I was just watching a Derren Brown interview where he talked about his school nickname ‘Dick Head’! He made a great point. In our school days many of were not the most sporty, ‘beautiful’ or ‘cool’ kids. I didn’t spend longer than 2.5 years in any school so I was always the new kid. I got picked on a lot. The best nickname I got was at Matthew Moss Middle School in Manchester aged 10 ‘The Toffee Nosed Ginger Haired Git’. It was an interesting choice. I was far from posh, had very blonde hair and I don’t think I was particularly gittish! I guess accuracy is not really the driving force behind most nicknames. Derren was pointing out that those of us who don’t fit the child ideal have to work at life. We often have to fight to stand out in a positive light rather than be the geek or nerd who’s picked on. While this is initially tough we start to forge a depth of character that can be lacking in our cool counter parts. In later life we tend to shine and become performers and successful in our own right. Our cool friends often pale by comparison. I think he’s right. Derren used his challenges to drive him to become an international star. I used mine to overcome acute shyness, become a musician, coach and an international motivational speaker.

What was your challenging nickname? How did it inspire you?