Martin Feaver

Gay Men's Confidence Coach

Each day I wake up excited at the thought of the day ahead. Really excited. Life is a fantastic, wonderful journey and I love the life I am living. My aim is simple. I want to help other people love the life they are living – whatever that means for them.

Despite feeling as I do now, for years my biggest challenge was living up to the label of being a man. I believed I was expected to play a particular role to enable me to fit in, succeed and be accepted. That's the trouble with labels. They create an expectation of how we feel we should be. We become attached to them and identify ourselves with them. We condition our minds and bodies to learn, to think, to act, to feel the way we believe someone with that label should. We are governed by an invisible committee and lose our true self in the doubt and confusion. Labels mean we create all sorts of stories until we can only think in labels! Labels quickly become the epitome of a self-fullfilling prophecy and the perfect tool to condemn ourselves so we live in fear of being found out and that we aren't good enough.

Like all of us, my life has been a mixture of ups and downs, highs and lows. Before I turned 35, I had a long list of fantastic achievements. Despite the successes, there was a hole in my life and something was missing. I just wasn't fulfilled. I found hiding was a good idea and a great strategy to survive. I wore a mask and hid in plain sight. I was loud and the life and soul of the party. As everyone else always seemed so sorted, inside I was always wondering if I was doing the right thing. I know differently now. I felt irrelevant in a world where everyone else seemed to fit perfectly. I was an expert 'people pleaser'.

I attached my value to people and things external to me. That was always a recipe for disaster. Somehow I survived. Dusted myself off and got on – that's what men are meant to do. There were times when I did feel worthy…when I'd worked out at the gym, had sex, got praised, felt I looked good on the outside or delivered a radio show. The feeling was always temporary and I didn't trust it. Life was full of judgements and comparisons. I'd be a winner and then a loser. I couldn't make decisions – to many people's amusement it took me over six months to choose a new car! For the majority of my life circumstances and other people made decisions for me.

The problem was I didn't really know any other way. I came up with lots of reasons why I didn't fit in. I'm sure you'll have your own. They aren't actually important. I didn't know who I was and what I was supposed to do. Trying to live up to the expectations of a label does that. Life though gives us opportunities to change. Being aware of them is the key!

Looking back I now see I had a series of breakdowns. I've heard them called 'spiritual awakenings' and that works for me. Each awakening was linked to the loss of someone I'd become attached to or a specific event when loss was involved. In my relationship, I told my partner I was glad he needed me. His reply was “I'll never need you. You are in my life because I want you to be". This shocked me to my core. It was the antithesis of everything I believed relationships should be. I had always believed that being needed made the world go round. It proved to be a pivotal point in my life. I'm guessing you may have one or two of your own? In that moment, I knew my life could be about more than I had been experiencing. It was as if the blinkers had been taken off and I could see clearly. Life was about being me not being the idea of a man. On that day, I took the first step towards creating Unlock Your Power with a series of realisations, shifts in mindset and changes in me that continue to this day.

People came into my life as well…incredible, wonderful people along with others who challenged me. Everyone and everything that has ever happened was all part of me becoming who I am today. The tough hurtful people and the kind compassionate ones. To them all I'm grateful, externally grateful. Without one of them the outcome could have been different. They all mattered.

I went on many courses, so many, and read as well, lots of reading. I qualified in many areas. I opened my mind to other possibilities. I let my beliefs be challenged. I studied different ways of living life. I went up many blind alleys, had great insights, wondered, dismissed and worried if I was getting things right. I doubted then had certainty.

I used meditation, movement, nutrition, muscle activation with Douglas Heel, coaching, language, studied the works of many wise and insightful people, discovered the power of solitude and reflection and had the love and support of many amazing people. They know who they are and I thank you with all my heart.

I became aware, very aware, of what I'd been doing and the way I'd been surviving my life. Ignorance really is bliss until you realise what's been going on. It was painful and there were tears. I wanted to beat myself up yet instead was kind. The past is over and how we choose to look at it is up to us. Life is a journey and it's about learning. There are only choices never mistakes.

I let go of my old restricting patterns of thinking, feeling and doing and found new empowering ones with Douglas Heel's muscle activation and solution focused coaching. As a result I saw vulnerability as strength rather than a weakness and allowed myself to be vulnerable. That was terrifying when you consciously do it for the first time! It is worth it though. Trust yourself.

Slowly I began to have trust and faith in me. Bit wobbly at first. I started to take responsibility for me. My life was up to me! So is yours by the way. My world moved from being all about me to being about others as well. It was time to create a way to help others using all that I'd experienced and discovered. Unlock Your Power was completed. It is my passion and that passion grows every single day.

Today, I work with people who want to free of labels, be themselves and have a desire to make a difference to their lives. Athletes who want to fulfil their real potential as people who love moving their bodies; men who are ready to realise their own power, want self worth and have trust and faith in themselves; and with coaches, sports and life coaches, who want their clients to thrive and fulfil their potential using both their mind and body.

I believe each day is up to you to create and that you have the power to make your life incredible. Unlock Your Power is here to help you do that.