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Leadership at the peak – Lessons from the fire walk

By George W Nyabadza

QUESTIONS have been pouring in. Why did you walk on fire? What is the significance of the event? Were you not scared? Has anyone ever been burnt? Would you do it aga


The fire walk is a powerful team building and personal development event. It is usually conducted at the end of a day’s seminar whose ultimate objective is to literally catapult you to a new and higher level of performance in every dimension of life. I guess one could write a book on the breakthroughs that participants achieve as a result of the experience.

As I reflect each day on that experience more and more personal lessons come to the fore. Some of the key ones which may help answer a lot of the questions posed to me are:

l Fear is always present. Fear never leaves us but it doesn’t have to dominate us as long as we realise the reality of its presence. Too often we fail to move towards our goals because we are waiting for fear to go away.

As you approach the set time to do the fire walk and after spending the whole day in a highly motivational seminar, you realise that the fear of stepping out is still there.

However, as the day has been progressing you would have gradually noticed a sense of power over that fear, as your mind strengthens itself in a positive state of sound control. This realisation is probably the most powerful lesson for the day, at least for me it was.

There is no circumstance, no matter how severe and extreme, that will make me bow before it in fear. I have a powerful and sound mind that can overcome it.

Another lesson which, if you have been paying attention to your life’s experiences, probably you are aware of already, is that real growth occurs when we face up to our life’s challenges and go through them as opposed to hiding away from them.

The six-metre bed of fresh coals burning at approximately 1 000 degrees Celsius is a powerful metaphor that represents any challenge or difficult that life may throw at you.

Looked at from a positive learning point of view, each challenge is an opportunity to grow your “daily bread” so to speak. When you do the fire walk you do not pretend that the coals are not there, they are, you acknowledge them by declaring mentally that you have power over them, and then focus on your end objective, in the same vein that you do not hide your head in the sand like an ostrich when life challenges you, but rather you declare power and authority over life’s situations and then focus on where you are going.

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