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In this episode my guest David Heffernan, the UK’s #1 provider of Anxiety Solutions, takes us on a journey of discovery through his experiences and expertise around the fear of one’s own thoughts and of the unknown.
For many years people have been taught to clear their mind and try and clear all thoughts so they can find peace. It is, in his view, so important to be able to not only acknowledge your thoughts being present but genuinely being OK with them being there – both good and negative thoughts.
We explore why this is, and look at some helpful techniques.
- Resistance to your thoughts will only make them come back at you louder.
- To fall in love with the not knowing.
- That learning to be ok with your thoughts will change your lives more than they could ever imagine
and so much more
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- Episode Transcript
Note – this is currently a highly automated transcription, so some of the text might not be wholly accurate – we are working on improving this over time!
You’re listening to the Keith Blakemore-Noble radio show, helping you transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths. Here’s your host, Keith Blakemore Noble…
[00:00:30] Keith: Welcome to another episode! This week, or this episode, I’m joined by a good friend of mine who I’ve had on previous shows Great to have you back again David had from him. Now David is the UK’s number one provider Anxiety Solutions. works with corporates and individuals to create awareness, end stigma and educate. Described as a pioneer for Mental Health and Wellness, Dave has launched programs to support mental health in the workplace and to create positive, forward-thinking environments that employees enjoy working in. Dave’s background story is one of a kind; born in Salford, Dave dealt with extraordinary life issues – death, grief, abuse, homelessness, violence; but this didn’t hold him back, in fact, it created the momentum and passion that Dave has today. Dave is an expert in mental health, from the raw, real-life issues that he has faced, and helped others face. Dave is the guy next door – but with a fresh perspective. He understands the importance of mental health from both business and personal points of view. He’s not afraid to work through issues, make connections, break down barriers and find solutions. Unlike other coaching solutions, he is there when YOU need him because he knows mental health is not a 9 to 5 issue. He is committed, and he is David Heffernan. How are you doing Dave?
[00:02:08] David: I’m fine, thank you, Keith. That was a great introduction. I wonder the wrote that
[00:02:12] Keith: I put you in touch with them! Great. It’s great to have you Great to have you here again. How’s how’s everything going in? Things like
[00:02:23] David: Everything’s good? Yeah, Everything’s good know. Well, that moment, Um, it’s a very strange one, because for me to be successful, I need to find people who are struggling s Oh, it’s a bit of a weird on situations are being in business on, but there is a lot of people who need help, and I reach now, which is a great thing. So it’s all good.
[00:02:47] Keith: Yeah, I’m long mate. Lawmaking continue because the more they reach out, connect with the more you helped them to overcome their fears, their thoughts. There are whole mental health side of things.
[00:03:02] David: Exactly. And the good thing is, now we just come back from my mental health awareness week. Um, on And, you know, our social media timelines were covered from, you know, free to feed with male have awareness posts, which is great. I’m not seeing that many now. After it. Andi what? Good thing is, it’s opened up the doors to conversation now, and cos I’m willing tohave ah, you know, unopened discussion about where they’re out with their own mental health and wellbeing policies. So, you know, it is open the doors is often just a conversation,
[00:03:39] Keith: which is which is the important thing, isn’t it?
[00:03:41] David: Exactly? It all starts with conversation.
[00:03:44] Keith: Yeah. Yeah. How big an issue is mental health in four businesses.
[00:03:51] David: A huge, um, basic statistics is one in six in one point will have issues with the mental help, dull civil war, anxiety or depression. And you’re looking. I was looking at Isis taking this afternoon. I am aware twenty out of every hundred saw one in five and employees are people will have had suicidal flaws, you know, and businesses seem to think that I don’t affect them when you start talking suicide, are, you know, severe depression? This is a big disconnect. Ah, nde. You know, they just need to understand about these twenty five and one in six. That’s they have work force. You can’t escape. It is honest cable, you know? And if they bury their head in the sand I’m born in Italy. You know, the business will suffer as well as the employees as well. So it makes absolute sense to nip it in the body tohave a robust and healthy well being. Policy in the workplace. You know, so many companies, you know, DPS and ice and bringing my sausages. And what beer? That’s great in the very shot. So we lost really getting through the shift. It needs to be so much more than that. It needs to be an altar and culture. Um, where employees feel safe to be able to open up. That has changed, mate.
[00:05:18] Keith: Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Having the beach the short term feel that things are good, they are useful, but they don’t solve. As you said in solve the long term long term. Now I got a question for you on his regular listeners will know the whole theme around. The show’s is, though right fears. So on. So talking about mental health Mace may seem a slight disconnect there. What is the Connexion between fear on the work that you do? Because I know there is. There is a big, big connexion.
[00:05:58] David: It is both Simplest bomb anxiety is driven by fear. You know why? If what this goes wrong? What if this happens? I just crazy his alternative storey board in the in the mind on which is completely false. I’m sorry, Captain, is vanquished women by fear depression again. The negative bars and XXL saw is all fair based, you know? So it’s huge Connexion between fair mental health and mental illness. I’m in the way place alone. You know, people time of workplace bullying, you know, so they’ll be fair losing the job, you know, presidency isn’t, for example, has just overtaken out absences. And pregnancy is, um is where you’re still going to work. But, you know, follow their You know, your mind’s not with the job. You may be physically ill like a cold or flu while you may be socially, you know, low level depression, Amman’s ices. And so your mind is not only on the job solar or you not being productive. So you may as well be off because being disciplined are being sucked. They come in No. Last held the workplace happened, helped the employer. They sound about the employees, you know, But Buster, on my fair people coming into where when they know suitable homework, you know? So
[00:07:28] Keith: I got you. So yeah, You point out there is a massive connexion between fear on DH mental health. Um, no. Often heard people say that when you when you start tohave, I have thoughts or negative thoughts, and so best thing to do is kind of just ignore them, brush them to one side on think positive thoughts. Kind of tell the negative thoughts to shut up, go away and think positive thoughts, and that will get get you through everything on make everything all right? Is it as simple as that?
[00:08:05] David: No, it’s not. You know, it is all well and good clear in your mind. Uh, the problems will stop by there. You know, the negative self start will still turn up on. The important thing is And one thing I practise on a daily basis, which really does help me is I sit for an hour every day with my thoughts, and I just allow them to bay, you know? And you know, I’m not perfect. I get negative self talk. You know, I’m a bit overweight. No. So I still hear the globe eyes in my head saying, Oh, you find you this And the important thing is is to be okay with those thoughts. Now, that sounds a bit crazy. But what? These thoughts are just ego driven. It’s just the ego. It is the worst way trying to protect you. I go back to caveman days, you know, the little boys and had to fight off light. Don’t Well, that it’s safe to Tiger trying to eat, you know? So don’t go out. We’ll protect you. But we’re all were evolved since then, you know, Yet this little voice is still in its little perverse way. He’s trying to protect you. Don’t go and do that speaking. Did what? What? We’d die on stage. You’re better off just staying there. Don’t go for that job, that promotion, you know, But I know like you And then, you know, you put it out of a puppet then and so is important. I’ve bean at one of you fast by allowing it just to flow up inside in front of you like a lovable, genuinely just let it flow, legislate be there and then just genuinely saying, Yeah, I’m okay with that. Because one thing ego doesn’t like his permission. It loves resistance. So the more you resist your thoughts, the more you’ve been awake in the dark and loud and all. But come on. This is where people get into severe depression and severe psychosis. And very summer, um, father’s mental illness is because they were in away from the thoughts that’s can’t hurt you or your reaction to those thoughts can help you. And if your reaction is a positive one by saying I’m okay with that, all of a sudden the sparks disappear. And the amazing thing is, after about twenty five minutes of doing this, Alexis Celts are possible. Tell comes away and you find yourself connected to you in a court, and this is what you need to listen and see that got feeling. And when you get to that place. That’s when the magic happens. Well, so many people scared about because they don’t want to obey with thoughts. Refinement is because the boss terrifying to them they just need to have that element of trust and faith. You know, this is pretty much saying his base as well, you know? I mean, you can actually go back to Cy and delivering his science. You know, we overpower the brain in particular accessory system, where it philtres out also that some importance here and keeps the stuff that’s important. So if you’re having these negative self talk all the time, when you’re constantly thinking about them and just not letting go being okay with them, more things will show up in your world. That will mean you’ll be more depressed. So by being okay with thoughts by letting them go, given the permission to be there, we’ll go on their own, a carbon, and you’ll just felt right down into the core, which is where the magic upper is. But most people won’t try that most people won’t drive out. But they did go realise. You know what? The boss just got false. We can’t do any more
[00:11:32] Keith: that is really interesting. So it’s not a case of seeking to banish or crowd out or shout out there now thoughts and so on. It’s taking tryingto l how those thoughts to fully express themselves to acknowledge that those thoughts exist to let them think themselves out as it were on that, Then come electric dissipate.
[00:11:59] David: Exactly. And the only thing is is if you do that every day consistently the end result the benefit will be a clear mind anyway. Yeah, you know, So is a win win. It’s a win win.
[00:12:14] Keith: Yeah, I guess, I guess thinking about I guess it is kind of like if a saying a CZ We both know you’re your unconscious mind. Will all these be salt come from Its primary job is to keep you safe, keep you alive. So when it has these thoughts, it’s doing its job. Which warning? Here on, I guess. I mean, it would be like if, um if I came up to you and said, Hey, Dave, here’s a massive threat to you and you said Shut up, go away. But I care about him deeply, and I wanted to make sure that you were still safe. I would keep coming coming up to you the more you shut me out in the morning. No, no. But you have to live. Whereas if you let me express that thought, let me express the danger to you Got the warning to you and I we’re satisfied you had only information. Then I often get on with it. Whatever else I was getting on this exactly. Wow. Yeah, that’s that’s a really good way of looking at how, Teo Three things. So you. So it’s like meditation, or is it different?
[00:13:19] David: You know, so far, is a part meditation. You know, you could meditate when you’re washing the parts. You know, you can learn to say when you’re lying in, You know, if you’re going up into a different world, you meditated. Yeah, you know, because I certainly, um, when I’m washing the parts, I’m a bit strange. And the fact that I will look at each pop on, I will see the crack in the plate. Maybe I’ll, you know, is sow the bubbles so moved from side to side. And it is this conversation’s myself so far, mindfulness, you know, and just being mindful of where you are in this present moment, you know, forgetting what’s happening in the next hour or two hours. Because again, that’s where the fair based anxieties happens. What’s happening in the future? Yes, yes, The future didn’t happen. You know, that is always now It’s always this present time. No, so you won’t be some. What’s happening now? Voting in arts, folks on the little things around. You know, no one’s saying, you know things that you bully won’t even notice, you know, I mean, if you was rushing in parts of New York, that those bubbles just the structure of the bubbles, just how the sons are glistens off, eh? What’s in a completely different mood? No. And if you say to people just watching with bubbles, the thing with you. But most people won’t do what needs to be to get your place where you know it should be. You know, there’s no harm trying this stuff absolutely
[00:14:48] Keith: avoid. Do it consistently. It works. Ecevit’s allowing those all those thoughts and the fears and the warnings Teo express themselves, allowing them to be heard acknowledging knowledge ing them and then allowing your mind to clear. And then you just kind of get to the rial. Interesting bits and support. It’s where the where the magic that starts to happen Because you you’re cleared out all the surface stuff. You can now focus on what’s going on deeper on you. Did I throw what, an hour each day,
[00:15:22] David: Um, on our them on in andan our night. Okay. Yeah, yeah, I’m sometimes I may not get today, but I’m a Jew now. Where can just switch off? Yeah, you know, it’s a wife’s annoyance is I’ll be looking like a president first, but I have not even listen to me. All wear the same where you just don’t really have me on buddy. All like this is gonna see you courts. Um, no. I am very good at being able to switch up now and just focus on one thinking because the thoughts are there. You get millions of thoughts every single day because a counsellor there Yeah, I am s o by having us that time right in the morning when you’re just waking up, you know, the first far sexual for the whole day that you know. So by doing it great march. As soon as I get up. Then he pushed my day into a much better place. You never just like the false one romping and try and get rid of them Wellston getting kids to school or doing whatever.
[00:16:23] Keith: Yeah, interesting and using. I don’t know. How long have you been doing this? For
[00:16:30] David: twenty years now. Um, Cray Consistently and formulaic Lee, about two years to enough years. Um, bought, You know, You know, my power star. I used to do this well, homeless. So did this. Probably a started when I was living in the lake District in this, and I just had so much time to myself, I had no way of escaping with thoughts, you know? And so about really changed my whole hour looking. Why is that? Yeah, well, twenty years has really been doing it, but do it now. Appears that the business
[00:17:12] Keith: Yeah, yeah, I got it on you. So even now, you still see the benefits and the results of doing this
[00:17:18] David: massively. I you know about so much stuff going on. Recently, I was diagnosed with more neurone disease, and I have also just been diagnosed recently were spinal canal stenosis. Which means ultimately I was paralysed. And so when I went to you and the surgeon a few years back, we touched upon surgery because I’ve got them on your disease and I’ve got they presented by a lung capacity. I surgeons, um, where’s where? If you go down the search over, you may as well go book yourself a holiday to diggings us. Because at least you have a nice, great Switzerland beforehand, you know? And so again, this could really ultimately push up the young sizes. And the fair’s got two beautiful boys have got my wife, you know, got business, have got a nice life. I am for a controlled walking control, and I’m not sweating the rest on this, But these charges are going place that I don’t get planets, I can’t think clearly. And I’m hoping I can bring the business forward. So if it is a big wet, you know, process happened, I’ve still got a business to run. I’ve still got my wife loves may have still got my boys in love May and then no benefit in a negative way, you know, so but had a nod. The strategy places, but not done this mindfulness and this meditation. I’ll be all over the show now, right with So you know, people would break
[00:18:53] Keith: Well, Yeah, even better. Yeah, even just one of those, let alone. But the whole combination will be enoughto just have most people over the edge. So the fact that you’re you’re able tto I’ve seen you talk about it very, very calm and composed in a matter of fact manner. There are various times the fact you’re able to do that. You win it in such a man, you put down to the fact that you do this mindfulness every every day. Just tow acknowledged all those thoughts acknowledge the fears. I know. Beautiful, I
[00:19:29] David: think is important as well. Said Wall the walk as well. So it’s all Yeah, No, you know, you’re not gonna go into negatives, but there will be people who just textbook and start of business out. You know, I have about twenty five years of doing this on its way for May on now, you know, I mean, for we’ve been helping offices best a gun butts. I wouldn’t be honest and old printing off. Bencic aide. I went Probably offence a gif. I wasn’t living by my rules. Exactly. On DH is quite clear. Anybody who gets to see Mei I know me. They know that I genuinely do live this way. I have this approach, Andi, you know, government medical records there to show him that this is you know, this is happening. Yeah, I’m still, you know, is a motion eyes away so live to become and such a better way to be role models for our children
[00:20:31] Keith: for sure, for sure.
[00:20:32] David: You opened letting the fans take over.
[00:20:35] Keith: Yeah. Wow. Now way touched on construction this a little while earlier I said I want to explore a little bit bought you’re talking about anxiety is it’s basically fear is very much fear base. I read a very good description of anxiety, which is basically anxiety is when you’re scared of things that haven’t happened yet. So his kind of fear of what might happen. Ah, letting go of that army softened. Where was getting what might happen? Because we don’t know what’s gonna happen. Andi, just not knowing what’s gonna happen. That could be a very, very scary thing in and of itself. Also increased anxiety. How How can you learn, Tio handle the fact that always things that are unknown
[00:21:30] David: is you know, I is not using boy is simple Just fall in love with not knowing, Just fell in love with not knowing. You know, I I’m you know, I’m open to opportunity consistently and constantly. I’m open to opportunity. And if it works out great, fantastic. If it doesn’t work out of London, you know, I’m unless you got a death wish. Most situations you find myself and I’m not gonna kill you. Yeah, it’s just going to be the next size that you blow in from Go on it. And so just follow up with the not knowing. Yeah, and by using the strategist as before by listening to your thoughts mean present with them being okay with them. Once you get down to that in a coal that will tell you where is the right thing to do? One thing today and I spoke previously anyway in the past about making peace with the decisions both good and bad. You know, that’s another way of avoiding regret. Because a lot of fair if you do something that you’re not fully committed, see when it goes wrong, then Rather than making pizza, you start regretted it. And then not yeah brings on the side of depression and anxiety in a more so so things fall in love with the unknown Make peace with the decisions going back. Yeah, control what you can control and screw the rest. You know, those three there? If you lived by those consistently you like, will be I have a lot calmer.
[00:23:09] Keith: Yeah, I can see that certainly sounds very attracted. I guess you’re right. If you fall in love with you are no And yes, you don’t know what’s what’s gonna happen as you kind of alluded today You also don’t know what opportunities we’re going to present themselves as well.
[00:23:24] David: Exactly. There’s always opportunities. There’s always up. No matter what situation you find yourself in, there’s always something, and opportunity may well be something. I’m not gonna do that again. It’s an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to actually grow and improved because you won’t make that same mistake. Yeah, that’s true. Whichever way you go, whichever just so we make, there’s always an opportunity to have a land grow army forward. You know, nothing’s bottle. Yeah, well, you go open, said you know, drug dealers stop God and making abuse to him. That that’s a bit of a silly thing today, Bar. Hopefully you ready? Call would be saying, Don’t go there anyway.
[00:24:07] Keith: You know, I like that. That the opportunity might sometimes simply be that that doesn’t work on DH. I guess Initial thought some people might have it. Or you ever That’s a horrible that you tried. It didn’t work. You thought it wouldn’t work each find it didn’t work. I guess the opportunity. And that there is that you now know for sure. Yes, I know that doesn’t work. And I know why. That doesn’t work, Tris. I know how it could work next time.
[00:24:34] David: Yeah. I’ll give you one example. I used today stand up comedy in Manchester. Um, and it’s quite successful. They were stupid months and they say on and thought I was very, very successful. I was doing really well. They had contracts in very different clubs in Manchester on one night, I used to script everything. I knew exactly what was gonna be saying on stage. You know, I did a lot of frustration, covered it. So it’s all squinted. Yes. Anyway, one night I died. It was the most horrendous experience I’ve ever gone through in terms of a couple of speaking anything like that. Yeah. Long storey shop. I end up get into a fight with the audience. I’m cringing now. Thinking about it was horrendous. It was I remember saying you get up there in the way and it just descendants of chaos and fast. Now, that didn’t make sense to me because I didn’t go back. I didn’t go back. You know what I can but without, you know, it is plenty of just that now that he is a go. I was speaking to somebody in networking in about a year ago now, Andi, I was talking about the pub. I don’t script my keynote presentations. Just go on stage. I know what the subject is. I’ve got all these different storeys in the back of my mind. And I just bring relevant ones out on a farm. And it dawned on me. It was because of the experience I had with the come a day. But somewhere inside of there, I genuinely did not like the idea of script in. Yeah, once I’ve done some of this meditation. I’ve been weird with bars. And why? Because it’s something a while to get into public speaking because I can’t bear it. I know like it’s a thing about Was the the comedy E S. O. I get this exercise of just being that one wouldn’t repairs and before somewhere, I mean then the inner core I says You belong onstage. I could hear you belong onstage. I was only talking through. I thought, you know all that. That’s what I’ve learned is big my true self on stage. You know, I’ve got the flexibility Now, if something is going wrong with presentation, I know about the flexibility to bring another Storey into to make it better. Yes, there is. When it’s scripted, I didn’t have that flexible here. I’m Bob Bumble,
[00:27:02] Keith: and that is what you learn from what could exactly seen as a very negative experience. But you allowed yourself to learn even from
[00:27:09] David: exactly, always look to the learning here is always alone and give in their always looked for it, you know? And it took me twenty years to wear that one out. Yeah, you get I went out. Oh, it all makes sense in the end, so I’ll make sense in the end, you know? And now, when I go up on stage, you know the testimonials and not get just phenomenal because you clearly I speaking from ya know, you’re clearly speaking, lived in shed experiences book. Hey, so, riel on raw. Yeah, I could about that if it would script it. Yeah, well, it makes sense. It just makes sense. People people too many times. Question why? How? Just listen to what’s going on inside your body. You won’t go far wrong.
[00:28:03] Keith: I think that’s a beautiful demonstration of beautiful illustration of everything you said. I think it’s a perfect place for us, Teo, to draw a conclusion yet. Thank you so much for your time, baby. I’ve learned a lot. I know our listeners and viewers will, if will have picked some really juicy tips from from all of this. Thank you very much indeed. Really appreciate you taking the time and thank you, dear viewers and listeners for taking your time. Tio, join us here. If you want to find out more about David, what he does best place to go is his website, www dot Dave Heffernan. That’s D a V u H f we are n a n dot com www dot dave heffernan dot com Few one Earth. Find out and find that website or find out his social media presence or go to the usual place. Go to they go to our website. Find this episode. You’ll find all the show that’s based. Contact details there as the www Dave heffernan dot com Thank you, Dave, for joining us. Thank you will catch you in the next episode on as always, only leave you with my guests. Favourite quote, which is “after the darkest hour, glorious sunrise”
You’ve been listening to the Keith Blakemore Noble radio show Helping you transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths. To find out more, please visit KeithBakemoreNoble.com
About my GuestDavid Heffernan
The UK’s Number 1 Provider of Anxiety Solutions
- About my Guest
- About your host
- About the show
Dave works with corporates and individuals to create awareness, end stigma and educate.
Described as a pioneer for Mental Health and Wellness, Dave has launched programs to support mental health in the workplace and to create positive, forward-thinking environments that employees enjoy working in.
Dave’s background story is one of a kind; born in Salford, Dave dealt with extraordinary life issues – death, grief, abuse, homelessness, violence; but this didn’t hold him back, in fact, it created the momentum and passion that Dave has today. Dave is an expert in mental health, from the raw, real-life issues that he has faced, and helped others face.
Dave is the guy next door – but with a fresh perspective. He understands the importance of mental health from both business and personal points of view. He’s not afraid to work through issues, make connections, break down barriers and find solutions.
Unlike other coaching solutions, he is there when YOU need him because he knows mental health is not a 9 to 5 issue. He is committed.
About your hostKeith Blakemore-Noble
Fear Strategist, coach, international speaker, multi-time best-selling author, hypnotist, occasional magician, and presenter of this show.
And someone who, for far too many years, was massively held back by a very strong social phobia – speaking with strangers, or even meeting strangers, was at best deeply uncomfortable, and at worst utterly terrifying for him. For far too many years.
So he did the logical thing – he pursued a 20 year career in IT with some success (becoming a Fellow of the BCS in the process).
Until one panic attack too many, which forced him to reconsider his life.
So he studied NLP and hypnosis, used those tools to conquer his own fears and phobias, and since 2010 he has helped others around the world to transform their deepest fears into their greatest strengths through his coaching, speaking, books, and trainings. Indeed, since 2010 he has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Having travelled the world for a while doing this, he has settled back in his native Scotland, where he is focusing on the next step in his journey of helping as many people as he can to conquer their fears. Which includes the launch of this Show!
About the show
Since 2010 Keith has helped over 5,000 people to transform their lives.
Now he brings the distillation of his experience into a weekly show designed to help you to transform your deepest fears into your greatest strengths.
Some episodes feature Keith running solo, discussing topics related to fear, phobia, mindset, and taking an interesting look into where it all comes from and what we can do about it.
In other episodes, Keith invites a special guest to join him and to discuss their experiences in overcoming their own fears, so that we can gain some insight into how we might do the same, or even to explore the more esoteric areas around fear – sometimes in some unexpected yet very interesting ways!
Presented in both audio and in video, across multiple platforms, so that the show can meet those who need it where they are.
- Keith’s 6 Step Model For Change
- Earliest Memory – Pump My Fear
- Why Doesn’t Change Last?