September, 23, 2021—During today’s weekly assembly for Upper School and Class IV students, Winsor welcomed Fearless author and entrepreneur Darryl Bellamy—who lives by the belief that "life is best lived beyond fear." A natural tie-in to Winsor’s overarching theme for the year of wellness, Darryl’s message and energetic stage presence resonated with students in Grades IV to VIII.
As a researcher and motivational speaker, Darryl has read, collected, and shared thousands of fears with audiences worldwide. In 2016, he wrote his first book Waking Up Chase, which has been used as a common read in classrooms across the country. He's collected over 54,000 written fears of students of all ages, races, and school types. He's spoken in over 40 states and three countries and uses those fears to help him better assist students from fear to having more fearless moments in their lives.
The stage, anchored by a large gas stove resembling a campfire, was set ablaze as students jotted down answers to the statement "I fear that..." Darryl read a sampling of answers, which were ultimately burned in the fire. They ranged from fear of failure to not getting into a good school to a fear that "everyone is smarter and more athletic than me." Darryl indicated that many students in the schools he has visited share similar fears. With this, he reminded students that they are not alone in their journeys.
He also shared the stories of famous "failures" like Michael Jordan, who was cut from his high school basketball team, and Walt Disney who was fired for not having "original" ideas as well as trailblazer Lucille Ball. Darryl also shared his own story, losing his University student government election by 19 votes. Darryl hit home that if you never failed, you never lived.
Actionable strategies he provided for students included combating the negative voices in their heads and having more "fearless moments," understanding that there will be ups and downs. He also advised the audience members to breathe and take a social media break as comparisons can dial up insecurities and fears. Of the moments, a slide of butterflies flying in formation was a welcoming and calming end to his presentation.
"I found Darryl’s illustration of the river especially insightful,” said Franchesca V., Class VIII. “He basically said that you don’t drown by simply falling in a river, you drown if you don’t swim. That illustration was like a light bulb moment for me... with perseverance and courage, we can overcome any trial we face."
Students left with a gift, a black band with the words inscribed on the inside: I'm fearless inside. Many of Darryl’s audience members take these bands and share their moments with him as they continue on their path toward living their best and most authentic life.