I remember it well.
A family holiday to Crete at the tender age of 18.
You know those holidays when your folks pay for everything and you and your siblings sneak off down the hotel discotheque every evening for a night of “euro-trance”, cheap shots and ultimately end up puking over the girls feet you just pulled.
Yep, one of those.
That week my Dad and I went on a scuba diving taster session which was pretty bloody cool, but left me somewhat scarred…..and sadly not by a shark bite.
Scarred in fact by a photo.
One of the instructors took a camera down to take some memento snaps of us amongst the sea life. Snaps we were greeted with back on dry land like you get at Alton Towers on Nemesis.
But as my ears were waiting to equalise, rather than the usual thoughts of “How much? For a photo? Are you crazy?” I had something very different running through my head.
“What the actual f*#k, I CAN SEE MY SCALP?”
I’d never even thought about the word “bald” until that day but now, looking at this photo of my thinning strands waving in the sea like one of those blow up dancing dolls you see outside second hand car sales forecourts, I realised it could be was definitely on the cards……and I HATED IT.
(“thinning” guys will know, water is a NIGHTMARE)
From that point onwards I was obsessed with my hair falling out.
I’d start seeing hairs on my pillow in the morning…..
I’d lean over, ruffle my hair like your Nan does and watch blond strands fall to the carpet….
I’d even pull at bits and look in horror as my fingers were left gripping a few threads each time.
I’m 18 man. This ‘aint supposed to be happening. WHY ME?
For the next 3 years I was at Uni. You want to know about character building? Live with 4 mates whilst your hair falls out.
I always thought if I shaved it I’d look MORE BALD, a belief that was perhaps exacerbated by the fact I’d go on “become bald” sites. I’d superimpose a bald wig onto my head….which ultimately always looked HIDEOUS, left me feeling worse, and as I’d find out, FAR from accurate.
So instead stayed “thin” and opted to LIVE under a Paul Smith cap.
I’d dread those immortal words by a pub bouncer
“no hats in here pal”
Trips to the bog every 5 mins to keep the “wet look” it was then.
Looking back I’m surprised I didn’t get accused of dabbling in the old marching powder.
“Look mate I haven’t been snorting drugs. I know I’m wide eyed and look like a ghost but I’m quite literally anxious and self conscious as f*#k right now because YOU took my hat off me”
I should mention that this kicked off a pretty anxiety ridden time for me.
Cue the stories like
- No chicks ever gonna fancy a bald guy
- Everyone will laugh at me
- I’ll look stupid
- I’m too young for this to happen
- How can this be happening? Why me?!
It was like jackanory in my head and everyday the theme was about how shit it was to be a young bald guy.
Let’s fast forward a few years and, sparked by an upcoming travelling trip I gave in to the clippers (at least if I look like I’m dying I’ll be halfway around the world so no one will see)
AND IT WAS THE BEST THING I’VE EVER DONE.
Talk about a weight lifted.
“I should have done this a LONG TIME AGO”
I went on to embrace the baldness, got over the anxiety issues I had and become a much better human being.
(Note: this wasn’t an easy process. I’ve invested a lot of time and money improving my own knowledge to help myself. That knowledge I now pass onto the guys I help.)
Anyway hit fast forward again and I now make very good use of my past.
I‘ve put the wealth of experience I have as a slap head, the wealth of experience I have with my own personal anxiety / confidence / self esteem issues, and the wealth of experience I have as a body transformation and lifestyle coach, into one big pot.
Out of that pot I created a business that helps young guys experiencing hair loss and confidence issues to realise that it really is no biggie, take charge of their bodies, improve their confidence, reduce anxieties and all of that jizz, I mean jazz.
CHOOSING HOW YOU FEEL
What a lot of men FAIL TO REALISE, is something FUNDAMENTAL to our happiness. Hair or no hair.
WE ARE IN COMPLETE CONTROL OF HOW WE FEEL.
It’s not the fact we are losing hair that’s the problem.
Our baldy little scalp isn’t somehow flicking a switch that automatically turns our confidence down.
It’s simply our REACTION to it and the stories we tell ourselves about what will happen now we have no hair.
(stories that 99.9% of the time are based on zero fact and never come true)
Now I know what you’re thinking. If someone said that to me back in the day, I’d tell them to do one.
“choose how I feel? What a load of old shit. If that’s true, why can’t I just choose to be happy all the time?”
Well…..you can. Honestly. You really can.
But it’s not just as easy as “thinking yourself happier”
Ever been so totally pissed off with someone then just tried forget it?
Or had one of those horribly depressive episodes where you just wanna run away , and someone’s said “mate, just think positive”
DON’T TELL ME TO THINK POSITIVE YOU TWAT
Possibly the worst advice ever.
THINKING will never ever work……but DOING will.
You will NEVER think your way out of a hole, but you will DO your way out of one.
“DOING” YOUR WAY OUT OF A HOLE
I once worked for a personal training company and we were subcontracted to implement a team of trainers in a swanky central London gym.
We did pretty well for that gym, earned them a load of wonga. In fact since my time there PT income had increased almost 5X.
Like all big “cash cow” gyms they decided to take more of a cut and even poach me to work for them directly.
Long story short we all left but before we went, I had to have a “handover” meeting with the new manager – I guy I couldn’t stand.
He’d just stepped into the game and proceeded to tell me how my pay for the remainder of my time there would go down….
How the manager in a sister club would be paid EXTRA for having to leave whereas I wouldn’t….
And how the club would be stealing our specific model but declined our offer to coach the new staff on how to use it.
I was a very angry little chappie at this point so just got up and walked out, headed straight down to the gym, and banged out about 10000 reps on a bench press!
…….AND FELT INSTANTLY BETTER.
You see this here could be one of the most valuable pieces of information you will EVER READ my friend.
Sit down, buckle up and grab hold of your ball bag….
You can change your mental state in an INSTANT by changing your physical state
Read that again ^^^^^^ and embed it in your brain.
If your head isn’t where you want it to be, you can INSTANTLY change it by changing your physiology.
Increase your heart rate….
Change your body temperature….
Cause some muscle pain….
Relax your muscles….
By giving your mind somewhere else to go, you’ll take it away from the shitty mental thoughts that occupy it.
Here’s a few of my personal favourites state changers:
- Take a cold shower
- Smash out 50 burpees as fast as poss
- Have a sauna
- Take 10 VERY DEEP breaths
- Go for a swim (pref underwater for as long as you can)
- Run up and down some stairs for 5 mins non stop
Every single one of these options will IMMEDIATELY change your physical state, which in turn will give your brain something to new to focus on, diverting it from those stories you’ve been telling yourself all morning about how you’ll never get a girlfriend.
In fact I defy anyone to have a freezing cold shower for 30secs and STILL be thinking the same thoughts as before.
So if it’s that easy why is male mental health at an all time high?
Why are so many guys royally fucked and looking like crap, with stress levels through the roof and anxiety and depression even being talked about in the pub?
THEY FAIL TO TAKE CONSISTENT ACTION
And I completely get it. I was the same.
I’d carry on struggling through, not particularly liking myself, not really being “present”, and to be honest with you, EXISTING rather than LIVING.
Yeah I exercised but I didn’t really do it with any consistency and certainly didn’t do anything else.
We just dip our toe in, too scared to get our ball sack, fail to become the care free, worry-less, super confident He-Man after 3 days, and jack it in.
Instead deciding to simply carry on living a life of half empty glasses with a violin soundtrack. Temporarily sedating our brain at the weekend with booze and whatever else, only to fall back into the whirlwind on Sunday evening.
Well if you’re so great Phil, how did you nail it?
Ok first of all, I haven’t “nailed it”.
I still have the occasional wobble and I still get pre-match nerves, but the difference now is that I can control it and catch it before it spirals.
I’ve invested in my own coach and through years of learning and implementing various personal development skills and strategies, I’ve found what works for me.
Now let’s not do what this country is so flippin’ good at doing and have me TELL YOU WHAT TO DO.
We’re all different, we all have different lives and what fits in with my routine, most likely ‘aint gonna fit into yours homie.
There are some core tasks that EVERY MAN who wants a better body, better mindset and better life should do
In my programme we call these the “4 Elements” and I’m going to share them with you right now.
(NB: Calorie intake plays a big part in what you look like. Whilst not an “element”, calorie counting is a daily task for the men on my programme)
4 simple tasks to carry out every damn day
Element 1 - WATER
Sink 2 litres of the stuff.
Most men I’ve talked to are de-hydrated without even realising it.
We NEED water. Even a dip in hydration levels can cause performance problems.
If you can’t perform? How can you expect to feel good?
Element 2 – MOVEMENT
I don’t call it exercise.
“Exercise” suggests hitting the gym and whilst lifting the iron is essential, to begin with a gym isn’t every blokes cup of tea.
Instead we focus on MOVING MORE.
Every day do something that raises your heart rate.
This doesn’t mean take the stairs or a gentle walk in your lunch hour.
It’s anything that makes you sweat. Anything that means you NEED a shower afterwards.
Remember, this isn’t purely to burn calories, this is to help change your mental state too so there must be some degree of intensity.
But I’ll repeat…..IT CAN BE ANYTHING.
I see a lot of men get fooled into thinking a decent body will only come from smashing the gym 10 times a week.
Just be a consistently ACTIVE bloke, not a sedentary one.
Element 3 – MIND PREP
This is where I lose some fellas so hold tight….
Read the biography of any successful guy, they will all have a few things in common.
Exercise, good food, and MEDITATION.
Yes meditation. A word that conjures up images of vegans with dreads, sitting cross legged hummin “Ommmmm” for hours on end.
That ‘aint me and it probably ‘aint you.
So I call it “mind prep”. A core element to prepare your mind and TRAIN it to be your friend, not your enemy.
We use a special technique that does not involve an app, does not involve becoming a hippy, but done daily will help you to not eliminate your thoughts (that’s impossible, the brain is BUILT to think), but to CREATE SPACE between you and them.
Space which gives you time to think and make rational decisions rather than turning into Peter Panic.
Think of it as learning to stay calm in the eye of a storm. If you’ve ever suffered any sort of anxiety issues, this could be one of the most powerful tools in your toolbox.
Element 4 – WINS.
The modern man has a lot going on.
Stress everyday at work….
Issues with his love life….
Not liking what’s going on in the mirror…..
All that stuff.
And it can be VERY VERY easy to focus on the negatives. In fact our brain is wired to pay special attention to the negative feelings as a protective mechanism.
But that’s a problem. Especially when we’re on this quest to FEEL GOOD.
So I say bollocks to that. I don’t want my head full of the bad stuff. Let’s place some attention on the good stuff.
Every day write down 3 good things that you did / happened to you. Or as I call them - WINS.
No matter how big or small, they ALL count. It’s easy to end a day / week feeling rubbish where all you can remember is the bad stuff that occurred. Bud stuff that as we said, overshadows the good stuff.
Time to turn the tables dude.
So there you have it.
A slightly watered down insight into how you can start upgrading your life immediately.
If you want the full ’smack in the face’ version you’ll have to join my coaching programme (contact me for details)
Alternatively you can get a bit more from me, FOR FREE by getting involved in my 10 day course all about how to transform your body to start turbo boosting your confidence. Just type your email address in that orange box below and you’re away.
Phil “the bald coach” Hyland