Our mate Caleb is a bit of a legend. And not just because we say so. For the past 2 years he’s been on a mission to overcome the fear of failure. It’s something most of us would love to do. But Caleb’s a bit different. He’s been filming himself undergoing a bunch of spine tinglingly awkward and embarrassing feats, from trying to get onto the red carpet at a film premiere, to taking a lecture in neuroscience at Kings College (so you know, Caleb isn’t a lecturer, or a neuroscientist).
The project is called ‘My 40 days’ and the whole point is to embrace failure as a valuable experience. We all need pushing to the edge of our comfort zones now and then, and Caleb is doing just that to stretch himself and inspire others to overcome failure.
If you haven’t already seen him in action, check out this vid:
We caught up with Caleb for a quick chat on the ‘My 40 Days’ project to find out how he prepares for each challenge.
How do you psyche yourself up?
There’s a few things I do before any challenge… Here are four tips for adding a bit of boldness to your daily life!
- 20 seconds of insane courage – that’s all it takes to do anything.
- Ask yourself what’s the worst that could happen – in my challenges I’m rarely facing death or imprisonment.
- Visualise success – I ask why am I doing this and try to let my motivation overcome my fear.
- Pray to God with everything I have, and my faith gets me through.
It has to be a habit, I have to push myself. If I don’t do it for a while I get terrified and won’t do it again, so I try and make the challenges a regular part of my life.
“We just do random stuff that is a bit awkward… like we go up to strangers and say ‘Meet my friend’ and walk away…”
Do you practise, or is it all in the moment?
Before each challenge we’re terrified, so we ‘oil the wheels’ and practise. We just do random stuff that is a bit awkward… like we go up to someone and say ‘Meet me friend’ and walk away, or just talk out loud to ourselves on the tube.
Aren’t you naturally outgoing, so don’t you just love doing the challenges anyway?
It’s funny, because people who actually know me, like my Sister, know how awkward and painful the situations I put myself in are. My sisters’ favourite one was a stand up poetry night I went to… I had an hour before the event to write a piece that I would perform. My sisters like it because they can tell just how awkward the whole situation is. It was unbelievably cringe-worthy. I was thinking of editing it to make me look better, but they said I can’t… people need to see it in its rawest most awkward form.
What challenge has most surprised you?
One challenge was to try and get into Wimbledon, and we managed to blag our way onto Centre Court and see Andy Murray! David Beckham was not far from us. We totally blagged it, and with some cameras and chat we managed it.
We love Caleb and the ‘My 40 Days’ project, and not just because we love watching him put himself in ridiculously awkward situations. At Open Doors we know just how much Christians facing persecution have to overcome fear and push themselves to the very edge, simply because they believe in Jesus. In the West we our faith can become comfortable and safe, and Caleb’s 40 days of rejection reminds us that sometimes we need to step out and act with courage, even if we think we might fail!
Check out more of Caleb’s antics at www.my40days.co.uk
You can also see Caleb in action on this vid we made with him too…