For many years, I have been living with a challenge which affects my day-to-day life.
It’s something that we all take for granted. And it’s also something that is almost invisible to everyone else.
I have a hearing problem, so obviously I don’t hear as well as the average person.
And I tell you, I bloody hate it.
“What Part of Your Body Would You Change?”
I remember a close friend of mine and I were talking about the human body, and it led to a conversation about how people wish they can change something about their body.
Them: “I’d like smaller thighs.”
Them: “I don’t like my butt.”
Them: “I want bigger lips.”
Then it’s my turn.
Me: “I want to change my ears.”
Them: “Why? Because you don’t like how it looks?”
Me: “No, because I want to hear like other people around me.”
The Backstory Before I Let Go
Ever since I was a baby, I have been hard of hearing.
As I grew up, boy was I stubborn.
I’m still stubborn, and there is an element of denial that I have this disability.
But who am I kidding?
I’m stuck with this forever.
And it might get worse, which is something that terrifies me.
The number of doctors appointments, hearing aids to try, hearing tests and the hospital stays were not my biggest pain.
It’s the feeling of isolation from the rest of the world.
The feeling of anxiety when I am surrounded by a group of people.
The feeling of fear that I may have people talking to me.
Which is ironic, because I like being around people and talking to them.
So it’s a real catch-22 situation.
The ‘Let Go’ Video Contest
The challenge was to create a 3-minute ‘Let Go’ video, much like he did in his early days when he was made redundant as an architect before he eventually started his now successful business.
In your own video, you were to talk about the challenges that you had in your life and the process of letting go so that you can move forward in life.
I’ve been thinking about starting and creating YouTube videos on a consistent basis anyway…
…but this was a whole new challenge.
I don’t know what it is, but there was something inside me that said I also need to move forward and let go of the anxieties and fears that come with having a disability.
So I decided to combine the two by creating and publishing my first public video on YouTube on letting go:
What Have I Learnt from Letting Go?
I still get anxious.
I still get frustrated.
I still feel the pressure to try to accept it from time to time.
And from all of that, I still get emotional about it.
But I found that letting go and embracing it is key.
The key is to make sure you control the situation, rather than let the situation control you.
My way of doing that is to go at it head-on and face my fears directly by:
- doing podcasts and talking to inspiring people around the world
- going to conferences and speaking at events
- holding training sessions for clients and at events
- volunteering at a deaf charity to help others to make use of modern technology to make their lives easier
And now, I have also let go by writing this blog post and creating the video above.
The Result of Letting Go
Long story short, Pat Flynn himself has picked my video as one of his favourites.
— Pat Flynn (@PatFlynn) August 27, 2017
Which means that I get the prize of spending a day with a major inspiration of my life in his home city of San Diego.
And to say that I was excited is an understatement.
And the fact that it was my first public YouTube video (don’t forget to subscribe), made it even more of a challenge.
*UPDATE – Below is the video of my day with Pat:
There is more to it than just that and there is a real message behind the video.
The Real Message of Letting Go
There is something about challenging your fears which empowers you to do something about it.
Watching it and letting it settle will drag you down.
That was my mistake.
But shaking off the shackles of fear will give you that freedom and remove the weight from your shoulders.
There is an element of guilt in that I should not ever complain because it’s not as serious as other people.
There are always bigger and more serious issues that are happening around us.
And that was another reason for me to keep quiet.
But why should we do that?
Why can we not let it out of our system and actually use it for good?
Like a superhero using their superpowers for positive use.
That’s my plan anyway.
My Personal Note to You
If you have ever met me and you don’t know what to do but still want to make it easier for me, I appreciate it, but don’t stress about it too much.
Just be aware of the following areas:
- I’m not completely deaf
- It’s more difficult for me to hear certain things or words depending on the tone, volume and environment
- Sometimes I wear hearing aids, sometimes I don’t – I’m just stubborn like that
- I may mishear a few words or even an entire sentence
- I may talk about something random so that I can cover the fact I didn’t hear what you said
- I may decide to sit still, be quiet and soak in the information at a manageable pace
- Noisy environments like a bar, club and even a moving car, is a challenge for me – bear with me on that
- Don’t be fooled though – I would love to talk and laugh with you
Everyone has their own demons in their lives, irrespective of how small or large it is.
But it’s about what are you going about it, how are you going to deal with it and not allowing it to hold you back in life.
And that’s why I’ve got a challenge for you.
Have you got something that is holding you back in life? If you do, what are you going to do to let go?
I challenge you to let go.
And if this post has helped you to do that, even just the one person, then that is all I want from writing this post.
So I would love to hear your stories below.
Latest posts by Ahmed Khalifa (see all)
- ‘The Obstacle is the Way’ Book Review [Video] – How You Could Look at the Obstacles in Your Life - 25th December 2019
- ‘Tools of Titans’ by Tim Ferris – Book Review [Video] - 26th November 2019
- ‘Atomic Habit’ – Book Review on How to Create Good Habits & Remove Bad Habits - 5th October 2019