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The fire walk challenge

Leadership at the peak – By George W Nyabadza

THE moment had come. As I stood behind the facilitator and watched the piece of paper that had the list of things I no longer wanted to have in my life

burn away, there was not a single shadow of doubt about what I was about to do.


I turned determinedly back to where the facilitator stood, where the six metre trench of evenly spread coals began and I heard him issue instructions to the fire-mender “a fresh load of coals for George and spread them out!”


It was approximately seven in the evening, the typically cold dark winter evening of Johannesburg had already set in. There was no mistaking the heat of the bed of coals, a thousand degrees centigrade.


The bonfire that provided the fresh coals was now visibly bright and a constant reminder that everything was real. We engage one last time before I step out; the facilitator and me: ‘Are you ready?’ Yes! ‘Can you do this?’ Yes! “Will you do this?’ Yes! ‘Then GO!”.


I have always been interested in optimising my performance.

Approximately eight years ago the need to break out of my self-imposed cocoon of limited beliefs began to stir deep within me.


The search for the best transformational technologies is a constant in my life and a few years ago I read two really inspirational books by Anthony Robbins. In all my readings the question that is always uppermost in my mind is: how did the author get his or her insight? I always seek the source.


This inquiring mind has led me up many interesting meta-physical and spiritual paths – places I never would have been had I not been eager to acquire the best theoretical and practical knowledge of transformation available.


So I asked the same question of Anthony Robbins and true to form behind all the motivational success he had subjected himself to the discipline of the cutting edge transformational programme Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP).


I immediately became absorbed in reading and researching NLP to the extent that my personal library has over 70 well-read books on the process.


Recently I embarked on a seven-month course – the NLP practitioner certification facilitated by my fire-walker instructor who himself is a master practitioner and also my personal trainer.


This particular weekend we had been exploring beliefs, their roots and how one can break through limiting ones. One limiting belief that seems to haunt many people is fear.


Fear is an energetic state that limits our capacity to engage in life. An interesting insight about fear is that fear is made worse by our inability to rise up above threatening circumstance.


Ed Cole once said winners look to where they are going and losers look through what they are going. By looking and concentrating on what we are going through we fan the flames of fear and it inevitably consumes us. The good thing about life, and I mean good, is that it continually throws curved balls at us that force us to grow.


Unfortunately for most people the tendency is to wallow in the negative circumstances and to be swallowed up by the resultant pain and fear.

Everyone has the power to overcome any difficulty even if it’s a one thousand degrees Celsius bed of coals.


The six-metre bed of coals represented to me every difficulty and challenge that life has thrown at me and would ever throw at me. Despite the fear and doubts that plagued me the whole day, I knew I had to walk over because unless I did so, I would never break through the limiting prison of self-doubt and unbelief that seemed to pop up whenever I faced fresh challenges.


As I heard the facilitator say: “Will you do this!” I focused on my mental goal and what I was becoming and knew that this was my moment of liberation. I shouted an emphatic YES! And when he said GO! I stepped out, the fear disappeared and I walked over the six metres of burning coals, unharmed, without any burns or blisters of any kind or size.


I overcame and as I stepped out on the other said what the Great Teacher said 2 000 years ago took a whole different meaning for me:”If only you believe, all things are possible!”.

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