Last year the Hub was nominated for, and were invited to, the Self-management Awards 2017 at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh (see previous story here) and one of the inspirational speakers there was Paula McGuire of ‘Must Try Harder‘ fame.
Paula described how she used to be a virtual recluse in her own home, suffering all the classic symptoms of depression and anxiety. Then one day she realised that (in her own words) ‘Paula Must Try Harder’ – this became her mantra, blog and inspiration for a range of adventures including, wing-walking, doing all 17 Commonwealth Games sports, presenting radio shows and preparing to be the first person ever to swim right around the coastline of Britain.
The last of these challenges, ‘The Big, Mad Swim Around Britain’, ended in failure but Paula is OK with that:
“failure only really exists in our attitude towards it but, for me, it was particularly important to embrace the dictionary definition of the word and call the swim what it quite literally was: The Big, Mad Failure. After all, I had set out to do something and hadn’t managed. Boiled down to its bones, that’s failure – and I’m alright with that.”
Paula goes on to describe how fear of failure in the past had been one of the main drivers of her anxiety and that being able to embrace this failure “was somehow heartening”. As she says herself (in block capitals) “NOTHING BAD HAPPENED”.
All of this experience has led Paula to begin her next challenge, ‘The Year of Fear‘, where she aims to face her 13 top fears and find out if she should actually be scared of any of them.
You can follow her adventures at her website: Paula Must Try Harder
Paula’s first book, ‘Must Try Harder: Adventures in Anxiety‘ has just been published.