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Prince William Says His Poor Eyesight Actually Helped Him Overcome Anxiety Over Speeches

In his brand new documentary, Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health, Prince William opened up about what it has been like to be a father to Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2, and how he overcame his fear of public speaking and used his poor eyesight to his advantage.

Turns out, if you can't see most of the people in the crowd, it makes it a hell of a lot easier to speak to them!

As part of his brand new documentary, *Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health*, Prince William has admitted that public speaking hasn't always been a strength of his.

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Believe it or not, it used to cause him crippling anxiety. But he eventually was able to find a unconventional strategy to overcome it.

He began by speaking to former soccer player, Marvin Sordell, about what fatherhood has been like for him so far.

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In case you didn't already know, Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, share three children together, Prince George, 6, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louis, 2.

"Having children is the biggest life-changing moment, it really is,” William said.

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Marvin, unfortunately, grew up without a father. So this conversation was especially hard-hitting.

“I think when you’ve been through something traumatic in life, and that is like you say, your dad not being around," he went on.

"My mother dying when I was younger, the emotions come back, in leaps and bounds.”

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“Me and Catherine, particularly, we support each other," he said. "And we go through those moments together and we kind of evolve and learn together."

"I can completely relate to what you’re saying about children coming along," he continued.

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"It’s one of the most amazing moments of life, but it’s also one of the scariest.”

Speaking of scary, William then revealed that public speaking was something that used to be something quite triggering for him.

He explained that as he has gotten older, his eyesight isn't what it used to be.

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And while that might come as a major inconvenience for most people, William has learned to harness it and use it to his advantage in helping overcome his fear of speaking in front of crowds — something that comes with the territory of being in the royal family.

"My eyesight started to tail off a little bit as I got older," he said.

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He said that initially, he didn't spring for glasses or contacts, and he noticed that his blurred vision was actually serving him well in times of distress.

During speeches, he quickly realized that it was actually quite difficult to see any faces in the crowd.

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"And I didn’t use to wear contacts when I was working, so actually when I gave speeches I couldn’t see anyone’s face," he recalled.

He admitted that not being able to see all those faces looking up at him made speaking to them a lot easier.

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“And it helps, because it’s just a blur of faces and because you can’t see anyone looking at you," he said.

He said that beyond reading the notes in front of him, he couldn't see much.

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"I can see enough to read the paper and stuff like that — but I couldn’t actually see the whole room,” he explained.

“And actually that really helps with my anxiety."

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On the topic of mental health, William seems quite passionate.

"Suicide is one of the biggest killers of men under 45," he said.

"It's scary," he went on. "It's frightening and it's real."

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He then explained how he has managed to use his love of soccer to help reach men who suffer from mental health issues, and prevent things from getting to a "breaking point".

He said that he feels like after generations of men being taught to bottle-up their emotions, it's still very difficult for men to open up.

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"I think if we can get some of his male masculinity re-diagnosed, that would be fantastic," he said.

"Rather than the big guy who — 'I'm all strong, I don't talk about stuff, I'm just hard,'" he said, pretending to flex his muscles.

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"Well, that's great. You can still do that. But let's talk about stuff that's going on as well. Like, real stuff," he added.

The documentary *Football, Prince William and Our Mental Health* aired for the first time on Thursday in the U.K. on BBC One.

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Let us know what you think of Prince William's thoughts on men's mental health, and how he overcame some anxieties of his own in the comments below!