9th April 2020

Outdoors / Scott Bell

Why Do We Fear? Lessons From A Firewalker

13 5 mins 2

Scott Bell, the founder of UK Firewalk, is a professional speaker and two time Guinness World Record holder for the greatest distance walked on fire. He has helped thousands of people, including many of The Good Life Experience revellers, to overcome their fears and walk on fire. Scott believes that irrational fear is what holds us back, and when we learn to control these responses we can do just about anything.

To achieve a Good Life, you need to try new ideas and experiences. This sounds easy and logical. However, most people have something that is holding them back. This is thing is fear.

Fear is a response to preserve life. When we are born, we only have two fears: the fear of falling or of loud noises. Nearly all things that scare us are learned from our parents or people around us.

So, does that mean we need to eradicate fear? No, because there would be a lot fewer humans in the world, due to the kamikaze belief we are invincible.

Okay, we need fear but how can we control it to a point where we can live a fulfilling life? The process is quite simple and involves a few steps. Let’s imagine you are going to walk on hot coals. Most people’s first response is that I will burn, so I will not try it. How can we overcome the reaction of fight, flight or freeze?

To achieve a Good Life, you need to try new ideas and experiences. This sounds easy and logical. However, most people have something that is holding them back. This is thing is fear.

Scott Bell

Firstly, we need to breathe. Take deep breaths to slow you down, allowing you to access and understand the situation.

Secondly, ask yourself what the risk is in trying to understand or participate in the experience. I have found in life the greater the risk, the greater the reward. However, always be prepared for the worst case scenario, if you are not, do not try the activity or experience. In the case of walking on hot coals (fire walking) we obviously have the risk of burns, but if it is done with an expert the worst case is a blister.

Thirdly, gather information and ask questions. For fire walking, some people do their research and others allow the instructor to impart their knowledge and experience gaining the confidence of the walkers.

Finally, have a plan or technique. Do you know what to do and when?

These steps can be applied to any situation where fear may appear.

I have helped tens of thousands of people walk on fire and many people who have not fire walked before, want to know why they should do it. My first response is that it is not my role to give them a reason to walk on hot coals, they are the only ones who truly know if and why they should try. My job is to ensure that people are well informed about the opportunity in front of them and to make it as safe as possible.

So, what does it feel like after walking on fire? Everyone is different and will experience something different, however many people feel a huge sense of achievement and a massive adrenaline rush! Hence the reason why many people walk many times when given the chance.

One of the most common questions is “does it hurt?”. If it did hurt, why would I have walked on fire many thousands of times. I -like most people- shy away from pain. The only time I have experienced major discomfort was on my first Guinness World Record for the greatest distance walked on fire. I learnt two things about fire walking that night:

  • It’s not good idea to turn and dig your feet into the coals.
  • And secondly, walk quicker!

 

I did a second World Record, where I walked 100 meters and did not get a single blister. I would never advise anyone to try a world record for the greatest distance and like all potentially dangerous things, don’t try them at home or without a professional.

Life is short, so my advice is to experience as many new challenges as you can. Take calculated risks and don’t wait too long, as we never know when it will be too late.

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Scott Bell, the founder of UK Firewalk, is a professional speaker and two time Guinness World Record holder for the greatest distance walked on fire. He has helped thousands of people, including many of The Good Life Experience revellers, to overcome their fears and walk on fire.

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