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At the beginning of the year, a joint client of mine and Gary gave us a present to say thanks for our help over the previous year. We opened the envelope and it was the gift of brunch at the Gherkin in London. We were really touched by being given such a wonderful gift.
After a bit of research, we found out that the restaurant was on the top floor of the building…. floor 39 to be precise (I was initially misinformed and thought it was floor 44!)
This is where it all started to go wrong.
Not many people know this…but I have a massive fear of heights. I had previously had bad experiences on floor 8 of the Oxo Building, walking on the walkway between the towers on Tower Bridge, walking overt the wobbly Capilano Suspension Bridge (in Vancouver), being on the highest seats at the Madjeski Stadium, and being on the top tier of the O2 Arena, where I had a complete meltdown as it felt like I was going to fall over the edge.
You can only imagine my horror when I found out how high up it was.
Now you might wonder why I hadn’t dealt with this fear before, but it hadn’t really affected my life greatly. There was nothing I wanted to do that involved heights so why bother…but this was different. I couldn’t not go on this treat.
Being a hypnotherapist, I help people with fears all of the time. I know that the techniques and coping strategies work but had never felt the need to address my fear before. Now I was going to see for myself!
To be honest, I delayed booking the dinner (avoidance only makes matters worse, as I always tell my clients!) and by the time we did, we only had a short window to use the voucher in…the restaurant was booked for two weeks’ time. I’d had 8 months to prepare but had left it until the last minute.
So I did all of the things I do with my clients…I looked at my negative thinking habits and changed them to more positive and helpful ones, looking at it with new eyes as I started to appreciate what a wonderful opportunity this was, what a lovely gift we’d been given, and how I’d probably never do this again. I also used a process to desensitise myself to the fear, used self-hypnosis to mentally rehearse myself coping and being calm and relaxed, and had some coping strategies in place should I need them.
On the morning of the meal, I was surprisingly calm…Gary even said that I was worrying because I wasn’t worrying! It wasn’t quite true, but I had still expected to feel some anxiety. I was completely calm and relaxed on the train/tube journey and when I saw the Gherkin, I was actually really excited.
I did think that if there was one area that I would get anxious about it would be the lift. I had mentally rehearsed this holding Gary’s hand, so I did that and was fine. I had realised during my introspection that what I was worried about the most, was feeling the sensation of the building swaying but that was non-existent as I got to the restaurant. I was a bit apprehensive walking into the restaurant and almost asked not to sit by the window but changed my mind…and oh what a view! We could see for miles, even though it was a bit hazy…and the people looked so tiny!. We started off with a glass of champagne then had our meal. The service and food were exceptional, and afterwards, we went to the mezzanine bar for coffee, with 360 degree views of London.
I can honestly say that I didn’t want to leave…I could have sat there for hours. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
I don’t think that our Client really realised what she did for me when she bought that gift voucher, and I don’t know how I will ever be able to thank her.
My attitude to life has changed so much in such a short time. We spend so much time in our comfort zone and this voucher has made me think about what else I can try! Clients and friends have jokingly mentioned me going up the Shard next – initially I said no, but now I’m thinking that I just might.
I think as we get older, we get set in our ways, but I now feel the need to go out and try other new stuff! I’ve always thought snowboarding looked fun, and now I think I will try it – Gary has already found some taster sessions.
Watch this space!
Annalise Kirk is a professional hypnotherapist based in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Annalise has been a qualified, full-time hypnotherapist since 2010 and has helped hundreds of clients achieve their goals and overcome personal issues using hypnosis, CBT and NLP techniques.Follow me on TwitterConnect on LinkedInLike me on Facebook
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