Conquering Fear

This week has been difficult, y’all. Not least because I am not from Louisiana and therefore “y’all” is not part of my regular vocabulary.

This week I ran out of time and finally had to press ‘send’ on my book to get it onto the respective publishing platforms I have chosen (iTunes and Kindle for eBook, plus Amazon for the printed softcover version). I have wanted to release this book so badly for so long and yet I was holding myself back. Yet today the time for procrastination was over.

First, there were issues in the text that I decided needing revision. After the second revision, when those issues became purely about fonts and character placement, I knew I was stalling. I forced myself to move on. Then I decided I wasn’t sure about my website. I paid two people from to review it. One loved it, and she gave me lots of smart feedback about how to improve it even further. One hated it. Like, HATED it from the first second he came onto my site and I had to listen to 10 minutes of live responses A.K.A. slagging-off that I had paid $10 USD for. At the end I said some rather nasty words in response to what he had said, because it actually stung. Then I shook it off and let it go.

I objectively compared his feedback with the previous feedback my lovely female reviewer had given me and realised that most of what they were pointing out were the same things; it’s just that I needed to understand that responses to my topic matter (dealing with depression) were probably always going to be a bit different between females and males (yes, a stereotype I know – yet the data backs up the theory; read my book!).

One of the things he kept coming back to was the typography of my upcoming book, Depression? F*** Depression!. He hated it, and I am not ashamed to admit it got to me, to the point where I began to despise my once-loved cover myself. Luckily, my graphic designer friend Chrissy stepped in at the last moment to give my cover the tweak it needed that made me fall in love with it all over again (and I knew it was true love, since my mouth dropped when I opened the message with her modified version and I sat staring at it for a full five minutes before I could speak).

Putting myself out there for such criticism was frightening, just as it is in any aspect of life. Yet, if I can’t cope with such criticism, what’s going to happen when my book is published on October 28, 2015?

That’s the thing about fears. You can either let them hold you back, or you can let your fears be the rocket fuel that propels you forward. Because what are fears other than False Evidence Appearing Real?

Shatter your own fears today. Do something so extraordinary that you take yourself by surprise. What’s the worst that could happen?


My forthcoming book, Depression? F*** Depression! will be released worldwide on 28 October 2015* and is now available for pre-order at my website: All pre-orders help to raise much-needed funds to promote the book upon launch, so please be generous and purchase a pre-order copy now! Pre-orders available for eBook or limited edition signed print versions. Thank you!

*Available on iTunes/iBooks and Amazon Kindle as an eBook, and in print from Amazon (including Amazon Europe)

Correlations and t-tests and degrees of freedom – oh my!

I have officially hit a brick wall and it appears that somebody has taken my sledgehammer.

As you might be aware, I’m juggling my work as an author, coach, presenter and self-development specialist with completing a full-time Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) degree to support my change of career focus following a lengthy career in the contact centre industry.

I’m what you might call a creative type – I love to write and I’m most excited when I’m doing something that gets my creative juices flowing. Which is why I am now, halfway through my degree, banging my head against a wall – because I’ve hit the part of the degree that involves serious maths (AKA Research Methods and Statistics).

Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not a total moron when it comes to maths. I can easily do quick additions and percentages in my head and can work out more complex problems of addition, subtraction, division and multiplication with a pen and paper. Yet mention anything beyond that and my eyes glaze over and I fall into a trance.

At high school, I despised mathematics and, although I performed reasonably well, I couldn’t wait to drop the more complex side of the subject as soon as I was able to in Year 11, when you could nominate to do just basic maths or more advanced maths – I went for absolute bare-bones basics, yet even that irritated the hell out of me. When in my future life beyond high school was I ever going to be walking along a street, see a ladder against a wall, and say to myself, “Oh my! I really must find out what degree that ladder is leaning at! And what about its hypotenuse…”? Never, that’s when! I am 39 years old and I have never once, to this day, needed to whip out my set square or protractor in public.

Yet here I am, at an impasse. If I want this degree, I am going to have to push past my struggles – intellectual and emotional – in order to get my head around this stuff. The words of a highly-respected past manager bounce around in my head: “Every difficulty we face is something we need to learn; if you don’t learn the lesson the first time, it’s going to keep on rearing its head over and over again, in different situations, until you learn what you need to learn – and it will usually become more and more challenging to deal with the longer you avoid it…”

So I, dear reader, am putting a stop to the overwhelming frustration I am feeling. I’ve found a couple of back-to-basics books to help me get my head around Psychology Statistics (yes, there’s a ‘For Dummies’ guide on that…!) and if I then find that I’m not where I need to be in terms of confidence and competence, I’ll find a tutor. When in doubt, try something completely different. At the very least, it should help to alleviate the headaches caused by banging my head against the wall over and over again. Wish me luck!


My forthcoming book, ‘Depression? F*** Depression!’ will be released worldwide on 28 October 2015* and is now available for pre-order at my website: All pre-orders help to raise much-needed funds to promote the book upon launch, so please be generous and purchase a pre-order copy now! Pre-orders available for eBook or limited edition signed print versions. Thank you!

*Available on iTunes/iBooks and Amazon Kindle as an eBook, and in print from Amazon (including Amazon Europe)

To Age or Not To Age?

I celebrated my 39th birthday earlier this week – thank you, thank you, hold the applause. It has kicked off quite a few interesting discussions with friends and family about the subject of age, so much so that I felt inspired to write about it in my blog.

Turning 39 meant that I was reminded several times I am now in the last year of my thirties. Funnily enough, it doesn’t bother me. If you had mentioned that to me a few years ago I probably would have freaked out, yet I’ve reached a point where it’s not a big deal anymore, as have many people I know. Personally, I feel no different today at 39 than I did last week at 38.

When you’re a kid, age defines nearly everything you do. One of my nephews, who is 11, reminds us all that he is nearly 11-and-a-half, which means he is six months closer to being able to watch MA rated television programs that his older brothers can watch. He can’t wait to grow up. I keep telling him to slow down, to enjoy every day as it comes, however he just looks at me like I’m mad and asks how long it is until Christmas.

I remember those days well. The rush to grow up, to be mature, to no longer be treated like a kid. I couldn’t wait to turn 18 so that I could go out to bars and clubs with friends, so I got myself a fake ID and went out when I was 17. By the time I was legal at 18, the novelty had already worn off. By my mid-20’s I was over it completely and now I would rather rip my own arm off than go out to a bar or club. My priorities are different now. They’re not better or worse than different priorities like partying and clubbing; they’re just a reflection of my changed focus. In short, they are what they are. I’ve been called a ‘grandpa’ for choosing my doona over dancing, for selecting shots of coffee over shots of tequila, for nominating to have a night on Netflix instead of a night on the tiles. And I’m OK with that. My choices are my choices. Your choices are your choices.

In talking with older relatives, it’s interesting to see different perspectives on age. Most have stopped counting, most treat their birthday as just another day, and most embrace the notion that you’re only as old as you feel. Keeping yourself active, creative, mentally stimulated and feeling a sense of purpose are key to not feeling ‘old’ – sure, you might look like a shrivelled-up raisin on the outside, yet if you work to sharpen your mind and you keep on keeping on then you’re on your way to eternal youth.


Please support my Kickstarter campaign to launch a book about surviving and thriving in spite of mental illness – JUST 5 DAYS TO GO. This is more than just a book; it’s 250 pages of hope – I know because it’s the book I was searching for when I was lacking hope. I’m publishing in October 2015 and the funds I raise through Kickstarter will be used to publish and promote my book. You can back my project from as little as $2 (AUD) – go to now to become a backer before the campaign ends on July 16 at 5pm Australian EST (8am GMT, 3am EDT/US East Coast, Midnight PDT/US West Coast). Thanks!

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