May 10, 2023

Paul Haynes reverse engineers becoming an authentic gay man

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My guest, Paul Haynes, has spent his life thus far, working toward a conscious authentic way of being. He recounts various aspect and experiences that have forged him into the man he is today. This journey all started with his mother dying from cancer, when he was only 7 years old. Our conversation was about reverse engineering the process of becoming an authentic gay man. If you would like insight on how some of your more memorable experiences are actually directing you toward authenticity, you will enjoy this convo.

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Coach Maddox  0:03  
Hello, Paul Haynes and welcome to The Authentic Gay Man Podcast all the way from the UK on the other side of the pond.

Paul Haynes  0:12  
Sunny, sunny UK it's not so sunny right now. Thank you. Hey, Maddox. Good day. Good evening to you.

Coach Maddox  0:18  
Yes. Good evening to you as well. It's noon time here. But yes. Good evening.

Paul Haynes  0:25  
How are you doing?

Coach Maddox  0:26  
It's a beautiful day. So, Paul, why don't you tell the listeners how you and I came to sit here and do a podcast episode?

Paul Haynes  0:36  
Yeah, cuz we because we don't know each other. Right? I don't. Yeah, I listened to so many episodes that began with the saying go, I met you at a conference or something, something like that. I was thinking, Oh, but we don't know each other. What will they say? And then I thought, just be authentic and say, We don't know each other. So. So how am I here through one of your guests, actually, Andrew O'Malley, who you did some work with on one of your podcasts. So he and I connected during the pandemic, so quite some time ago now. And I don't really remember how we connected we connected on Facebook. But But what brought us together, I no longer remember. But he he was creating a new course for queer men. I think it was a queer confidence course that he's created. And was was looking to interview people in and outside of the field. Get get get some of their stories really work on what the how we might help people. And then we clicked We kept in touch. We did an Instagram live collaboration. And just after that, he said, I need to put you in touch with with Maddox. And and that was that?

Coach Maddox  1:48  
Well, then you've jogged my memory, because now I'm realizing that's exactly the way I met him. He was reaching out to men. Okay, you know, for that those interviews, and that's how we met as well. So yeah, it did amazing how live just brings people together in the most mysterious ways.

Paul Haynes  2:11  
I honestly, I've no idea how we came together. Because we it's not that we have a circle of friends in common or anything like that. But then instantly, there's just that synergy, right? There's just there's just something there that a complete stranger reaches out and says, I want to talk to you or, or can I talk to you? And you just say, Yeah, of course you can. And you've no idea why, but it feels like the right thing to do. And it feels like a good thing to do.

Coach Maddox  2:38  
And I've met some amazing individuals that way. Some that I have kept up with for I've got some guys now that I talked to fairly regularly that I have known only virtually for like, three years since the beginning of the pandemic. Now, some of them I've met because we've made efforts to meet each other. But yes, there's some that I have an entire relationship with them via zoom. Yeah. Well, let's get on with what we're here to do. So first off, I want to ask you, what does it mean to you to be an authentic gay man.

Paul Haynes  3:21  
So to be an authentic gay man, for me, is around creating your own sense of place. And it's about the journey, you've had to get to, you know, where you finally step into a place where you think this is it, this is what I'm here for. This place is all about what I stand for, what I believe in what I want to do with my time, the changes I want to affect in the world. And it's a powerful, empowered place. But we've had to do so much to get, we've had to work through so much pain, and difficulty. And that hasn't stopped us. And then we get to this place where we think yeah, I've kind of made my place and now that changes everything. Because now I know how to lead with authenticity. If I look forward, I'm confident in my beliefs and who I am. And I start to create my own path I'm not I'm not really that interested anymore about what society tells me I should do. This is about what I truly believe in. And if I go for that, I can say that aren't authentic, that that's that's what it means for me at this stage in my life now. I love that.

Coach Maddox  4:41  
I think you're the only person that has described it as a place and I love that.

Paul Haynes  4:48  
It feels like an even when you just said place back to me and kind of had the hair standing up, right? It feels it feels like place and it brings, I'm talking about myself now me so much joy and, and confidence where I'm not looking to be validated by the outside world like I used to be. And now on my own path, and I'm creating it, and if I follow this path, firstly, it just feels like the right thing to do. Secondly, I'm good at it. And thirdly, I get validated from it. You know, I'm talking about how I lead my life and my work, they're very intertwined. It's kind of like leap out of bed in the morning to do it. I'm not I'm not looking for somebody else, to tell me what I should do, or how to do it like that, that that quest to do it on my own. It really does feel like a place.

Coach Maddox  5:48  
So Paul, have you noticed that as you need less external validation, as the validation is coming from you, that you actually receive more external validation than you did when you needed it?

Paul Haynes  6:07  
I? Yeah, I, I noticed they get more. And it's around deeply meaningful stuff. Right, it's about it's about helping somebody at the most transformational level, or helping or helping them deal with some some heaviness and darkness in their life. I get validation from that sometimes just in the moment, sometimes from the connection with a person. You know, it's just the kind of electricity when you have that synergy. And sometimes it is the written word, somebody writes a letter or a card, say, because of working with you, Paul, because of meeting you, I'm able to do XYZ. And that validation is, is off the scale compared to somebody on an app saying you're hot, or whatever it is. Yes,

Coach Maddox  7:03  
absolutely, I agree completely, I've definitely noticed is the farther I got into my own validation, and didn't need the external than the external just started coming at me like, wow, that's kind of interesting and shocking.

Paul Haynes  7:24  
You remind me of a comment from one of my friends over the pandemic, when we all when we all went into our home, I did a lot of work on myself. And I set up some some community groups in the local LGBT community. And I think this just helped further find my my sense of place I really got a sense of this is this is what I'm here to do. And I've been doing it for so long. But I'm, I'm really starting to believe it. Now. When we came out of the pandemic, one of my friends said to me in a bar one day, you've changed Paul, you've you've had to rephrase it, you've got a stronger sense of self. And it's obvious the second you walked into the bar. And I love it. And you've just reminded me of that, and those that external validation, through that that shift that I found into a sense of place,

Coach Maddox  8:22  
well, and that deeper sense of self, it, it makes you more attractive to everybody, I'm not just talking about sexual partners, it makes you attractive on more of a spiritual, emotional, psychological, D, all of the above

Paul Haynes  8:40  

Coach Maddox  8:44  
you know, I always think it makes people you know, I always say, you know, when you step into your authenticity, and when you specially when you step into vulnerability, it's a polarizer it creates one of two effects. Either people scream and run and run in the opposite direction, or they want to come and sit right next to me.

Paul Haynes  9:04  
Yeah. Not like a, it's not like a cookie cutter effect, right? You're not trying to copy and paste and be somebody else. Finally, I say that in a bit of sweet way, because there was so so much of my life trying to be that person.

Coach Maddox  9:21  
I think we're not in that place. Had to start off that way. Absolutely. So yeah, yeah. Well, let's get down to our big question. And and I'm just gonna say that today, I'm going to shake things up a little bit. I'm going to change the question and see what happens. Okay, so the question today is you obviously are, you know, you're in that place of being an authentic gay man. Now, I don't think we ever arrived. There's always more I believe that there's I hope that I'm, I'm leaning into authenticity till I take my last breath but You have achieved a certain level of that that has definitely had a profound effect on your life and a proud have a profound effect on the way people and the world are responding to you. So my question today is, what are the experiences that you had in your lifetime, throughout your lifetime, that you now can look back and see that those experiences contributed to in a big way, they literally forged you into that authentic man that you are

Paul Haynes  10:41  
today. Okay, big question. So I guess I'll just freestyle with this, right. So come in and and ask questions. I know whenever the whenever you want to. But if we're talking about the experiences, then I kind of feel like I have to go through the dark. So I can then talk to you about the light. Okay. And I think the first place that I would start was when I was seven years old. And very quickly as I remember it, my I lost my mother to the cancer. I wrote about this actually, just last week in a in a in a piece that that gets published this week. And it's quite descriptive piece. And I don't remember it word for word. But if I give you a sentence, I said, if my life had been a snow globe at this moment, this would be the point where somebody walked into my life, and took the snow globe, from the fireplace with the beautiful idyllic Christmas scene inside, raised it in the air. And with the force of something devoid of all humanity mastered to the ground, leaving nothing but carnage in its wake and the snow, bleeding into obscurity. And I think those the words I wrote in that publication. Wow, I really feel that Paul. It was devastating and crippling, because how the hell do you deal with that when you're seven years old? I mean, how do you deal with it at any age? How did you deal with that when you're seven? Yeah.

Coach Maddox  12:43  
As as I sit and listen to you? I mean, I'm an empath I can I can feel that even talking about this now is bringing up a lot of emotion for you.

Paul Haynes  12:54  
Yeah. And the trauma that will always be there. You know, we have choice in my place. I have choice in how I live my life. But I'm not suggesting that the past isn't still with me. Of course it is. It just doesn't. It doesn't control me doesn't dictate my life now. But if I choose as I am right now, to go back into that place is deeply painful. I remember it, right. I remember, I remember the moment that I was told, I can pretty much with probably the exception of what I was wearing. I could I could paint the picture the movie for you. And tell you who I was with. I was riding a bike with my friend. And my my dad came to tell me and he said, your mom's died? No, he didn't. I said, Where's mom? Because nobody else was in the car. And he said, haven't you been told I was staying with the family people that really looked after me. And I had been told, but I it just didn't mean anything to me. And I said, I don't know. And he said she's she's died and I just kind of went, Oh, and then I got on my bike and I rode with my friend. It was like a jolt. You know, I did some study with some therapists on trauma just last year, actually. And the lead therapist said, trauma, especially in young kids can sometimes be like a jolt. And I said thank you in over three decades. That's the first time I've had a word to describe how I felt in that moment. It was like I was ripped out, jolted out of I don't know reality. I don't know what it was

Coach Maddox  14:43  
in Paul, do you look back and feel like it's seven that you even really

Paul Haynes  14:50  
knew what that meant?

Coach Maddox  14:53  
You know, it meant something bad. But did you really know what it meant when he said she's done? it.

Paul Haynes  15:01  
No, no, no, but, but you're right. You're right to say, I did know, it was something bad. And I carried so much shame with this because for so many years Maddix because when I then went riding on my bike, I was riding with my friend and he said, what's happened? And I said, No, no, no, I can't tell you. It's too sad. So clearly knew something had happened. But I couldn't, there was no way for me to process that at all. So we just got you just got pushed, just got pushed down.

Coach Maddox  15:39  
What was the shameful feeling that you described?

Paul Haynes  15:42  
I think I think I, I took on the shame a little bit later in life, because I have very few memories from that time. I mean, I was super young anyway. So that could be ye, but but the hereafter from this time, there is very little memory for quite a long time. But this memory I can I can I can play the movie over and over again. And I think I probably did play it over and over again. And I, I started to play over this, this, my reaction to it, which was, oh, well get on my bike and ride off. And I think I I, when I'm when I tell you some of the other moments that forged my authenticity, I think you'll you'll link to this moment. But it for me, it started to create shame. I think I was starting to create it for myself. As if say, well, well, Paul, you clearly knew something was wrong. Why didn't you start crying? Why didn't you wail and fall to the floor? Why did you just get on your bike and ride up? Because I was seven years old. That's why. Well, you just

Coach Maddox  16:50  
you just did the best you could in the moment.

Paul Haynes  16:53  
Yeah. Yeah. You know, we don't come with an instruction manual for that stuff.

Coach Maddox  16:59  
In my study of denial, I've always heard that, you know, denial has a purpose. It's not always bad. No, you know, we it gets a bad rap. We talk about denial like this, this dark, evil place, but truthfully, our body naturally, our mind, our body just naturally clicks into denial, when whatever's happening is something that's beyond our ability to

Paul Haynes  17:27  
cope. This Yeah, that that really lands this felt like kind of like the shutters coming down. Right, but in a in a protective way. Yes. You know, to try and keep keep me in

Coach Maddox  17:44  
your your psyche just did what it needed to do to survive in the moment, it wasn't ready to take all that in all at once. It had to come in more gradually.

So the shame that you feel is about you. What, what I'm hearing is that you kind of have a even though it's a long time ago, you have kind of a should going on. I should have reacted this way instead of the way

Paul Haynes  18:19  
I reacted. I think in the last few years, I've been able to let go of that. But it but it really was just in the in the last few years. It was there for for a long time. A lot of other stuff. A lot of other stuff which I which I had to let go. Yeah, for a great amount of time. That was there because it was all it was all I remembered of that situation, really?

Coach Maddox  18:48  
And how do you connect that? How do you correlate that with your journey to authenticity?

Paul Haynes  18:55  
Hmm. Well I think if we then if we then move on to to, I started becoming really, really insular. You know, actually, that probably links to what you've just said about the psyche and that kind of clothes off protection shutters coming down. I started becoming quite insular, I as a kid from from what I remember, spent so much time, so much time on my own. And I started assimilating messages that I've seen in the in the local community in which I grew up. So I grew up in a relatively relatively small town. You know, really, kind of community based family based loyalty, loads of love. What it also didn't have was a sense of what is out there. You know, like if I look over the wall of the community lay into other places. It's other lands or the cultures of the beliefs, what is out there wasn't real, those were conversations that I ever had growing up with, with friends with peers with with anybody. Really, it was, it was like, this is this is the pattern that I should follow, I should look at the people around me. And I should follow the grooves, the deeply entrenched grooves of what it is to kind of be somebody that fits in here, you know, working really hard, really in factories, etc, all day long and into the evening providing for your family, that kind of thing. But the one conversations about being anything other than an I was just there on my own kind of all day, every day, this insular kid, just kind of taking this in.

So I'm just I'm just, I'm just bringing back some memories to talk about, about why I kept what essentially did was just start to close down and down and down and stop dealing with stuff. Because I didn't want to go against the grain of anybody. Because, you know, seven years old, I linked these things together, I just had my rug pulled out from under me completely. The world for me, Maddox was was not saved. Or at least that's what I was telling myself. And that was my reality there. This is a really cool, cold, dangerous world, and I am not safe within it. So then, those kinds of thoughts as I started developing, as I started getting older, just got bigger. And then I didn't want to take any risks at all. I didn't want to challenge anything that I saw in my local community have the kind of normal in inverted commas, ways of life, I'm just going to ascribe to that, right? I just want to be that person, because that's normal. And I am too scared to do anything. Anything other than that. And, yes, sorry, girl, Can you

Coach Maddox  22:12  
Can you are you able to identify what the fear was that

Paul Haynes  22:17  
kept you? Yeah, I can advise. But I probably couldn't have to do any of that time. Not being wanted not being loved? Was the fear. What if I act in a certain way, do something that goes against the grain. And once again, I have the rug pulled, or the snow globe smashed, whatever, whatever metaphor we're using, yeah, but not taking any risks and not rocking the boat?

Coach Maddox  22:45  
Do you think that the seven year old, internalized your mother's death as not being wanted? Or whether there's was there an aspect where after her death, your father was just kind of missing an action and that made you feel unwanted?

Paul Haynes  23:04  
Well, so my, my, if I come back to what I said about the local community, you know, work work all the hours that God sends, my father was working on 1.3 jobs. For me, you know, he was sacrificing everything to put food on the table to give me everything I needed kind of materially speaking. But yeah, there was a lot of time on my own. Or with with other family or other friends. So yeah, it's I, I didn't grow up with that. That template of this is what and I'm quoting here, a normal parental relationship. Looks like I didn't I didn't have that template never had at all. So then my God, you don't want to rock the boat, by acting out of anything but the norm. And when the norm is quite a, like I say, an industrialized, smaller town with all the values that brings, we've all got good, bad values, depending on where we are. But I didn't want to I didn't want to break out of that. Well, I didn't know how to break out of that. But I was also deeply unhappy because I didn't see anybody that was likely. I knew I knew I didn't, I didn't fit in there at all, even before I even before I knew I was gay even before I could, could even say that it worked out through was just that feeling of I am different. I don't belong here. But I'm not brave enough to be able to do anything about

Coach Maddox  24:36  
it. You know, I love that you're calling that out that that the I'm different didn't yet correlate to being gay.

I can very

clearly remember and it's been a long time. That feeling of knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was different but didn't know why. Yeah, and I think it's so wonderful that you are languaging it the way you are. Because I can't imagine that there's a single listener out there if they are, or if they are gay. And perhaps even some people that aren't because I have some listeners that that are heterosexual. But that feeling it for another reason you were different. And we always thinks we're the only ones when that comes out. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. You know, over and over, I've heard I just thought I was the only one.

Paul Haynes  25:35  
Well, there was no outlet. Right? You know, I mean, the internet wasn't the thing. Mobile phones weren't a thing. So you connected with the people literally around you. And there just wasn't nobody else. Like me, I didn't even know what that meant. But like you say, it's just that visceral feeling of I am different. And the way I felt was, I am different, and I don't fit in, and I feel like I don't belong. I don't feel I have anywhere where I do belong.

Coach Maddox  26:10  
You know, and you just call that something. And I and I speak about this frequently, but you use the word don't fit in don't belong. And I believe that those are two completely different things. Yeah, I agree. Very different. And we, I can recall, never languaging it, when I was in that place, I would always say I don't fit in. And I, you know, I've come to realize that what we what we do when in order to fit in, we have to carve parts of ourselves away. It's like shoving a square peg into a round hole. In order to get that square peg in, you've got to carve the corners off of it to make it round to fit in the hole. And that's what we do when we try to fit in and belonging

Paul Haynes  26:59  
to me is

Coach Maddox  27:01  
when you show up, and everybody just loves you for exactly who and what you are. There on two different ends of the spectrum, in my opinion.

Paul Haynes  27:16  
It's interesting, because as a kid, I, I saw belonging This is another part, I guess at the puzzle of what forged my authenticity. But if I look back of what belonging meant to me, belonging then me trying to mold myself into somebody else's expectations. or not or not, not being authentic in terms of not truly sharing what was happening to me internally. I remember when I when I paused a moment ago, and I was just bringing it back and memory I hadn't really thought about it for for a long time. I was I was a little older. So I knew I was gay, but I'd never said it and never said it to myself. And I hadn't really come out to myself, but it was much more in my kind of, you know, awareness than it than it ever had been, kind of builds up over over time. Right? Well for some for some people. And we we had a celebrity at the time, called Michael Barrymore which some people will know depending on on where where you're listening in from the world. He was like your your game show host come comedian, I'm sure every country has their own, you know, much loved primetime TV all all round family entertainment, that kind of thing, you know, really, really successful guy. And then when I was young, he came out as gay, which took the everybody took the country by surprise. And, and he was vilified for it not by not by everybody but by a lot of people. But what I was just remembering Maddox was I was with a friend and and his family. And everybody was talking about Michael Barrymore coming out, and I remember to this day this that so this tells you because I can still remember this quote, after after decades. The father of the friend said, Do you know I used to really like him until I found out he was bent. She goes, Do you guys use that word bent to colloquialism I think

Coach Maddox  29:34  
not a nice word or I've heard crooked also.

Paul Haynes  29:38  
Okay, so we're not having straight your crooked person. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, you're not straight. But but straight and bent. You know they're such loaded with bent is so much more loaded than then straight, you know? But that's a slightly slightly different conversation. The point is what what he said, Oh, I used to really like it until I found out he was bent. Now firstly, The message that you take on when you when you're building up to recognizing that, well, that thing you've just described him as I think I'm figuring out that that's me. So firstly, what that does for you when you listen. But you know, what was worse with that? The fact that he felt that he could just say it in a typical two o'clock in the afternoon conversation, because it was okay to say it, because that was the norm, it was totally fine. And accepted to actually say, Do you know what, I flicked a switch, I used to like him, but I now choose to hate him. Just because I found out that he's gay. I actually have chosen to hate him. Just because he has said he's gay. And everybody else is kind of just nodding and accepting it. That for me was almost worse than him saying it at all.

Coach Maddox  30:56  
Oh, just debilitating. I can imagine.

Paul Haynes  31:00  
And this is a young kid. Now coming back to when you were talking about belonging. And this was linking to that, that memory that I was resurfacing of? I, you know, what was my choice there? My choice could have been to say, shut up, I think you're wrong. Whatever my choice could have been say, well, actually, I think I'm bent. Actually, I think I'm gay. But of course, I didn't do that. Because I was this terrified kids scattered to the world that just wanted some kind of safety. But I did the only thing that I could think of which is just kind of smile and nod and just not saying anything and internalize everything, and feel fucking awful. So belonging was interesting. When I was a kid. It was about sacrificing parts of myself, just to get some sense of connection with others. Yes,

Coach Maddox  31:56  
where we've, most of us have been there. Yeah. And and there's a price that comes along with that it's different, I think, for each person, but what what would you say, the cost of that was for you.

Paul Haynes  32:09  
So I, I look back at this, this chapter of my life, the darker chapter as being the life that was unlived. And I say that with a lot of a lot of sadness, seeds, I'm in a different very different place now. So I am really excited to talk about that. But I said this would be about dark and light. What this started leading to was the cost was the, the anxiety spiral that I started to go into. So I was this kid that just was just was scared anyway, of the world. not fitting in not understanding how to fit in, then starting to realize I'm different than oh my god, I'm gay. And this guy's just said he hates gay people just because they're gay. And it started turning into anxiety, which which lasted for. I don't know, if 10 years or something ever, I should have said the timeline is all a bit blurry. Because I literally lived almost every day in my life in this grip of anxiety. And, you know, it's really hard to, to form fully formed memories and go in sequence. It's all it's all quite blurry this this? Yeah. Oh, no, go ahead. I was just gonna say it was debilitating because it hit all aspects of my life. So I, I was just staying at home, I just literally just stayed at home in my room for what, for years, essentially. And I said, I didn't go to work, and school and that kind of things I did. But I was I was just sat there with the spirals of anxiety with the world becoming more and more dangerous. And he and he touched every part of my life, like I stopped doing my schoolwork. Because I just I couldn't deal with anything. Everything was too big, and then too scary. And the only thing that I could do is the only pattern that I'd ever seem to manage, which was just shut it away. You know, so it's just with the homework, I just literally shoved in a drawer or difficult conversations with people. I didn't know how to have any kind of conflict or challenging conversation. Or say this is how I'm feeling and I need some help none of that.

Coach Maddox  34:45  
And that had a cost in and of itself. But I also suspect and would love to hear both the cost and how that 10 years of anxiety further forged you

Paul Haynes  34:57  
into the man that You're every day, when I hit a point and you say, I've got this instantly, it's right there when there was a point where I said, I cannot do this anymore, because I'm no longer actively living. I'm just coping existing from day to day. So it actually turned into OCD. It turned into obsessive compulsive disorder. And I don't I don't talk about this too often not not that I'm trying to hide it. It's just that I'm, I'm so far past that kid now. But when I do talk about it, it's not uncommon for somebody to say, oh, yeah, Paul, I need a really tidy fridge as well, I mean, I'm quoting here, or if my keyboard isn't perpendicular to whatever, I just can't sleep at night. And I say, with love. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about in every minute of every waking hour, this constant thought process that the things are going to go so catastrophically wrong, that life is going to become held constant constant messages all day, every day, and trying desperately to fight against them. Literally, every minute, every hour fighting against all those messages I'm giving myself and with what little bit of energy I've got left, hiding everything from everybody else. From the outside world, everything's absolutely great, everything's fine. It wasn't fucking awful. And the forging part came from when I got to the point where literally, I wasn't functioning anymore. My whole day, outside of kind of working hours that gave me something to focus on, was just this constant battle between this catastrophize ation that was going on, and the amount of anxiety and adrenaline that I was constantly in and how scared I was just to do anything, and dropping out of education. Not telling anybody what I needed or wanted. And there was one point where I just thought, If I let this continue, where does it go? And I couldn't really see a good end to that. When I asked myself that question.

Coach Maddox  37:08  
What a really good question to ask yourself, and And how old were you say that you were at that time, Paul?

Paul Haynes  37:18  
is approximately early 20s, mid 20s, approximately? You'd be proud of myself for asking that question.

Coach Maddox  37:28  
That was a brilliant question to ask. Say it again,

Paul Haynes  37:33  
please. What's going to happen if I continue down this path? You know,

Coach Maddox  37:43  
that's a powerful question that almost any of us could ask ourselves when we are in darkness.

Paul Haynes  37:52  
And you give me your thoughts around this, I'd love to hear them. For me and for the people I work with and help. When you're in darkness. A lot of the time you can't see further forward, or you can't see anything good. Further forward. I agree completely.

Coach Maddox  38:11  
There is a point where the darkness is so great that you don't see any light at all. That's a very scary place to be.

Paul Haynes  38:21  
Yeah. And asking that question was a really scary question. Because there were no good answers. Because my question wasn't, what if there's a different path? It was what happens if I continue down this path? So I decided not to continue down that path.

Coach Maddox  38:40  
Do you think that the the outcomes that you perceived just scared the shit out of you so bad that that was what precipitated you choosing a different


Yeah. A time when fear works in your favor?

Paul Haynes  38:59  
Yeah, yeah. A time where fear worked in my favor. And and it it helped me just to open myself up for a second to something else to let something else in because there had been just nothing else in that space for so long. Other than that, that were

Coach Maddox  39:20  
so when you determined that you were not going to stay on that path?

Paul Haynes  39:29  
What was

Coach Maddox  39:30  
the choice that you made? Was it something with with did have a certain clearness to it? Did you? Did you just go, Oh, I gotta take any path. I just can't take this path. Or did you stop long enough and say, well, if I'm not going to take this path, then what path am I going to take? Uh, did you consciously choose a specific path or wasn't just anything that was not the path you were on?

Paul Haynes  40:00  
I think I chose to be on a path of bravery in that moment, I'm certainly on it now. And I think if I trace back that's what was happening in that moment there was no when you asked me the Forge question I went to quite a spiritual place and when I when I was at school and as as did for pretty much every gay man I've ever chatted to the bullying started right around being gay even even before even before I really knew myself my ID you guys know I don't know.

Coach Maddox  40:46  
Yeah, God long before I ever knew why I was different I had the bullying was just an unbelievable the quantity and the quality of it was just unbelievable. The times when I look back on it, I don't even know how I survived.

Paul Haynes  41:04  
No, because there's no safe space. There's no safe space you Well, I know I can't talk for you but I've just talk for myself but you you don't feel safe in in terms of who you are. I don't mean physical safety but you don't feel safe to be who you are and then and then you go to school and then and then you you fear for your physical safety. And then everybody is against you for for what I've literally just walked into the school I'm just a normal guy. But to you or not to you, I'm something else. You're a threat. I think so. Yeah. I think so. And I look back at this now i It's interesting how much bravery I see. I see. You know, you would have been brave in that moment. I was brave in that moment. And then everybody else that can relate. The bullies weren't they weren't brave enough to break out of there. They're kind of group groove mindset whatever you want to call it. They could have been brave Saturday let's let's not pick on this kid just because he's slightly different. We're all a bit different. Didn't exhibit the bravery. Yeah, you know, if

Coach Maddox  42:14  
I if I had bravery, I certainly wasn't aware of it. During that time. I just the bravery came eventually. The bravery came when there was just this point when I could not endure one more bullying. I just couldn't I can remember having what I lovingly referred to as my Scarlett O'Hara moment that dates me but you know that as God is my witness, she said I will never go hungry again. For me as God is my witness. I will never be mistreated ever again.

Paul Haynes  42:49  
I was

Coach Maddox  42:53  
probably about 33 years old when that moment 3334 And everything changed on a dime in

Paul Haynes  43:05  
that moment. How did the bullying

Coach Maddox  43:10  
play a role in your forging conversation?

Paul Haynes  43:15  
Because what I would do in the in the lunch breaks and the dinner out of school is run home as fast as my legs would carry me. And not not I'm not I'm not gonna say I started crying or anything like that. I would run home as fast as my legs would carry me to go and put on my TV as loud as I could. 90s Female power ballad divas. So I'm a product of the 90s Musically speaking. And, and, and still, you know, the Divas, that kind of music is still such a source of strength and inspiration for me. But when you said when you ask them the forged question, and you and you use that specific word, I suddenly went back to this place where I started to let the kind of spiritual sense into my life, the spirituality and realizing how much strength I got. So I was going and listening to you know, Whitney Moriah, Gladys Knight, that kind of thing. You know, so there was a lot of gospel in there. And there was a lot of spirituality. So I'm not I'm not a religious guy, deeply spiritual. And I started to realize, like thinking of the bullies, fuck you. Cuz right here right now. I've got something that you cannot touch. So yeah, you can make me feel really shit and you do make me really feel really shit. And there are times that go home and I just just stopped. But you can't touch this part of me. Because it's it's raw and it's visceral. And when I listen to this music, I feel really powerful. Really, really powerful. And I can Connecting to something far greater than whatever it is that you think that you're doing to me. Wow. That's powerful. Opening up space, right, opening up space in your cell for what you knew want to be. And I think in those moments, whilst I didn't have any kind of language, I could have never had this conversation with you, then. I think that's, that's what I was doing. And when if I linked that to the question you asked about, okay, when you said, Paul, enough is enough with the anxiety with the OCD, what path do you want, I started to think I want I want more of that, I want more of that lighting that I used to be able to bring in. I want that strength, that, for some reason, just listening to that kind of music brings for me. So I think this opened up this path of courage and and bravery. And saying to myself, you've got some work ahead of you mean, you're going to have because you've lived your entire life with these templates of of panic and fear. And and not knowing if you're wanted and diluting yourself to fit in and you don't know anything else, you're going to have to learn it.

Coach Maddox  46:25  
So this was in you're still in your early 20s. Yeah, yeah. That you had the awareness that you had work to do.

Paul Haynes  46:33  
Yeah. Oh, yeah, I had the awareness that, okay, you've just got to the starting line, right? You've just had this massive epiphany. Now it begins, if you want the life that you want.

Coach Maddox  46:44  
And I'm calling that out. Because this is a point that I always try to reach anybody that I'm talking to with this. We have to do our work. Yeah, if we want the life that we desire, if we really want the life that we desire, we have to do our work, there's no free ride. Nobody's gonna sweep in and wave a magic wand and put, you know, a beautiful glass slipper on your foot. If we're each responsible for our own experience,

Paul Haynes  47:22  
we are we yeah, we are. And that I mean, I think you are absolutely dead on there. And I think that applies to everybody. And yet, if you're straight, you have certain preset, right? I'm not saying every straight person gets married and has a baby. But you know that that's the path to follow. It's laid out for you. You worked really hard, you get married, you spend a lot of money on it, you have some kids, then you then you spend a lot more money and you work really hard for 20 years. And then they go off, and then maybe you settle down together.

Coach Maddox  48:04  
Well, the net preset is not just for the straight guys. Growing up, I had that preset, I got married, I was planning a family. And then things unraveled. And I just got to the point where I couldn't live the lie anymore. And things unraveled but that preset, you know if we're male, that preset got passed to all of us.

Paul Haynes  48:28  
Yeah. Well, yeah, yeah. I got I just lost my train of thought, but it will, it will come back but it got passed to me. And these were the moments I was starting to think I need to break out I'm not gonna follow that.

Coach Maddox  48:55  
So when you broke out of the bullying and and the presets that were put upon us, what was the next phase of your story, the next part of your forging journey?

Paul Haynes  49:07  
I think that would be the coming out. data coming out part.

I remember. I remember watching Queer as Folk. When I was a kid, and I think it was making a version in the States.

Coach Maddox  49:30  
Yes. Yes. Okay. Thank you. Maybe five seasons.

Paul Haynes  49:34  
Oh, wow. Oh, okay. Okay, so ask a super brief it was it was a season and then a really short, short a second season. So I remember watching that and, and it was the first time really that I saw people that I thought were more like me, and they were a bit wild and a bit more dangerous. So I wasn't I wasn't necessarily seeing myself in that fashion. I was like, Oh, these are different. And that music is cool. And that club looks fun. This, this looks more like me. And there was there was an energy around it. But then then it became rocky roads for a couple of years because the messages were just so varied and mixed. So super fun program to watch feeling good. But then the next day you go into work or listen to conversations on the bus. And people were talking about how disgusting it was because they were fixing things in it and things that people didn't know about. It's not natural, it's abhorrent, you know, you're just wandering about the town doing some shopping, listening to listening to people having these conversations to thinking I, you know, yesterday, I felt great today, I feel particularly shit. And you kind of ride that wave for a bit. And I got to some stage where I thought, I'm just going to do it just gonna come out. And we would would just gonna be brave. Even though we feel terrified, you know, it's like, hanging on to the bravery of nothing else. And, and, and it wasn't great. It was okay. It was okay. I mean, I've heard, you know, harrowing stories of people coming out. And and I'm not, I'm not in that in that place. But it wasn't, it wasn't great. I think. Now that I look back, I realized how much of that was for myself as well. So I think coming out to my dad, for example, neither of us really knew how to handle the situation. He just kind of put up a blocker. And neither of us really knew how to kind of peer over it and talk and express. And that that that took time and it but it's a good thing. It that that is a good news story. Because it did it did get better. And my immediate family were great. And they embraced me. What happened though, was I was still in this space of I'm not safe. I'm not wanted, I'm not loved the world is dangerous. And I could see that people in the local community, we're probably not going to embrace this, to have a guest have a guess what I did, because it's the same fucking pattern that I followed all the way along. Just put myself in a box, you know, can't deal with it. Just bury it. Just put yourself in a box. So I was out quite a few people. But I wasn't. I listened to one of your guests some time ago. And I'm sorry, I forget his name in the moment. But he he spoke about being out without being out. And I was like, yeah, you've just, you've just really, Taylor, I think it was Taylor, you've just articulated this.

Coach Maddox  52:52  
I have a theory about this. And I'd love to know what you think. I think that when we first come out, even though we come out and we say we're gay, we're not embodying it, we're not fully owning it. And I hate that the world picks up on that energy and they respond in light kind. It's like the world is a mirror.

I was

a hairdresser for four decades, I closed my salon and retired from the industry in the end of 2019. And I had this experience many times throughout my career where I would have a client, I would do a radical new haircut on one of my female clients. And she'd be looking in the mirror and a little little uncertain about what I'd done. She didn't hate it, but she was a little a little nervous, a little uncertain. And I would say, girlfriend, before you walk out that door. You have to own this haircut. If you don't own this haircut, everybody in your life will crucify you. If you go in and you're out in the world, and you're around your family and friends, and you're uncertain, you're going to get roasted. Oh my God, why did you do that? You're you had beautiful hair. Why don't we, if you walk out their door, owning this haircut, none of that will happen. And if it does, you won't give a shit. And I think that although that was true for a haircut, I think it's true for almost everything in our lives. When we can own whatever it is that we need to own whether it's an aspect of ourselves or an action that we've done, when we can own it. And unapologetically is when the world will reflect that back to us.

Paul Haynes  54:40  
I mean, I come back to what I said at the start, you know, I found my place for so long. I didn't feel like I was I was owning who I was and because of that anything that took away any validation or try to insure me really did write, because I'm living to somebody else's norm somebody else's rules, somebody else's expectations, I can't live up to those and I don't want to live up to those. But I didn't see any other choice. And it was I think I just got to the point Maddix with all with, you know, the fear and the anxiety and, and coming out with not being out and pushing myself in a box when I went down the local pub, because those guys over there look like they're gonna beat me up if I stepped in the wrong way, or if my voice is too high, or, you know, just micromanaging every and you're nodding, so I'm thinking, you know, probably regulated. Yeah. Yeah, you micromanage everything. What lie did I tell that guy? Because I didn't tell him I went to a gay bar or told him something else. And now he's back. And I've got to remember it. Oh, my God, it was exhausting. And it wasn't a life.

Coach Maddox  55:57  
It was a it was exhausting. And it wasn't great. So staying in, there's nothing worse than living a lie.

Paul Haynes  56:03  
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And they know.

Coach Maddox  56:08  
They can't know what that's like to lie every, every cell of your being you're living a lie. It's a slow death kills a part of us.

Paul Haynes  56:21  
Absolutely. And I think I think this was, it was something around that where I just thought, This is my life. Like, this is not a life. I'm just I'm just lurching from one anxious day to the next. What's the next lie to tell? When's the next time I'm going to go into some OCD spiral? And getting to the point where I wanted to bring more light into my life? And more, more hope, and more joy?

Coach Maddox  56:54  
What what do you think it was that enabled you to just really step into owning who you weren't?

Paul Haynes  57:00  
Who i i, this is, what I noticed with this is as we get further in, in my timeline, the answers get quicker. It's like that that timeline in that anxiousness is really jumbled and muddled after weighed my way through it. And as we come closer to who I am, now, it becomes a lot brighter and lighter. I this, it was a really, it was an epiphany. It was a like the miracle moment, I was reading some some some work, psychological text. And I've got a few different coaching practices, right. And one of them is the leadership executive coaching practice. So it was it was actually a psychological piece around leadership. And it was mapping these different competencies, and some of which are really helpful. And some of which hold us back and kind of pull us into some of these darker moments. And it spoke about something called courageous authenticity. And I was ready to get exactly and I was I was reading about it. And literally, as I was reading it, I noticed that that I was kind of sitting up straighter, I noticed that the shoulders were a bit higher. And I was like, What is this and I started to think about what I what I stand for what I want to achieve, and and then I kept thinking, Oh, but what if I take risks and do things and people don't like it, you know? Or what if I fail? What if I'm a failure, and the more I kept reflecting on this sense of courageous authenticity, I just started to open a really, really clear path in front of me. If I stand in front of that, if I stand in that place of courageous authenticity, I don't really care. I don't really care if I fail, because I'm not failing. I'm just it's just another step in the journey. You fail you lead you to somewhere else. And if somebody if somebody insults me, it's gonna hurt but but not enough to do any lasting damage. And actually in that place, I feel a lot more confident, bold, honest. You know, I'm I'm all for speaking truth now, even if even if they bring about fear, I'm so still going to do it. This moment, I started reframing my entire life to say I want to live my life through this lens of courageousness and authenticity. That's That's

Coach Maddox  59:40  
beautiful. And I can clearly see beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have done just that.

Paul Haynes  59:45  
But that that was just that was like a wake up call. Right? That was the bit where you suddenly I like to think that I like the language I use is Unhak myself from the machine? You know, I No no longer need to just follow all of those patterns. I was I was following the Nether. I know that. What do I want to do with it? And what I started to connect to was how much compassion that I have, how much compassion I have that little boy I've been describing for the last the half an hour or so. And, and how much I can just bring that into my work, and how nothing is really off the table. Now. Whether it's a chat with a friend in the pub, or a professional conversation with somebody, you want to bring some of the really heavy dark moments. I'm with you. And with you in that because all we have is courageousness and authenticity really started to shape kind of how I wanted to act day to day, you know, my behaviors, my belief. Yeah, absolutely.

Coach Maddox  1:01:06  
You, you really embodied

Paul Haynes  1:01:10  

Coach Maddox  1:01:13  
Hmm. You had the audacity to swim against the stream, you had the audacity to step into the courage and the authenticity.

Paul Haynes  1:01:27  
Yeah, yeah. Audacity is an interesting word. Yeah.

Coach Maddox  1:01:34  
It is an interesting word. And I'm, I'm just it's like, I've heard it before different formats, but it's just right now it is. It is my word. In fact, I really think I I'm one of those people that chooses a new word every year. And this year, I've got it on a little necklace here. I've got it a little bracelet. This was this word was for 20. And this one was for 21 and 22. And I had said at the beginning of the year that my 23 word was going to be soaring as in soaring like an eagle. But the other night, the little voice in my head said no, that's not it. Your word for 23 is Audacity. It's, it has been the not the missing part because I must have my friends would probably describe me as fairly audacious, but it's now it's going to be more intentional. Now I'm going to like step more into that energy of Audacity.

Paul Haynes  1:02:41  
I, it's I'm thinking what it means for me, because I've never I've never thought of what that word might mean for me.

Coach Maddox  1:02:50  
Well, you know, we've heard it so much in our lives. Well, wow. I can't believe he had the audacity. Yeah,

Paul Haynes  1:02:55  
absolutely. No, yeah.

Coach Maddox  1:02:58  
But I doubt it. And I don't know that. I don't know that I know, a dictionary definition. I don't think that I necessarily looked it up. But I think that, to me, my own definition would be it's it's just an unapologetic boldness.

Paul Haynes  1:03:17  
I recognize that sorry, what were you gonna say? Oh, no, that that was the that was just like, Well, yeah, that that apologetic boldness, I recognize this. Especially in the organizations that I work in. Because I now go against organizational norms. I'm speaking I'm this guy that comes in and speaks really, really passionately about hearing the things you need to change all those unwritten rules and ways of doing things that find their way into anywhere, any part of life, but especially in organizations. And I look at myself now kind of saying, a whole organization, you need to change the way that you do this. Oh, my God, I couldn't even just speak up to just one one of the kid when I was a young boy, about anything, you know, both pictures together, they are every galaxy apart. And it is yeah, unapologetic, and bold courage, authenticity. This this if I kind of double back to what I said at the start about studying this place, and as long as I do what I truly believe in every fiber of my being is what I'm here to do. For the longest time doing that every day. There's going to be good days, bad days, but my God, I'm on the right path. Nobody's going to nobody's going to knock that nobody is going to knock that at all. Absolutely. So what

Coach Maddox  1:04:52  
is your next step in your quest for authenticity?

Paul Haynes  1:05:08  
It's interesting because my, my, my brain then immediately went to all of my business goals that I'm doing this year, and I was I was just about to real the market and I call, because if I do that I'm a success, right? If I tell you all my business goals, then I'm a success. I think that's the message that was there was going on. Which is why I caught myself. So maybe I'll talk about a couple of those. But I think this, it's, it's to do this, it's to it's, it's just Firstly, to be happy. And finally, finally, in a place now, where life is light, you know, I don't feel like I've got this heavy cloak dragging. As I'm, as I'm walking, it's light and exciting. And I can see possibilities. I can see futures. And I can see that I want to create futures and things that I believe I deserve. I think it's something in that space. I want to create something for myself, that is brilliant. And, and believe in my own authenticity, the way I am right now to talk, just talk about myself, some people are gonna love it, some people are gonna hate it. And that's cool, because I'm going to attract the people that want to be attracted.

Coach Maddox  1:06:34  
Exactly. I believe that authenticity scares the people away that aren't our tribe, anyway. Yeah, yeah. And that makes room for us to draw. And then the authenticity and the vulnerability, draw the ideal people to us.

Paul Haynes  1:06:51  
Yeah. And I want to, I want to share this with people to bring that light, you know, I was in. I was in New York a few years ago. And I got to know a group of guys, and I hung out with them for a few days. And on the last day, one of them said, I'm really sad, you're leaving, Paul, when when we've been around you, we felt joy. And this was another kind of Thunderbolt jolt moment, but a really happy one, because it was about the third or fourth time that somebody had used that word. And, you know, you hear something enough. And hopefully, hopefully, you take notice, say, Wow, I, I feel joy, you know, I just I can't believe others are getting that from me. And that was a big moment. And that started to become something that my purpose as well about sharing joy. I think,

Coach Maddox  1:07:46  
although a lot of people wouldn't be able to language, it that they sense or feel energy. That's what they're doing. They're picking up on your energy, and you do emanate an energy of joy. I mean, I've only known you for a little over an hour. And it's apparent to me that you emanate an energy of joy.

Paul Haynes  1:08:04  
This, thank you, thank you. It's about I mean, if I come down to where I am right now, and bring in some of the spiritual sense, it's the sense of, you've got one shot at this, right, irrespective of whatever your faith, your beliefs, I think if we were to say, I'm only here as myself, once I think almost everybody that I've ever met would would would say the same to what you want to do with it. You know,

Coach Maddox  1:08:35  
which is a brilliant

Paul Haynes  1:08:36  
question, what do you want to do with it, because they're doing what you've been given with what you've been given? Because if you just, you just come away for a moment from emails and meetings and deadlines, and reports and everything else, if you come away from all of that, and just think I'm actually hitting like, I'm actually here, right? I'm actually here. And I've got one shot. And I've used so much of it. What do I want to do with it. And one of the things I want to do with it is, is laugh a lot and have a lot of joy, and do work that is deeply meaningful, that helps other people on their own journeys as well, whatever their whatever their journeys are. So it's the first time anybody's asked me the question, so thank you for kind of letting me talk it through. But I think that's where I am in terms of the next step in my quest for authenticity.

Coach Maddox  1:09:34  
Well, it seems that you have quite a bit of clarity on that.

Paul Haynes  1:09:38  
That's beautiful. Yeah.

Coach Maddox  1:09:41  
So what if you were going to drop a wisdom bomb on the listener about, you know, becoming an more authentic gay man?

Paul Haynes  1:09:56  
What would that be?

Coach Maddox  1:10:00  
The tip of the day so to speak.

Paul Haynes  1:10:05  
So my tip would be, make more space in you are the you you want to be? Where? Wow,

Coach Maddox  1:10:20  
okay. Okay, please.

Paul Haynes  1:10:22  
Yes. Say that again, to make make more space in you, the you you want to be.

Coach Maddox  1:10:32  
That's That's profound, Paul. And I heard you say it twice, not because I didn't get it, but I wanted to make sure the listener gets it. That's really profound. Nobody's ever quite worded it like that makes space in

Paul Haynes  1:10:47  
you. Because we're always

Coach Maddox  1:10:50  
making space outside of ourselves. And that's not where the answers are. Everything starts on the inside and works its way out.

Paul Haynes  1:10:57  
Everything starts in the inside. Yeah. And there's a lot of stuff in there to make more space for what you really want in there. I'm honoring the traumas that the horrors that some people have been through. And I know other people's stories are way in advance of my own. And I'm so grateful for everything I have. But we all have our stories. And we we shouldn't be in a space where we're trying to. We should just honor honor what we have, you know, some of those darker moments. But I don't know how to necessarily undo all of that. And actually, because I now know my place, I have very little interest in undoing it. It's just there. I've got much more in me now than that. Well, much more than I love.

Coach Maddox  1:11:42  
Even if you couldn't do it. Would you want to?

Paul Haynes  1:11:46  
I don't think so. I think this is what I'm very passionate about. Yeah,

Coach Maddox  1:11:51  
I'm very clear that I don't want to relive some of the traumatic experiences of my life, but I'm now grateful for them. Yeah, because of the forging. I wouldn't be the man I am right now. Absolutely wouldn't be the man you are right now, if it hadn't been for those really tough things that forged you and forged me. Yeah.

Paul Haynes  1:12:15  
Yeah. What if I, if I work with somebody, and we're doing something deeply transformational, and they are realizing that actually the way they've lived, their life needs to change for them to achieve whatever they want. You see the fear. You see the fear. And I look at that. And I think there's nothing to be scared off here. But I empathize that you feel it, because I can look back to when I was a little kid and I knew nothing but fear. And they're not the same things. But there's enough there for me to just have compassion. I'm just going to sit with you. And we're going to breathe, and I've got your back.

Coach Maddox  1:12:50  
It's okay to be afraid. It's okay. Some of the most courageous people in the world feel fear. Courage and fear are not mutually exclusive. Yeah.

Paul Haynes  1:13:02  
I wouldn't change anything at all. I mean, this place.

Coach Maddox  1:13:08  
Yep, exactly. Exactly. Well, what a beautiful story you brought, and it's just been amazing to hear it. Amazing to have you share it. Are you? Are you ready for some rapid fire questions?

Paul Haynes  1:13:25  
Go for it. Go for it. I'll try and be as rapid as I can.

Coach Maddox  1:13:29  
There. There you go. When was the last time you cried in front of another gay man

Paul Haynes  1:13:44  
Oh, God, I actually just started to well up thinking about it. Um I, I was a, this might not be the very last time but this is the answer that came up. I was at a Pride festival last year. And I was talking to a random person as you tend to do in these festivals. And there's a lot of love in the air. And and he said, who you were then I pointed on I sit down with that person. That's my best friend, the lady. And I said they're my chosen family. And then what he said to me floored me because it just knocked me off my feet. He said, Oh, you're lucky to have that. Not everybody has that. And I thought oh, my god, some people don't have family. And they don't have chosen family. Tie opening, isn't it?

Coach Maddox  1:14:44  
You know, we we sometimes think because we have it we just assume others do. Yeah. Yeah. And there's people that don't I mean, I mentioned to you before we started the recording that I host parties in my home regular Early in, in, I believe it was October, I hosted a party and I invited all gay men. And that was the only party most of my parties are a combination of lots of different people from different walks of life. But that particular party I invited all gay men, and I asked each of them to bring a plus one that was a gay male. And I was amazed at how many of them responded with. I don't have anybody that I can bring.

Paul Haynes  1:15:35  
It broke my heart. It broke my heart. I can't I can't imagine life like that. No, I never I never considered it till the sky. I considered that people. Some some people don't have a family because they've been rejected. I don't think I'd ever gone in to think and what if they don't have chosen family? And it just floored me. Yeah. Yeah. And I have to. Oh, go ahead. I was just gonna say, the 1000s of people there. I saw him again later. I mean, what are the chances, you know, 1000s and 1000s of people in a tiny space. And I saw him, and I just walked up to him, and I said, but what you said, Thank you. I've never considered it. I think he said, just You're welcome or something. And that was it. And we'll never see each other again. But wow, I remember. No, I

Coach Maddox  1:16:35  
don't I don't believe that. There's a coincidence at all. That was, you know, an angel sent by the universe to share something that you needed to hear in that moment. Yeah. And didn't even know you needed to hear it. Not beautiful, beautiful. Okay. What are you most afraid

Paul Haynes  1:16:54  
of? Currently,

Coach Maddox  1:16:58  
we've talked about oh,

Paul Haynes  1:17:00  
yeah, now. Now I think what I'm afraid of is not using everything I've got everything I've been given is procrastination and laziness or not doing it because it felt too big. being blamed keeping myself small.

Coach Maddox  1:17:21  
Are you describing a lack of Audacity?

Paul Haynes  1:17:29  
I need to get on board with this audacious

Coach Maddox  1:17:32  
does that does that describe me? Okay, here's Yeah, here's maybe some two to three days you're gonna hear the word Audacity.

Paul Haynes  1:17:43  
Right? And I get a message. Yeah, maybe. Maybe they the boldness, the unapologetic nurse is gonna, I'm just gonna fuckin do it. Yeah. My fear is that I don't keep myself in because it is work. Like you said, there's there's work that we all do. And this is my current daily work. I wonder what their current daily working 10 years will be. But right here right now, it's to keep myself in this place I've been describing, because if I could easily kind of top off and I just won't. I just won't because I've come through to too much.

Coach Maddox  1:18:21  
Have you got an accountability partner?

Paul Haynes  1:18:24  
Yes. Yeah. Do awesome. Yeah. Actually a couple

Coach Maddox  1:18:29  
instruct them to hold your feet to the fire.

Paul Haynes  1:18:32  
Okay, and talk to them about being audacious. Okay,

Coach Maddox  1:18:36  
there you go. All right. Final question. What has been the best moment of your life thus far?

Paul Haynes  1:18:53  
This is a hard question. Oh, my goodness May. So, okay, I don't I it's not going to be the best. As soon as this call ends. I'm going to think Damn it, and it's all going to come to me. But I'm going to give you what sounds like a stupid answer. But my God it is and I was on top of everything I've told you profoundly arachnophobia. I'm not talking about a fear. I'm talking about vomiting sweats. He is you know, debilitating. And then meltdown meltdown, leaving my home and going to stay in in somebody else's home for a couple of days and all that kind of business going on. And then like that, I decided I'm going to do something about this. And I took myself to a three hour course. So I'd spent decades like this and a three hour course and at the end of it and I've got a photograph of this is me holding and for anybody listening, I'm going to say the the T word if you don't like if you don't like the cryptic call is a me holding a tarantula after three hours. I don't know if you It's like the best thing in my life. But it was a moment where I said, again, I've just completely on a dime, transformed my entire look on on life in this part of my life at least. And those are the moments I look back to when things seem too scary. Because I think, look, it's not about whether it was a spider or whatever it was, it was about I confronted something that was like a massive fee and just said, You're not You're not important to me anymore. I'm going to change it. And here I go. I love those moments.

Coach Maddox  1:20:31  
Well, it's a defining moment in our lives. And it's it's, it's it's unfiltered infiltrated areas of your life that you probably can't even

Paul Haynes  1:20:40  
imagine. Yeah, absolutely.

Coach Maddox  1:20:43  
Yeah. You know, we've recently overcome fear. Yeah, it's Yeah, I had a fear of heights. And I overcame that in a single day in something similar to what you're describing. And it has played out. This was 35 years ago. And and there's still moments when I realized that I'm, I'm able to go there. Because I overcame that one debilitating fear.

Paul Haynes  1:21:09  
Yeah. And you've got, you've got a reference point. So looking at reference, look what I did, and I can do it again. Exactly, exactly.

Coach Maddox  1:21:18  
Beautiful. Paul, this has been awesome. I have so enjoyed our conversation so much, you know, the, the unpacking of I think that I'm, I appreciate you being willing to explore an experiment, something that I had not done before, which is start the conversation, you know, with the, the authenticity, authenticity piece and how, how you came through that journey. And it's helped me really to realize that, yes, I'm going to use this at least part of the time moving forward, because it you you brought, you brought light to it, it was beautiful.

Paul Haynes  1:22:02  
Thank you, and thank you for helping me unpack. You know, I said, like, it's all it's all on the table. I just might need a bit of help to unpack it, because it's, it's all a different time, you know, and there's a lot buried there. So let's let's unpack it together, which which was awesome. So thank you.

Coach Maddox  1:22:22  
Well, it's been an honor, a pleasure. And I do want to tell you, as I tell most of my guests, and I don't say this unless I really mean it. You definitely are an authentic gay man.

Paul Haynes  1:22:33  
Thank you. Bless you in my eyes, in my eyes. Thank you

Transcribed by

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Paul Haynes

Transformation Life Coach

Paul Haynes LGBTQ+ Transformation Coach

Paul works with who he calls his “heroes” - gay men who want to live fulfilled lives, and push themselves into exciting situations, personally and professionally.

He draws his inspiration from a spiritual awakening, some 20 years ago: to continue a life of mediocracy, or step into a life filled with joy, greatness and possibility.

Splitting his time between two practices, as an advanced certified coach, he coaches executives at the top of their game; and empowers gay men to shake off the shackles of imitation, that many of us have carried with us from our earliest years.

Drawing together a range of disciplines and philosophies, he creates a deeply supportive space, enabling his clients to talk about the really difficult things, and connect to what is holding them back.

Paul’s “heroes” learn to take control of their densities, and step forward as newer versions of themselves, into courageous new futures.