Not everybody is prepared to do what it takes to step outside of their comfort zone and pursue the life of their dreams. Humans of Scary and Exciting are a brave and courageous bunch of individuals who dared to break the mold... These are their stories...
For me, the scariest thing has been learning how to be vulnerable. For a long time I would put on a facade and try and hide who I was because I had incredibly low self-esteem. Opening up and letting the world see who I really am has been scary and exciting.
Speaking my mind and telling my deepest, innermost thoughts and fears to other people without fear of judgement is liberating. Not needing approval is incredibly freeing. ~ Ange Dalton
In 2002 I took a severe drug overdose and spent seven days in a coma, hooked up to life-support. I grew up in Zimbabwe where finding ways to help yourself was pretty difficult, so in 2006 I moved to England on a quest to keep growing and healing because on some level I knew that I didn't have to live with everything I carried around with me.
By the time I Peter in 2008 at an NLP course he was teaching, I had already come a long way but I was still struggling. Being away from my family and support network was tough and I couldn't control the things that were happening in my body. I was at the point of giving up unless something drastic happened.
I feel ashamed to admit this now, but when I walked into Peter's classroom on Day 1 of NLP, I had drugs in my pocket and drinks in my bag.
I had been out drinking the night before and had literally gone from the nightclub, home for a quick shower and straight to the classroom. I couldn't sit still.
On that first day of the NLP course, Peter said something that made me think that, for once, I might just be in the right place. So I stayed. I made bargains with myself not to leave the building, and then not to leave the room and then not to leave my chair. I did (literally) everything that Peter suggested and that week transformed my life.
Peter got me up on stage to use me as a demo for one of the processes he was teaching... I have not bitten my nails since that day (and I used to bite them so bad my fingers would bleed)! That process helped me find my voice, but what helped me the most that week was another process. It brought up stuff that I had never spoken about to anybody and half way through the process, it all got too much and I left the room. By that time I guess you could say Peter knew what was going on and he came out after me. I will never forget the kindness, compassion, understanding and tough love that Peter shared with me that day. As cliche as it sounds, my life changed in the next 30 minutes. I left class that evening and my housemates did not recognise me when I arrived home. I had removed all my piercings (yes, I had quite a few!) and I cut my hair. I bought some new clothes on my way home (I used to only ever wear black and grey). Something had shifted inside of me.
The next day, when I returned to the training room, the crew didn't want to let me in as they did not recognise me - I had to show them ID to prove it was me. I had heard stories like this before but they only happened to other people. I still look back on that time of my life and wonder how it all happened - it seems so far removed from where I am right now.
Peter helped me realise that I don't have to be ashamed of my past. He continues to hep me realise that I can do the crazy things that I dream of - had it not been for him I'd probably still be stuck in an office daydreaming about the things I would like to do. In the years that followed, I applied everything I had learned in that NLP training... I ran my first marathon (with only six weeks of training), did a bungee-jump, moved to Spain, found an incredible business partner and together we set up a health retreat. I have had two books published and done many more Scary and Exciting things.
I live with Rapid Cycle Bipolar, Schizo Affect Disorder, I am an ex-junkie, an ex-self harmer. I am an ex-anorexic, a survivor of physical and emotional child abuse. I have had two heart attacks. I used to live with chronic pain, I am a suicide survivor and I am proud to say... I am a Human of Scary and Exciting. ~ Gareth Stubbs
Ben Waters and Samantha Clark
We worked really hard to build up a successful business. The motivation when we started out was that it was literally do or die… we had no choice but to back ourselves and succeed. In the beginning we were raw but when people started to notice we could deliver what they wanted and we won awards for that, we gained respect and it helped us to grow personally and professionally. The success of our business did come with some challenges. The biggest challenge I face now is continuing to back myself. Things are easier now… there’s not the fight or flight fear motivating me now. I now seek out new challenges and adventures because I know the importance of continuing to back myself in this new and stretching way of life. I know there is great value personally and professionally to keep learning and expanding. ~ Ben Waters
I struggled with being myself in the business for a while. I pretended to be someone else to get through certain challenging situations with staff and clients. One day I thought to myself, ‘who the fuck am I?’ I hated myself and who I was being. I made a decision to take a step back from the business and to concentrate working on my art. The more I got back to myself and who I really am, the easier it became to deal with those people. It made me realise the importance of keeping it real. If you spend your life trying to keep up with the Jones’ and fit in with what everybody else is doing you’re going to end up a fucking bore and at the end of the day nobody really respects that. ~ Samantha Clark
A life changing event happened at the Scary and Exciting NLP Training.
Peter was talking about what society considers the worst criminals (paedophiles, serial killers etc.) and how they, in general, probably needed love as kids, if they did get love, a lot of the thoughts/emotions which led them to committing/acting on their crimes wouldn't be there. They can also be given love after committing the crimes to heal the wounds of the past. I'm paraphrasing what Peter said and understand that this is what I took on.
When I was a teenager my grandmother was murdered by my cousin, it was pre-meditated and fairly gruesome. Life after that event was quite different, it broke up the family and there was a fair amount of blame pushed around. It was a painful time for everyone. I took some time off school to grieve as best as I could and when I went back, I remember turning up to class and getting asked a lot of questions, for me there was no easy way to deal with the questions/curiosity from teachers and class mates. I remember cracking a random joke in my social studies class and everyone laughed, it took the pressure off and it was easy again. I didn't have to talk about it and everyone was laughing, which is what I needed. I supposed everyone thought that I was ok because I was cracking some jokes. Go forward about 15 years and that's how I've dealt with the event ever since and any other uncomfortable situation I've come across.
If I'm honest I've hated him (my cousin) for the past 15 years, along with the hate was apathy because I could never figure out the why he did it. The why for me was what drove him to do it, where did it start?
When I was sitting there listening to Peter talk about showing/giving love to these people, it clicked and it all made sense. My cousin needed love as a kid and he also needs it now, it answered the why question and re-framed how I saw the "why he did it". It allowed me to move forward and I left the hate and apathy in that room (hope nobody found it and picked it up).
Even after all this time I'm getting teary writing this email, the best way to describe it is it's emotionally clean and clear tears, not darkish and full of hate. ~ Adam Lamotte
Skydiving was something that I promised myself I would NEVER do. The very thought of jumping out of a plane scared me to the bone... and then I met Peter Shaw. He told me about the Skydiving Workshops he runs and how he gets people to jump out of planes without any fear. I was curious as to exactly what was possible and so I began working in a Group Mentoring program with Peter.
I began changing my thought processes and beliefs around certain things and eventually booked in to do the Skydiving Workshop with Peter. During the workshop before the Skydive, I I started to change my perception, not only of what the Skydiving stands for but also for myself as a person. I realised how much I was limiting myself by just insisting on what I would and wouldn't do.
Since the Skydiving Workshop I don't insist anymore. Instead I am open to challenges, opportunities and new things. And above all, I know that I can do anything I put my mind to. The Skydiving experience is a lifelong anchorfor a very important lesson. I use it regularly whenever I hear my inner voice say, "no, you can't do that". Since the workshop I have done many more Scary and Exciting things that I previously would never have dreamed of. I've done Heli-Skiing, learned to surf, got my motorbike licence and have spoken to groups of over 100 people, plus much more.
I realise now that it wasn't the Skydive itself that changed my life... but what it stands for - overcoming my own inner limitations. ~ Barbara Simon
My journey of self-discovery began long before I met Peter. When both my children passed away in their twenties within four years of each other, I realised that I could not spend the rest of my life drowning in the sea of grief that enveloped me. I tried many things, listened to motivational speakers, attended conferences, poked at various "shiny objects". Just as everything was coming together, the next tidal wave of life overtook us. My husband's business collapsed and we lost our house and much more besides. At this point we were both in our late sixties.
Enter Peter Shaw of Scary and Exciting.com. He wasn't a new face, I'd heard him speak before, but a chance email triggered a far reaching response from me. I signed up. So far there have been two absolute signature moments for me. I hope for more. To jump out of an airplane for the very first time in my life age 68, when I've always feared heights, taught me that I can conquer my fears and I can do anything that I want in this life. Sure it takes focus, commitment and hard work but it is not impossible. I can do it.
The second moment was so ordinary and yet such a revelation that I still shake my head in disbelief. We were half way through Peter's NLP training. This was all new to me. I put my hand up whenever I could. We worked through a scenario that had been bugging me ever since I had to return to full time work to pull us out of the deepest... we have ever been in. I came away in shock. I realised that I already had all the tools and opportunities that I needed to move forward. I just had to focus on my top priorities and stop gazing at "shiny objects". I've been working on them ever since. Peter has an uncanny knack of getting right to the heart of things. You don't always agree with him, you don't always like what he says but he can clear the cobwebs out of your mind like the newest broom in your cupboard. And what is more, you'll have a helluva lot of fun doing the spring clean. ~ Diana Johnson
The words Scary and Exciting are now two words I live my life by. To me those three words represent anything that I initially think, "Ooooh f*ck no!! I could never do that!" Or, "I'd love to do that but...[insert reason or excuse here]" Scary and Exciting is a way of life for me now and I use those words to test if what I am doing is enough for me or whether I should be pushing harder outside of my comfort zone and aiming higher.
Since fully embracing and living the Scary and Exciting philosophy I am becoming a person who is not afraid to take risks in life. I'm no longer afraid to stand up for all the things I believe in and am passionate about. I want to show the world that anything is possible and there are no excuses as to why you can't chase your dreams and create the life you want to live.
Twelve months ago I would never have thought I would be where I am with my life heading in the direction it is. Committing to living outside of my comfort zone has taken me places I never even dreamed of when I first made that decision. ~ Sarah Kings