CELEBRATING ACHIEVEMENTS (AND SNOWBOARDING)

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When I first got on a snowboard three years ago, it was the most insecure, uncontrollable feeling that I have had in my adult life, full of fear and uncertainty of what would happen, but also excitement that I was embarking on something I had never tried before and never really imagined myself trying until now.

In my first week, I struggled to resist the feelings of envy of seeing my friends head up the mountain to the slopes (they were much more experienced) and leave me behind on the green slope at the bottom. But I remained humble, and put my focus on each little exercise our instructor was giving us; practising each small move or technique over and over with calm and patience; having faith that I was just as capable as everyone else of grasping the skills.

I didn’t beat myself up when I fell over again and again, but took it with good humour, enjoying the silliness of it. And crucially, I did not allow myself to advance to the next stage of technique until I felt confident that I had mastered each foundational step. By the end of the week, each of these bitesize skills were synthesised to give birth to a generally capable, albeit wobbly, boarder. My group and I were taken up the mountain to our first blue slope, where we awkwardly made our way down, trying so hard to combine the shifting of balance, with the bending of the ankles and the knees, and most of all relaxing to maintain a stable, steady, yet slow snaking down the slope.

Two years on and you would not recognise me as that awkward lad who stumbled and fell so many times on the icy ground. Jumping onto the board and carving down the slopes at some hair-raising speeds and controlling exactly where I want to go and how fast, feels almost as natural as walking. Only it’s 100% better than walking.

I’m serious.

I literally feel like Marty McFly riding a hoverboard in Back to the Future 2, one of my all-time childhood dreams, and when I have my headphones in listening to some uplifting tunes, surrounded by the most awe-inspiring snowy mountain landscapes, it feels like heaven on earth.

Each year I have pushed myself a little bit more with my technique and skills. This last trip has seen an improved confidence in doing 180 turns (slowly!) as I glide down the slope and being able to pull off some small hops over the bumps without smashing to the ground in a crumpled heap each time. Each of these small achievements gives me a little boost of confidence that raises my spirit and gives me the biggest inner smiles and giggles you can imagine.

So, while I apologise for what might be preceived as self-endulgent self-congratulatory waffle (I do get a bit carried away when I get excited about things!), there is a wider point here that I want to promote to everyone and that is about recognising achievement in yourself. Really allowing it.

Sometimes we spend far too much time focussing on what we are doing wrong, or how we are failing, beating ourselves up for the things we haven’t done.

But I want you to promote the things you achieve on a daily basis. This can mean different things to different people; we all have our personal story that means that what is an achievement or self-improvement to one person might be completely natural and ‘every-day’ to others (e.g. when I suffered from social anxiety, just to enjoy myself at a party felt like a big achievement!)

Life Coaching is a brilliant way of helping you to recognise the positive things in your life that you may be subconsciously ignoring. This will help lift your thoughts to give you the confidence and motivation to push your boundaries and taking those crucial steps to live your dreams. I want to see the best of you and I want you to see it also.

Trust me, we all do.

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