Updated: May 18
How I found what I was truly made of whilst walking barefoot through burning coals ...
My heart was lurching out of my chest as I marched across the hard, uneven pavement outside of the Qudos Bank Arena at Sydney Olympic Park.
Surrounded by seven thousand people, I felt the buzz of excitement lingering in the air, tinged only by that small prang of doubt that was occasionally entering my mind.
Every moment in my life up to this point had prepared me for the four metre trek I was about to face over coals that seared at temperatures of 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
I knew then and there that this was to be a pinnacle moment for me, and an experience which would cement the inner work I had taken myself through for the last three years.
You see, if you’d asked me ten years prior if I would ever walk on fire, the answer would have been a resounding “No”.
Growing up, I struggled with the feelings of being the shy girl, being invisible, and lacking clarity for what I may pursue in my life.
I would find myself day dreaming about inspiring audiences worldwide, but the “Zoe” I was showing up as didn’t reflect how I felt on the inside. I always felt this roaring flame inside of me, the flame of an extraverted woman who went after her dreams, and acted in the face of fear.
Yet on the outside, I couldn’t seem to break the moulds of who I THOUGHT I was, to embrace who I TRULY was.
And so, for the first 23 years of my life, I said “No”.
I second guessed, I worried, and I calculated each potential negative outcome in my head.
Each time I said “No”, I would bury the calls of my truest self; my inner lion.
The giant step forward to change was made up of many small, seemingly insignificant moments which lead me to say “enough is enough” and to finally trust who I truly was, and the path that was laid out for me.
And so, three years into this journey, with a successful business and half a book complete, I found myself chanting “Yes” at my first Tony Robbins event, Unleash the Power Within.
Up until the split second before I stepped onto the scorching coals, I thought I had it “all worked out”.
I thought I knew who I was as my most authentic self, I thought I knew who I would become, and I had carefully mapped out what was possible for me, and what was definitely not. Even though deep down I dreamed of speaking on stages to thousands of people, much like I had watched Tony do that day, I never in a million years actually believed the idea as it entered my mind.
But yet there I was, finally believing in myself with every cell of my being as I prepared to step up and embrace what was on the other side of my fire walk.
I let go of the what If’s.
And I knew that if I could believe in myself enough to survive this experience completely unharmed; then maybe, just maybe, I could be and achieve all of the things I dared not to say out loud.
As my turn to walk edged closer and closer, I felt a determination and roaring potential within me which I had never experienced before.
I turned my attention inward, not allowing a single shred of doubt to enter my mind as I stepped up to do the impossible.
And so, as I planted my foot on the burning coals, exhaled, and began my walk, I was overcome with a sensation of cold on the soles of my feet.
My self-belief was so strong, and so impenetrable, that what should have felt hot, felt ice cold.
The feeling of elation and pride I felt when I achieved what I thought I could never do overwhelmed me.
Suddenly, I could see clearly the woman that I truly was, and all that I was capable of.
I just had to find the courage to dream, and know that it was all possible.