Did you know that Hugh Grant has suffered from anxiety for years?
Well, Hollywood got hold of the story and it appears that nerves have severely affected his career over decades. Panic attacks, fear of going blank and sweating have blighted him since early films like Notting Hill.
It seems that the self-deprecating star has been deliberating putting himself in more supporting roles in order to limit his vulnerability to panic attacks on set. It was only his latest film with Meryl Streep that somehow gave him the courage to believe in his acting abilities and relax more.
Hugh says that his anxiety comes out of the blue, it just ambushes him. This is unlikely. I doubt that he has tried relaxation techniques or self-hypnosis, which could give him a bit of backup when he gets those flashes of panic on set. I suspect that his resolute Englishness would send him running screaming from the slightest suggestion of meditation or hypnotherapy.
So success doesn't' seem to guarantee confidence.
This is potentially bad news for those of us less handsome and successful than Hugh Grant, which means most of the population. If all those good looks, lucky breaks, money and success doesn't convince him, how can lesser mortals convince themselves of their right to be confident?
Or maybe Hugh's experience prompts us to let go of something.
If someone like Hugh Grant, who has all the outward signs of achievement, good looks and success, suffers from panic attacks and anxiety then surely there must be another way to find inner calm and confidence. Confidence, ability and achievement are clearly not always linked with the external. What about those of us with more humble surfaces?
Hang on a minute, what about Toby Jones?
Toby Jones, the superb and highly in demand actor from Dulwich (where else) is...well... how can I put it... well he's no Hugh Grant.
We don't know if he suffers like Hugh Grant but we do know that what ever he has or doesn't have, hasn't stopped him from beasting it on loads of films particularly the arch baddie on Sherlock this Christmas, Harry Potter plus loads of other great roles.
Can we accept that outward appearances will not always mirror internal feelings? Can we stop wanting to be someone else in order to feel confident and 'right'? And how much time do we spend thinking and assessing ourselves instead of getting on with things? Whether it's the skills we need to acquire or jobs that need to be done, it's time to stop wishing we were somebody else.
If we can put aside that nagging thought that we need to prove our confidence and swagger by some outward sign then maybe we are on to something.
Instead of waiting for your outward Hugh Grant how about channelling your inner Toby Jones. It's worth a try!
Andrew is director of the well-being company Finding Help Ltd.Suggest a correction