Please don’t let fear be the thing that stops you from pursuing your passions. Do you know what is even more scary than failure? Inaction. If you try and fail, you’ll survive, but if you never even dare to take that step, then you’ll never know what you could have achieved. Inaction is the biggest risk of all.Adrienne Herbert, The Power Hour: How to Focus on your Goals and Create a Life You Love
On the 16 April I published my first two blog posts: one was a little introduction about myself and the second was a book review. I was so nervous about the prospect of people reading the first post (as it was personal and about my confidence issues), that I published the second immediately after as I thought might be a distraction technique. To this day, my first post has been my most popular and has had the most interactions.
I set up my WordPress site back in January 2020 (thinking it would be a travel blog as I had lots of trips planned for 2020…) and it took me until April 2021 to actually be brave enough to press publish on anything I had drafted. Since then, in one month, I have published nine posts and between twelve and two people have read each of them. This might not sound a lot, but to me, it is incredible. I only thought my mum and dad would read them (hello, you two!) but with each new post I have felt myself grow in confidence and I now look forward to the two days a week when I post (Tuesdays and Fridays).
I decided to write this mini-post to firstly celebrate my first month of blogging, but also to talk about some of the women who have been inspiring me to actually get out there and do it.
So, in January 2021, after the year we had all had, I’d found every excuse under the sun as to why I shouldn’t be posting on a blog. It wasn’t the right time, I was too stressed with work, no one would want to read what I had to say. But when January rolled around I felt a real internal drive to change my attitude. I was fed up of constantly feeling too tired or too stressed to read or write and I was fed up of feeling like it was other people that needed to change in order for me to feel better about myself. I looked back at times in my life when I had felt my most carefree and confident and realised that was a few years ago when I was a regular gym-goer. So I decided to set up a new exercise routine, which did feel a bit of a New Year’s Resolution kind of cliché, but I started it and it has stuck.
I began Alice Liveing’s January Give Me Strength challenge on her Instagram lives. Four mornings a week Alice had me up at 7am in my little front room to lift some dumbbells, squat, lunge, and begin to work up the strength to do a full press-up. I love Alice’s bright and happy personality, her honesty about how she’s feeling, and her general give-it-a-go attitude: she told me to give 100% of what I had to each workout and that’s what I did. Alice also has a great podcast if you need a bit of inspiration called Give Me Strength where she interviews women like Dame Kelly Holmes and Nicola Adams about fitness but also about all aspects of wellbeing and looking after yourself.
Through Alice, I found Adrienne Herbert who’s podcast and book, both called The Power Hour, have had such a huge impact on my mental health and wellbeing. Adrienne introduced me to the simple yet powerful concept of getting up an hour earlier each morning to do something I enjoy and purely for myself, before work starts to kick off my day in a positive way. Whether that be exercise, yoga, meditation, or an hour reading in bed with a cup of tea, it has revolutionised my mornings. Since I started working from home, it had become so easy to set the alarm later and later and giving in to the temptation of the snooze button, then logging on still in my dressing gown. Well, not anymore. By the time I log on I have already had a great start to my day.
Adrienne also has some really inspiring speakers on her podcast. They are quite often business owners who talk about what they have done to get themselves to where they are today and the routines they have developed to protect their mental health and keep them productive. Liz Earle, Ella Mills, and also Phoebe Greenacre, who is my next inspirational lady, have all been guests.
On her episode with Adrienne, Phoebe talked about being in a well-paid London job but feeling like she was “so much more than her little desk.” She quit her job at 30 and went travelling, came back to no home and no money, and has worked slowly but steadily to set up her own (now hugely successful) businesses. Phoebe set up The Self Care Space during the pandemic as a place for women to go to find guided meditations and yoga practices to reconnect with themselves. As a woman who wants to set up a yoga-base business, I found this very inspiring.
I was able to ask Phoebe for her advice recently (as part of her business coaching course), on how to move past being so afraid of failure that you struggle to start; she said to think back on other times when you’ve felt afraid doing something, but you’ve done it and survived – let that inspire you. It gets easier and one day you will look back and see the journey you’ve been on.
Feeling the fear is also something that Chloe Brotheridge talks about in her book The Confidence Solution. This book I’ve been reading in my power hours and I cannot recommend it enough for women who have ever felt short on confidence – I have had some real ‘a-ha’ moments reading it. In the book, Chloe explains how to retrain your brain to overcome fear. One is example is go into a situation that scares you and don’t die. Your brain will then learn that you won’t die, and you are in fact safe to go into another situation. Repeat and celebrate all the small wins.
Now when I am feeling the fear I have tangible experiences to look back on and see that I’m still well and truly alive: I joined a business coaching course and spoke up, didn’t die. I set up a WordPress site and posted some content, didn’t die. Now, I am celebrating that I have nine posts out in the world (and lot’s more being drafted), by writing this.
Confidence comes from taking brave action. Fear shrinks when you walk towards it, so start planning… It’s time to act.The Confidence Solution: Seven Steps to Confidence, Chloe Brotheridge
Chloe also has a podcast called The Calmer You, and it is a lovely listen about quietening the inner critic and generally being calmer in life.
Well, this turned out to not be such a mini-post after all! But I wanted to write it in case it finds its way in front of someone else who has been hesitating over that ‘Publish’ button, waiting for “the right time” to press it. Now is the right time! But if you feel you need a little boost then please do check out Alice, Adrienne, Phoebe and Chloe (I’ll put links below) – I cannot tell you how much of an impact they have had on me.
Links and resources:
For Alice Liveing’s website link: https://alice-liveing.co.uk/ also for Alice’s workouts, please search for her Instagram: @aliceliveing(app coming soon)
For Adrienne Herbert’s website link: http://adriennelondon.com/ and please do read her book The Power Hour: How to Focus on your Goals and Create a Life You Love and listen to her podcast The Power Hour
For Phoebe Greenacre’s website link: https://theselfcarespace.co/ and her business course is called Conscious Business Coaching
For Chloe Brotheridge’s website link: https://calmer-you.com/ and please do read her book The Confidence Solution: Seven Steps to Confidence and listen to her podcast The Calmer You