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Face your fears in a brave way – challenges will come to you anyway, so, you need to face them; attack and shatter them before they destroy you.

Let’s just take the example of sitting at home and deciding you won’t go out today because you feel weak and not mentally stable. You get some movies racked up, roll up a reefer and make a cup of tea – it sounds idyllic doesn’t it? At various points in the day, you are then plagued by your head telling you: why aren’t you doing anything, you’re not achieving, you’ll never write again, your career is going to go down the tube, you’ll never amount to anything. Then, in between you enjoying the movie for a short time until your head comes back in with horrible messages that are not really true, then… the doorbell rings.

You jump out of your seat. You don’t want visitors, you can’t see anyone. After all, you chose not to go out today! So, you hide in the lounge with the movie off, so no one can detect anyone being in. They ring again – your heart rate is up; you are a bundle of nerves. You sense the person has gone. It was a delivery of something you have waited on for ages, and now there is a note on the doormat that says you have to go and get it from the delivery office. You continue to sit ‘watching’ the movie and make another reefer. Then you get hungry and realise there is no food in the house. You now have a choice, to get dressed and go to the shops, or sit around hungry and a bundle of nerves. Finally, after several hours of procrastination, you are so hungry you decide to go to the local shop which is less that a 10-minute walk away. You don your most casual, almost bed clothes and walk to the shop. You avoid eye contact with people and you are in your head.

Eventually, you get to the shop (your only focus on the way was what you would buy and for how much), you get in, find things, queue, buy and you’re out of the shop and on the way home. You already start feeling a little better. You get home and start preparing the food and then eat it. Now you feel much better, you fulfilled a minute challenge in your day and it was your choice, plus, you actually ventured outside and realised that it was not too hostile and was not bad at all! This is a very mundane example but shows how dramatic things can get in your head if you put off facing challenges within your day.

Plan to do something you don’t want to do first thing in the morning. Perhaps that could be as small as getting out of bed and putting the rubbish out. It may be going for a 10-minute walk in the cold. It could be having a cold shower, going for a run, or straight to the gym. It could be answering all the emails you have stacked up, OR, dare I say it, perhaps the best of all, meditate or try praying and accepting gratitude! The theory being, it will help you to have a great day! Is it fair to say you will face challenges today anyway? If you choose to challenge yourself BEFORE those challenges come, then you will have a much better day, you will give yourself more

confidence to face the challenges that come to you, as you faced and succeeded in the voluntary challenge you gave yourself. Now, let’s imagine that the first thing you did when you got up, was see a note on your alarm to ‘put out the recycling before 10 a.m.’. So, you go to the kitchen, sort the recycling, take it outside and then go for a 5-minute walk around the block, focusing on the beauty of the trees, the sounds of the birds and the people driving to work and being active. You come back and you make a coffee and have a shower; you are ready to face the day.

 An Extract taken from the book ‘Staying Sane In The Music Game’ by Brett Leboff (Monumental Publishing) Released 2019?