Mental Matters Column: High performance isn’t for the faint hearted

One of the UK’s top motivational speakers, mentors and former MK Dons footballer, Drewe Broughton, explains why we need to talk about our fears

They are all afraid, so are you. So am I, but it starts with you.

Let’s talk about your fear, in all areas of your life. We need to rip it out. It’s like a cancer, it will destroy your creativity and eat away at your instinct.

You achieved huge success when you were you, living in the moment, fuelled by your visions with deep belief and trust. Now it’s buried under piles of fear.

Another day, another conversation with a business owner. 120-plus staff, Central London. He had seen a podcast I recorded with professional footballer Steven Caulker (pictured with me, above).

As a Tottenham fan himself, it resonated with him. Here was a guy he had watched. 6ft 5, a powerhouse, quick, strong, aggressive, paid millions and untouchable. A God to many watching from the stands.

Yet thousands of feet above the Atlantic in early June, the business owner pressed play and “over the next hour it was like a mirror into my soul,” he said.

It was the polarity that hit him. The vulnerability. The insecurity masked by money, cars, status and all the other material trappings that had hit him.

“He turned up at Tottenham when he was 15-years-old, late, no boots, with a can of Iron Bru and a chocolate bar. Over the next two hours, he blew people away. Then within four years he was in the Tottenham team, England team and was seen as the next great leader. That’s me. I grew the business with just instinct and sweat. I didn’t listen to too many people. All of a sudden. I’m here…”

He pointed out of the boardroom window as we looked across the London skyline. “Then it changed. I’m now surrounded by opinions and advice. I’m scared – yes, there it is, I’m scared,” he said.

You could see the weight lift from him as he faced his soul. Can I suggest that maybe that fear underpins all you do; decisions, communication and leadership. Not consciously.

It wasn’t conscious for Steven. As he started to make safe decisions and survive, he was dying daily. He was born to lead. To take a risk, to be lonely as he was led by his internal GPS.

So, let’s start looking at all this build-up of fears and find what buried you. The guy who made amazing things happen. You can listen to my podcast on my website or on iTunes & Spotify @ ‘The Gift Is The Curse’.

For further information, visit or drop an email to Drewe at

This feature was published in the August 2019 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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