Polly’s Weekly Challenge – Find confidence within!

Polly’s Weekly Challenge – Find confidence within!

Where big ideas, bold action and daring adventures come from. We often talk about confidence with an assumption that there is a shared definition. Yet confidence might look and feel different to teach of us. What does confidence mean to you? By my definition, confidence comes from belief in our own abilities, inner strength to stand our ground and it is demonstrated in our qualities and actions. Together these attributes shape the outcomes that we can create and the successes that we can achieve. Inspired by sourceofinsights.com, why not think about your confidence as ‘the juice to jazz your thinking being and doing in more powerful ways’. Your challenge this week… Think about what being confident means to you and take five minutes of your precious time to do one new thing that helps you find your confidence within. What are you waiting for? Polly’s confidence hacks Spring clear your thoughts What you believe is what you become. Notice your unhelpful thoughts and chose a more useful thought to try on. Know what you stand for (your values) and stand by them. Recognise your capabilities and gifts and be proud of them. Do confidence to grows confidence Put yourself in challenging situations that will help you achieve your goals and trust that your capability and comfort will grow from this. Repeat till this becomes your new norm. Don’t wait to feel confident to do new things, do things to become confident. Behave like you would in a confident state and allow this to influence how you feel. Fake it to become it. Celebrate your success Celebrate your triumphs on a...
#Adventure Series No.10

#Adventure Series No.10

Welcome to the grand finale of the #AdventureSeries! Introducing Paralympian Anne Wafula Strike Introducing Anne Wafula Strike; MBE, athlete, author, mother, and sporting ambassador. She is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary woman with a powerful story. Anne was given the middle name of Olympia at birth, a title of great significance for the future and the hurdles she would face in forthcoming years. Born in Kenya, Anne was a fit and healthy child before polio struck when she was two years old. This occurrence was to shape Anne’s destiny. She exceeded all educational expectations and despite her physical challenges, achieved a bachelor or education degree, and later became a teacher. Anne arrived in the UK with her Geordie born husband Norman. She unexpectedly became a mother, despite being led to believe that pregnancy would be a medical impossibility. Anne was introduced to wheelchair racing in 2002. 2004 marked the beginning of an Olympic career when Anne became the first wheelchair racer from (Sub-Sahara) Africa to compete at the Paralympics in Athens. In 2006 Anne became a British citizen and joined Team GB. In 2007 she was officially recognised by the Queen at a Buckingham Palace reception for her services to disability sport and her contribution to charity work. Her autobiography In my Dreams I Dance was published in 2010. She was appointed  an MBE in 2014 for services to disability sport and charity. Last year, Anne used her personal experiences of inaccessible disabled toilet facilities on public transport to raise awareness of the challenges that wheelchair users can experience. Anne is the founder and manager of the Olympia-Wafula foundation which helps...
#AdventureSeries No. 9

#AdventureSeries No. 9

Welcome to the #AdventureSeries No. 9 with Squash Falconer.   Introducing Squash Falconer, athlete, adventurer, speaker and presenter. “From a young age I was leaping from trees and swinging out of the barn on the farm I was brought up on. Fear didn’t make an appearance in my life until I was three year old when I was attached by a cockerel and I’ve been scared of birds ever since.That aside, I‘ve found my own wings with paragliding and I’ve always had an insatiable spirit for adventure.   For many years my plan was simple, I was going to be a farmer and leave school when I was 16. Perfect! Things don’t always work out as you think they might though. At 12 one of my teachers suggested that if I applied myself, I had more potential academically than I realised, so I did and I did! I completed my GCES’s, A-levels & Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and embracing my love for sport and the outdoors set off into the unknown.   At 18 I found myself deep in the heart of the French Alps. Every morning I saw Mt Blanc out of my bedroom window and I had no clue that this mountain would come to represent the beginning of one of my greatest passions – big mountain climbing!”   Squash has spent her whole life seeking out adventure. Her adventures have taken her all over the world including the top of Mount Everest!  Photos from top left Bath with a view at Via Ferratta, Trent College speech day, View from above, So much snow – Tignes, Concentration...
#Adventure Series No. 8

#Adventure Series No. 8

Welcome to the #AdventureSeries No. 8 with John Mew.   Introducing John Mew; father of 3, rugby coach, devoted husband, athlete, survivor, public speaker and so much more. John describes his wonderful wife Christine Mew as his ‘rock’. He joined the Royal Navy in 1974 and served his country for 11 years. He was a physical training instructor, ships diver and a member of the Portsmouth Command Crew that ran at Earls Court. John describes one of his defining moments on the bridge of the HMS Coventry, during the Falklands war, when she was bombed. The ship capsized within 20 minutes. After leaving the navy, John became a commercial diver. This role took him to exotic and faraway lands including the Middle East and West Africa. Photos from top left Portsmouth field Gun crew marching through Portsmouth with trophies won through breaking world records, John ready for a commercial dive, John relaxing, debating at the Great Veteran debate, John during a recent training session, a younger John in training   When John ended his diving career in 2005, the absence of a work role contributed to his difficulties with anxiety and depression unfolding. John described ending up in a ‘big black hole’. During this time, he believes that his whole family suffered. He was eventually diagnosed with PTSD and began to receive help to overcome his trauma. The help that has significantly aided John’s recovery came some time later in the form of a Veteran charity called Forward Assist who supported John with their innovative approach and access to  life coaching through Adventurous Coaching. Both interventions embrace a solution...
Happiness

Happiness

It is my belief that there is never a bad time to ask yourself ‘what does happiness mean to me and what will help me have more happy moments in my life?’ This curious question offers a chance to focus life’s lenses and then to become attracted to those things that make you smile, add more and create joy in your life. One response to the question of what does happiness mean to you, in a coaching session gave an interesting response. ‘Happiness sits on the periphery of your vision. It’s not tangible or easy to grasp and when you try to connect with it… puff it’s gone’. Whilst to me this view felt defeatist and fear fuelled, it helped me to clarify my feelings on this subject. The feisty character within me wanted to respond with…boldly choose to grab happiness by the horns, look it in eyes and demand its presence every day. I was recently inspired by the author Elizabeth Gilbert. In her book Big Magic she describes ‘entering into a contract with creativity’. I decided that I wanted to strike a deal with happiness. I decided to give my full attention to discovering the mindset that I would need to adopt, the activities that I need to get involved in and the moments to cherish in order to nurture the presence of happiness. This has helped my happiness have the confidence to shine even in the face of worry, doubt, and fatigue. Since making this decision, happiness and I have began to collaborate, we co-created a plan and shook hands on it! If thinking about happiness...
#Adventure Series No. 7

#Adventure Series No. 7

Welcome to the #AdventureSeries No. 7 with Kate Mackay. Introducing Kate,  a Certified Professional and Performance Coach based in the North of England. An NHS Management Consultant and a guest lecturer in the Faculty of Health Studies at the University of Bradford, in her twenty-year career she has trained more than a thousand health professionals from across the UK. She is the author of www.mummysnowboarder.com, the only UK blog to focus on snowboarding for women and families. Kate rode a camel in the Sahara, an elephant in Rajasthan and a horse in The Rockies before she ever rode a snowboard. She has been riding for more than 15 years in France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria and Andora. Kate recently completed her first book, Take It All On Board www.takeitallonboard.com combining her passion for snowboarding with her coaching and change management skills to help the reader achieve their goals. She exhibited at the national Ski and Snowboard Show in London in October as a pre-launch for her book. Kate lives with her husband, Gordon, her pre-teen daughter, an aged cat and her beloved, shaggy-haired dog. When not, walking on the deserted, quiet, sandy beaches she enjoys coffee and cocktails with friends and fantasises about long lie-ins. Most days she sits at her computer watching the sea whilst working, but occasionally dreams of the mountains and riding that perfect turn.     Photos from top left Mint Girls camp – Damian McArthur and MINT snowboarding, Aosta Valley off piste, St Anton Valley, above the clouds – view from cable car in Aosta, Aosta Valley view, exhibiting at the national Ski and snowboard show...
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! (Part 2)

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! (Part 2)

Today is a particularly poignant day for me and my husband Rob. We celebrate a significant anniversary with a story of its own – Rob is two years cancer free today! Our story taught us the importance of adopting a solution focused mindset and of holding on to your best hopes when the future feels uncertain. We decided to share our ‘notes to self ‘ in the hope that you might gain in some way. Here goes … Pursue positive thinking Assuming that the best outcome is possible and believing in silver linings is essential. This will carry you far and help you to dig deep into your reserves on tough days. Rob decided that he had a chance to change the family cancer story into a survival story. It created a ‘can do’ way of thinking for us and fed a positive mindset. Overcoming ‘a touch of cancer’ seemed like a positive re frame of what felt like a devastating story. Keep forward planning Choose to forward plan and imagine life beyond your treatment. Ask yourself what you want from your life once treatment is complete. Assume it to be possible and plan for it. Acquiring the map for a bike challenge and beginning the research into it’s viability was a mission that I delegated to Rob. He was also tasked with finding and planning a fabulous holiday in the sun as a post treatment reward. Focus on what’s possible Rather than assuming that treatment will wipe him out, Rob decided not to jump to conclusions and listen to his body. Where possible he would resume everyday routines that boosted his sense of...
What doesnt kill you makes you stronger (Part 1)

What doesnt kill you makes you stronger (Part 1)

Each of us has a story to tell. We all have a story in us. Life events, and how we view what happens in our world, will shape the stories that we tell ourselves and others. This is a story about choosing to view life through a positive lens and holding on to your best hopes when the future feels uncertain. This is a story about my wonderful husband Rob. Here is a narrative about life’s unexpected twists and turns … of joy, bravery, second chances and adversity. It is about attending to what’s possible even when that itself is uncertain. It is also a story about cancer. Cancer has visited Robs life on several occasions in his 40 years on planet earth. Rob grew up with three strong role models; his grandfather Joe, his mother Lynne and his sister Tara. Their influence taught him three key lessons; The importance of hard graft to create your own success, respect for others, and good morals maketh the man. Rob modelling oddballs underwear as part of a Movember campaign to raise awareness about testicular cancer Because of these wonderful people, from a young age, Rob developed a strong work ethic. As a kid he could be found collecting sea coal on the beach to sell the locals. He learned his sales strategies selling perfumes to the beauty therapy department at a local college, usually for over treble their value, and always ensuring a tidy profit. He became a grafter and a salesman. Rob’s first experience with cancer began at the tender age of 20. His mother Lynne had learned that she had cancer....
#Adventure Series No.6

#Adventure Series No.6

Welcome to #AdventureSeries No.6 with Cheryl Maas Introducing the amazing Cheryl Maas; Professional snowboarder and fun seeker, X Games gold medallist, twice world champion, Best female rider of the year 2010 (Snowboarder magazine). Cheryl, originally from Holland, combines being a fabulous mum to her two children with being an adventurist, an athlete and a lover of many sports. Cheryl Maas is considered by many to be the greatest female snowboarder of all time.    Photos from top left Modelling for breast cancer awareness, competing at Air + Style at Beijing, X-Games Olso womens-big-air-snowboarding-podium-2016, ‘sweet ass’ rock climbing in new zealand, flying through the air – “focused and peaceful, board in hand and ready for anything”, motorbike love, best summer ever, skate boarding day, boxing season is over   What does adventure mean to you? I really love all kinds of active and fitness adventures, from a surfing to golf, cars, motors, hiking to skydiving. I love sliding down mountains and  climbing them too. I love all kinds of sports. Just so long as I can stay active, I feel very satisfied. Adventure for me is to experience all sorts of new activities, to visit new locations, meeting interesting fun people, experiencing different tastes, sights and smells. I just love it all. My motto – Go out there and discover! What have you learned from having an adventurous lifestyle? That life needs to be lived! You can’t sit around and hope that something will happen, you have to go after it. You also need to let go of fear of things going wrong. Its not in our control. You could...
Live your legacy

Live your legacy

You don’t have to be a billionaire or a genius to make a difference. People make their mark and are remembered for their contributions for all sorts of reasons. One year ago, a dear friend David Charlton died. He had lived a full and fabulous life but it was cut short prematurely . He served his country, he impacted people’s lives. David Charlton was an adventurer, a confidant, a triathlete, a doting father, a loving husband, a mischief maker and so much more. What a legacy to leave behind! His mark on this earth was purposeful and intentional. He chose to become all these things, he took time to reflect on his contributions and he lived as well as left his legacy. When discussing legacies, and best ways to make your mark, a wonderful person called Tim McNamara advised me to “CHARLIE” it. He later elaborated and shared the meaning of this acronym; Climb Higher And Reach Life’s Inner Expectations”. This brought a smile to my face and left me pondering how I might do such a thing. After some coaching and soul searching, I decided that for me, Charlie it could involve several things: Choosing to let go of the illusion of perfection Deciding on my new mantra for living life – Go forward fearlessly with the confidence to thrive Giving myself permission to trust the process and not being attached to the outcomes (otherwise known as going NATO) Realising that I need to say YES to more and then work on feeling ready for it later This led me to imagine what difference it would make, if...
#AdventureSeries No. 5

#AdventureSeries No. 5

Welcome to #AdventureSeries No.5 with Andrew Whitehouse Introducing Andrew Whitehouse otherwise known as Alphawhisky71, an avid adventurer, traveller and former commando with a thirst for the outdoors. Amongst many things, Andrew is a volunteer for a local search and rescue team. He is dedicated to using his passion for adventure to fundraise for good causes and is gets involved in epic adventures to keep his spirits soaring. Photos from top left: The DMHF Freedom trail team (Alphawhisky71, Kier group, KMF metal, and TheRealBerghouse) who collectively raised over £40,000 for charity, An epic journey across northern Sweden, Challenge – no mans fort in Solent, Trekking in Nepal, Shooting the weirs at the Annual River dove paddle, triumphant having successfully completed the Dart 10K open water event for the second time What does adventure mean to you? An adventure for me is anything which gets you off the hamster wheel of life breaking the daily monotony we all experience. Step outside your front door and set your compass for the opposite direction. Try something regularly in an unfamiliar environment. Something simple like spending the evening under the stars in your bivvy bag with a tasty beverage in hand,  or an open water swim in your local lake. Enjoy simple experiences such as seeing the sunrise or sunset,  listen to the dawn chorus rouse you from a restful sleep under the stars. These do not have to be grand or expensive adventures, just make it happen. What have you learned from having an adventurous lifestyle? For me travelling on foot is the only way to truly explore and appreciate different places, people...
#AdventureSeries No. 4

#AdventureSeries No. 4

Welcome to #AdventureSeries No.4 with Natalie Sisson Introducing Natalie Sisson, Chief Adventurer of The Suitcase Entrepreneur. Natalie is a global adventurer and digital nomad, bestselling author, TEDx speaker and so much more.  Natalie takes entrepreneurs on an exciting quest to discover how to have more personal, financial, relationship, health and business freedom in life. Unlike most successful entrepreneurs, Natalie advocates for designing the sort of business that supports your lifestyle and not the other way around. Natalie believes that you can have a profitable business that you love, run it from anywhere and live your dream lifestyle.  In one way or another we are all on a quest for freedom and happiness.  After 7 years of growing a successful business, and being obsessed with freedom, Natalie Sisson invited us to follow her on the journey. Earlier this year, Natalie took a three month business sabbatical to experiment with a new facet of freedom with herself as the guinea pig. Read more. What does adventure mean to you? Satisfying your curiosity, scratching an itch, being intrigued and then going on an adventure to peak your curiosity and seeing what its all about. What sort of adventures to do you like to have? The types of adventures that I like are two fold. Lots of fun and probably some daring too. I need something that will push me a little, make me scared and give me an adrenalin rush like an epic outdoor hike with some paragliding at the end. I also love something cultural like going on a three or four day trek with natives, doing what they do and experiencing life their way. Alternatively adventure can mean meeting...