Last weekend I attended a blogging conference in London called Britmums Live. The keynote speaker on the second day of the conference was Katie Piper. Katie is most famous for surviving a horrific attack, arranged by an ex-boyfriend,during which she had sulphuric acid thrown at her face. She gave a talk about her ordeal and subsequent recovery which was both moving and massively inspirational.
The first part of the talk concentrated on what happened to Katie. The attack, the horrific burns, the slow, painful recovery. She showed us photographs which were very hard to look at. Her face was basically burned away, her oesophagus so badly burned she couldn’t eat. She endured skin grafts, face masks, tube feeding, and all this knowing that her life was never going to be the same again. She was a young girl used to having fun, starting a television career and enjoying her life. she went from that to being stuck at home with regular hospital visits, special net body suits and pureed fruits fed to her via a feeding tube.
All of this and yet Katie’s lasting impression is one of massive positivity, not tragedy. She talks about using positivity to win the battle she fought. “Survivors wear scars” she tells us. Katie has made several documentaries for channel four and written three books. She has set up the Katie Piper Foundation to help and support fellow burns victims. She is an inspiration.
When the talk ended I was left feeling that I could learn from Katie’s attitude. I have scars, and some of them feel really deep. As a result I sometimes find it hard to see the positive and have a tendency toward worry and panic. Katie’s story is about the power of the mind, and the profound effect it can have on us. I want to turn my attitude on its head and start cheerleading for myself instead of expecting the worst. I want to change.
A few days on from Katie’s keynote and I am still mulling these thoughts over. It’s one thing wanting to change my attitude but I feel like there are a couple of hurdles in my way. Firstly I am someone who often finds fault in themselves, and worries about life. I have been this way for a long time, it’s ingrained. Changing this is going to take constant vigilance. I’m going to need to notice when I’m being negative, and actively turn that around. Secondly my mental health issues, the impact they have on my mood, and how hard it is to see life through anything other than grey when I’m struggling.
Regardless I’m making a decision to see the positive in more of my life. To criticise myself less. To encourage myself more. I’m taking control of my life lens and I’m making it rose tinted.
I’d love to hear from anyone who has any practical tips for ditching the negative. Equally anyone who would also like to make this change, and enjoy a more positive future. What do you think? Leave me a comment below.