When I hear the word investments, I immediately think money and start sweating… No Dad, put down the mobile, its not an “emergency credit card situation”, don’t panic!
I am not talking about the kind of investments where you risk your hard earned cash in the hopes of making making thousands of pounds… I am talking about investing in the other things in life that don’t cost a thing, and give you so much in return.
This year, I have learnt that I need to be a lot kinder to myself and that I need to have a little more belief in myself and the goals and dreams that I have.
So when it came to investing this year, I invested in myself…
The older I get, the more I realise that from time to time I limit myself and have a serious lack of confidence and faith in myself. It sounds ridiculous really when you think about it, even more so when you know that I’ve set myself the goal of being the first disabled person to take part in the Vendee Globe race.
So my first investment has been in my self belief.
Building the team around me, I realise that I know myself best, I know my strengths and my weaknesses, and I know what I’m capable of and certainly what I’m not capable of.
The only limitations that exist otherwise are those that I put on myself.
Leaving the British Sailing Team made me realise quite how much I relied on the environment that it provided. I have never been a big risk taker; what I have been is someone who follows the rules, desperately tries to make others happy, and searches for security; this is how I was raised.
I know now, that all of this is nonsense; in the last 10 months I’ve left the comfortable and somewhat secure environment of the British Sailing Team to something that is completely unfixed, and something that some have said is a crazy idea.
How have I managed to get here?
I invested a lot of time and energy into journalling, practising self care, and surrounding myself with people that support me, and I’m a lot more confident as a result. Crazy or not, I know I can take on the Vendee Globe, I will get there!
The second investment I made this year is in people.
I’ve come to realise that relationships aren’t something you stumble across, and they certainly are not something you plant and expect to flourish with minimal effort. I have also realised that not all friendships are meant to last forever, that I don’t have the time and energy to invest in every single person and also, that not everyone is worth it.
I am hugely lucky to have been able to surround myself with the team that not only supports me, but also takes the time to help me grow.
The third investment I have made, is learning on the job.
Starting this campaign off, I didn’t even have a Day Skipper qualification, but I was lucky enough to come across Annie O’Sullivan, who created the company Girls for Sail. She took a chance on me, and gave me the ability to gain all of my qualifications, and to do so in an environment that was a nice place to learn.
Whilst I was terrified to go out and do my Yacht Master exam, once I had that qualification I had this sense that, finally, that I was good enough; so much so that when Philippe, my examiner told me I had passed, I burst into tears.
Finally, the last investment I made was in my environment.
People have been very quick to judge my living environment; after all, I’m 32 years old and have moved back in with my Mum.
What people don’t realise is that after a few heated discussions and some pretty big heart to hearts, I live with one of my biggest supporters, one of my fiercest driving forces. What I now have is a place that is full of support for what I am doing, that allows me to go out and live this dream.
So I’ve started this year on a really good footing, I’m feeling hugely positive, and I can’t wait to get stuck into my 2018 plans and see what they have to offer!!