For far too long I didn’t do it my way. I did it the way I thought I “should” do it or the way that I thought wouldn’t stand out and life was really hard.

Frank Sinatra was one of my dad’s favourite singers and he had it right when he sang:

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
“Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way”

For 15 years I have been trying to become free: free of panic, free of anxiety, free of the fear of what people think. I have wanted to be “free to be me”.

What the hell does that really mean anyway?

For me, it is much more than a cliche. It means to make decisions and do things without first thinking: What will they think of me? Am I good enough? Will I succeed? What if I fail?

It means to do what I want; what is important to me no matter what.

I think too much; I have always been in my head over analysing and it has held me back so much. I want to be in the moment, to just enjoy what is happening right now, but it isn’t easy. There is so much to think about, so many things happening, so many people to consider: What if I let you down? What if I can’t do it? I want to do X but it scares the sh*t out of me??

I know that if I want to live my life to the full, I need to focus more on the right now and on who I am with, what I am doing, and allow the other stuff to drift into the background and sometimes I am really good at it and things seem to flow like when I share an intimate moment with someone I love, when I am taking part in a fun event, when I am coaching someone deeper than they have gone before, but other times I can feel the pressure in my head; I can’t concentrate, I feel low and there is nothing I can do to change it.

At the weekend, something interesting happened for the first time. I didn’t have to try, I didn’t have to “do” anything, I had a pure moment of just “being” and it was incredible! This particular one was completely new.

I was taking part in a family run with my girlfriend Rachel and her son Max. We were jogging along and every now and then I was racing him: I couldn’t let a 7 year old beat me!!! At one part of the course there were some drummers, playing metal drums; they made a great sound and had a fantastic rhythm; when we got there I immediately started to move to the beat; there was noone else there; all the runners were going past and there were about 20 drummers and yet rather than be self conscious about the hundreds of people who could see me I just danced. Some of the drummers smiled at me and I was just loving the music and the atmosphere.

Now, usually I would say I don’t have any rhythm, that I know I can’t dance and I think that I look silly; although I might try to dance I always feel like I can’t, but in that moment all of that was forgotten: I was free.

I have my girlfriend and her son to thank for that: being with them teaches me so much about just living. They often live in the moment and I cherish the gift they give me: the gift of being who I am.

When was the last time you let go and felt completely free?

What would happen if you did?