Tag Archives: confidence

In the Deep End

Jumping in with both feet is something I’ve done most of my life, rarely giving a thought to the outcomes or end results. Who knew that doing it, literally could be so daunting. 

I did something scary this week. But let’s get a bit of context first. I spend a fair chunk of my day alone. When I’m writing I need peace and quiet to hit the keys. Even the radio gets binned off. And so the solitude is welcome. I work alone, I do the weekly food shop alone, I run alone, I go to meetings and appointments alone, I iron school uniforms late at night alone, I read the Sunday Times alone, I sleep alone. It’s nothing new. For the most part, I like it.

So, doing something new, alone shouldn’t come as much of a shock to the system. But as I plunged, feet first into the water at my local pool, without my kids splashing about, or my friends telling me to behave and get some lengths done, I felt like I’d made a terrible mistake.

I’ve been feeling self-conscious of late. Probably the insecurity with my work situation and losing a bit of faith in the job application process. I decided to move my ass, instead of sitting around eating myself into a diabetic coma. I’m absolutely loving clocking up a few miles again. each day. I’m unlikely to challenge Shelley-Ann Fraser Pryce any time soon, but the mileage is coming along.

When I walk or run, I listen to this amazing podcast from APM Reports. It’s called In The Dark and you can check it out here. I’m on Season Two now and it rocks. But along with listening to true crime podcasts and reading a lot of crime/thriller novels, comes an uneasy feeling around secluded places. Like, my run route.

To mix things up again and get the thought of being dragged through some bushes to an ugly demise in my own backyard, I decided to squish my aforementioned ass into a swim suit and go to the pool. It seems so alien to be there without the kids. I’ve literally never gone to a swimming pool on my own, set myself a challenge in terms of how many lengths I want to wrack up, and achieved it. It’s so normal, yet so out of my comfort zone. I’m also 100% less likely to be dragged through bushes at the pool. So, win win.

I paid my entry fee. Faffed around with the locker. Damn lockers. And walked out to the shallow end of the pool. My eye sight is absolute pants and without glasses I couldn’t quite read the time on the clock at the far end, 25m away. But sure enough, I pushed off and swam. Minding my own business. Clocking up some exercise. By 25 laps I felt a bit less weird. When it was around 40 minutes later, I decided I was done.

Walking home afterwards I felt like I’d reached a new level of adulting. Look at me, I went for a swim, on my own! I’ve never felt like this about the weekly shopping or when all 15 uniforms are ironed and hanging up on a Sunday night. It felt scary to walk out there on my own, especially in a swimming costume – aint no body got time for that!

I’ve decided I’m all for little victories in 2020. Doing stuff for the first time. Doing the scariest thing or most dreading thing on your to do list, first and revelling in the sense of accomplishment. I hadn’t made a single New Years resolution. But now that I’m a fully fledged adult, who goes swimming alone and everything, I’m going to add a few more ‘scary things’ to my 2020 list and make it the most terrifying year to date.


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Light My Fire

How To be Single, Because Exposure Isn’t So Delicious and 25 Things I Love About Liverpool – why everyone should have a bash at public speaking. 

Ignite Liverpool celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. If you’re not familiar with this fantastic social gathering and speaking forum, you’re seriously missing out.

In its own words: “Ignite showcases Liverpool’s movers and shakers, creators, thinkers, tinkers, innovators and doers, makers and dreamers in a fast paced format designed to inspire. Do you want to be inspired? Do you need to get your creative juices flowing? Then Ignite Liverpool is just for you.”

I have to thank my friend and former Liverpool City Councillor, James Noakes for introducing me to Ignite, on what I remember to be a cold, Monday night in the city. Heading upstairs at Leaf on Bold Street to a bright, bustling room filled with inspiring people with something to say. Others eager to listen. I learned all kinds that first night. The dentistry talk was genuinely fascinating while a bloke from West Derby documented his global journey. It was dead good.

Anyone can get up and speak at Ignite. All you have to do is prepare a five minute presentation and 20 power point slides to accompany your talk. Simples.

I knew from the off I wanted to have a crack at it. I was absolutely bricking it and my delivery wasn’t great. But I really enjoyed it. My first talk was about exposure as currency. Having done a tiny bit of digging into freelance life, I noticed a worrying trend of freelancers in the media industry chasing payments for work – FOR YEARS!

Not content with pretty much blowing my first attempt, I had another go. I talked about How To Be Single, which at the time was an idea for a column I’d had at work. It flowed so much better because I ditched the script and talked about what I’m most passionate about. Communication. Oh the irony!

Lastly, I had a five minute ramble about the incredible people of Liverpool. A city I’ve called my adopted home for many years. The humour, the characters the inspirational women blazing a trail for the next generation.

I’m still not great at public speaking. My nerves are always shot, but once I get up there, it’s such a great experience. The Ignite Liverpool crowd is always a welcoming one that wants to see you do well.

Today I received an email about the 10th anniversary edition of Ignite Liverpool on 4th March 2020 at Leaf on Bold Street from 6pm. I’m absolute chuffed to bits to say I’ve been asked to speak at the event and already my mind has gone into overdrive as to what to choose as my subject.

Sending my huge thanks to Neil, Adrian, Dan and the team at Ignite Liverpool for the invitation and the support in helping me to combat the nerves – which have never gone away! Here’s to another 10 years of inspiring, insightful and engaging talks and presentations on the weird and wonderful.

Find out more about Ignite Liverpool and get involved by heading to www.igniteliverpool.com and follow @igniteliv on Twitter for event updates.

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It will come as no surprise to hear..

That I love a good snapchat filter, or Instagram…..or flipagram….or Rple or Prisma and it seems like there’s a new app every week that can distort our faces into photoshopped perfection or a piece of art.

My Instagram is full of perfectly lit, posed pictures that look nothing like me whatsoever. The accompanying text along the lines of “Damn I wish my skin looked like this for real” typed while stuffing more pore blocking chocolate down my grid!  

Admittedly this fascination is doing little to aid my “be happy with how you look” crusade, but I’m fully aware that these smoothed out, contoured images aren’t attainable and are just a bit of fun.

A friend of mine Ste Johnson, is a professional illustrator and while he uses lots of new tech to create stunning artwork….give him a good old fashioned pencil and watch him work his magic!

I wanted to share an image with you, well it’s actually a piece of art and it’s not a narcissistic exercise, it’s an appreciation of skill. 

Ste managed to lift my self confidence with just a pencil, no filter needed, just some expertly drawn lines. Check out more of his work here.  

I’ve always loved drawing, colouring in and sewing since a really young age, but I’m not naturally gifted, just enthusiastic! 

Seeing what someone can do with just a pencil and pure skill will never fail to inspire me. Way more than a snapchat filter ever could! 

I’m so lucky to work with loads of naturally talented people and I’m always chuffed to discover a new artist creating something unique whether it be jewellery, baby items or framed art work. 

I met a lovely woman at Liverpool Loves on Saturday who knits and crochets. But I’m not taking baby booties and blankets! She knits octopus and mermaids and cactus and smiley veg! Check out her work at http://www.girlinpurlaction.co.uk 

Another exhibitor, GeekCycled makes tonnes of retro badges from old school comics, cue my eldest laughing at how different the chipmunks looked back in the early 90’s! 

She went home and made some Jacqueline Wilson badges of her own, inspired by the nostalgia. 

So here’s to all the true artists, the ones sketching in front of the telly, making mood boards from magazines, and cutting up old curtains to make tepees for the kids and buying half full paint tins and picture frames from car bootys to create masterpieces! 

Inspiring others young and old. You guys rock! 

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