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.
I’m right on that journey wiv ya girl. Lets do it. Positive mental attitude starts now xxxx
Yes, you go girl!
It’s got easier for me as I’ve got older, which isn’t massively helpful. I think sometimes it helps to take more time out and to stop and think, It’s easy to fill every moment with ‘stuff’ be that child related, home related or internet related.
Carving out sometime just to stop and think, find a bit of perspective does help and actively ignoring the negative thoughts, or replacing them with positives. Say a big NAH to self-critism. You don’t have to replace it with huge affirmations, if that feels weird, but just push it the inner critic to one side. I really admired how you dealt with school recently over blog posts, I thought your attitude and response was great – you didn’t cave in, you remained true to you.
Thanks, I handled that much better than I might have done a few years ago, a sign I’m already on this journey. Thanks for the advice, it’s very helpful.
I think it’s all exactly as you say-recognising a negative thought and actively turning it on it’s head. Or looking for a positive thing, whenever posdible no matter how small and focussing on that rather than the ‘bad’ thing. I have learnt to do this, especially since having my children. It’s also partly about enjoying the moment as much as you can, from a giggle to a flower to a lovely smell-almost trying to see life through your children’s eyes is how I think of it.
I recognise much of what you say, but if it helps at all, it can work if you stick with it. Doesn’t mean to say there won’t be moments, but hopefully they are less frequent and less intensely negative.
Yes, this. I sat in my garden today enjoying the sun on my face and the big purple alliums which my hubby planted because they are my favourites. Life is all about these things.
This is what I’m trying to do at the moment too!
I have severe depression and have just been told that I am going to have a change in my meds as they are not working properly anymore. Just at a time when I have finally started to feel ‘me’ again. I hate change and am really nervous (had horrible times in the past when changing meds)
So, I think I’m going to need as much help and possitive vibes around me to keep me strong and focused on the good!
I have some great quote sites on fb, but if you’re doing the same, I might pop by and see how you’re doing xx
I’m sorry to hear about the meds change, that’s tough. Glad to hear that you are on a positivity drive too though, will surely help. Do keep popping by, I love visitors.
Great post! I can relate to this. I have negative patterns, I guess the first step is awareness though. Like you say perspective is key. The stories we tell ourselves really matter.