May 25, 2024

Nicolas Hamilton: “I went through a period of my life where I hated life. Now I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

THE brother of F1 racing legend Lewis Hamilton has admitted he went through periods of “hating his life” – but says he wouldn’t now change his disability for the world.

Nicolas Hamilton lives with a form of cerebral palsy, and his inspirational outlook on life now forms the basis of a new book which is out later this month.

The 32-year-old, who made history after becoming the first disabled driver to go up against able-bodied racers in the British Touring Car Championship, is also one of the country’s most sought-after motivational speakers.

 

Talking about the approach he takes to life, Nicolas said:  “I went through a period where I hated life. I hated my condition. I didn’t understand why I was the way I was and why I was given my condition and why I couldn’t be like my friends, who were all able bodied.

“But now I wouldn’t change it for the world and I’m so grateful to have it. I try to always play with the cards I’ve dealt in the best way possible. I strive every day to overcome any barrier that comes in front of me. It could be the smallest or the biggest barriers, but I tackle them each the same.”

 

Nicolas says his philosophy in life is “the only person that can tell me I can’t do things is me.”

“I would say I’m a very resilient person,” he said. “I never take ‘no’ as an answer and I believe that the only person that can tell me I can’t do things is me.

“So regardless of what people say, I make my own decisions and I thrive off negative criticism. If someone told me I couldn’t do something, I’d do my utmost to prove them wrong.

 

It’s a philosophy which runs through his new book, ‘Now that I have your attention: 7 Lessons in Leading a Life Bigger Than They Expected’.

It follows his remarkable journey to the top of British motorsports and beyond.  He also talks about this journey through his work as a motivational speaker.

 

Nicolas said: “I would say with my condition, I’ve been a great problem solver, over the years; always trying to find ways of getting out of situations or overcoming certain obstacles. It could be the most difficult of obstacles to the simplest of obstacles such as maybe carrying a bowl of cereal to your desk and not spilling it.

“I think I have many qualities. I don’t like talking about myself, believe it or not, even though I am a speaker, and I have to talk about myself. But I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved, and what I’ve overcome.

“I’m a very solid human. It’s not always been that easy: I’ve had a lot of ups and downs but I think generally I would say resilience is everything for me and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved and hopefully, there’s more to come from me in the future.”

 

Discussing the importance of having good mental health he added: “Mental health, I believe, is everything. The way I like to think about it is that life is 90% mental and 10% physical. It doesn’t really matter how physically fit you are and how strong you are if you’re not there mentally.

“If you don’t believe in yourself mentally, then I personally believe that you’re never going to achieve your full potential.  Now I would say mental health is a trial-and-error situation. It’s all about working out what works for you. Sometimes what people tell you would work, sometimes it doesn’t and what works for others doesn’t necessarily work for you personally.

“How I go about to try and build myself mentally is trying to find ways that I know helped me and stay true to my vision, to my desire.

 

“Also I think what a key thing of overcoming a bit of mental toughness and struggles is going through failure as well. I think failure is also very key. You’ve got to learn how to fail before you can succeed. That is how I feel.

“And so with every failure I have, I feel like it only gets stronger and stronger and my, have I had a lot of failures. And I think that’s sort of what’s made me who I am today.

“But it’s a never-ending journey and with every day that goes past, you learn something new about yourself.”