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Role Models Over Supermodels

This week as I scrolled through Instagram I noticed how my feed has changed over the last couple of years. 

It used to be filled with perfect pictures of mostly women who had perfect lives, went on perfect holidays, with perfect post-baby bodies and with children who always looked, well, perfect (unlike my son who prefers to wear ripped tracksuit pants and a t-shirt two sizes too small for him). 

Now, when I scroll, I see it filled with people, businesses & causes who I admire, learn from and want to support. In more cases than not, I come away from the Gram feeling better rather than worse. 

This got me thinking about perfection.

As I get older, I physically recoil from people who portray themselves as perfect (and virtually unfollow).

Instead, I seek out people who make me feel something. 

If I think about the best stories I have heard, they are about ordinary humans doing extraordinary things, in spite of their circumstances.  It doesn’t surprise me that Humans of New York, an Instagram account dedicated to photographs of ordinary people and their stories, has over 11m followers and a New York Best Selling book to boot.

Or why comedian Celeste Barber has an insanely popular following as she ‘copies’ perfectly curated photographs and shows the real side to how things actually look – here is one of my favourite examples:

If I think about some of my most favourite talks, it is when I can hear the person’s voice quiver or I can see emotion flush over their face – this is the exact moment when I can feel their story, not just hear it. 

The lack of perfection is what draws me to it.

Makes me feel seen in their story.

The Power Of Role Models

When I was in my 20’s, I wasn’t motivated by what I saw around me. I read somewhere that if you don’t have a physical mentor in your life who can help you navigate your path, you could look to history or ‘famous’ people who were doing amazing things and they could be your non-local mentors.

So that is what I did. I devoured anything I could from Jim RohnTony Robbins, and Oprah to name a few. Initially, their stories inspired me and I was excited at the possibilities of re-imagining my own life. 

But there was one small problem – I didn’t really see myself in any of them. They felt out of my grasp.

As I tipped over into my late 30’s I changed my definition of what I was looking for – this is where I came up with the idea of creating a motivational bank of people’s stories who had Re-Imagined their lives by redefining what success and happiness meant for them. 

I started collecting stories of amazing people (who were in my grasp) that helped me look at the world differently, and most importantly made me feel seen and heard. 

These stories have changed my life and I want to share them with you.

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

Amy Purdy – Living Beyond Your Limits  

This is close to my heart as my father lost his leg in an accident & it helped me more deeply understand the internal struggle & also how amazing the mind, body, and spirit are.

Margaret Aspinall – My Strength Was To Get To The Truth Of What Happened

Margaret Aspinall lost her son James in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. She has spent the last 32 years searching for answers and campaigning for justice.

Some Of My Fave Places To Go To Find Amazing Stories.

Out Of Hours, by Georgia Ritter

The WomanHood – Unspoken Sessions, by Jess Rad

Restless Network, by Olivia DeRamus