Behind The Curtain

Let’s Talk About Depeche Mode

There are no words in the English (or any other human) language to convey how much I love this band; how much energy and joy I feel when listening to them: I feel connected to myself, to Martin Gore, to the rest of the band, and to the Holy Spirit of God.

Their 8th studio album, Songs of Faith and Devotion, was released on 22 March 1993 and on 31st July I went to see them for the first time. I remember the day like it was yesterday

It was a warm day, not guaranteed in a British summer. You have to get there early to get a good spot and the wait was boring. I vividly remember a shout going up and my brother scrambling to get up, picking up his bag and knocking over and spilling his carton of ribena that had so casually been resting on top. We ran like the wind and bagged a space near the front.

DM had five support bands. They were excruciatingly boring to sit (stand) through. The last support band were Sisters of Mercy, a goth band with a huge following of their own. There was a lot of tension between the two sets of fans.

At last! Another massive cheer went up and Depeche Mode came on stage. The back of the crowd surged forward and we were pushed and squashed up at the front with almost no space to breath. Certainly no space between me and any of the people surrounding me.


Can you imagine the excitement?


I love this band almost as much as life itself. I only “discovered” them in 1992 and so this was the first Mode album I’d waited for. Then I waited for the date of the concert. Then I waited hours and hours for them to come on stage.

And then when they did – I couldn’t even see them! They were behind massive diaphanous curtains. I dunno if this is a thing, but I’d never seen anything like it before. They played the whole first song, Higher Love, behind these curtains. We could hear them but not see them.

I knew David Gahan was there. I could see his silhouette. I could hear him singing. But I couldn’t quite see him. He was there and not there all at once.

My life has been like that. Ever since doing my first life coach training 16 years ago, I have stood in front of those curtains with success tantalisingly on the other side. Finding consistent paying clients has seemed impossible.

As with David Gahan that day, it was like I could see the silhouette of it, I could hear a whisper of it, it was there and not there at the same time.

I knew it wasn’t really an impossible thing. I could see other people doing it. But I just couldn’t see how to get there myself. How to take up my space in the world, how to be seen, how to use my voice, how to be me. And how to talk about my coaching.

Until recently.

Just like that curtain coming down at the end of Higher Love, the curtain for me has fallen away too. Where it felt literally impossible, like there was a physical barrier in my way, now there’s nothing. It has been so easy that I look back and wonder what all the fuss was about.

In the self-help and personal development world (and even in the “real” world) people often say “Just Do it”. “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. “If I can do it you can”.

But I couldn’t just do it. I couldn’t feel the fear and do it anyway. And no just because you did it doesn’t mean I can.

And I’ll tell you why. Because the curtain was still up. I couldn’t see what they could see. I simply could not see that there was nothing standing in my way.

I don’t spend my time as a coach trying to get people to do things they’re afraid of. I help them get in touch with their big, sacred dreams are and then see what life looks like when the curtain falls away and all the impotence falls away with it.

You’re thinking is the only thing stopping you from doing impossible things.

When you can see clearly what is possible and what you’re capable of doubt and fear becomes irrelevant.

I still feel nervous, I feel vulnerable sometimes. But I’m not afraid to do the things I feel called to do anymore. I’m not afraid to be true to myself. Because I’ve stopped needing to control the outcome and I’ve unhooked my self-worth from the results. And I’m passionate about helping others do the same.

As Martin Gore says in Higher Love

🎵 I surrender all control
To the desire that consumes me whole

And leads me by the hand to infinity
That lies in wait at the heart of me

Moved, lifted higher
Moved, my soul’s on fire
Moved, by a higher love 🎵

🎵I surrender heart and soul
Sacrificed to a higher goal
Moved by a higher love🎵

(Written by Martin L Gore. Copyright with Lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC).

It’s not like there’s just one curtain and now it’s gone I’m done. Like the layers of an onion as I move into creating the next thing, there will always be another curtain and then another. But now the first one is down I know anything is possible.

And if you’re reading this thinking you’re not building a business or you’ve got that handled, maybe your curtain is in front of a different goal. Maybe you have a goal that’s lying in wait at the heart of you. A Big Sacred Dream.

Come with me behind the curtain.