Updated: Aug 22
Things are good for me now. I have achieved lots of what I set out to achieve and I am looking forward to the challenge of achieving the ambitions I have yet to fulfil.
As I reach one goal another presents itself. In the past I would balk at such challenges, but I now know that we need challenges, fears and adversity to help us grow.
"They are tests, sent to strengthen us," a friend of mine once told me. A very wise man indeed. The tests may be of your own making, such as taking a risk in business or your personal life in order to better yourself.
It may be they are caused by the hands of another or brought about by fate. In such cases you may feel you have been dealt a bad hand and quite possibly you have. You may have been the victim of bullying or just simply another's lack of code or ethics and had to endure, what at the times, seems like endless pain and anxiety. You may feel like giving up, or more correctly you will feel like giving up. But if you can find the strength within yourself to last the course, see through the business risks or stand up to that bully then you may be, no, you will be victorious.
Sometimes the victory isn't the obvious one, and, as in my own experience, you may not even realise you have been victorious until much later, after the event. But you will do and when it hits you, the sense of confidence and well-being your victory brings will stay with you forever.
These victories will be your vehicle to, and through the next challenge. How do I know this? Because it happened to me. I have tasted both the deepest depressions and most satisfying victories.
So don't worry. You are not alone in the way you feel and there is a way forward. Many of the greatest achievers in history where prone to anxiety or started their life as victims so you are in good company. Your anxiety can be channeled into an almost unstoppable energy.
During my childhood and adolescence I was the victim of bullies. I spent my life in a dark cave of anxiety. I developed severe agoraphobia and suffered from terrifying panic attacks. At times I thought I was losing my mind. In a desperate bid to do something about it, I managed to change my life for the better. I started meeting challenges and creating opportunities for myself. However, the more opportunities I took the harder the tests where, but as a result of that, the bigger the rewards where also.
You now know that my way out of my former life as a victim was through Karate and the Martial Arts. First of all I plodded along, not daring to try and excel or stand out. But gradually I started to have some successes. People began complimenting me on my efforts and others paid me the ultimate compliment in trying to avoid fighting me. My attitude changed, not in a horrible arrogant way, but in a positive and assertive way. After training for some time I realised I had become a fighter.
Please, don’t think me a coward or a bighead when I tell of my weaknesses and strengths. I tell them only to be informative, but for the first and only time in this book I apologise if what I am about to say does sound conceited.
I had become not just a fighter, but a good one at that.
However becoming good meant the tests got harder. The fights and the training where now much tougher and at times I felt like giving it all up. I wondered if it was all worth it. But the more I stuck at it the stronger I became mentally. This spilled into my life outside the combat arena and mountains suddenly became molehills. I became a much more confident, outgoing person able to contribute to all sorts of situations.
I had become a fighter on both a physical and mental level. It was a good job I did because the conflict with the drug dealer I mention in the prologue was a conflict that lasted almost three years. Imagine that? Three years of going to sleep at night worrying about the problem and waking up in the morning knowing the problem was still there. Only I could make it go away, just like only I was the only person who could put a stop to the misery of my bullying years. The funny thing was that my issue with him was nothing to do with his drugs and his dealings. It was over a legitimate business deal that went wrong.
He ripped me off over a large sum of money and then he and his gang tried to bully me into submission without paying it back. Along the way they also tried to persuade me to turn a blind eye to the dealings…right next door to my family home. Not a chance. My days at the hands of bullies where long gone, and submitting was something I no longer did. I emerged from the conflict with my hand raised. He emerged from it in the gutter where people of his ilk belong.
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