I attended a really thought provoking session yesterday run by the Women’s Development Forum (Channel Islands) with guest speaker Debra Searle.
I could have sat and listened to Debra for hours, what an inspiration she is. Debra successfully rowed solo across the Atlantic and talked about the experience with brutal honesty, she spoke of her constant fears of being mowed down by a cargo ship, anxiety of her boat being overturned by sea life, terrifying loneliness and lack of sleep, suffering painstaking weather set backs and desperate mind battles (“Debra call in the rescue boat its time to go home”). But Debra didn’t give up, she fought on through the storms, with an aching body, often covering miles she had already rowed as she had a vision and in her heart she believed she could do it. She could see what the end result would look like (in fact she played the scene out in her mind over and over) and she wanted it so badly that she kept on rowing. Debra took stick from other teams, she wasn’t the first in, and in fact she was disqualified from the race as she passed the cut off time, but she was a woman with a huge goal, who still to this day cannot believe she did it. When asked how she did it, she said it was down to attitude. Her mind-set was the only thing that could take her across the finish line (or into the port in Barbados) and it did. She wobbled often but she talked of turning it around quickly. I think that was my biggest takeaway. We all suffer setbacks day in day out but overanalysing and procrastinating doesn’t help, we’ve got to keep on going and trying hard. No-one is perfect, Debra herself talked about personal experiences when she wished she had handled things differently, spoke up or not said as much, but each time that happens we have pick ourselves up, learn something and move on.
Thanks WDF and Debra for a fantastic event.