calls or anything like that (what a ridiculous thought!), but enough that we knew a bit about each other. So, someone suggested that as Christmas was rapidly approaching, why don’t we get together in London for a social get-together-cum-Christmas-party? The general consensus was that this was a Good Idea, and so someone organised the venue and before we knew it, the night of the party was here. Now, normally I’d have completely avoided something like this – spend an evening in a room full of strangers?! But, I knew many of these people from online, so I figured I’d go along and meet them in real life, have a chat and enjoy myself. After all, how hard could it be, right?
Turns out “Very hard” was the answer; an answer which I very quickly discovered. Within a very short time of arriving, I realised that it’s one thing knowing someone via online chat, but it’s a totally different thing knowing them in real life. This was, in effect, me walking into a room full of strangers. Sure enough, I felt those all too familiar symptoms – palms starting to sweat, heart racing faster and faster, panic rising… In short, I ended up locking myself in the toilets for half an hour while I had a full-on panic attack. I eventually calmed down sufficiently to be able to flee the venue, and ran all the way to the train station, jumping on the train and getting home as quickly as possible – I didn’t even stop to collect my jacket because that would have meant speaking to someone. Which is a shame as I liked that coat!
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”You’ve got to change. You can not go on living life like this! Think what it will be like living the next 10, 20, 30 years with this fear, this terror?”[/pullquote]That was the final straw. I’d had enough of not being able to network, of missing out seminars for fear of having to speak with strangers, of being lonely and having far too few friends (yet being too scared to go out and meet new ones), of not being able to make contacts throughout my industry; I was sick of all of it. And that was when I said to myself “You’ve got to change. You can not go on living life like this! Think what it will be like living the next 10, 20, 30 years with this fear, this terror? Unless you do something about it now, it’s never going to change. You have to change, and you have to change right now – if you put it off, you’ll never do anything about it. I mean, how many times in the past have you told yourself you’d do something about it one day? And when did that one day come? Never. So, this is it. It’s now or never. Are you serious about changing, about conquering this fear and living a richer, happier life? Well? Are you?”
So, I dived in head-first, determined to Do Something. I read the self-help books and waited for them to work their magic; I awoke my giant within promptly hid behind the sofa because he was even more shy than I was; I Felt The Fear and still Did Nothing Anyway. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all great, but none of them got me what I needed to get.
I knew that there had to be an answer, it was just a matter of continuing to research and explore until I found it. So I carried on searching, studying and, dare I say it, mastering things such as hypnosis, Neuro Linguistic Programming and many other “mind sciences”. The more I explored them and used them on myself, the more I realised that I can use and expand upon these sciences to reprogram the human brain at the deepest levels, enabling me to fix the bugs and optimise its performance – just like I’d spent my lifetime doing to computers.
And then it hit me – I’d spent my life reprogramming and upgrading computers, when what I really needed was to reprogram and upgrade me! I used these techniques to overcome my fear of meeting people, my phobia of heights, my lack of confidence and so much more – it was like having a fresh lease of life!
As a result of making these changes to my own mind, I’ve got to say I am enjoying life a whole lot more these days! I can (and do) connect with people, both professionally and personally. Professionally it means I can network with people with ease; I can walk into a room full of complete strangers and enjoy the process of getting to know each and every pone of them, finding out what they do, putting people in touch with each other, and even finding people who want to find out more about what I do. On a personal level I am really enjoying being able to say hello to new people I meet and to quickly get to know them in social settings. I’ve taken full advantage of my unleashed confidence to fulfil a long-cherished ambition to act and I now regularly take part in a variety of productions, loving every second of it (being on stage in front of an audience, as well as meeting an entirely new group of people for a new production). I’m travelling far and wide as a result of what I now do and the people I have met (I’ve coached and trained and spoken from stage in the UK, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and the USA, visited Europe, Asia, North America, Africa and Oceania).