Hello there! My name is Keith Blakemore-Noble. I am a hypnotist & magician, best-selling author, Confidence & Phobia expert, and global speaker. Which is all well and good, but who AM I?
To answer that, we need to go back in time a bit – imagine the screen wobbling as we go into flashback mode (no music though, this is a flashback, not a montage…)
I was born at a very young age and lived for the first 5 years of my life in the middle of nowhere with only Mum, Dad and The Radio for company. I got good at interacting with the radio, but it turns out you can’t retune people without asking first!
Computers don’t mind it at all, so that’s where I built my career; I understood computers inside-out, how they worked, how to get them to do what they needed to do. I climbed to the highest levels of my profession, that of Fellowship of the British Computer Society. The only higher level is to be Bill Gates or Steve Jobs; I did apply, but I was told those positions were already taken. I had a team of people working for me across the globe.
Professionally I really was doing very well indeed.
But my personal life was far less impressive. I’d never learned how to socialise or just hang out.
I was always running away from fear – fear of interaction, fear of loneliness, fear of actually meeting and speaking with new people
I was always running away from fear – fear of interaction, fear of loneliness, fear of actually meeting and speaking with new people. I was the person at meetings and networking events and seminars who would be standing in the corner quietly sipping my tea and hoping desperately that nobody would approach me, petrified of interacting with new people. I remember receiving invitations to seminars, getting excited by the content, then feeling a huge sense of dread welling up inside me as I saw those awful words on the agenda – “Registration and Coffee”. That meant I was expected to meet and actually chat with complete strangers. Something I cold not do, something which scared me, often to the point of not actually going (and you can imagine the limiting effect that has on one’s career, where increasingly networking is an important way to grow and progress).
Or worse, at parties or social events, if I actually managed to dredge up the courage to attend, I’d be the one sticking with the people I knew, or else I’d be sat in the corner desperately avoiding making eye contact with anyone (well, unless it was a cat or a dog, in which case that gave a perfect way to pass the time without speaking to people).
Indeed, it was a party situation which finally convinced me to Do Something about it.
“How hard can it be?” – that Fateful Day
I can still remember it as clearly as if it were yesterday. I’d been a member of an online social group (this was just before FaceBook) for a while. I’d even got to know quite a few of the people there through chatting away online and occasionally email. Never telephone calls or anything like that (what a ridiculous thought!), but enough that we knew a bit about each other. So, someone suggested that as Christmas was rapidly approaching, why don’t we get together in London for a social get-together-cum-Christmas-party?
The general consensus was that this was a Good Idea, and so someone organised the venue and before we knew it, the night of the party was here.
Now, normally I’d have completely avoided something like this – spend an evening in a room full of strangers?! But, I knew many of these people from online, so I figured I’d go along and meet them in real life, have a chat and enjoy myself. After all, how hard could it be, right?
Turns out “Very hard” was the answer; an answer which I very quickly discovered.
Within a very short time of arriving, I realised that it’s one thing knowing someone via online chat, but it’s a totally different thing knowing them in real life. This was, in effect, me walking into a room full of strangers.
Sure enough, I felt those all too familiar symptoms – palms starting to sweat, heart racing faster and faster, panic rising…
In short, I ended up locking myself in the toilets for half an hour while I had a full-on panic attack.
I eventually calmed down sufficiently to be able to flee the venue, and ran all the way to the train station, jumping on the train and getting home as quickly as possible – I didn’t even stop to collect my jacket because that would have meant speaking to someone. Which is a shame as I liked that coat!
“You’ve got to change. You can not go on living life like this! Think what it will be like living the next 10, 20, 30 years with this fear, this terror?”
That was the final straw. I’d had enough of not being able to network, of missing out seminars for fear of having to speak with strangers, of being lonely and having far too few friends (yet being too scared to go out and meet new ones), of not being able to make contacts throughout my industry; I was sick of all of it
And that was when I said to myself “You’ve got to change. You can not go on living life like this! Think what it will be like living the next 10, 20, 30 years with this fear, this terror? Unless you do something about it now, it’s never going to change. You have to change, and you have to change right now – if you put it off, you’ll never do anything about it. I mean, how many times in the past have you told yourself you’d do something about it one day? And when did that one day come? Never. So, this is it. It’s now or never. Are you serious about changing, about conquering this fear and living a richer, happier life? Well? Are you?”
So I went along (with a friend for support, because groups were scary) to a Personal development seminar in London.
I went as an open-minded skeptic, paying close attention to everything that was going on, and found to my surprise that this stuff actually worked.
That was it. I knew I wanted to study this, so I embarked upon a journey of studying and, dare I say it, mastering, coaching, hypnosis, and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming – yeah, NLP rolls off the tongue far more easily!). The more I explored them and used them on myself, the more I realised that I can use and expand upon these sciences to reprogram the human brain at the deepest levels, enabling me to fix the bugs and optimise its performance – just like I’d spent my lifetime doing to computers.
And then it hit me – I’d spent my life reprogramming and upgrading computers, when what I really needed was to reprogram and upgrade me! I used these techniques to overcome my fear of meeting people, my phobia of heights, my lack of confidence and so much more – it was like having a fresh lease of life!
With my fears conquered, friends could see the change and soon started asking what my “secret” was. When I told them I’d learned hypnosis etc they were quick to ask “Does that mean you can cure my fear of spiders / help me quit smoking / help me do something about my weight” – to which always the answer was, of course, “Yes”. So we did.
Then a massive stroke of luck happened – my IT position was made redundant!
So, armed with these skills, a new-found enthusiasm, and a wheelbarrow full of redundancy settlement, I changed careers and started helping people professionally.
And I haven’t looked back since.