How I broke an arrow with my throat and told my negative voices to Shut The **** Up!!!


Did you know that in dream symbology, an arrow can mean messages, a messenger, writings, or victory over one’s enemy?

This is the second in a series of 3 blogs about the transformational day I took part in back in October 2014.  The first blog post was about how missing out on one of the challenges was actually a really good thing, and caused me to vow to be first in line for the very next challenge. You can read it here.

You’re going to break an arrow with your throat!

So you’re joining me just as the trainer Steve was about to announce the next exercise.  We were waiting with baited breath as he said “You’re all going to break an arrow with your throat!”  What?

An arrow.

With my throat.

Nope, not happening.

I can’t do that can I?  I bruise really easily because of the blood thinning drugs I have to take every day. (read more in Part 1)

Me first!

And THAT’s why I needed to be first in line for this arrow-breaking challenge – to prove to myself once and for all that I don’t have to be ruled by my medication, or my beliefs about what I can and can’t do because of it.

Steve explained how to break the arrow in the quickest and least painful way – I was paying close attention – then he told us to come up to the front and get in line.  I rushed to be there first, chose my arrow, somebody handed me some safety glasses, and once everyone had joined the queue it was time to go.

We’d been told that it’s much easier to do it quickly and that it would definitely hurt more if we hesitated.  So I positioned the point of the arrow in the soft cleft at the base of my throat, with the other end braced against the wall and planted my feet strongly, one slightly in front of the other.

Let’s do this thing

Everyone started to clap and cheer me on as I took a deep breath to prepare, and then I began to lean in.  At first the arrow didn’t seem to bend.  I started to think ‘I can’t do it’ as I felt the pointed tip dig deeper into that soft, most delicate piece of skin, it felt so wrong.  Every ounce of my being was screaming NO!

Photo credit: David Norrington

Photo credit: David Norrington

But then I remembered what we’d been told about how to defeat those negative voices (I already know many ways, but this was a time for urgency and intensity), so I silently yelled “Shut the F up!” at that stupid voice and I pressed forward harder.  The arrow started to bend and suddenly I knew….I was doing it!  It seemed like forever as I bent the arrow more and more.  The discomfort was building, turning to pain, but I knew I just had to push on through it.

Then, just as I thought it wasn’t going to break, the arrow suddenly splintered into a shower of sharp shards of wood that shot off in every direction.

Everyone erupted into cheers and whoops of joy as I was filled with elation and disbelief at what I’d achieved.  Just look at my face in this picture – me, the one who bruises easily, I’d actually done it!!!  I can remember that feeling even now as I write this, woo hoo!  (By the way, I didn’t get a bruise either)

Photo credit: David Norrington

Photo credit: David Norrington

“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

The pieces of my arrow!

The broken pieces of my arrow!

Of course, my next job was to hand over my safety glasses to the next person and cheer for everyone else, which was such a privilege to be part of.  What a fab group of people!

So that was the arrow breaking over with, all that was left now was to prepare for the main event – The Fire Walk (cue dramatic music – dun dun daaaaa!)

Coming up in my next blog post, I’ll be writing about how we got in the right mindset to walk across 17 feet of burning hot coals and you’ll find out whether or not I burned my feet!

Before I sign off for now, here are the biggest things I learned from breaking that arrow:

  1. Discomfort doesn’t mean stop – sometimes you have to push through it to get to the good stuff.
  2. Speaking of which, when things get really tough, even a little painful, you could be just about to break through to something really special.
  3. Never give up – nobody can guarantee you’ll succeed at something, but I CAN guarantee you won’t succeed if you give up. Even if you change direction, just keep on going.
  4. I’ll be sharing lots of ways to combat negative voices that really work over time, but if you’re in a pinch and need them to shut the hell up right now, you can always try the rather sweary phrase we were taught to use: Shut the F up! (repeat as needed). This cuts the chatter and gives you time to replace ‘I can’t’ ‘It won’t work’ ‘I’m not good enough’ and all those other lies with something that actually helps you get it done.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~ Thomas Edison

Well, that’s it for this blog.  Look out for part 3 coming soon and if you want to know more about John Denley’s development days, take a look at his website here: Find Your Fire.  To find out more about how I work and maybe get some 1:1 coaching with me, go to The Feel Good Coach online or check out all the ways you can connect with me at the bottom of this page.

Enjoy life again, you deserve it!

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