If there is one feeling I wish I could package up and share with the world, it would be the way nature makes me feel. I have never felt more alive, free and strong in myself than when standing on top of a mountain. The wind blowing around me, clouds shifting to give way to a beautiful sunset, my heart and lungs beating. I literally feel on top of the world. There’s something about the wind, the flow of water from rivers and the vast expanse of the wilderness, that makes me feel afraid and protected, vulnerable and confident at the same time. It’s almost as though, in the whispers of the wind, I know everything is exactly how it should be and I don’t need to worry about a thing.
I love it when a few of my favourites things in life blend into a moment of total magic. On this particular occasion it was a wondrous combination of London, whisky and adventure.
Myself and a group of fellow adventurers set off from St Mary’s Church in Battersea and finished at the historic Mayflower pub in Rotherhithe for a dram of celebratory whisky as the sun set.
Every day I wake up with a fire inside driving me to crack on with my mission to fight for the change I want to see in the world. It didn’t always used to be this way. Life was the complete opposite for many years. I lived for the weekends. I felt bored and unfulfilled at work. I felt this nagging feeling inside me saying “Is this it? Is this really what you were born to do with your life?” I would spend hours sitting behind my computer, scrolling through the internet, dreaming of another way to live, another way to feel about myself and my life. But for years I didn’t do anything about it because I was too scared of failing and I didn't know how to make the change.
Last week whilst delivering my 'Be A TrailBlazer' talk and workshop to 150 girls in a school in Kent one of the girls asked “What advice would you give to your younger self?”
Last year was crazy. I was dealing with heart-break as the result of splitting from my husband. I built my business from a pipe dream to a sustainable way of living. I focused on my ultimate dream: to use my voice and community as a platform for positive change in the world, by launching TrailBlazers, my youth empowerment initiative. I was travelling away from my home in London for more than 6 months of the year. I partnered with 30 companies creating a wide variety of social media campaigns, I created adverts with Estee Lauder and Hyundai, and even learnt how to take time off - away from social media, blogging and emails - for a few treasured weekends.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been able to ask for more and more from myself. However, since adding TrailBlazers to my plate in November, I couldn’t do everything and something had to give. It’s been a real struggle to try and manage it all, so I've been making some changes and finding the right people to help! This is why I have been absent from blogging and want to explain...
Imagine a world where the first thought in everyone’s mind is “I’m going to achieve something outstanding today.”
We are often weighed down with the pressure of the expectations we put on ourselves. Ambition can be squashed by people around us who feel threatened by our brilliance and don’t want to see us shine. We can feel inundated with an overflowing inbox, meetings, social engagements, family commitments and a never ending To-Do List, to really create the drivers we need to produce our best work day after day.
After all, that’s what we are aiming for, right? It’s no good doing great work for a day, a week, or even a month, if after that we let our standards slip. Consistency is king. We want to be the person others rely on to show up, deliver and make it happen. Be a doer not a talker. Be someone that makes it happen TODAY and doesn’t wait for that ever-illusive ‘one day’.
How often do you tell yourself “I am doing the best I can”? It’s all too easy to fall into the habit of talking to ourselves in negative manner or publicly putting ourselves down. This fuels self-doubt and gives rise to the self-critic in each of us. The self-critic serves a purpose but it cannot rule us. It’s there to keep us in check. It can be the catalyst for positive change, but on the other hand, it can rob us of our light. It can pull us under in a downward spiral of low self-esteem, concern about social acceptance, dislike of ourselves, and fuel the belief that “I am not enough.”
At the end of last year I started to break free from the sadness and turbulence of 2016. I looked towards the bright future I dream of creating, and felt Scotland calling me. I was drawn by the idea of immersing myself in an environment where I could focus on creating content in a place that inspires me. Scotland has always opened up my heart, soul and creativity to produce my best work and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off 2017.
2016 was the year that I broke through the ‘film making’ wall that had held me back for years. I used to watch films created by other adventurers and content creators in awe. Sometimes I would film my adventures and challenges, but rarely would that content get edited into a film and shared online. I didn’t know where to start with editing - it seemed daunting and time consuming.
I think many of us have these things that we can’t currently do, but want to be able to. We don’t know where to start or how to break down the barriers we’ve placed in the way. Always start with the lowest hanging fruit.