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How changing your thinking can help you break through any barriers

Experiences and fun are at the heart of my family life so when my girls recently said they wanted to go roller-skating and that meant me as well, other than pride coming before a fall, I had no reason to say no… Funnily enough, my husband managed to find a very important job that needed finishing!


During some brief periods of watching at the side (come on, I needed some time to recover from the Crab Walk, Toe Jam and as for those Travelling Toe Pivots…!), I got chatting to a Dad who had brought his son Tommy and some of his friends. Terry’s son has cerebral palsy, which when he told me, led me to do a double-take as I watched Tommy carefully weave round and round the rink. Terry said Tommy has to lean heavily on using his stronger leg but loves the skating because of the sense of freedom it brings him. As well as cerebral palsy, Tommy also has Dyspraxia and Epilepsy. I was stunned how Terry nor Tommy let any of these conditions hold Tommy back.

Terry explained...

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Where does this confidence come from?

From an early age, we’re encouraged to speak in front of an audience – it starts with the school nativity or class assembly when you’re asked to read out a few lines. Some children seem born performers and are happy to be in the spotlight; some who might normally appear confident little things when with their group of friends, actually become shy in a wider setting and nervously utter their given words; for others, they look like a rabbit caught in headlights as parents sympathetically look on.

As we go through life, we can make a choice as to whether we put ourselves forward to be the spokesperson for a group, become a debater, chair meetings or indeed whether we perform to a large audience - be it as a speaker or as an actor. Whether it’s part of the job or a volunteering role or maybe a past-time or activity, there’s undeniably going to be plenty of times when these situations might arise. It’s the confidence you have which will determine...

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